Maria's Headspace - I'm so excited.
I get really excited about stuff. Travel, Regent’s Park, goats cheese, Phil Collins, jazzy trousers, films starring Eddie Murphy from the 80s- you name it- I am all over it. And not just in a ‘oh yeah, that’s pretty cool’ kind of way- in a my-voice-gets-all-high-pitched-my-heart-goes-a-flutter-and-I-just-want-to-bathe-in-whatever-it-is-I-am-excited-about (apart from Phill Collins-maybe) kind of way. Now I don’t think that unbridled enthusiasm is in itself a bad thing- on the contrary, I think that enthusiasm is super awesome and important. But there is a fine line between enthusiasm and instant obsession/making noises that only dogs can hear. I didn’t realize just how much I ran away with my enthusiasm for things before I started to meditate- and I didn’t realize how frequently my enthusiasm turned into overexcitement and how my overexcitement turned into worry and anxiety.
The thought process was often like this: Maria gets into bed, “I cant believe Kat is back in town and we get to hang out tomorrow! (yes, there are many exclamation marks in my thoughts) I am going to take her to that amazing Greek place with the ramshackle chairs for dinner, she’ll freak, oh my god the mousakka there is ridiculous, ah! I cant wait! Did she say her train was coming in at 7:30? What time will I need to get out of work to pick her up? We have so much to catch up on! Tomorrow is going to be so busy at work don’t think I will be able to leave early- did I send that email to the developer in the end about the meeting- yes I did- wait did I? What time is it? I should really get some rest so that I can do everything I need to do before I see Kat, what if I cant sleep? what if I am tired tomorrow? what if the Greek place is closed? What if my jazzy trousers aren’t dry by the morning? What if something happens to Phil Collins!?” and so on and so forth until, potentially the early hours of the morning. And ironically after all of the worrying, I would always get the work done that I needed to do, seeing Kat is always fun and up until now Phil Collins has always been safe and sound, last I heard, living in Switzerland.
Meditation has shed a light on these patterns that seemed to be able to establish themselves around and create a dark looming cloud every exciting activity that I was about to undertake. I was always under the impression that it was the negative thoughts that I had to keep in check and that the happy thoughts are totally ok to run away with but I can now see that taking a moment to reassess, take a deep breath and come back to the present moment is a good thing to do no matter what types of thoughts are galloping through my head. The more practice I got at doing this by doing my practice and by taking mindful moments throughout the day, the more I was able to see things for what they were, step back and see whether I want to continue creating an ever-expanding storyline around my initial excited thought or whether I want to leave it at that- “I cant believe Kat is back in town tomorrow and we get to hang out tomorrow!” Meditation has taught me that its totally ok to get excited about things and that I can let go of the excited feeling when I choose, meaning that it doesn’t turn into worry and anxiety which is pretty freaking revelatory if you ask me. Something to get excited about?