I’ve had a love–hate relationship with meditation for most of my adult life. I’d hear about it from people who incorporated it into their life, or from books, stories of those who went on retreats to meditate in silence for days on end, or friends who woke up early to meditate every day.
Something about it appealed to me, the peacefulness of it, the idea of calming my anxiety, wanting to experience the… I–don’t–know–what, that keeps passionate meditators on their cushions every day. I didn’t really understand how to do it, though, so I looked for ways to learn.
I think my first experience meditating was in a college class, when I was going to school and working full–time. At the end of a long day, we lay on the floor in a dark room, and I fell asleep every time to the teacher’s soothing voice.
Today I’m taking a break from the Subject of the Month to write about something new. Just shortly after My Life Changed Big-Time, I threw caution to the wind and decided to sign up for an improv class. Improv comedy has always intrigued me– I’ve gone to many performances over the years, I know a lot of people who do it, AND it scares the SH*% out of me. I’m not a person who feels comfortable doing public speaking. Even speaking one-on-one with a person who is a little bit intimidating can make my mind blank out, and I’ll have no idea what I was going to say.
I’m a writer, so communicating on paper comes completely naturally to me. The words flow, and I can free-write a la Natalie Goldberg til the cows come home (which is actually a bit improvisational, writing whatever comes to mind with no editing, and my mind and pen have no trouble with that). But I still remember the complete and utter panic I felt the night before teaching classes on National Novel Writing Month with my friend Sherri at The Loft. I knew my subject matter really well, but I was practically paralyzed and adrenalized with fear before and during the class. Continue reading