For the last couple of weeks, there’s been no drama, no hysterics, no uncontrollable urges. I get up and go about my day, paying attention to what I eat, making sure I work out morning and evening, working on my manuscript. I volunteered to be on the program committee for our UU fellowship, so I’m thinking about what our group wants in the way of spiritual substance. I show up at the meditation groups I host and listen to what teachings might be called forward. I touch base with my friends.
Anxiety still rises at times. My Bad-Ass Training kicks in and, for now, it’s enough to keep me from spiraling. Yesterday, I sat at the Hy Vee cafe in the light of the big windows with my iPod crooning in my ears. The urge to bolt came on strong—Get Out! Go to Des Moines! I wrote about it in my journal, then went out into the grocery store for Veggie Sticks (think healthy Cheetos) and a couple of movies from the Redbox. I spent $10 instead of $60 and stayed home. I felt like a warrior.
I tell the folks in meditation that developing consciousness is about holding tension—doing something that’s a little uncomfortable because it’s the right thing to do, then doing it again and again. Soon our capacity for doing what’s difficult grows. When my illness is quiet, I can practice what I preach.
Well, that’s not exactly true. I hold tension most of the time, but when I’m ill, my capacity is very small. And if there’s too much tension, my illness snaps like a rubber band in reaction. That’s a learning, too, to be aware of that point of no return. So, in this quieter place, it’s a little scary to challenge those urges to give up, eat, run, spend, relax or whatever my ego might prefer. After months of being very gentle with myself, I’m not used to pushing hard.
So, today, again, I get up and go about my day—watching, testing and holding a little more tension.
Because I can.
Because I’m on an Adventure.