This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...

Friday, May 7, 2010

I Eat My Stress

I eat my stress.  I hold it in, between my bones, in my muscles.  My ligaments, tendons, cartilage act as cheeks, greedily holding my stress in, and refusing to digest it.  My jaw, my breath, suck in.  I eat my stress.

My digestion is slow.  I've had problems since I was a kid.  The first time I remember, I was in second or third grade in the girls bathroom.  I remember the pain of not being able to let go and the blood in the bowl.

Water does not rid me of my held stress.  I cannot wash it away.  What works is working, that is how my stress gets digested.  I need to exercise it.  But, new projects become scraps laying on the counters or floors

I eat my stress until it poisons me, it held in my joints and skin.  It stays, in its original form, not broken down, not worked through, until I hurt.  I give myself junk: television, naps, unintentional puttering.

Behind the oxygen I might be breathing, remains the moment.  Impassible guards of fear block the way.  On the other side of the guards, subtle burning in my physical body begins to rouse and wake me.  

Though anxiety, moodiness, sloth, and thickness failed to cue me, my muscles will not be ignored.  My energy goes akimbo and my vision off balance.  Until I work, I feel uncomfortable, bloated with ideas and themes.

Writing and yoga are work.  Those are the main two.  I have research and projects that call me, but writing and yoga must be done.  I must listen to birdsong and laugh at my yard's uncanny animal calls. 

I must breathe and yoke.  I must be still and quiet.  I must overcome distraction and taunting, fearful voices from within.  Those voices are my stress burning off.  Those voices must remind me to let go.

Like steam rising from a cold hearth and pops from old wood.  I feel my heat build in my body and pockets open in my blood.  Oxygen rushes in and the moment greets me.  I thank and welcome it in.

It's not magic, it's work.  I count my breathing, I laugh and delight.  I say my mantras and watch my strengths gather again.  I smile, I adjust, I feel for all the dark spots and breath light into them. I love.

My heart loosens up.  My liver lets go.  My stomach calms down and my back grows long.  My hips fill with light and my shoulders with liquid.  My knees are all courage and my kidneys, forgiving.

Movement leads the way because my brain is full of mischief.  There are monkeys about, clattering pans, burning steam, loaded words and unspoken fears.  Breath and movement is a path around that.

Regaining balance takes a certain amount of time and I don't always allot it.  I don't always help myself, when I most need it.  I don't always breathe when it's most appropriate.  I try my best.  I get back to work.

2 comments:

Mary Francis Farmer said...

Woah. I eat my stress, too, but never thought of it like that til you laid it down. Damn. That was a fantastic read!
Have you encountered Penelope Trunk, The Brazen Careerist?http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/
Her latest post wraps up with an eleven word mantra she found on Lifehacker:

One thing at a time. Most important thing first. Start now.

ShanaRose said...

Thanks Mary, I'm glad it spoke to you.