I woke up with THE DREAD. But I did my work with it. Mindfulness stuff. Sat on my cushion, did my meditating. I remembered I have to allow it to be. Sometimes I talk to my anxiety. I say, “hello, anxiety. Have you decided to be my companion today? Coming to work with me, are you? Well, okay then. First let’s take a shower. Come into the shower with me, anxiety.”
In the shower I get so absorbed in the Now, what with all the pretty droplets of water and the lavender soap and all, Mr. Anxiety often leaves me for a while.
Then on the cushion I focus on the breath, and if anxiety comes, I just acknowledge it with curiosity. What does it feel like? Where is it located? What colour is it?
And I breathe. And I sometimes chant Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung. Elspeth taught me that one, and it’s VERY powerful.
After meditation, I realized I was going around the room picking up individual specks of dirt off the laminate floors to put in the waste basket. So I got out the whisk broom and pan. That’s when it hit me. Oooooh, my serotonin is dipping. I can always tell when my brain chemicals do a little wobbly imbalance dance because I get much more compulsive, lapse back into rituals that I’ve been mainly free from for a couple of decades. They grab me and won’t let me go.
Well, time for work. Instead of buying into my head’s version of how the day was going to go, I remembered one of Pema’s stories. “Look to the unknown future as thrilling rather than threat.”
You NEVER know what might happen today, Kelly. A miracle could happen today. You do not know. You and your compulsive urges toddle off to work now and just do the day like that if that’s what must be. So what?
My boss had been out at a conference for two days, so I had saved up four questions for her. She has this tendency to initially disagree with whatever one of us claims examiners proposes. I’ve found that reverse psychology works really well on her. If I want to pay a claim, I’ll say, “this one looks like a denial…” blah blah. And sure enough, she’ll play devil’s advocate and point out why it’s payable. And vice versa.
But I did not feel like games this morning. So I just laid it out to her. This woman lost her husband, we owe her this money going on four months, and now come to find out that because of a clerical error, we are going to have to wait four more weeks…
“Pay it,” she said.
I couldn’t believe my ears. “We don’t have to wait for the…?”
Nope, there are no suspicions of pre-ex. Pay it and we’ll get the xyz after.
And so it went with my other three questions.
My team is so stressed and demoralized that we stand out compared to the morale of staff on other teams. We can hear them having pot lucks and laughing. When HR announces a theme dress down day for charity, we see the other teams taking pictures in their leis and hula skirts. We give each other furtive looks that say, “what did we do to deserve getting stuck on this team with THIS boss?”
Some days I’m so overwhelmed by the pressure to get more done faster, I don’t even read the emails about health fairs and ride your bike to work day and dress down for charity. I delete them. There’s no time for fun on my team.
But today, on a whim, I opened and read one and discovered there would be a naturopath on hand in the deli. I don’t have a naturopath yet in Windsor, so decided to go check him out.
It felt good to get out and walk in the sunshine across to the other building. Many days, because of the workload, I head back to my desk after eating.
I met Dr. Denis Marier, started picking up his pamphlets, and learned he just opened his practice here after finishing his Masters with emphasis on ecopsychology in Toronto. What is ecopsychology, I asked. Before I knew it, we were batting the OMG, what a coincidences back and forth as we discovered parallels of interest/practice in mindfulness, Buddhism and palliative care, not to mention Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.
Wasn’t I just saying to my friend, “too bad there are not any practitioners of MBCT in Windsor.” There is one now, and I have his business card in my pocket.
The other day when I got my orientation and tour of the hospice grounds, I was told, “and we just got a naturopath whose office is on the second floor…”
“My office is on the second floor of Hospice Windsor…” Dr. Marier said.
I’m thinking back a couple of months as I was gazing at the ads for pastoral care programs and so forth and feeling way too overwhelmed by the idea of trying to go back to school. Just one baby step. Just take one little step in the direction of this calling and see what opens up. See what networking you can do, what connections you make and what you learn about the field once you get over there among other people who are called to work with people with life-threatening illnesses.
Do the right thing and the Universe will support you.
Why do I forget that?
I was in a giddy good mood by the time Sylvain picked me up for our date to tour Carousel of Nations. The poor band was playing to sparse audience because today was not only Carousel of Nations, but also the Red Bull Races, blocks and blocks cordoned off downtown with live outdoor music on ever other corner AND the Red Wings playing in the Stanley Cup finals. The beautiful guitarist with waist-length dreads and his gorgeous singer were trying so hard to get a response from us three people listening. So I got up and danced.
What a great day. I’m just so happy to know I still know how to feel good. My body remembers how to bounce, my feet remember how to dance, my face remembers how to smile.
My friend emailed me and said she got three fabulous hugs in a 24-hour period, one even being a feet off the ground, swing around hug.
Did anyone else experience a parting of clouds or special aligment of good energy today(Friday)?