Holding Tension

handmade greeting cards, collage art, Leonard NimoyI hardly know how to function in this quiet place.

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.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ManicMuses
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 07:27:45



  2. pegoleg
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 10:50:10

    “Holding tension” is an interesting concept – stretching those discipline muscles just like the muscles in one’s arm. Good idea.

    On the random side, is that a picture of Leonard Nemoy with a puppy and a kid?


  3. rachelmiller1511
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 01:45:26

    I like the idea of holding tension- doing something a little bit uncomfortable. That’s a really good thing for me to do because I run away from these things like a rabbit!!

    I’m so inspired by you going for veggie sticks instead!! What a triumph!



  4. littlesundog
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 19:21:43

    Hmm, I like this idea of “holding tension”. The winter months may be a good time for me to begin this concept. Again, you inspire me! Great post!


  5. Morbid Insanity
    Jan 10, 2013 @ 07:49:11

    “holding a little more tension.” It’s difficult but the important thing is to keep trying.


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