What a name, “Frogger.” Just this name is even fun. The game is so simple, but challenging and so addicting. I’m instantly transported back in time to 1986 playing the Atari with my three brothers in our midwestern basement.
The goal was to cross your poor frog from one sidewalk safely to the other side of rushing traffic, and then over a river of dangers jumping on logs to a zone of home base at the top of the screen. One wrong move forward or a move with bad timing led to the frog’s demise.
This was my mind today. My mind was the game of Frogger. I followed a 10% Happier guided meditation called “Concentration” by Jeff Warren and attempted to keep my frog safely on the sidewalk. I could see my thoughts in the cars and river dangers speeding by from the comfort of the sidewalk at the bottom of the screen.
Yet, from time to time, I realized suddenly without warning that I was in the middle of the road surrounded by some fast moving thoughts as well as some long, slow storylines all vying for my attention simultaneously. Luckily, Jeff reminds me to “come back to the breath” and in this case helps my scared green frog to “restart” to the safety of the bottom of the screen.
Watching my thoughts drive past is easy. Watching them through noting their existence is not scary. I can even make plans to jump in and at what time. It is comfort and calm. This is the goal of meditation. To see our thoughts; to recognize them. To call out the dangerous ones and not attach to them. And, to note the important ones worthy of time and energy at my choosing, not at the thought’s whim.
Finding myself mid-jump not sure if I’ll land on a log or an alligator is where my thoughts steal any chance I might have at calm and happiness. I find myself angry, scared, second guessing, distracted, and clearly not present for myself or my family when I am mid-leap. This is an awful way to live. This is not how I want to treat myself.
Meditation is my cure. Meditation is Frogger’s safe sidewalk.