Jun 13- Drive

Meditation: Headspace, Managing Anxiety #1
Length: 11 minutes
Where: Noho Park, Los Angeles
How It Felt: Unbelievably Calming

I’ve had the most amazing day.

I shifted today. I don’t know exactly what did it- maybe it was brunch with a lovely friend from back home and the wonderful talks we had, or perhaps the drive home from DTLA, top down, hair blowing in the wind, sun on my face, or it could have been the peace I felt lying on our new picnic blanket in the park, reading my book, meditating, taking a nice, long walk as the evening cooled to the perfect temperature- maybe it was everything put together. Maybe the exciting plans we have for this week.

I can’t say for sure.

But, suddenly, I remembered. I remembered how to do life. Why I love it. I’ve been struggling so hard to come out of my “pandemic cave” for months, creeping into the sun then running back into the cold, safe, darkness. Today, I didn’t feel tired out by social interaction or too many activities in a row. I didn’t feel like I needed three days to recover.

I just felt… relaxed. Happy. Calm. Excited. Myself.

From the park today- I love those gorgeous purple trees!

I think I just needed some practice getting back out there again. I really couldn’t fully remember why I did so much all the time. It didn’t seem worth it. Not when I could be in my cozy home, with my snuggly cat or even snugglier husband, watching great TV or having fun together. Why would I run around doing things when I was just fine lying in bed with a book all day in my sweats?

It made no sense.

But now I remember! It’s because life is amazing! It’s because I love my work, I love the people I get to do it with, I love food and art and parties, I love my friends, my city, I love volunteering, helping, I love driving in my car and I love seeing new places and trying new things!

I love my life!

I just couldn’t fully remember it until today.

It’s also helped to have an entire week of quiet and solitude. I’ve worked some things out. Figured out my systems going forward. I feel back in control, instead of scared that life was going to just start whipping me around.

I’m still going to move at a slower pace in some ways. I’m still going to try to smell the roses, as it were. Get outside even more. Make sure my precious time is used wisely. Stop playing stupid games or getting sucked into pointless drama. I let a lot of people go this past year, gently, but firmly. I made more space for the good stuff.

That’s exciting, too!

I’m just feeling extremely thankful today.

I have to say, the meditation today was awesome. It was also incredibly hot as I did it outside sitting with my face directly facing the sun on an 88 degree day, but it was still awesome. I went back to the first meditation in this series because I did it so long ago, I couldn’t really remember what I was supposed to be doing. I knew I was meant to be “noting” my thoughts, but not what that meant, exactly.

Really glad I did that, because there were clearer instructions. I was supposed to be labeling “thinking” or “feeling” when I got distracted, then coming back to the breath. I knew there was something like that… “thinking” for thoughts that distract, “feeling” for physical feelings that distract. I did a similar exercise in the Calm “How to Meditate” series, I remember.

There was also a great reminder at the beginning of this first session that the point of the course was not to figure out how to get rid of anxiety, but, rather, how to live peacefully with it. How to notice it, but not let it take over. How to, essentially, control it and accept it.

This was so calming to hear and understand. I know I do think of anxiety as something to “get rid of” quite often. I dream of a life with zero anxiety ever, where I’m always cool as a cucumber and nothing ever gets to me.

That’s ridiculous.

We learn in acting to use our nerves and turn them into excitement, as I’ve written about before. I need to use that principle in every day life. I would like to be able to be like, “Oh, hey Anxiety! I see you there. What are you trying to show me? How can I use your presence to guide me to what I need? I’m cool with you hanging out a bit, don’t worry!”

That sounds very peaceful, doesn’t it? I think so.

So, one step backward so I can go forward more confidently. I’m not sure if I’ll do #2 or just go back to #4 where I left off in this course- perhaps I missed something from the second session? Perhaps not… so many meditations I want to do, it’s hard to repeat! I do think I have a better grasp on what we are doing now, so we’ll see.

Overall, feeling calmer than I have in a long, long time! I’m so ready, life! Just in time for California to open up again…perfect timing. Just perfect.