Uh oh. I am newly retired, and there is nothing specific that I have to do. The anxiety and unsettledness creeps in. I am becoming sleepier and sleepier and am taking two naps a day. Oh no! What is happening to me? This quiet is really dis-quieting! Fatigue and sleepiness are actually causing me to feel guilty that I have no schedule at all.
I think it is withdrawal from Stress-as-a-way-of-being. Withdrawal from being constantly revved up, hurrying to the next very important thing. Stress DT’s.
You must all have experienced, probably daily, the driver who is impatient because you are going the speed limit. He/she then zooms by, only to be stopped at the light ahead that you – snail that you are – reach. You are stopped together, and you think you have been vindicated.
A few weeks ago, a friend and I were driving on a two lane road in Taos. A young man roared up to our bumper, and then passed, shaking with rage, and jabbing his not so friendly finger in the air. Later we saw him stopped by the Highway Patrol. Yes! Justice!
This is dramatic and funny. But not so funny the slow, long term effects on the body/mind/soul of doing exactly the same thing, but in a much more sublimated way.
When I sit in zazen – if I am alone – I open my arms and say, “Here I am.” Often there is an immediate, inner response. Today it was:
Be gentle to yourself. Be kind. Just be with what is, nothing added on.