rehearsing our lives

5 10 2009

i had one of those nights last night. the ones where you go to bed at 10 and wake up at 2.57 in the morning as if it was noon.

at first it was sort of okay that i was laying there wide awake. i went to pee and opened the window a bit because it felt a little hot in the room and i thought maybe that was what woke me up. i sleep better when there is a slight chill in the room.

i got back in bed and noticed that the room was lighter than usual. the neighbors had left on their backyard light which i swear they bought from the DEA or the military. it’s beyond bright. so even with the shades down, it was like early morning. so then i decided that was what woke me up, not the temperature in the room.

and then my mind kick-started into irritation and speediness.

and then it was downhill from there until 4.30.

a 90 minute ride of fear and panic about nothing that actually was happening at the moment.

i lay there, a victim of my thoughts. my mind ran away and not at all in a good direction. it’s no wonder that the boogie-man is under the bed only at night. middle of the night thoughts are of the most potent fear variety i have experienced.

it went something like this; my irritation at the neighbors light being left on led to wanting to leave brooklyn and live in the hudson valley which led to what else? money of course.

i began adding up my monthly income and then starting going over the fact that my yoga clientele ( i teach private yoga for a living) is about half this fall of what it has been in the past. and my bills are the same. my basic cost of living has not of course gone down by half although i have made all the necessary adjustments to pull back/cut down on non-essentials. at this point, i just simply need to bring in more clients. i am geting by, but just that.

and just getting by is very scary. admitting you are just getting by is very scary. it brings up all kinds of failure feelings. and also panic. money seems to be directly related to survival, although i have had enough wayne dyer and louise hay teachings to know how the law of attraction works. “as you think, so your world is.” and that “money is the currency of energy.”

which panics me more. i must be doing the prosperity coin (pun!) wrong. ugh.

the panic is the biggest one. what if i can’t make it, what if my dog needs an operation? what if the remaining clients i have left all quit? what will i do? what if, what if, what if…..the mind goes into overdrive. and it’s just me out here. there’s no hedge fund partner as a safety net.

i had a meditation instructor who used to say all the time, “we are always rehearsing our lives instead of just living them.” i didn’t understand what he meant for a long time. but i think what he meant was that we are reacting to all the scenarios we create in our minds and living from that place and that’s not real life. that we are caught in the snag of the what-if and am i going to be okay cycle that plays out in our thoughts and fantasies especially when we get sick or the bank account is low or our relationship ends or someone has really hurt us etc etc etc ad infinitum.

case in point; i had worked myself into so much fear last night that i was laying in bed crying. i am blessed because i have a partner who was beside me and i was able to wake her up and get some comfort (although there have been plenty of nights when this has happened and i was completely alone). i said to her, “i’m afraid about work and money.” which was a big step for me. to cry and just say simply that i was afraid and not make it into a big story line or fixate on the dumb neighbors with the searchlight instead of feeling the directness of my own feelings of fear.

releasing the energy of fear through crying can be very helpful in helping us relax. like letting steam out of a gasket. often we are holding up such a false bravery which is actually very weak, that it ends up hurting us more. i have found that to not be afraid of the emotions that arise but to let them pass through the body/mind can be very helpful.

i fell back asleep and then two hours later the alarm went off, and it was light out, and i came to my desk to do what is in front of me today.

rehearsing our lives takes us away from the immediacy of what is truly here and now. we are okay in this moment and then the next moment and each day moves authentically along like that. if we are rehearsing we aren’t actually living our real lives. we are living our fantasies, hopes, and fears. it’s not easy for me to engage the nakedness of my experience without the fear-based story-line. life just is what it is. it’s me who puts a pile of images and commentary on it. i could just be with my feelings and keep my mind disciplined to not veer off into boogie-man land.

in that way, we are actually living our lives genuinely. “stop rehearsing” he would say to me, “this is it. there’s no other thing than this. be here now with what is. not in the future, not in the past, but right here. and usually,” he would say with a wry smile, “right here, right now, we can handle whatever it is.”

a good reminder when in the middle of the night, my thoughts can run away with all the what-ifs.




One response

10 10 2009

Thank you Bindu for sharing your vulnerability with us. Your post made me weep in compassion for your night plight, and the reminder of many nights of my own when fear had its grips on my heart, and played havoc with my mind. As real as those emotions that bubble up to be released, and the monkey mind jumping from one scenerio to the next feel, it is good to remember that they cannot be trusted; the illusion and seduction of fear in play.

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