Thursday, November 21, 2013

Blossoming (Anxiously)

I'll be honest: this week has been ROUGH on the anxiety front.  The past two days in particular have just been bad, for no real reason I can name.  It happens sometimes.  I'm working on just accepting it.  I'm not labeling it, or judging it as "good" or "bad" just is.  In this moment, right now, I am anxious.  This has nothing to do with how I may or may not be feeling in the next moment.  It simply is what is right now.

This is not an easy practice, particularly with anxiety.  The nature of anxiety is that you are not necessarily rational, and your thoughts aren't typically peaceful and accepting.  In fact, the conversation chatter in my brain tends to go something like this:

Rational Me: In this moment, my heart feels like it is beating fast and my brain is busy with many different thoughts at once.

Anxious Me: Well aren't you a regular Sherlock Holmes?  Of course you're anxious.  Don't you realize that (insert worry of the moment here).

Rational Me: Wow, when I call my attention to the fact that my brain is busy, it really turns up the heat.  It makes my experience of anxiety in that moment more intense.  It's okay that I'm anxious.  It is simply my experience in this moment, and nothing more.

Anxious Me: Oh. My. God.  Come on now.  Seriously.  We're worrying over here, and you're trying to pull some Thich Nhat Hanh crap.  Come worry with us!  It'll make you feel better!  Let's find something new to be anxious about!

Rational Me: Hmmm...I continue to experience a...barely...nonjudgmental attitude towards my anxiety in this moment.


And then I do.  Because Rational Me is still working on beefing up her muscles a bit and still has to kinda step up her game.  I tried listening to a meditation tape last night, and I literally argued with it.  Out loud.  The person on the CD told me to...I dunno...empty my mind or take a deep breath and allow my thoughts to float away, and I literally said out loud, "hah.  You tell me how and I'll do it, buddy."

I listened for a few more minutes and then turned the darn thing off.  We'll try again another day.

In all honesty, though, I think there is always anxiety when you're at a crossroads, and I think that's where I am.  Remember my all time favorite quote I posted a week or so ago (the one I want to be part of my tattoo I'll get one day?)

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."  -- Anais Nin

I'm at that crossroads in some ways.  I've been here before in other ways, and it's always an anxious time.  I think growth does that to you, right?  It's worth the risk, though.  It always is.  You go through a little pain, but it's worth it to blossom.  You can't stay a bud forever, even if you've been a damn good bud.

In the past several months, I've had a number of times where I kind of step back and look at myself and think, "who ARE you, and what are you doing!?!?"  The thing is, though, it's been all good things.  Really good things.  Times when I am stepping up and stepping out and taking initiative and getting stuff done.  I am acting more empowered and less inhibited, which is making me feel more empowered and less inhibited...or perhaps its the other way around.  Regardless, I am moving into taking that risk to blossom.  I don't know what that means, entirely, but that bud is just a little too small.

It's not just a one time process though, that's for sure.  You're in the bud, and you're out of the bud, and then you're half out of the bud, then you're stuck in the bud...or you think you're out and you're in...this blossoming business is hard work.  It's a conscious process, mostly, but with a weird unidentifiable driving force behind it.  Part of me wants to call it hope.  Part of me wants to call it love.  I think it's probably both.  After all, isn't that essentially what makes the flowers bloom?

Is there an area of your life where you need to/want to blossom?  How can you allow yourself to open to allow that to happen?

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