My head starts to spin.
“How could I allow this group to be late on the first day?? What if they think it’s okay to be late everyday and it’s all my fault??”
My breath gets short. My face blushes.
“I’m suppose to be a leader. I’m suppose to set an example. I’m suppose to be good but I’ve messed everything up!”
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I feel like an elephant is sitting
on my chest.
I can’t breathe
but I can cry.
and think that it might be possible that everything will be okay.
He winks at me and I cut it all off
I am not who you think I am
I am not some submissive human
who will cook you the perfect breakfast
and then walk with you arm and arm in the park
I am not your trophy
I cut it all off and swear off
men like him
I meet another
who likes my short hair
but I cut it all off anyways
he is wrong
he is not perfect
and I am dropped
black and blue
i get up and keep running
and I couldn’t see the bruises then
I can now
and there is a heaviness in my heart
why so hard?
and so unseeing?
now I pause
as I lie on the ground
and breathe into the pain
I am hurt
I get up
holding my bruised heart
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I am studying my anxiety.
Today I am working with a group of people that have just arrived at the Ashram to take part in the One Month Program. We are working together in the garden harvesting sunchokes. We finish the job just in time and arrive late to reflect with the others.
My mind starts spinning with facts about first impressions and habit forming – about how since this was there first day it would have been better if we had been early so they could have more smoothly introduced to the process.
At the same time my mind starts spinning about how since we are late things will go wrong and how now their experience of reflection is ruined. A dramatic part comes in and starts grasping for evidence that I have ruined everything.
As my afternoon continues I move in and out of the anxiety. Once it has started spinning, it’s challenging to stop completely. I breath deeply and it subsides for a few moments then it comes back.
The rest of the afternoon I spend organizing changes so that I can spend the day at a workshop. A part of me doesn’t believe I deserve to go and as I make the changes the anxiety continues to come up. My anxiety is connected to my self worth.
I write about it in my reflection. I talk about it with co-worker. It continues to spin but as I begin to understand it better it begins to have less power.
And as I write now a part of me is still spinning, still unsettled, but that’s okay.
Anxiety is a part of my life, but it doesn’t need to control my life. And as I see more clearly where it is coming from – a place of shame, and a dramatic place – I can make better decisions about how I want to live and work.