Every morning I take the subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan to go to work. My ride starts like this: 

After a couple stops, the train goes underground. The tunnel looks like this:


Now, mind you, inside the train it's bright and well-lit, but a bunker-like atmosphere settles into the train car. As I've talked to friends and clients, I've noticed how everyone has different sensibilities and sensitivities riding the NYC subway: some react to smells, others are nervous about germs, some can't stand being close to people and others are overwhelmed with all the different energies of people swirling about. When I feel the atmospheric shift in the subway car and a constriction in my body, I send a thread of awareness through the tunnel and out to the beach of Coney Island, where the train terminates in Brooklyn. In my body and in my mind's eye it feels and looks something like this:

I will feel an immediate relief, sensing the open sky and the lively waters of the ocean pouring out onto the beach.

Then I send another thread of awareness to the other end of the line, Queens-bound, to the outdoor tracks in Astoria. It looks like this:

Feeling that I am on a ride that is bookended by outdoor space and wide sky, I feel myself settle, become calmer and I breathe more easily. If I lose the threads, I send them again. At last I will arrive at my stop and go upstairs and reunite with the outdoors.


Authormegan brians

When you move through your day, what is your context of time? Are you thinking of what needs to be done that day? Does your list include what has happened that week? Are you ruminating on how much has changed for you in the past ten years? What about what has happened in the place were your are walking in the past one hundred years, or thousand, or even one million?

Walking amidst the blocks of downtown New York City where I work, I have an immediate time context of at least over one hundred years with buildings that were erected in the late 1800's. If you think about it, however, those buildings are made from mineral material that has been around for billions of years–likewise the gases in the atmosphere that I am walking through. And if you really think about it, I have minerals that make up my bones and are in my blood stream that also go way, way back. 

Here's an entertaining animation of the imagined life of a rock. It has some trials and tribulations, but if rocks do anything, they endure many years and many processes.

Authormegan brians