So there I was in downward-facing-dog at my favorite yoga class revving up for a panic attack, feeling that familiar adrenaline rush creep into the solitary space of my yoga mat. That's what happens when I stand still after running myself in circles with my “to do” list. Or maybe it was the fact that this was the first week in a long time that I was able to get lost in my own space. And that freedom caused panic to set in.
Taking the advice of my yoga teacher to listen to my body, I curled up into child's pose and started to ground myself using the mediation techniques I learned in my pyschic mediation classes. Heart-rate still rising—fighting the fight-or-flight response that I was having to myself—it hit me. What if I didn't fight the panic, but gave in? What if I stopped resisting? Could it be any worse than my fear of losing it?
So I decided to do it. Go ahead, panic, I told myself. Go ahead and jump into your fear, I urged myself. I dare you to feel what you're afraid of. And then things got funny. I expected a cold sweat, hyperventilation, or at the very least, some tears. But it didn't happen.
|Photo by Shawn Keagy|
So serious, that voice inside whispered with a wink. Not anymore, I told myself.
My Father always said that the greatest thing I could learn was to laugh at myself. I'll take that one better, Daddy. I don't want to be outside looking in at myself with laughter. I want laughter to be my essence. I could say that I knew this as a child, but I was a very serious child--carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. Over the last few years I have unloaded much of that weight I was carrying, but the habit of strain and pain endures. It's time to rescue my amusement.
Anyone up for a game of “Ha!”?