anxiety, pema chodron and meditation
confession bear moment; i have a restless mind.
practicing and teaching yoga helps in soothing out the rough edges of my thoughts and feelings, this is why it is such a big part of my life. but it’s not perfect and it’s certainly not a panacea. a few months back, my brain was working overtime. nearly to the point of being unbearable. i was riddled with anxiety. about the future, about the present, about my relationship, about my career. everything.
i’d always loved pema chodron, but this period was when i started to become really immersed in her teachings. after listening to one of her talks on repeat, it was time to walk my talk and go to meditation class. completely by accident i ended up going to a shambhala meditation center, which just so happens to be her lineage. this was absolutely one of those cases where the universe was lining up, much to my ignorance.
for a little while, i was diligent about going to meditation class on tuesdays. after meditation we would read from a book and have a discussion about the chapter or passage. one day, we were covering something that struck me as so true, i laughed out loud while reading it. the paragraph talked about the myth of scarcity, specifically as it relates to well-being. the takeaway?
there’s no scarcity of well-being.
every person in the world could be doing just great and there would still be well-being leftover for plants and animals and amoebas. and this realization settled in to my consciousness in such a way that it STILL resonates just as much with me all these months later.
my dis-ease slowly evaporated after my relationship imploded. i made the sad connection that most of the anxiety i felt wasn’t due to my emotional makeup but more due to the stress i was feeling from being in a situation that was no longer serving me.
i’d been clinging because i was afraid to let go. oh, the human condition!
i’ve since fallen away from meditation class. i trust that when the timing is right, i will find my way back to it. life is not linear. and for now, this one particular lessons has settled into my bones. it’s helped me to realize that when we live from a place of fear and scarcity, our lives can be an unfulfilling place. but, it’s a place we can actually escape (any and all of us, me included!) not with our brains and our thoughts, but with our hearts.
thus, my jerry springer final thought on the matter is this: consider that happiness and well-being is not a zero sum game, there’s plenty for all of us.