Sitting quietly right now, my mind is unwinding,
unloading a stack of repressed emotions,
releasing contracted fears, unsupressing
traumas in need of attention, laundering
hidden shame, clearing leftover debris from a
tension storm, and affirming glossed over denials.
The bad goes out before the good comes in. Here goes...
My notes on the anxiety caused by a snowstorm:
As the sky gets dark and the snow begins to fall,
I am aware of a shift in my mood, a shift I haven't chosen,
something out of my control, an interrupt signal
from my unconscious.
I can't immediately discern the message.
Aware of this tension. I drop into mindfulness. I note changes
in my behavior and in my body. I note: a nervous laugh,
speaking too loudly, too quickly,
my rapidly shifting attention,
an obsession with weather apps,
and the muscle tightness, the edginess, reduced patience,
and the breath, the breath, the shortness of breath.
My tension increases along with the piles of snow
and at each glance of the road disappearing.
I'm noting what I am aware of, noting again, and noting again.
I am anxious. I have anxiety. Anxiety is present in this body.
The noting goes like this:
Anxiety is present. Anxiety is present. Anxiety is present.
This body feels anxiety.
This body feels tightness in the abdomen.
This body feels tightness in the shoulders.
This mind is racing with survival scenarios.
I'm noting. And noting. And noting.
Until I wonder why the anxiety has not gone away.
Then I think,"What good is all this noting if the anxiety
doesn't go away? This meditation bullshit doesn't work!"
I continue noting.
I note that the last thought,
the one judging the noting practice for not working,
was not anxious.
Critical and angry, yes; but not anxious.
So I stick with that direction. It is a door.
I put my attention on the angry thought.
The anger shows me just how much
I wish I was 'free of this anxiety.'
And how much this unmet desire to be 'free of anxiety'
is causing anxiety.
Like grief, anxiety operates autonomously,
on its own time, moving through me at will.
I can't control it.
So I give up.
The anxiety is present,
and the need to be free of anxiety is present,
and anxiety doesn't leave the body,
and I know that it won't leave,
and I am still okay.
My insight is that
I am the same
in all moments,
anxious or not.
When the storm ends
the road is made passable,
the sun comes out,
and the anxiety evaporates.
Just like that, winter is on the run.
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