With my regular meditation practice, having read hundreds of self-help books, and similar topics studied, I hold myself in high expectations of managing most situations…
However, when another night passed where I went to sleep to the sound of my heart beating and awoke again at 3am for over an hour, mind racing, I knew it was getting the better of me.
I am working full-time and studying full-time – a tall order but one this ambitious girl had been keeping on top of. Until…
I was heading into UNI exams which then clashed with taking on extra duties at work, and then, my roommate decided to break our rental lease.
Any one of these three pressures alone I would have managed. But all three together took me down.
I was scrambling for time to get it all done and as a result had cut down on my meditation practice, I had hardly done any decent bouts of exercise, I had thrown healthy eating out the window and when I realised the stress was now holding me back from absorbing the study material, I got harder on myself to find my calm in a storm I was now contributing to.
Torn between trying to get it right amongst trying to go easy on myself, I tried to pull it together. After all, I didn’t have the time to take a break. I didn’t have the minutes to meditate. I had all the excuses, all the knowledge, and yet I spiralled down.
The beauty of life during these times is, despite the rush, the pressure, the tight-chest constriction moments, time still passes.
Minutes, no matter how long, still drag into hours. Hours still become a new sunrise. The world still spins, and whilst that lead to the heightened levels of anxiety some days as the in-tray became higher, it also made space for what had come, to pass.
I was reminded by those close to me how I try to control what is out of control – like trying to grip sand, more just fell through my fingers.
I was reminded to surrender. And I wanted that. I wanted to be present and make the most of the minute I had in front of me but my head wouldn’t allow focus to come, it kept the blur of it all ever present, all at once as I tried to stay in control.
When my efforts failed to find peace one day and I ended up in a tearful, broken state after one of the events came to a head, I had to ask myself why – why had this got to me so much? I was way beyond the amount of upset this event should have caused.
The next day I was pulled back to my past and the painful wound the event had picked at. I was being shown how this sense of control had served me to date but part of me needed to ease up now.
I recognised as the clouds began to clear I was fearful of this new path. I knew where I needed to go, but because I couldn’t see how to get there, I here I held myself back.
I learnt from my wise partner practice in isolation was one thing, but to practice against the true elements of the world was another. I needed to be ok with not practising perfectly. I needed to find a way to be out of control rather than push back.
It’s ok to be very far from the ideal you see for yourself. It gives you something to work with. I crave opportunities for growth, and I need to learn to balance that with being here, present in practice.
I need to stop pushing for my way, my desire to be perfectly calm in this storm right now, rather than work for it.
I must work for my calm.
I had been pushing; against the timing of the world, the timing of opportunities or lack of, the timing of my life, the timing of these events.
In doing so I was missing the great lessons the universe was laying before me.
Thanks to reaching out, even though it was my way of pushing back, trying to figure it out, trying to get an answer, I was lucky enough to still be given the right answer, not the one I wanted at the time, but the right one for me.
It was time to untie some very old ropes as I did the work for my calm.
I have all I need and my errors along the way are part of the greater wisdom. Knowing they were planted there for a higher purpose brings me a great sense of ease.
Knowing it is all waiting for me in the surrender, and not knowing how I will get there is ok. It is a practice and each day.
To say, ‘
And only then does she rock me back to sleep. No need to wake me up in the night anymore, I hear you, I see you, I feel you.
Through my darkest nights, I heal and rise.