UNPLUG

 

 

Stress/ panic…thoughts of feeling unsafe can  occur  anywhere, anytime…

I am  a longterm meditator, 45 years of regular  meditation practice,  and 30 years  of lived experience with addiction recovery…however,  in the immediacy of daily life….it is not unusual for a tiny by comparison to my former life in fashion as magazine editor, and later as video/film producer …for a  wave of anxiety even though it does not have the power it used to have to  destabilize me …I no longer have palpitations, feel faint and immobilized by fear……but my default setting kicksin and I am once again neurotically spiralling into fear and anxiety….

…that familar,  unwelcome,  surge of cortisol/adrenaline if I am triggered..stressed e.g.  by someone’s anger, or unwanted rage… or overstaying my time-boundary e.g.  socialising:  an event, a party, wedding, funeral  etc…

..I prefer  the quietude of our family home…we all have our ‘caves” to escape to..but back to socialising…I always want to go late to everything and leave early to avoid that tipping point moment of  “I have  had enough… and  want to go NOW”… which I can’t always do… if I am with my husband…

…..fortunately my “spiritual muscle” gets a daily work out..and within seconds I am  pausing, breathing deeper, longer and stronger  breaths, opening my chest, straightening  my spine, which stimulates internal unblocking,   discharges  negativity and restores balance…not a “second wind” but a “safe-to-approach” presence, a calm boundary  …

…It helps too that I  have gone deep into  my demons to heal sef-defeating habits of a lifetime:  hardwired  perfectionism, sel-obsession, insecurity, unmanageability,  people-pleasing, and cringeworthy, velcro-like attachment….and began to initiate a continuum of   “judgement detoxes”  all-the-while transcending ancestral   shame/pain trauma bonding to people, places and things  that did not love me back.. .

.. Since my third year of recovery I began the retraining  in psychotherapy process, and every  few years I raise “my bar” ….I continue to  be of service to others, the gift in this was the freedom that is self  actualising… raising self-awareness, inspiring change,  generosity of spirit, and the beauty that is love in action: a compassionate sense of inquiry into others….may it  continue to be a fabuously fascinating journey – into the known and sometimes the unknown…

..not everyone is likeminded, ergo the art of communicating, self expression  etc is based on a Scottish homily from my mother: “less said, less to mend”….I no longer need or want to to overshare, I am economical with what I think and do…part age, part recovery from doing too much… to overcompensate for not feeling I was enough…

…today I know I am enough…I have leaned into the timeless teachings of wise  teachers…and emerged with deep understandings into the complexities of  being human…

I used to, with  my recovery tribe friends from our Park Avenue 12step meetings carry the message of recovery into prisons, hospitals, schools and homeless shelters…constantly motivated to carry the message to the suffering addict….

…personal therapy prompted me to volunteer at the Manhattan Centre for Living, founded by Louise Hay and Marianne Willamson…going to retreats, living in an ashram, working in a small remote Indian village with the local women whose resilience shone through in the immediacy of their daily lives… work in the field, herding farm animals, cooking and cleaning other women’s  houses, … all physically demanding and spiritually challenging jobs to raise, feed and support their families… .

…..living  in India,  enrched my love of learnng, and with this came  freedom from obsession, existential angst, and fear whilst studying   TCM meditation..

Back in Scotland I met with  Lama Yeshe @ the Tibetan Monastry in Dumfries, Scotland to discuss how to overcome self obsession, be more compassionate and how  to let go…we talked…laughed…he told me to remember this “its not about me!” and to become aware of the pitfall in taking oneself  too seriously…He gave me a mantra to use in my meditation practice and suggested laughing a lot more as well!

So…what to do when angst arises… I  breath in, immediately sensing calmness and a  gorgeous  feeling of being loved, present and held…I do know beleive everything passes..swifly… so  easy to switch negativity into affirming, positive self talk…… embrace the silence…whenever, where-ever, whatever the circumstances…

TCM…enables me to shutdown free-floating stimuli e.g.  “close the open windows of my mind” …  restore presence, calmness and serenity…

Training the mind to look within is hugely beneficial….and essential to process freefloating thoughts….  eventually over time this postive habit has served me well…often I  will  notice the impulse  to boundary cross e.g. control  someone else by a reaction … and affirm  myself for not following that thought…because it will hook me into projecting onto that person   “my story” instead I love the thought, let it go and move onto doing the next indicated thing…which is an act of self compassion…  letting go of   egoic escalating intensity, impulsivity, and or compulsivity.

TCM has taught me well, in being still, silent and focussed on the breath…when I was advised to learn how to “be still” and let go of the illusion I was in control of my, you and the universe…

“I no longer need to be in control of you, me and the universe” …however I can forget…so remembering to remember to  breath, deeper…just breath and know I am safe, I have everything I need in this moment to take care of myself…I am enough….

Life is beautiful. XO