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A Duck On the Sidewalk

Our mind is an interesting mechanism of the human journey. It's a constant practice to train our attention and be consciously aware

of what is arising.

The last two days have been heavy energetically. I have tossed and turned at night and woke up feeling extremely tired. Part mental wrestling, part universal experience of grief.

I notice that my mind is more challenging to reign in when I feel like like that. It requires mindful awareness to tune in, disrupt the incessant, negative, rumination and redirect my attention to the present moment. The thing that I am frustrated about no longer exists. My mind doesn't know the difference between real life and memories. I have to be mindful of where my mind wanders.

Today was one of those mornings of constant wrestling and then easing into the present moment. As I got into my car from shopping at Central Market, the inner agitator started stirring up shit again. When that happens, I actually call my name out loud, "Veronica...stop it."

This time, as I was driving and the thoughts were beginning to stir, I literally saw a duck on the sidewalk. I was driving the speed limit but too fast to slam on the brakes to take a photo. Suddenly, my attention diverted to see this feathered being standing there, almost as if he was waiting for me to notice him. In that moment, the duck on the sidewalk redirected my thoughts.

I laughed at the sight of him and also the sign. It was clear, be here now.

When in teaching children, after I get them to a level of calm with their breath, I ask them to look around and find me different colors and name the item that they see. In that moment, the beautiful duck became my Mindfulness Master.

When your mind gets into a Cirque de Soleil mode, jumping, spinning, ranting in victim-

hood or self-righteousness, pause into your breath. Name the feeling. Notice where you are feeling it. Take a look around. Maybe you will catch that duck on the sidewalk randomly standing there as your teacher of bringing yourself back to what is literally in front of you.

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