Last week I was running late for work and as I was packing up my briefcase I realized my cell phone was missing. So you know the drill - retrace steps, ask husband if he has seen it, look on all the counters and table tops, turn over couch cushions, and then suddenly it appears on a small side table. A sigh of relief and out the door. Start the drive and realize I don't have my wedding ring ... a sigh of disappointment but my ring I can do without for a day.
Work day done and arrive back home ... felt naked all day without my wedding ring. Start my nightly routine: feed cats, get into comfortable clothes, and get out of jewelry. WAIT A MINUTE my wedding ring is not in jewelry box where I assumed it was. OH NO where is my wedding ring? So you know the drill ... search entire house, every available space, under beds, go through clothing pockets...can't imagine where it can be. After 2 hours of searching I gave up. And then George my brain took over ... "you are so stupid - how could you loose your ring", "if only you were more careful", "how can you be this careless" ... on and on George went beating up on me.
I took a deep breath, sat down and did my leaves on a stream mediation. In my mind's eye I visualized myself sitting next to a stream and gently watched leaves falling from a nearby tree. With each leaf I noticed my thoughts and allowed them to drop onto the leaves and then flow down stream. This is a wonderful exercise to slow the brain down and to separate out helpful thoughts from destructive thoughts that just leave us feeling badly.
After calming my mind down I called my husband at work and shared my tears of sadness that I lost my ring and he assured me that we would find it. He also reminded me that I'm a pretty organized person and that everybody is entitled to make some mistakes. I went to bed feeling sad but more hopeful that whether I found the ring or not things would be ok.
George tried to convince me that I was a bad person for this loss and that it was unacceptable - very problematic thinking.
Two days later ... hurrah I found it ... tucked deeply under a fold in my briefcase. My best guess is that while I was putting on my ring was when I realized my phone was missing and dropped the ring in my frantic mindless search for the phone -- sigh!
As always the point is gentleness ... there is no point beating up on yourself for mistakes ... learn from them but with gentleness and love. Next time you find yourself with fast paced racing thoughts do the leaves on a stream mediation - it works!