Change is hard. I have always struggled with change, usually I internalize my anxiety.
I am currently really taking a hard look at myself. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I have often felt that I am pretty well in tune with my body. When I don’t feel well I can pin point what is wrong pretty accurately. However I am learning that I don’t have a clue what is going on with me mentally and emotionally and though I know I carry my stress in my shoulders and the muscles of my neck, I haven’t known what to DO about that.
Enter Anna Marciniak. I stumbled across her this last spring and have enjoyed her many posts on Facebook all summer and fall. I recently purchased her book, “Calmness Based Life” through her website One Horse Life.
I have to be honest here. I KNOW that my problems with Billy are 100% ME. I understand that I rarely feel calm and at peace when I’m around him, unless we are just spending some undemanding time in the pasture. Then I’m at ease and relaxed. Otherwise I am anxiously wondering what exactly I should DO with him, what should I TEACH him, how should I spend my time with him so it’s not a waste? We jump from one thing to the next, not all in the same session, but over time in our sessions. When we go hiking I’m always looking for the monster hiding behind the tree or in the sagebrush… and this fall I definitely finally found it!!!
I live in such a beautiful place that I often feel quite a bit of anxiety about trying to get every single photo that I see. I look out and see a beautiful sunset or sunrise and I have to get my camera and take a picture. I look across a snowy field with the sun shining across it and I HAVE to take a picture. As I take my dogs for a walk I feel that I have to try to record everything that is going on around me, to share with my internet friends and often I end up feeling like I’m actually missing stuff. Continuously looking through the camera (or my phone) at the world around me is causing me to miss out on the moment. I don’t want to miss the moments anymore.
Knowing that I need to find calm I have devoured everything Anna Marciniak has written and shared. I am desperate to learn everything I can.
But I haven’t read her book yet.
I’m scared. I don’t like change. It’s scary. And knowing how much work I need to do to change myself has been very unsettling. I’ve spend the last 3 months preparing myself. Wondering where to start. In what order should I DO this?
Then I realized that putting so much thought into this was causing me anxiety. The exact opposite thing I was striving for.
I chose CALM as my word of the year to get my mind centered. As a way to start bringing this idea into my daily practice.
As a Christmas gift, Anna offered her followers a glimpse into BodyMarc. BodyMarc is a set of exercises that encourage us to become more aware of our body. Something very interesting that I have noticed since I started is that I am more aware when I begin to feel anxiety. As it creeps up on me my mind becomes alerted to what is happening and then I can do my calmness breathing. As I do the breathing I begin to feel centered and grounded again.
Today when I did my grocery shopping in Bozeman (an hour long trip, one way, that we make twice a month) I felt myself getting anxious about the people, about my budget, about the busy-ness of everything. As I felt this happening I was able to breathe and get it under control. I realized that I have often felt a great amount of anxiety, bordering on anxiety attacks (today that anxiety brought on an asthma attack in the middle of Costco…) and then instead of understanding what emotion I was feeling I would get angry, frustrated and lash out at people around me. This could show up as road rage, or an unexplained frustration with my fellow shoppers, leading me to feel negative and cranky. This in turn would make me feel so TIRED. I would get my grocery shopping done, drive home, barely able to keep my eyes open, put the food away when I got home and then I would have to lay down on the couch and rest. Today when I got home I sat down and wrote this post! I feel invigorated and happy. I never felt frustrated with anyone as I went through my day… even when someone tried to sideswipe me with their trailer in the canyon! The truck and trailer on my left and a herd of 8 deer on my right. I was calm as a cucumber and didn’t even feel mad!
How interesting this journey is going to be.
And you know what else? It wasn’t that hard to be aware of my emotions and to get centered and calm again.