March 20, 2013

Facing My Tiger: Creating Peace & Tranquility.

As I sat staring at my computer screen a few days ago it came to me:  enough of all of this busy-ness already!

Physically worn and on the verge of emotional collapse, I lay down my weapon of spiritual destruction: perpetual ‘busy-ness.’

A trans-Atlantic flight shortly thereafter reinforced this when I was forced to sit [un]comfortably with myself.

In my haste I’d forgotten to carry a book along with me—it was safely stored in my allotted luggage allowance of 23 kg—inaccessible to me for the next eight or so hours.  My next choice of distraction wasn’t available either—the TV assigned to my seat wouldn’t work and there were no other available seats for me to switch to.

The epic finale to this whole saga came when for the life of me, I couldn’t remember the password for my computer!

‘Sit with yourself and breath Ms. Universe silently bellowed!’ 

Acquiescing to her command, I oscillated between journaling and bouts of airplane sleep.

Arriving at my destination close to midnight, I wasn’t as exhausted as I might have expected, and I even managed to sleep in until 9 a.m. the following morning; totally unheard of for me.

Who said, and more to the point, when did I agree that I needed to occupy my every waking moment to justify my existence?

The backdrop story of this obsession is old and sometimes even I get impatient at how long it’s taking to heal this wound of abandonment, and fear of its re-enactment decades later.

We’ve alluded ourselves into believing that unless our agendas are crammed to the ‘enth’ degree, leaving very little room for breath, that we are useless.

Being busy—an oxymoron in and of itself—is the way too many of us either prop ourselves up with an inflated sense of worth or attempt to avoid our feelings, emptiness in particular.

Choosing to sit at the base of that hollow-ness, where our loneliness is echoed back to us through its bouncing off the walls of our minds is tough stuff!

My world and the world at large will continue to spin on its axis with or without me, this I am certain of.

In this knowing, wouldn’t I better serve it and me by slowing down and engaging my time and energy in those activities that are truly meaningful to me, and those whom I profess to care so deeply about?

A complete pause also, every now and then, would definitely serve to replenish my soul and allow room for expansion.

‘Busy-ness’ is the malaise of the modern mind, one that leads to stress and eventually dis-ease. It is also the ultimate aversion tactic as when we’re busy doing this, that and the other, who has time to feel?

As I write this, I recognize that I’m in familiar territory; i.e., I’ve traveled the path of this inquiry before, and chances are, I will again.

Who or what then is my tiger, and what stops me from fearlessly looking into its eyes?

Maybe when I stop dancing and prancing around it through the guise of my avoidant self, maybe then, I will[re]discover peace and tranquility.

Something profound happens when we’re able to face our tiger[s].  By so courageously doing, we quell our fears and by this virtue that of our beast also.

Just sayin’!


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Ed: Kate Bartolotta

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