One of my magic tricks is worry. When I obsessively worry, it is as though I think I am helping that person, situation or the world, by holding them in my mind and protecting them with my worrying. Is this helping – at all? When I am caught up in worry and anxiety I am no good to anyone or even myself.
Last summer, Robin and I took an epic road trip, all the way to the Arctic Ocean. There were several occasions when the roads were a little scary. Robin, who was at the wheel, was unfazed. From the passenger seat, I was quietly freaky out. At one point, on the road to Telegraph Creek, I realized that I was holding my breath and gripping the door of the truck, as though our lives depended on it. That’s when I decided to mentally pulled back to observe my own feelings and behaviour, and I had to laugh at myself. I turned to Robin and said, “I hope you appreciate the hard work I am doing over here. Holding my breath is what is keeping us on the road!”
Instead of getting caught up in the mental melodrama of my life it is possible to pull back. As I take the seat of the observer, my emotions calm, my attachment loosens and my role in it all becomes…well, it often just disappears.
Observing, breathing and a little humour go a long way.