I don’t need this so move on through

Photo by Her Royal Highness of Sneaky Photography, Hazel.
“Sometimes stress can make you sleepy…” Photo by Her Royal Highness of Sneaky Photography, Hazel.

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.

If this doesn’t sound accessible to you, I get it.  It didn’t sound good, or even possible to me for a long long time.  There is an element of surrender and smallness in this practice that’s kind of hard to swallow.  To truly allow myself to feel connected to a larger circuit, I have to recognize my smallness.  I am still significant and important, but compared to sky and earth… small.  I have to let go of the idea that I am my own closed circuit and that I am responsible and in control of everything that happens in my life and I have to allow myself to connect, to surrender.  At other points in my life, this small feeling wouldn’t have worked for me.  It would have been frightening and counter to all this work I had put in to becoming my Amanda-self.  But now, somehow, it works.   Small is okay. As it turns out, it can also be rather peaceful.

13 thoughts on “I don’t need this so move on through

  1. Excellent offering. This is not so small. I also carry every shock and sorrow in my body. I am used to gimping along carrying all manner of things that I don’t have to own. I scream NONONO at the t.v. if Sara McLaughlin comes on with the sad eyed caged dog, When I open an e-mail from someone trying to save the planet,the people, the creatures I am careful not to open the photos. I have also had to practice being an open circuit, taking stock of the physical manifestations of the energy coming at or through me. I usually say to myself. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, may you be well. If there has been a death I whisper, rest in peace and then breathe consciously into this body that is still here. Taking stock of the bigger picture is not small but huge. Having a tangible way to approach it is very smart.

    1. Your practice is so beautiful. Having words to call upon in those times when adrenaline surreptitiously squirts into the bloodstream and emotions attempt to take over seems like a meaningful and efficient way of reminding yourself to be open and not having to solve everything. Limiting exposure is also a very smart approach. yessssss.

  2. hi Amanda, very accessible, and i’ve been doing a similar thing, seeing all of life’s roller coaster as a ride where i get to make choices. and choosing to let the highs and lows smooth out a bit.

    1. Of course you have. I didn’t know the particulars, but I could tell that you had very effective ways of moving things through. You are such a wise and wonderful woman and I’m so glad we are friends!

    1. Sara, I think i underestimated my readers on this one, which doesn’t happen very often. (I know you all to be a thoughtful, deep group of folks.) What I should have written was, “this seemed weird and inaccessible to ME for a long time…” So glad there’s some ‘helpful’ in there for you. Writing about these kinds of things helps me to understand them better, that’s for sure.

  3. “Maybe this is too out there to be blogging about, but since I am doing it anyway, I’ll tell you…” Amanda, what else IS there to blog about? Your experience, your solution, your process toward change for the positive. “It moved…” Proof that your actions worked. Thank you for sharing in this way. Very, very powerful and empowering for readers. OM Shanti. (Glad I found you – thanks again for reading my blog.)

    1. I like you, lady, and your blog and I’m so glad that all of this “moving energy” business, though still a little difficult for me to put into words or even actively work with, is a part of what you do and value. It helps me not to be dismissive.

      1. I look forward to hearing what’s next along your path. And I hope to get to Austin sometime soon (I used to live there and need to visit) so we can practice together. OM Shanti.

  4. I’m so glad you “liked” my “blank slate” post or I might never have found you or this awesome blog. This post it is so me, you could have been inside my head writing it. Peace.

    1. I am delighted to have come across your blog! It’s so good to have a few grounding -tools in the toolbag, isn’t it? I often wonder what my teenage years would have looked like if I knew anything about yoga back then.

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