by Wendy Keller, occasional worry wart
I’m going through a stressful time in my life, which only makes my natural tendency to worry even more intense.
For the last several days, I haven’t been eating right, sleeping well nor thinking clearly. I’ve made mistakes at work and in my personal life.
Something has to change and only I can change it.
This morning I went out in nature to see if I could settle myself down. I’m grateful to live at the edge of the Pacific. As I left the house, I stuffed several tissues into my pocket because I had a feeling at some point I’d burst into tears and need them.
But as I walked, I got some distance between the negative inner chatter in my brain and the environment around me. I couldn’t help but notice a peaceful flock of sea birds. A profusion of bright yellow-flowered weeds. A bevy of sand pipers pecking amongst the rocks.
The harridan in my head started to slow down a little.
There were gaps between her screaming dire predictions and the beauty around me. The air felt fresh. I felt the sweat form on my brow. I saw two young Asian men struggling to get a big fish out of the water. It was pulling hard against their hook, looking for a way to escape.
As I passed them, I thought about how I’m like that poor fish. I’ve caught myself on a hook (very much of my own making!) and now I’m struggling to get away as hard as I can. I’m fighting What Is with all my strength. I remembered a saying I read once somewhere: “Suffering is caused by my resistance to What Is.”
Suffering is caused by my resistance to What Is.
When I’m calm, I can usually find a solution. When I’m calm, my brain relaxes and works much better. When I’m calm, my heart isn’t racing, my blood pressure isn’t sky high and my body functions optimally.
I made a conscious decision to only focus on the beauty around me.
It was an effort to push myself to be “in the moment,” experiencing the peace and wonder all around me. But that’s when I felt the frenzied demons disperse.
I walked back to my house with more groundedness, peacefulness, confidence and strength than when I’d left.
P.S. – The fish got away.
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