Monday, June 20, 2016
Meditation Monday: Lessons from a Busted AC
By Nancy Hall, MA, NCC, LPC
In an effort to take the “manic” out of “Monday,” this weekly post explores techniques, issues, latest research, and other thoughts on meditation. Nancy facilitates two weekly meditation groups at The Awakening Center. For more information, contact her at 773.929.6262, extension 17 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The air conditioning at The Awakening Center has not been working for nearly two weeks. And when I say not working, I mean dead, kaput, get out the bugle and play “Taps.” And it’s been hot here in Chicago. Needless to say, my reaction to this hasn’t been the most gracious.
I actually like summer. But I do not like to be hot indoors. There is something about it that makes me feel sort of cornered. It’s hard to describe. I get antsy and distracted. I fantasize about driving around with the AC on max. I look for a reason to go to a grocery store so I can loiter in the frozen foods section. Being outside in hot weather is different from being inside. It just is.
I know—first-world problem. I have lived without AC and survived it just fine. But it took a recent group and time with my clients to help me gain some perspective and get my sweaty head out of my own…well, you know.
During the most recent meditation group, the window was open and fans were on high. Birds sang as I led the group through a progressive relaxation. As we processed the meditation, one participant noted how once her eyes were closed, she felt like a kid again. The gentle whirring of the fans and the street sounds took her back to summertime from her childhood. Days spent playing and then napping when the heat became overwhelming. She remembered lying on the couch, pulling her hair up off her neck, hoping for a little relief.
These were not days without stress or worry. But she was able to connect to moments of presence. When time seemed to stand still as the sweat rolled down her temple. To a time when acceptance was the only option when it came to summer heat.
I realized then that fighting the heat just made me feel more uncomfortable. The more I worried about my melting makeup, my sagging humidity-laden hair, or whether I put on enough deodorant, the more disconnected I became. Yes, it’s been hot and stuffy and sticky and stinky—all of that. But so what. It’s also been vibrant and alive—which is wonderful.
Oh, and a new AC is on its way thank goodness!
Enjoy your practice.