The other day, I was driving to the Y and passed a truck that had spun off the road. There were flashing lights from police cars and a fire truck and my heart started pounding. “Oh, that poor driver. I hope he’s okay and what if that had been me with the girls in the car and aaaaaaghhhhhh that’s so hoooooorriiiiiibleeeeeeee!!!” While I was thinking all of this, and admittedly overreacting a bit, I got this cringe-y lock up thing in the back of my neck and a tight feeling in my chest. This was how the stress and anxiety showed up in my system. It felt familiar and really bad.
Once this kind of thing is triggered in my body, it tends to stay with me for a long time. I don’t let the stress/neck/chest feeling go easily. Once it’s there, my day is more difficult and I cry more easily and I have a tendency toward the macabre. It may not feel exactly as it does at its onset with a locked neck and tight chest, but it cycles through my system and morphs into other unpleasantness. This is pretty crummy and it means that anything awful that flashes into my day has the potential to bum me out in a significant way and then suck out the day’s joy—like a black hole. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if, instead of being a closed circuit of one: me, Amanda, cycling all that stress energy within my little system, I could plug into some bigger circuit? What if I could ground that energy down by connecting to the earth and extend toward the sky to receive space and sunshine and ease so that when this kind of stress-charge makes its way in, I can feel it and then let it move on through, distributing and diffusing it’s charge through a huge universe?
Maybe this is too out there to be blogging about, but since I am doing it anyway, I’ll tell you– I’ve been working with this “bigger-circuit” idea for sometime now and in that moment in my car, feeling that shit come up when I saw the accident scene, I tried something that I’ve been teaching and practicing. I dropped through my sitting bones and relaxed my pelvic floor and my belly organs, I extended through my spine and reached my head on up and then started breathing (because I had temporarily stopped…) and I asked that neck/chest/stress business to move along. Just move on out because I feel the compassion for the dude in the truck. I sent some sweet vibes of safeness and health his way. I thought a little hug for the fire/police people and now, I’m done. I don’t need to hold that shit all day. I just don’t. And you know what? It moved.
I could feel it moving out of my neck and my chest and then down. I imagined giving it to the Earth. Even being in a moving car that was driving on asphault, the earth heard my call and it worked. She took it. That stress feeling was no longer stuck in my own little circuit. I wasn’t recycling this stress charge and turning it into in the 100 ways that it likes to show up in my system: impatience with my kids, low self-esteem, disenchantment with the world, cookie-binging, booze-drinking … I had connected to something much bigger. To Sky. To Earth. I had opened to something bigger and the stress had moved on through. I taught my class. I had a good day. I was patient with Hazel even though she has the pink eye and requires intense amounts of coddling. I feel like I have this way of moving energy that doesn’t just help me when I do my centering and grounding at the beginning of the yoga classes I teach and the practice that I do, but something that is going to help me. Period.