Lately I have found myself in “Doing Mode”. Busying my mind from day until night. As soon as I slow down, I am intentionally distracting myself so as not do deal with my emotions. Netflix. Calling a friend. Cell phone. Sleeping. A glass of wine. This is not a realistic or healthy way to live. It is certainly not a full way to live. We miss so much of life. The depth of life lies in the uncomfortable emotions so many of us refuse to explore. The tools I normally use, have been for the most part on a shelf, brought back out when needed rather than used as part of my daily practice.
My family is going through a really hard time right now, and I am not with them. And every time I slow down I am faced with the immense grief of being separated, like so many right now, from the ones I love. Sometimes I am angry, but mostly I am sad. I acknowledge I am doing the best I can to take care of myself and my family. And I am trying hard every day to know that what I have been doing has been enough. I AM ENOUGH. And what I am giving to myself now and my family is my very best given how messed up the reality of today’s circumstances are. I am focusing on being kind and being gentle with myself.
That said, I still see and acknowledge old patterns of busyness creeping in and everyday I am doing the best I can to choose to face my emotions head on. Recognizing a pattern and choosing a different way takes strength. In my early 20s I spend years in burn out mode. For me – Busy is a coping mechanism. Working long hours, taking on extra projects – a coping mechanism. Distracting myself right now is so easy but when I do my self care falls apart and I end up miserable.
As soon as we are still. We are forced to deal with what is right in front of us. And face everything that is behind us as well. Stillness uncovers everything we have buried under the carpet. Covid brought the world to a standstill. As I sit quietly with my thoughts, yes I am sad, but I am also incredibly grateful. Never in my life have I not been able to be with the people I care about. It has been a humbling experience to confront the questions of what really matters? and really face in the mirror my own mortality as grim as that sounds. How do I want to spend my remaining time on this incredible planet. Ive reached this place of incredible gratitude that I have never experienced before. I give thanks for my health and the health of my loved ones.
How do you feel when you have no where to go but here? When there is nothing to distract yourself from your own thoughts or what is right in front of you? For many of us right now we are uncomfortable being in the comfort of our own bodies. In stillness – we are faced with the reality of the outside world, which is certainly confusing right now, as well as confronted with our own trauma and emotions, which may not have surfaced for years. Many are simply going through the motions as the world is passing them by. There is a different way but it requires rising above the noise being intentional and choosing differently. It is so hard to do right now, but it is possible. It begins with acknowledgment and acceptance of what is. All of it.
I challenge you to find a safe and quite place and simply be with your thoughts. Truly be with them. It may be incredibly hard. You may feel alone. Anxious. Angry. And all of that is ok. Close your eyes. Breath. As thoughts and emotions arise breath in to them. This may seem counterintuitive. Breath into the discomfort. As you breath out, focus on energy that is no longer needed leaving the body as you firmly root and connect to the earth.