Practicing in the hospital bed
I've heard/read Jundo talk about practicing however is needed (on a cushion, in a chair, in a bed, and in a hospital bed even). Yesterday I had an opportunity to practice in a hospital bed. I had to have a procedure and at one point before it started I noticed anxiety building some momentum. I was laying in the hospital bed noticing my thoughts and my growing anxiety level. I could tell I was at risk for a full blown panic attack. I won't pretend that my practice was anything but clumsy (for lack of a better word) but I did remember that practice was an option. I remembered to notice my breath and some of the sounds in the environment. I noticed a radio was playing some 80's tunes. I decided to refrain from the thoughts that were feeding the anxiety and focus on the more emotionally neutral sounds from the radio. The anxiety dropped down a few notches. (Procedure went fine btw). Later that evening when I was home recovering I surfed our forum a bit. Even decided to "sit" again-just for 5 minutes. Before practice I would have never imagined I could handle something like this with so much presence. My boyfriend (who I have known for about 8 years) also remarked at how incredibly well I handle things these days, how different from my old ways.
I've had crippling anxiety my entire life. However with practice I can now accept and experience so much more of life-even the scary parts. By getting carried away less and less by my emotional reactions I have more room for life, awareness, experience. For example, before practice I literally had panic attacks just calling to make a dental appointment. With practice I was able to be with that anxiety more and more until it lost it's power, it's solidity. I lived with that specific fear for 10 years! 10 years of avoiding the dentist. Now I can go to the dentist like a "normal person" (not loving it, but not terrified). And now I can lay in a hospital bed waiting for a procedure and still allow that to be an experienced part of life. Not only am I just able to cope with the tasks of living better, but I can connect with the world in a more meaningful way. And most importantly...I'm not watching my life go by without actually living it.
I wanted to share this because I think it's important to know that it's possible (with practice) to heal, to grow, and to just be. Practice is not easy (at least not in my experience). I think it's important to be reminded of how worthwhile it is-how transformative it is. Even if I am the only person who gets anything out of this post-it's a good reminder for me!
Today I am feeling pretty unwell, so my "sitting" is going to be a short one in bed. But I'm okay with that.