When I was asked to write on the topic of healing spaces, I immediately started to brainstorm peaceful, relaxing, or spiritual places I’ve visited. The bus was definitely not one of them. However, when I reflected on my own healing journey, I realized that a bus is exactly where it began.
The bus was the first place where I started to wake up and transform my life moment by moment, which eventually turned into an entire journey with mindfulness. This is why the bus will always hold a dear place in my heart. These days, unfortunately (or fortunately) I still spend a lot of time commuting via public transit. During those times in my life when I’ve neglected my mindfulness practice and slipped back into isolation and unhappiness, I still remind myself to practice while riding the bus.
Making time for self-care and healing doesn’t always need to involve a retreat, spa day, yoga class, or meditation group. All we need to do is tune in, become present, and open up to the experience of life in the very moment we are in. Take notice of the sights, sounds, and smells around us, the sensations on our skin and in our body, the emotional flavour of our current experience, the stories our mind might be broadcasting to us in that moment, the feeling of breathing in and out, and the general tragedy and exuberance of being a human occupying our particular body and mind in that particular moment in time. To be fully awake and alive in even the most mundane and unpleasant moments. A healing space can therefore be any space we happen to find ourselves in and choose to wake up to. And yes, that includes a bus.