My anxiety has been rising all week. There’s so much to worry and think about that I can’t even keep my eyes closed in a Savasana. What to do, what to say, how will I survive, how will that make me look, can I continue, am I smart enough, do I look ridiculous?
I fall into this trap every so often. When circumstances don’t allow me the opportunity to do some deep yoga practices I spiral into my old habits of stress and anxiety. Today as I practiced I noticed my hair was all over my mat, not because I had my hair down, but because I was shedding like a cat from stress. Strands of curly brown hair laying all around me. This is why I can’t go without meaningful yoga for this long, I tell myself, look at this!
My hair falling out, my heart constantly racing, my mind always somewhere else. Its a struggle to sit still, to focus, to be present, and to remain calm. Anxiety is an exhaustingly annoying beast that follow’s your every move. Its hard to breathe with ease.
I got to LA to do a strong Leadership Training on Social Justice. Pretty deep work and definitely right up my ally. I figured doing this training at this moment in time when everything has been uprooting me and setting me off balance would do me some good. My instincts said not to worry and follow the yellow brick road, and they were right.
Everything I am learning, everything I am experiencing, is allowing me the gift of presence. Deep meaningful work that allows me the freedom to feel some $h*t. To be a witness to the madness that my mind creates in ways I don’t always realize. The very nature of my existence means that I have all the power in the world to slow that process down. Consciousness man, its the real deal.
I laid down in the sand, waves crashing around me, the cool breeze and summer sky above. I lay down with all my worries, anxieties, and sadness and invited them to sit beside me. I asked them to stick around as I stared at the sunset clouds bursting with blood orange and pastel blue. I laid with the baggage of suck I dragged all the way from Berkeley to a beautiful Venice Beach. I held them close until I cried and released, until I could feel them with all honesty and integrity, and until I felt my body back on the ground again.
Its not enough for any of us to go through life waiting on the joyful moments to come to us, and deal with the lows as if they are some sort of deal breaker to our happiness. We need to handle our business. Handle it in a way that satisfies the need for reconciliation. We need to be for ourselves what we feel the world is not to us. We can handle ourselves with compassion and be empowered at the same time, they are not separate. When we choose to walk away from our baggage we are creating the very injustice we judge against the world.
When I rise in the morning I cannot guarantee the anxiety will not try to wake with me. What I am constantly learning everyday is that it doesn’t matter, what does matter is how I choose to greet it. Will I greet it with fear and annoyance, or will I ask it to lay with me and breathe?