Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Three Days without Anxiety Medication!

In September, 2014, I quoted John Lennon in my WholesomeThought: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

His words are still true today.

Since the first of May this year, I have been on a wild ride triggered by the intersection of an impending life insurance physical, and my having participated in the 2016 Listen to Your Mother Southwest Michigan

Tonight, I am very thankful for each of the steps along the way. Yes, grateful for the spike in my blood pressure, for the EKG and the CT scan. For sure, grateful for Brandi Smith, the Nurse Practitioner who has been patient and trusting with me—helping me be more patient and trusting with myself. 

“Discovering Our Capacity to Love” in Mindfulness in Action (page 11), Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche writes: 

We shouldn’t discount our willingness, that potential, that powerful seed of gentleness. That element of gentleness exists in every being. We don’t have to be embarrassed about it or try to hide it. We can afford to acknowledge and cultivate gentleness and, first of all, to treat ourselves better. If we don’t appreciate ourselves, we have no ground to work with ourselves.

After the insurance company reported that my blood sample had been corrupted, questioned details in my records from 2012 that had not been followed up on with approved Western Medicine, then offered me a high rate without waiting for the results of the follow up tests, I asked the agent to contact the company and ask for a reconsideration. They offered me a good rate. I am grateful about that.
I fully agree with Joseph Conrad's words in Heart of Darkness, “One can't live with one's finger everlastingly on one's pulse.” Three months have gone by quickly while feeling like a lifetime. One quarter of one year. A third the time it took me to develop in my mother's womb. It is a brief time compared to what some people deal with. For now, it is the end of this dance with anxiety. For now, everything is okay. 

I have learned a lot of valuable things about myself, about fear related to medical procedures, and about the importance of being mindful what I am thinking and how I am breathing (or not). 

From Three Steps to Awakening A Practice for Bringing Mindfulness to Life, by Larry Rosenberg with Laura Zimmerman:

Minutes can you go by until you realize you're lost in mind. One advantage of the whole-body approach is that although there's a gap between breaths,  the body is still there, sitting. You're aware of this until the next breath emerges. It gives the mind something tangible to hold onto in the present moment. 

Using whole-body awareness, you're learning to become intimate with the raw, naked experience of bodily life. As you do that, you're emphasizing the first foundation of mind, "the body in the body." (p. 32)

It felt as thought I was facing the human fear of death. We know we will die at some point. I know I am a soul (eternal) temporarily housed in a body (temporal). I recognize each moment as precious. Every day you have to enjoy this amazing event called LIFE is a blessing.

I have learned to notice grasping and aversion—being aware that I consider some things uncomfortable, unpleasant, unwanted and other things comfortable, pleasant, and desired. I may even call them good or bad. It is vital to be able to relax into whatever is happening. That is what mindfulness practice is all about. 

I wonder if I have been able to navigate this process more gracefully because of my yoga and meditation practice. Of course, there is no way to prove that. 

Say only, I am now three days without anxiety medication…. Grateful, grateful, grateful!