This post is about 2 weeks overdue but still so relevant. I’m going to need you all to use your imagination for this one, though, because we need to go back in time
*Cue Back to the Future music*
I’m driving home the Thursday before New Year’s. Its about a 2 hour drive which means I either call someone to chat (usually Nessa), rock out to my iPod, or listen to a teleseminar about life/love/business. This drive, however, was different. In the back of my mind I heard my yoga teacher telling us about the quiet moments, the ones we simultaneously long for and run from. She tells us how every night on her commute home from teaching she drives in perfect silence. No radio, no phone, nothing but the sounds of her car running, the air whipping past, and other traffic.
Now to put this in context, this type of talk comes towards the end of class when we are laying belly-down on the floor, hearts pounding, sweat dripping, wondering how in the world a bamboo floor could feel so delicious. In some ways, this part of the practice is the hardest (well this and Savasana). The traditionally “tough” parts, the ones that make us sweat and burn and question our strength…we are good at those, being part of a society that focuses on competition and getting to the top. We might bitch and moan but we kind of crave it. It’s the quiet moments, on the other hand, we don’t really know what to do with.
Anyway, back to my drive. With this in mind I take it as my cue to drive home in silence. To have a good thinking meditation about where I’ve been and where I’m going and what I like and what I want to change. One of the biggest things I’ve been struggling with for a while now is disappointing myself. My inner self talk has turned downright mean (as in Mean Girls, mean) about how I’m always late, how I always wait until the last minute, how I miss deadlines because I’m unorganized, how I don’t complete my to-do list, how I won’t ever get accepted to anything if I don’t get my ass in gear and actually send out applications, how I keep failing myself and letting myself down and then being a bitch and/or hot mess to those around me because I’m really truly madly deeply angry and frustrated with myself.
Now, I’m not saying this to garner sympathy or empathy but rather to set the situation up for you. These are the types of thoughts that have been running through my head, these are the dark places I’ve been, and these were the thoughts I was thinking about on this drive home. This time, however, rather than just sitting in those thoughts and feeding the illusion I asked myself why. Why do I set myself up to fail, to let myself down, to not move forward? Why do set myself up to disappoint, to pound things out at the last minute (something, I must say, I’ve become quite amazing at)? I was no longer content just accepting that this is who I am.
And in the darkness and the silence, my courage in asking these hard questions was honored. My IPL quietly but firmly began to weave another memory, one of me listening to Dr. Gottfried’s Hormone Q&A teleseminar and paying specific attention to the part about adrenal burnout and the havoc that cortisol wreaks on the body and perking up at the question of how to heal the adrenals even though I was sure my levels were normal. And I had my answer.
I am addicted to the rush.
I love the surge, the joy, the triumph that comes from finishing something in a seemingly impossibly amount of time. I love rushing through traffic, through tasks, through life because it left me feeling high, like I had succeeded, contributed, done something amazing. I am hooked on my body’s own natural opiates. In order to get things done I need to have that challenge because its what I enjoy…and because it feeds a highly effective neurological pathway that was designed for things like running from saber tooth tigers and the like.
Like I said above, the challenge stuff, we can do.
So I decided to counter this, to heal both my adrenaline junkiness and my adrenals (or is it the same thing?) I would give myself a new challenge; to start and finish without rushing. It hasn’t been going very well but I’m ok with that. I recognize that its going to be a long journey and will require constant mindfulness and awareness of what I am doing and why. Its something I’m going to have to work at day in and day out until maybe forever. Simply having awareness of the issue is, to me at least, a big first step. Admitting it publicly is also huge since this is something I’ve been sitting with on my own for a couple of weeks now. So I’ll take it from there. Each minute I start anew and I’m given a choice about how to proceed. All I can do is my best.
One final, related note. Among my other realizations from this ride home (you should see how many WR drafts I have), I also realized how little time I take to listen in. I had been hinting at the “why” for weeks before I understood my junkiness, but it was always in a rushed context (shocker, I know) and never when I just had time to quiet the distractions within and around me. So with this, I was reminded again that we really do have everything we need within us.
Let me repeat that.
You already have everything you need.
Sometimes we just have to shut up enough to realize that.