I awoke in a panic at 5 am, feeling like I should jump out of bed and start running.  I had nowhere I needed to be and nothing real pressing in on me, but my heart insisted there was urgency and I needed to move quickly.  I resisted and tried to remind myself it is Saturday and that it is good to rest, but the panic wouldn’t let up.  I finally got up to meditate and as I moved, my husband wrapped his arm around me urging me to stay in bed, but my heart only quickened and a feeling of being trapped came over me.  He thanked me for the fun date night and was so tender and kind.  I began to cry.  My tears were the releasing of the shame I felt for not being able to be more present on our date night.  I went through the motions and followed along, but my heart was not in it.  I couldn’t connect because of the anxiety I was feeling.   The tears fell because I feel sorry that he has to deal with this, and that I have to wake up again feeling “off.”  He didn’t sign up for this and I feel sad that I can’t be the wife/mom/ person I want to be in my anxiety.  I feel broken, scared and unable to flip the switch.  The tears bring a bit of relief to my swirling heart and I know it is going to be ok.

As I sit on my mat to meditate, my mind is swirling.  I notice my connection to the earth and begin to settle.  There is a chaotic energy that tries to pull me away from the stability that sitting in stillness brings.  I notice it and allow it to be without judgment.  I lengthen my spine and start to tune into my breath.  The spaciousness I feel as I breathe mindfully offers me hope.  I pause and rest in the fullness of the breath, knowing that I am filled with Spirit.  I breathe out to release the tension in my heart, the chaos of my thoughts, all that I am holding.  Letting go brings relief.  I am thankful for the way that this simple practice of sitting and breathing anchors me and re-orients me to the divine. 

I wish that I could tell you that this calm stillness that I experience in meditation remains, but for me this is not the case.  It is a continuous practice throughout the day of returning, re-orienting and resting in the stillness.  Some days are easier than others, but for some reason this summer has had many hard days.  It feels like my heart is in a terrible war and the very gift of freedom that I fight to offer to my clients and those I am blessed to work with often alludes me.  I taste it and than “poof!” it is gone.  I believe your pain carries with it a gift and the very message you need in order to move forward.  Many times when the anxiety is intense I stop and write a letter to it, thanking it for being here.  I am learning to love and accept this messenger that is trying to remind me to slow down and trust.

Anxiety is like an unwanted house guest and the more I try to ignore it and banish it to the basement, the more damage it causes to the temple of my heart. Today, I am going to embrace it and listen to it.  I am going to get curious to what it is trying to tell me.  I am going to welcome this energy and love it as a part of me.  The moment I reach out and hold it with tenderness, it seems to dissipate and lose its horrifying grip on me.  Because I love to help people who are struggling to find the peace and freedom they were created to enjoy, I believe it is important to feel this experience fully so that I can truly empathize with others who suffer in this way.  We are not the suffering that we experience, we are the pure light of the world, but sometimes we get tangled up in the dark and lose our way home.  Sometimes we need a guide; someone who will hold our hand and walk along the slippery slopes reminding us that we are going to be ok.

In every moment we have the power to choose.  What are you going to choose today?  Why don’t you take a moment to sit in stillness?   As you return to the present moment, you will find that the peace you are longing for is already within.  Practice opening up and allowing this beautiful gift of light to flow through you.  Pause often and rest in this stillness, abide in the love you were made for.  Breathe away the pain and tension you have carried so patiently on your shoulders and know that you are on a journey toward wholeness.  Every little thing you experience is growing you and shaping you and making you amazing.  Trust it!