Yesterday I had a powerful realization. It was one of those moments when a thought flutters down and settles into place and everything makes sense. Sometimes it feels like we learn and relearn the same lessons over and over. Where have all those magic moments of peace gone – the moments when everything felt right in the world? They come and go.
My magic moment yesterday was about having choices. The idea that everything in my life I have chosen. My job, my commute, my friends, the place I’m living, the outfits I’m wearing, the length of my hair, and the giant piece of cake I ate a few hours ago. It sounds silly, but I’m not sure that I have ever felt with such raw certainty that I am in fact steering my own life.
The past several months have been tough. I’ve had a bad bout of anxiety and I’m on the cusp of making several big changes. Being in an anxious state can really dull any real sense of power or control over your life. Also, I believe the more rigid your daily routine is, the harder it is to remember that you have the ability to choose. I could take a different route to work. I could have scrambled eggs for breakfast for a change.
I could even CHOOSE to relax, instead of worry! It sure is hard to relax. But I am choosing to try. I just read Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life – a book I’ve been meaning to read for a while. While I could write a whole book about my reactions to her book (heh), I think the part that stuck with me most is an exercise called “Letting Go.” When I read it, holding the book in my hands, dead tired after a long day, I realized how freaking tense my body and mind were, while believing that I had been relaxing before bed.
While it’s not as simple as deciding: I choose to banish my anxiety forever! Be gone, cursed feelings of doom and paranoia! maybe it can be as simple as focusing on smaller decisions, such as: I choose to relax my muscles and mind tonight, and sink into bed and let go.
Here’s an excerpt from the exercise. Maybe it will help you relax, too! I’ll let you choose whether or not to read Louise Hay’s book. 🙂
“As you read this, take a deep breath and, as you exhale, allow all the tension to leave your body. Let your scalp and your forehead and your face relax. Your head does not need to be tense in order for you to read. Let your tongue and your throat and your shoulders relax. You can hold a book with relaxed arms and hands. Do that now. Let your back and your abdomen and your pelvis relax. Let your breathing be at peace as you relax your legs and feet.
Is there a big change in your body since you began the previous paragraph? Notice how much you hold on. If you are doing it with your body, you are doing it with your mind.”