Journal entry: Thursday, May 7, 2020 10:07am
I should be clocking in to go to work right now, finishing writing copy.
I should have woken up earlier to do yoga.
I should have gone to bed earlier last night.
I should have started my day with a glass of water, instead of coffee.
There are a lot of “should haves” whizzing around my brainpan right now.
I choose my self-talk:
Shhhhh! I see you…
I’m doing the best I can.
I’m doing pretty damn good.
In fact, I feel like I’m living my best life right now.
Sometimes I feel guilty for it, but overall I feel really fantastic.
I feel like I just manifested my dreams.
I work in the health and wellness industry, between Life Coaching and CBD/CBG production.
We're launching a new CBG product.
I believe in what I do.
I choose where to put energy.
I’m intentional about where my energy flows.
I coach clients to new levels of self-awareness, self-discovery, self-healing, self-love, compassion, forgiveness, letting to, feeling rage, feeling joy. Everything they bring is welcome. I’m fucking honored by what they bring. I’m honored by the human experience.
Today my experience is filled with "should haves" and a swirling whir of stress chemicals swimming around my stomach.
Journal entry: Same day - Thursday, May 7, 2020 3:48pm
What is Anxiety?
I walk into the kitchen. I’m hungry. I need to eat. It’s 3:48pm. I ate a breakfast of yogurt and a banana at 9:45am. Bookended between two cups of coffee, or as I like to call it, pre-breakfast and post-breakfast caffeination.
Anxiety feels like:
Walking into the kitchen because I’m hungry, and watching my thought forms…
One says I need to get out of the house.
Wait, eat first.
One says should I make something fast or nutritious? [Both!]
Good, go eat.
One says I need to go to the store later.
I need my mask, my gloves, hand sanitizer, wallet...
Wait, go eat.
Uggghh, I need to go do X, Y, Z…
Wait, go eat.
Okay, I’m going to eat.
After eating, I need to wash the dishes.
While in the kitchen, I watched myself rush through the dishes.
I felt my heart pounding and adrenaline pumping.
I felt rushed, but had nowhere to go.
Rushing agitates the nervous system.
I used to be very familiar with that feeling.
I would feel it when I was running late somewhere.
My commute was always stressful.
“Why didn’t I just leave a few minutes earlier?” chides my Inner Critic.
When I first stopped feeling the feelings of that adrenaline rush, when I instead sought calm…
It was extremely uncomfortable.
Not because I didn’t want it,
but because it wasn’t familiar.
I had to condition myself to feeling calm, and stay there.
And do that more and more, and feel it in my body.
I stopped being late, and felt the ease of the commute.
Wow!I don’t like the feeling of adrenaline rushing through my pores.
Maybe if I needed it to run away from a rattlesnake, but I really don't need it.
In my early 20's, I lived in L.A. where traffic is savage.
I used to have road rage, and curse at people, and then I stuck a post-it note on my windshield: “Oh bugger off!”
So the next time I was driving down the 405 in 7 lanes of traffic and someone made some dick move, or someone cut me off and I drove up on their ass in anger, I said “Oh Bugger Off!” with a bad British accent, and I giggled.
The next time I said it, I laughed harder. It was so ridiculous, that I couldn’t help seeing how I was acting from outside myself, I laughed so hard. It brought me out of my anger so fast.
That’s when I realized I was addicted to certain “familiar with” emotions.
Anger, and feeling hurried.
When I shifted both of those, everything shifted.
I began to enjoy the not-freaked out feelings, even though they felt unfamiliar at first.
So how does someone invite the unfamiliar feelings to become familiar feelings?
...Which wolf do you feed?
Spend more time, put more energy, into setting up experiences of feeling the preferred feeling.
Find a SitSpot in nature.
Post calming mantras on mirrors and walls.
Learn to feel the surge of chemicals coursing through your body.
Relax, you are the traffic.
Before, my preferred feeling was an aroused, highly activated nervous system. That’s so extra. Ain’t nobody got time for that shit.
Then, after feeling really uncomfortable in the stillness, in the calm, in the getting to work or the airport early to eat a meal, drink water, go to the bathroom and set myself up with my basic needs...after feeling really uncomfortable in that stillness, in the calm, but practicing it anyway, it became familiar.
What becomes familiar, becomes comfortable.
Traveling to new place, living in a new place, figuring out where the grocery stores are, where the best street food is, organizing my room so I know where everything is, getting to know people from different races & cultures & orientations, spending time in the wild, conditioning my body to crave running, getting to know my own thoughts and triggers, living in extreme cold or extreme heat, sinking into the warmth and fragrant soap of washing the dishes, tasting my food instead of housing it down so I could move onto something else. Becoming present.
Now, the preferred feeling is calm.
It is familiar now.
It is welcome.
It feels like home.