There was a time, not so long ago, really, when I used to wake every day under the dark cloud of anxiety. Some days, I awoke already paralyzed by fear and doubt – and – being a Type A problem solver kind of gal, would start the day with a list of all the things I should do that day in order to be better. Looking back, I think I thought I needed to produce a certain amount of achievements in order to earn a little peace and happiness for the day.
After years of soul searching, yoga, breath work, spiritual study, and a daily quest for joy, I rarely enter the day this way anymore. Typically (not always!) but typically I wake for the day knowing that everything is ok, in the moment, and that chances are, if I keep that attitude throughout the day, everything will be ok. The anxiety is for the most part gone nowadays.
But. This morning was not that sort of morning. I haven’t been sleeping well for a few days now – I’ve had an aching, nagging stomach ache that won’t let me settle – which is unfortunate, seeing as how I find anxiety gets quite exacerbated without proper sleep. I’ve been thinking about the tragic earthquake in Nepal. I’ve been noticing that many of my friends seem to be going through ridiculously challenging times. And on a basic level, I can’t help but feel that my list of things to do never seems to get things checked off, but only has new additions day after day.
My eyes shot open early today. Really early. Really early for someone who loves sleep and didn’t get to bed until way too late last night. It was immediately clear that I wouldn’t be drifting back off into sleep, but that my day was going to begin. At 4:15.
I could feel my head start to travel to a thousand different places. In the old days, I would have let it wander, I would have allowed my whole being to go with it, and I would be lost in an abyss of angst, worry, and depression for the day. Today I did something different.
I dropped into heartspace – that place inside your heart that is always filled with love and the answer you need. It is there, it really and truly is. Immediately, I knew what to do. What else is there to do?
I crawled out of bed, found my mala beads, lit a candle, and began to meditate. Lokah Somastah Sukhino Bhavantu.
May all beings everywhere be happy and free from suffering.
I can’t change the fact that tragedy happens in the world. I can’t change that crappy (for lack of a better word) and unfair events happen in a person’s life. I can’t change the fact that every day brings challenge. But I can come to all this from a different place. From heart space instead of head space.
And that is all the difference I need.
What else is there but heart?