I love Self Help Books.
Mostly Spiritual Self Help Books. Because want to be a Zen Master.
I like books about living in the moment and positive thinking, and sometimes the ones about ruling the world from your couch. Actually I never bought that one specifically, but this reminds me that I should.
I love them. And I believe in them. However, the times (hours, days, months) that I am not reading them- I forget all about implementing them and their "life enhancing" advice.
And, also... this blog is absolutely the OPPOSITE of everything I learn in them. Complain-y. Orrrrrrr maybe not. Maybe I am actually tapping into my true nature and being honest and liberating myself. Its hard to say. But it is definitely not focused on the Zen side of my being.
So anyway- 4 days ago I started a new "15 minutes a day meditation" regime, where you essentially sit there and watch your brain explode with a million thoughts. You just watch your brain go mad and you sit there knowing you are not the brain going mad. And then you are peaceful. Get it? Of course you don't.
But, as I "meditated" upstairs just now, I was also supposed to focus on the feelings in my body and notice and label them without judging them. Ommmmmm.
For instance: "I am angry. And it is like there is a glowing fire the size of a tennis ball swirling in my shoulder. It is orange and red and yellow" Etc.
So anyway, today I felt anxiety in the form of constricted breathing. I felt like I couldn't take in a full breath and that I was going to run out of air. As I started to panic that I was going to suffocate I remembered to just.... label it.... and feel the fear of suffocating to death... and simply describe it to myself. (all while fully feeling the fear of suffocating to death, which, by the way, is totally irrational. Why would I suffocate to death sitting on my bed?)
The perfect description came to me: It felt like I had spanx on my lungs. There was a pair of too-tight spanx on my lungs- and every breath was constricted. And since I was devoted to 15 minutes of sitting with no distractions- there is nothing to focus on but my imminent suffocation/the vague anxiety that is causing it.
The spanx were also sewn to my shoulders and my lower back so every time I breathed it would pull my body in towards my spandex lungs.
After I sat there with SpanxLungs for about 5 minutes, and allowed myself to feel the anxiety of suffocating to death, then the spanx stopped being too tight. So now....maybe my lungs are just wearing regular-old-underwear. Which is fine.
I hope you are enlightened by this story.