Tag Archives: social anxiety

mind habits

30 Apr

Mind won a round last night.  Instead of going and doing something, I chose the easy path of staying home in my comfort zone.

Breaking the long time, heavily-grooved patterns can SEEM really, bloody hard.

I think this is my task right now.  I can focus on the instances where I am successful, but in reality, I recognize some patterns that seem so close to the core as to actually BE me.  These patterns are not the definition of a person, they are just familiar.  They are habits of how one tends to inhabit the world.  In-HABIT – what an encoded word!

Actually many of my habits give me such nice interactions:  the cloak of accommodation, the hat of approachability, the gloves of kindness, the air of acquiescence – these patterns have gotten me far in the face to face dance with others.  But now the ground is shaky – All is in flux when you start messing with the early programming.   I don’t know how to be anymore.  This  is good.

Besides the habit of nice, open, accommodation, I also retreat.  I love to be alone.  I love the familiar.  When trying to socialize, I feel such strong resistance.  I am lifting a 10 ton car out of the road, I am bending solid steel spoons, I am groaning with the strain.  In one mind state such EFFORT, then all of this can fall away and the 10 ton car becomes an imaginary feather.

I can psychoanalyze why but that doesn’t stop the fact that in times of mind stress, habits return; they drop down like a trap door around the spaciousness, as quickly as a rigged mouse trap pops over the head of the rodent – POW,  my pattern and  I’m back to my shoe box house.

Writing this down makes my habits here seem so SILLY.

Social-Butterfly-small

Social gatherings, oye,  my Achilles heel.   I will get out of socializing faster than you can say boo.  But here is an interesting thing – when I go out of my comfort zone, I am richly rewarded.  Every path walking friend has come about because I stepped outside of the marga identity and did something different.  Living this life for me, is recognizing the paradox in learning when to go with the flow and when to step out of the stream and do something that feels uncomfortable.  Taoism is not describing a passive  practice.  The Vedas are not describing a way to walk from birth to death as a ghost.  Meditation and walking with awareness are not about staying the same.

So last night there was an improv gathering at the Riverdogs baseball game.  The mind won.

I had arranged a ride for Eden to get to her play rehearsal.  I had finished my work.  I made the night clear and knew the value of getting to know everyone better so I could be more comfortable on stage and open to the moment with people who were not “strangers!”  Granted it was pouring rain…

These improvisors who were gathering are the nicest and most open people I can imagine, which makes it all the more SILLY!  My mind habit of social anxiety kept seeing images of myself having to walk in alone, sitting by the most standoffish person, playing a scenario where i actually make things worse by showing up. Instead of seeing myself making friends, I see myself alienating others.  This is the power of the mind.

I had the most magnificent walk in the rain around my neighborhood alone,  I  got some extra work done ,  I got a good night’s sleep, and I am in good shape to face this new day.  I had a good night alone, but that is not the point here.  The quiet voice of awareness feels like a gentle prodding for me to be new and fresh, without the burden of habits and patterns.

Every moment always gives me the opportunity to make a new choice.  Here’s to new choices for me and for you with whatever your mind habits happen to be!

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