It came on sudden. The immediate urge to not do, to do less and less, to create more "white space" in my life.
Previously every moment, second, hour was packed with some event, task, meeting, obligation or activity. And, previously, I liked it this way. Business demands were exciting tasks that provided the opportunity for me to be a "solutionist", a leader, a visionary. Where shall we relocate the studio? What new teachers will we bring into our community? What new workshops will we offer? These questions had once filled me with the thrill of an entrepreneurial spirit & the rush of achievement.
Previously I had accepted all invitations to b-day parties, engagement parties, sporting events and ladies nights. My social calendar was pregnant. I considered this loving evidence that I was deeply involved and connected to my community - a community that I adored and cherished.
But something new was happening now. Something had grabbed a hold of my waist and firmly sat me down. Sit here and breathe. Do not get up. Breathe. Sit. Be still.
I didn't listen at first and consequently I was getting a lot of diarrhea. I continued not to listen and tried to continue my previous work load, but the more I did the more discomfort arose within. A strange feeling started to gnaw at me. It gnawed. It stabbed. The diarrhea got worse.
Come to find out that this sharp gnawing is what some people call anxiety. I had never experienced anxiety like this before. The simplest tasks would trigger it. I'd sit down to check my email and WHOOSH-BAM my heart would start to race, my nerves would get shot and my over-all general irritability would sky-rocket. The result of this was often a hot current of anger and exhaustion just below my surface. The slightest bit of traffic or interruption could trigger the lava to erupt in a volcanic explosion at my surface.
(On a side note: Don't you remember when email was a funny-loving, happy cyber-experience? Do you remember when email brought you friendly notes from people who loved you? Now email is a black-leather-pants-wearing task-master named Hilda. Every time I open email my email she screams, "Do this! Don't do that! Do more of this" Whip! Whip!)
I remember one morning being in a face-off with 'Hilda' when Evan came in and asked, "Hey babe, what kind of eggs did you cook today." I stumbled out of my cyber-anxiety and blurted back, "I don't know...eggs!" I said it as if his question was a big imposition on my morning. "Ahhhh. Mmmm," he said back-peddling down the hall to the bathroom. He didn't emerge til he left for work.
Pressure cooker. That's another good description for anxiety. I had once danced gracefully with the demands I put on my life. And those demands had been the perfect form of elevating my professional career, my yoga practice, my interpersonal relationships and my relationship with myself. But right now those same expectations and responsibilities were no longer serving me.
I no longer thrived on the busy-bee pace.
Then a friend calmly told me, "You're in a new season now. You can't hold back the winter months, but you can enjoy the falling snow."
Slow down. The new season whispers. Slow down.