You know that rare, unexpected moment when you look around you and notice that there are no major crises swallowing up your attention? You know the kind of event that seemingly hijacks your life and derails even your daily plans? None.
In that rare moment, even if you’re experiencing some confusion, minor loss, life dis-order or chronic busyness, the things you’re facing apparently do not qualify for the master list of significant life stressors so should be more or less manageable according to the creators of the master list.
Quite recently, I realized that over a few weeks surrounded by the unremarkable stress of being a living, breathing conscious person, I became increasingly agitated. And as my general uber-vigilant disposition was not picking up any external signs of an intense struggle to engage or an insurmountable obstacle to overcome, it seemed that I needed to create some concrete struggle internally.
Suddenly my own arbitrary deadlines rose to commandment status with the added pressure of “someone will be waiting on me for this”. In my own gospel, Never Leave Anyone Waiting is the second commandment after Do Everything Correctly and followed by Everything Matters. My inclination to set regular goals and write lists became a firm attachment to perfectly imagined outcomes followed by an out-of-balance disappointment when they were not realized. My growing acceptance of “this is the way life is” was recklessly abandoned on the meditation cushion with my settled breathing and mind. Slow, mindful movements were replaced with jittery legs and fidgety fingers. Sleep was rest-less and stillness disappeared.
Remember, there was no genuine crisis. Bounty was all around me. Relationships, life’s work, passions and creative outlets were all within much more-than-rich and satisfying range. Life, as they say, was and is good.
On a clear, breezy day with no clouds or chances of rain, am I addicted to the chaos of panic and pressure? Do I need to create drama where there is none in order to feel engaged, relevant and meaningful? Does dis-ease become my default position especially when things are going well?
I don’t know. Now comes the sitting and listening with a curiosity for what comes up and with no predetermined outcome. If panic asks to take over, I’ll re-read “the “3 steps to pacify the panic” blog I wrote a few years ago and get un-stuck (again!) from this familiar place.
May your summer be full of self-accepting moments where you never give up on the places where you get repeatedly stuck!