Today I experienced the MLL Workshops ‘stress test’ up close and personal… loss, stress, panic, and anxiety was well within my reach today when my boss announced that the office was being shut down, and I was handed a termination notice.
I could feel the stress sensations start to activate - it was like there was a switch that got turned on and physiological symptoms started to invade my body. I felt like a layer cake, I had a clear mind, knowing this decision was likely the best option for the little start up I had nurtured for so long to have a chance of survival. A layer deeper, there was a stabilizing calm, some type of underlying peace. And in the middle my body was teetering, confused at what direction to go.
There was a slight emotional nervousness and a knot in my belly. I could feel the heat crawl up my neck and the feeling of uncertainty was swarming like a vulture to the kill - waiting for my mind to participate in an all-out battle of fear. There was something tempting about mapping out every possible horrid scenario, as if calculating all routes to pain could mitigate a negative outcome. But I refused to feed the fear.
I reminded myself to be present, to be mindful. I observed my instinct to flee and instead, I faced the discomfort. The sense of anxiety in the pit of my stomach seems to tap a very primal reservoir, almost as if every threatening event that I have ever witnessed, in any life time, was now accessible in a hot cauldron of panic soup.
Desperate to rid myself of this experience, I flopped to my meditation cushion, but my mind was too active to find solace there. It seemed I had to endure a physical process to purge this energy from my body - that’s when I decided to fight fire with fire - I started tapping.
Tapping (or EFT) is a technique rooted in Chinese Medicine. You repeat a simple affirmation and literally tap your torso in 7 places to insert kinetic energy into the same meridians used in acupuncture. After only two minutes I could feel tangible relief - a tingle around my body, an opening to relief and release of the grip of fear.
Only hours after this experience, a new opportunity appeared. Funny enough, a goal I have dreamed about and worked towards for years seemed to be manifest at the perfect time. I laughed in delight at the play of the universe as I became its muse for the day.
I am not under any delusion that challenges won’t visit me again. But I can say that the training and techniques I learned in the MLL workshops prepared me to stabilize my experience. You truly do create your next moment by the choices you make in the present moment. I believe knowing how to react in a crisis made a very real difference in creating a positive outcome.
Isn’t your life too short to live in fear? Don’t eat the panic soup.
Knot image from Pixelbay.