To maintain consistency with blog posts, I am going to start posting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. You will know when to expect a new post and I will dutifully have them ready for you to read.
I had been practicing yoga consistently for over a year and was in downward dog one day when a huge wave of emotion erupted from deep inside. It is as if it unleashed itself from my abdomen and swept through my body with increasing speed. All of this happened within an instant and before I knew it I was sobbing. I was also in public, so the crying was silent. I did not want to make any noise for fear of disrupting the flow of the class and of course, bringing attention on me.
It was the fastest release of emotion I have had to date. I cried and then I felt fine, no, better than fine. I felt a kind of peace I had only read about. In later yogic practices I began going through the movements with my eyes closed, which is quite a challenge. I saw the most breathtaking colors – the vividness is something I cannot find apt words for.
In The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, Pema Chödrön talks about developing the bodhichitta, or “awakened mind,” the way in which the heart and mind recognize the suffering of life with the hopes of diminishing it. When I was an avid yoga practitioner and meditator, I felt closest to God. When my life somehow became too busy to eat a proper meal let alone do the things that are good for me, I lost my way.
Over the last several months I have felt an increasing stress about not having enough time. Even while I sit and type this I am fighting an internal battle that I am running out of time to type. I do not feel as though I have time to write, read, relax, eat, or sleep. I am not sure where it is coming from, but it is the most dreadful feeling. I need to give in to the thing that is scaring me: lack of time, and meditate on it. I know that once I do, the feelings will dissipate.
I am stuck in a place called samsara, a cycle of dissatisfaction, as Chödrön writes about in her book. By employing ‘avoidance’ I am shielding myself from acknowledging that I need to give myself a break, while also creating a writing schedule that I can reasonably stick with. According to Mother Mary in the book Conversations with Mary by Anna Raimondi, I need to release the fear so that I may accept the blessings that God has bestowed upon us. And while it is okay to stay within the places that scare me: fear of failure, fear of self-sabotage, it is important to ask God and the angels for help in releasing these fears so that I may move forward.
As in Buddhism, I need to ‘relax into change’ – make it a part of my thoughts and then ask for help in releasing these fears in a loving and gentle way. By accepting that I feel fear of changing careers and becoming a well-known and well-accepted memoirist, I am acknowledging the emotions and then asking for help so I can push forward.
These are the scary thoughts that run through my mind as a writer: fear of self, and success. I need to meditate on these, so I can push past the idea that I am ‘unsuccessful’ and ‘running out of time’ to, “I AM a successful writer” and “I have all the time in the world and now need to use it in a way that works for me.” So be it.
Book: The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, Pema Chödrön Website: http://www.butler-bowdon.com/pema-chodron—the-places-that-scare-you.html
Any grammar and mechanical issues are the responsibility of the author, and even though she’s an English teacher and does proofread, there may be some errors.