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The Meditation Challenge While on Vacation March 15, 2012

Posted by Living Abundance in Uncategorized.
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This past week I noticed was an almost constant state of “nexting”: “What’s next? What’s going to happen?” A state of anticipation, planning, expectation. Its hard not to do this when I am doing things out of the ordinary that are enjoyable and could be anticipated, and I am also trying to make choices about how to best spend time in a short period.

I found it difficult to be present, to be still, to savor and enjoy the moment, without a lot of thoughts about what’s happening next and how to prepare for it. “What’s happening? Who’s all going? When will we live? What should I bring? Will I forget anything?”

This happens often whenever I travel, so I didn’t find it a problem to try not to identify with it. I knew things would return to being more present once I got home.

Another thing that came up during the trip was a whole lot of anxiety. Numerous people have lately told me in person that I look so calm and collected. I tell them I might look that way on the outside but inside be silently struggling with anxiety. That certainly was the case this past week (with the exception of a couple of instances where anyone could visibly see I was not at all collected).

I noticed that the times I was most anxious were when I made a day trip with my relatives, all 10 of them at the most, to somewhere I’d never been before or to do something I’d never done. This was difficult for two reasons:

1) I’m not used to being around other people and coordinating my activities with others. When I spend my days alone or self-directed, I don’t need to do anything according to anyone’s wishes. So if something arises that I have a problem with I don’t need to make anyone else aware of it.

2) When I’m doing something I haven’t done I don’t know what to expect and this causes a lot of fear of the unknown. I don’t know if “something bad” might happen, how to prevent it, or how to do something about it should it arise. In short, I feel out of control, out of my comfort zone of my usual routines and activities.

Another thing I had difficulty with was not judigng or identifying with my experience when anxiety was present. Probably because I’ve had similar experiences of anxiety with most of the same group of people a few times in the past. I noticed a storyline about my anxiety: “This is who I am, this is who I’ve always been in the past, and this is who I will always bein the future. I haven’t been able ot fix it yet so I never will, it is too big for me to handle.”

I can remember at least one time trying to separate the anxiety from the storyline, and was able to notice a sharp difference between the two. I tried to stay with anxiety in the present moment, the emotional reaction, the physical sensations in the body, the way the breath felt. But when the storyline appeared, I was flooded with thoughts and judgements: “Why is this happening? what should i do about it? I also noticed a great deal of shame and fear where I didn’t want others to know what was happening. “They would never understand, they’ve never had to deal with anything like this.”

 

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