It was Friday morning I had boxes to ship, emails to send, checks to deposit, appointments to schedule and no time to waste. I was stressed and running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
Got in the car, turn the key and suddenly the radio blasts " Go shorty it's your Birthday, we are gonna party like it's your birthday" and my whole stressed out about life energy changed. I started singing and laughing. My storyline of tasks to achieve melted away and I remembered what was truly important- that I celebrate every day like it's my birthday.
It wasn't the first time that this happened about 12 years before I had what I consider to this date the biggest heartbreak in womankind. I was 20, driving my gold Cavalier crying my heart out singing Shakira's most depressing song (when she used to write about things that weren't her hips). I was at a stop light just sobbing and the guy in the car next to me rolled his window and said: "just change the song". I started laughing. He was right sometimes what we need the most is to change the song in our thoughts. To interrupt the train, to snap out of it.
I talk and write a lot about "feeling our feelings" it is a big part of Buddhism and cognitive psychology but first, it's important to differentiate feelings from thoughts. Feelings are not stories that run through your head- they are emotions that you store in your body and even when sitting with your feelings it's important at times to snap out of it. Last year I took a workshop with the Buddhist nun Pema Chodron called "Making friends with yourself" and one of the students said something that really resonated with me. He said "You can't just go in and feel. You need to be gentle and sometimes you need to leave and come back"
We all need a break from our mind and even our feelings. Something that brings us to the present. To this breathe, nothing ahead, nothing behind. Just this moment. So maybe it's a loud noise, an alarm, tripping, a crash, the sound of birds- life is constantly sending us little "change the song" messages. Let's use those to snap out of it into what really matters just this one breath.