November 4, 2014

My 40 days

About a month ago, I started to have mild panic attacks when thinking about anything stressful. I have certain triggers that send my anxiety into overload. Over the years, through therapy, reading spiritual texts,  developing a meditation practice and surrounding myself with wonderful, like minded souls, I've learned to manage my anxiety with the end goal being 1. a healthier me and 2. to stop the cycle of anxiety that runs deep in my family history. 

I was really surprised when one day, when staring at a pile of bills with contempt and frustration, my heart started racing and my throat felt like it was about to close. Very strange, very scary and a little wake up call that something just wasn't right. I ignored it for a few weeks - until it happened again. And then again. After seeking help from my esteemed physician, whom I've seen for 17 years and truly adore, I was advised to take anti-anxiety meds and perhaps a blood pressure medicine for the acute moments of panic. Let me state loud and clear: I have NOTHING against medicine. After my second baby, I had postpartum and was on antidepressants for a while. I have taken Ativan and it works WONDERS (does anyone really enjoy flying?) 

However, this season of my life doesn't need medication. I truly believe with a goal and a plan, I can manage my anxiety on my own, without meds. When I sat and looked at my life I realized the last 18 months have been a mindless free fall. I love the following quote:

There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.                                                     
 Rumer Godden. A House with Four Rooms

So if we are to assume the four room theory, I would say I visited every room, but just for a second or two. Flitting from here to there. Never really balancing my visits. Some weeks my physical room was visited like crazy and then wow did the dust pile up while I went to the Dairy Queen room. So what we can dub a free fall resulted in me not being my authentic self, reverting back to old anxiety triggers, and the best part? These little heart racing panic attacks. 

I spoke with my meditation teacher at length about this and she advised me that circumstances do not cause our challenges. While circumstances can be sad, painful, trying - it is not these moments that cause anxiety - it is our lack of faith. A lack of faith. A lack of self. A LACK. Period. When we lose our faith, lose our Self, we forget that we have everything we need within us to get into our four rooms and manifest contentment in our life, regardless of what is going on in our outside world. 

So as a self proclaimed seeker of contentment, I am setting out on a 40 day spiritual path to strengthen my faith. Why 40 days? The universal appeal of 40 days reigns in several religions. How about being pregnant for 40 weeks? Moses? Noah? 40 days to change a habit? 40 days seems to be rooted in deep fulfillment and promises. So off I go. As the week goes on, I'll explain actually how I intend to move forward with this journey!

I will report back after seven days and give you some insight on my findings. I'm faithful (ha!! look at me already!) that at the end of 40 days, I will discover something. I'm not sure what, but hang around for the ride and I'll keep you posted...

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