Saturday, September 26, 2009
Riding The Current
Up at 4am with the now familiar feeling of anxiety. This week has been interesting. I haven't been smoking except when I get home from work and after we eat dinner. I have been living in that space of in between. That space of wanting a cigarette and not having one. Riding the current of my nervous energy. I say it has been interesting because I am learning a lot. I am continually fascinated by how much, not matter what age we are, there is to learn. Normally, when I feel that nervous energy, I smoke. Bam! Nervous energy gone, I don't have to think about it, feel it, acknowledge that it is even there. It is erased, a minor blip on my radar. Now, I have to feel that nervous energy. It was really difficult the first time, being totally uncomfortable and doing nothing to make myself fell better. But since that first time, it has diminished considerably. Sometimes, when I feel it, its kind of fun. I literally feel like I am riding a current and it's exciting. All this energy coursing through me as I ask myself what is going on? I am learning, on a really subtle level, how my body reacts to stress. To actually witness the mental and physical process I go through, the things I tell myself, the stories I live by. It's freeing in a way. I feel stronger, because I have survived the uncomfortable energy surge. Because I am getting to know myself better. My instincts are growing stronger and I am learning to trust them. I am learning to not worry so much. It's a conundrum though. On the flip side, I wake at 4 with the familiar feeling of anxiety. My throat actually hurts from the blood coursing through it, there is a ball of fear in my chest, radiating from my shoulders across my chest, around my back, like a perfect circle, my upper body is enclosed in anxiety, it feels like indigestion and I wonder if this is a sign of having a heart attack. My heart is thumping and feel nauseous. I tell myself that it's a process. I can't go from being checked out and distracted to plugged in and focused without some sort of mental detox. I am trying to teach myself healthy ways to calm down. So, I come downstairs, do 90 minutes of Yin Yoga and listen to Pema before making my favorite jasmine green tea, putting on some music to write by and writing. Today, Pema talks about remaining like a log. There are 3 ways to experience something and on a subconscious level we always label our experiences as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Remaining like a log is not about being dead, cold, closed off. It's about being calm. Alive and present in your experiences, not overwhelmed and unconscious. For example, if I experience something pleasant, instead of getting caught up in it and loosing myself, I simply say to myself, pleasant. Now I can experience the actual event with out it being clouded buy my stories of how it should be, how I should react to it and what it means. Its definitely a process, in the immortal words of my all time favorite singer Freddy Mercury "I'm havin a hard time, I'm walkin a fine line between hope and despair, you may think that I don't care. But I've travelled a long road to get a hold of my sorrow. Tried to catch a dream, but nothings what it seems. Love is saying baby it's all right when deep inside you're really petrified..."
All this talking about my nervous energy has aroused it! I was great after the yoga. Dan is getting coffee at Starbuck's on his way back from the hardware store. I have been craving coffee and a cigarette all week. We are getting together with friends (unmentionables) tonight and drinking wine. Dan is still smoking. I think I'll be on the smoking side of that edge today!