My composed, mindful life hit a barrier that catapulted me into anxiety. Insecurity and misgiving clamped me shut when my supervisor went back on his word about my teaching location. I’m not a fan of betrayal.
Anxiety plays me by nervousness, sleeplessness, and difficulty focusing. I’m watching my diet and exercise, and even though they were good, I gained two pounds the first two days in stress mode. I moved right into counter action, but it took over a week to resolve.
Sleepless didn’t mean I stayed up late watching Netflix. I went to bed early and on time since I get up at 5:00 a.m. I tossed, fiddled with my phone, read a chapter of Truly, Madly Guilty and flopped around to the point where my cat got annoyed and jumped off the bed. Sleepless meant I’d doze into a light trance and then jerk awake, to have to start the cycle over. I don’t know how many times I did this. I decided to sit up and meditate in my spa room where I have a candle. The sputtering of the birch scented candle matched my mental field and I sat, re-crossed and uncrossed my legs and tried to say aum. It was really futile, which panicked me.
My return from that unsupported tunnel of mental disharmony came in two levels. The first: My real boss finally met with me after two postponements and decided to move me to a different campus. I will teach reading intervention in a real room with walls and a door – at a school with a greater need. Plus, I not only got a transfer, but I also got an invite to coach writing and offer Moonlight Universities in writing. Did you see me my little happy dance when I returned to my “room” in the open pod at what would now be my “old” school?
And, the next evening after the fortunate meeting, I was driving home through downtown San Jose, heading east on Santa Clara. I had the top down and the air was balmy. Time slowed as I people-watched at the frequent stoplights. I’d tuned into KDFC playing a contemporary classical piece, Peter Boyer’s Symphony #1 . The symphony had a motif that got into my brain. Soon I was singing along with it. I had the thought that one doesn’t hum symphonic melodies, but I did. Meanwhile I was noticing the evening light play on building facades, the cloud piled over the east foothills, and I slid deeply into the musical meditation.
Yes, I was driving, that easy, stop and go 25 mph downtown rate. Each block I drove seemed a ride on another wave of peace and visual pleasure. As I turned into my driveway, stopping at the gate, the symphony was ending in slow, descending crescendos like a mountain range melts into foothills. So I sat there in my car.
Before me, massive Bird of Paradise flowers were catching the setting sun. They became electric in the music and air, charged with life. I saw them shooting up into a connected, live atmosphere that was pouring life back into them. I could feel the active, ongoing flowering and I enrapt in the light, air, and flaming orange.
As the music ended with a long, satisfied exhale, I was back. Alive and well.
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