I have anxiety issues. Bad ones. I am a constant worrier. I’ve had panic attacks for years. My husband suggested a long time ago that I try to “Zen it.” I know that sounds rather disrespectful, but it’s not.
What he meant was that I needed to quit thinking about everything all at once. I needed to think about only one thing at a time and leave the rest for another time. He would say, “Worry about it from 8 am to 5 pm because you can’t do anything about when you can’t do anything about it.”
Easy for him to say. But I tried because he asked me too.
Years have passed.
I can now for the most part think only about my problems when I can do something about them, except that I am a plan ahead kind of girl so I’m always thinking ahead. I really do try to only think about what I’m doing now and now worry about things looming in my future.
There is a disadvantage to only thinking about what I’m doing now. My imagination has been caged. I used to alway be thinking and pretending and imagining. Not really any more. Some would say that it’s just because I’ve grown up. I don’t believe that. Growing up has nothing to do with imagination. I believe it is because I’m so focused on the now that I became too grounded in reality. I’ve readjusted my brain to think in a new way but now I’m suffering an overdose of reality.
I want to daydream again. I’m finding it really hard to concentrate on my writing too because it is not a task that can only be thought about when you are doing it. Writing is an ethereal beast that must be always on your mind. When you aren’t writing you must be planning and plotting. You must be working out what could happen and rearranging what you did to fit what you will do. There is nothing Zen about that part. Zen is only helpful when you are actually doing the writing, the sitting and typing part.
So I guess that I need to learn to wield the Zen double edged sword a little better. I need to learn to compartmentalize my thoughts. Zen the day to day and unleash the imagination beast to run wild in the meadows of my mind. Sounds pretty straightforward and easy right?
Maybe in a few more years…..
Perhaps not trying to force zen may be the way that works better for you. Let the Zen mind set come of its own.