Three Truths and One Wish

darkriver1. Truth: I am trying really hard to not feel overwhelmed. I came back to my CSU work yesterday after a long few weeks of vacation. Part of getting myself organized, ready for the start of the semester, was putting all the things I’ve scheduled for the next sixteen weeks on my Google calender.  When I saw it in “black and white” like that, I was surprised by how much I had committed to: teaching yoga, a training class with Ringo, Feast with Rachel Cole, various Open Heart project opportunities, a ZenPen ecourse, weekly meetings with interns, yoga classes, blog posts, working on a book, etc. At that moment, I had a choice: freak out or accept it. For now, I’m accepting it, trying not to freak out.

2. Truth: It isn’t helping that I haven’t seen the sun for two days straight. Today isn’t looking good either, gray and cold. It’s hard to imagine how I didn’t completely lose my mind growing up in the Pacific Northwest, were we’d go for weeks or even months with no blue sky, where it felt like for nine months out of every year, the sky had a ceiling and it was resting right on the top of my head, a weight that felt like it would crush me.

This morning's couching, image by Eric

This morning’s couching, image by Eric

3. Truth: I’m better than I was, but my dogs still trigger such anxiety, panic in me. Sam’s mouth is itchy again, and even though we know how to help him now, to see his back leg scratch at the air and his head shake pulls me right back to the time when we didn’t know, when we thought we might lose him — my body remembers. And then Ringo snorted something irritating up his nose, was gagging and rubbing his face in the snow, and even though it only lasted for maybe five minutes, I was right back in those moments with Dexter, when sneezing and such was a sign of something that was killing him. For a long time, I lived in that panic almost every waking moment, whereas now it’s an echo in my body, a memory embodied. It comes in waves and surges, but eventually dissolves, and that’s at least better.

One wish: That even if the sun doesn’t come out, and even if we have a lot to do and things arise that trigger us, we can remember that underneath it all is a calm, an ease, a wisdom that is available to us at any time, all the time. May we easily find that space, that ease, that calm.

5 thoughts on “Three Truths and One Wish

  1. Mary

    Once again, thank you for the gentle reminder of calm underlying all things. My calendar is looking a bit overwhelming, too! (The sun’s shining on the coast…I’ll enjoy as I know, as all things, it won’t last.)

  2. Rita

    I get panicky when there are too many days of sun in a row. I need my ceiling! Which reminds me that one person’s panic can be another’s comfort, so we all need to be gentle with each other, as much as we can.

  3. Carrie Lamanna

    I know exactly what you mean about the sun. I grew up in Pittsburgh and I don’t know how I survived the gray winters. And I definitely understand how certain things can trigger an almost trauma response even when they are no longer indicators of something terrible. I do it to myself all the time.

    And a story: I have a friend who grew up poor and now in her adult life she gets anxious whenever she can’t afford the most expensive thing in the store, even though she is no longer poor. I remember her husband saying when they were shopping for a new refrigerator that she got worried when he suggested they buy the smaller one, because they didn’t really need the big one and could use the extra money for something else. Even though she knew they *could* buy the more expensive one, the act of not doing so, triggered the trauma of poverty in her. Such moments remind us of just how deeply embodied traumatic events are, and how we need to continually remind ourselves that “underneath it all is a calm, an ease, a wisdom that is available to us at any time, all the time.” Thanks for reminding me of that today.


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