Safety has been uppermost in my thoughts lately, for many reasons:
- I drive a car in the city of Boston, well known for its creative, vocal, confused, and — according to a judgmental article — worst U.S. drivers,
- snow will be coming soon to the city that “ranked dead last among cities with more than 1 million residents,”
- I have a very unusual heart blah blah blah blah,
- I’ve been feeling somewhat out of breath lately, but that could be for so many reasons, and
- I’m a group therapist and creating a safe enough environment for participants is my job.
Last night, at the beginning of a therapy group, I gave people a few minutes to mindfully focus on a real or imagined place that was safe for them. Since I never ask group members to do anything I am not willing to do, I also got a chance to take a little mind vacation. Usually, when I do that specific mindfulness exercise, I build, in my imagination, a location that includes:
- the beach,
- a tent that is open to a warm and soothing breeze,
- colorful pillows, and
- a cat, somewhere
… however, last night, in group, I visited a real place, from my memory:
When I went to Garden in the Woods last night in my mind, I found a bridge over a beautiful brook where, many years ago, I took some time to be mindfully present, in the moment, using all my senses.
If you were to take a few minutes, right now, and go to a safe place in your mind, where might it be? What might you see, hear, smell, touch, feel, and experience there?
Last night, the people at the therapy group described real places, imagined places, lots of different places, as their “safe place.” Somebody also named “this group” as a safe place, which was wonderful for me to hear.
Here are some photos I took yesterday, on my way to and from work, with safety on my mind:
Those are all real photos; none of them are imagined places or things. However, for that last picture, I did imagine a Cold-Gear Monster* eating the last of the tuna noodle casserole.
What music could safely fit today’s topic? Here’s something:
If listening to “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats, found safely here on YouTube, isn’t safe enough for you, I have another musical suggestion. Last night, as I felt the first drops of precipitation on my walk back to my car:
… I heard this song by Pat Metheny (whom I’m seeing in Worcester, Massachusetts, which probably doesn’t have such great drivers either, in two days):
And I agree with Pat. Spring ain’t here.
Thanks to everybody everywhere who is doing their best to stay safe enough, today (and I hope hope hope that includes you, too).
* “Cold-Gear Monster” is the best name I can come up with, in the moment, as I am trying to remember the name of that friggin’ thing (which I love, by the way) that goes around your neck to keep out the cold but which is NOT a scarf. Any ideas for a better name?