Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Fork in the Road

I used to call myself lazy, once upon a time. But after a whole lot of consciousness raising and loving kindness practice, I decided I'm not so lazy. What I am is afraid.

What's just around the corner? I'm always asking myself with great enthusiasm and curiosity. I love potential, I do. Though, when it comes time to make the changes I've so looked forward to, I balk, I sulk. Most of all I worry.

I'm a couple of weeks away from my first workday downtown on K Street. My schedule is full that first day, A Very Good Thing, yes? Yes. But ... since it will be my first day, I'm worrying about what I can't know yet. I'm worried about the big picture, I'm worried about logistical details, I shrink away from the commitment of time and money and yet in my heart of hearts I know that this is a GREAT opportunity that will open doors to who knows what?

My friend Elizabeth says that any time we bring a new room into our lives, all kinds of possibilities become available. In the case of me, it also means new possibilities for worry. For heaven's sake, when will I ever learn?


Kathi said...

"New possibilities for worrying."
I'm right there with you Reya!
Worrying is one of my biggest challenges. Writing about it helps.
Doing something does too. Today I'm going to start painting my living room. I find if I just get busy doing something creative, my worries seem to slip away for a while... I love these two photos.
Love how you capture the feelings these images bring. Another beautiful post.

Cindy said...

I am feeling much the same right now. I agree with what Kathi said, just taking some action, no matter how small seems to help me a lot.

I love the ominous shadow shot and the bumper sticker. Best of luck with the new position!

Unknown said...

its the unknown we fear- i bet blogging scared you once- focus on the positives, the rest will fall into place
lisa xx

Angela said...

I wonder if you ever read those books about The Law of Attraction and The Power of Emotions? Fear is simply not necessary. A waste of time. I love those books, they opened my eyes. Good luck, Reya. You`ll manage.

Reya Mellicker said...

Angela, my mind agrees with you completely, but my emotional body can not be controlled with logic. One of the brain books I just read posits that emotions are part of our survival instinct. They set up a chemistry in the body that helps us to thrive, if only we will work with them.

Yes I did read the books. I'll email you on that one.

Unknown said...

As someone who grew up in a family with an over-developed work ethic, I think your connecting feelings of laziness with underlying feelings of fear is right on. In my experience, fear is something that must be worked on vigilantly rather than something to be actually overcome. Simple mantra type things-- whether it's a word or phrase to calm one down or the ol' serenity prayer of AA fame all can help with this I find.

Great pix, as always.

Philippines said...

i am sure you've been in this kind of situation several times,, and i am sure that you were able to get through them all,, you might be laughing at some of those if you think about it now :)

have a great day!!

Joanne said...

I think worry is an inherent part of change. It's what keeps us on our toes, making sure things go right with the change. Worry means, in a sense, you care.

Reya Mellicker said...

John - yes!

And Joanne, what a great way to frame it. That's what Antonio D'Amasio thinks, too, that emotions begin before we are consciously aware of them, they make changes in the body to help us thrive.

So worry means I care and i want to pay attention. That is truly helpful! Thank you.

Deborah said...

we get that worry thing from Grandma Grace who used to tell me, honest this is true, "don't stand too close to the stove, it could blow up."

worry, however, is draining--planning is calming and ultimately energizing

big changes for me bring dreams of livng, landing upon and adapting to other planets--last night I returned from another planet and had to readjust to Earth, it was fascinating and the implications are of continuing analysis for me

fear is a survival instinct and can be energizing, i say go with fear and planning

i'm sure you will find the exact right Reya pathway

hazak,chazak and may our love light the path in your journey

Unknown said...

Dear Reya, the only way i stop worrying is when I am DOING, just like Kathi said.... if i start worrying about future posibilities i try to focus in the present moment, the one I am , actually living, at the same time i take deep, concious breaths to oxigen my cells and to expell my fears.
It helps every time !!
someone said that you should fear only fear it self...(sorry for my English , Iam a little rusty!!)

Hilary said...

Very insightful - something with which I can relate. And lots of wisdom in these comments. I struggle with worry most moments of my life. And it's exhausting, draining and self-defeating.

Nancy said...

I think worry is everyone's middle name these days. Sort of an underlying feeling of dread. My husband was just saying he really doesn't want to go out of the area ... at all. He knows he is wayyyy too young to feel this way so he is heading to the east coast to meet friends to go skiing next week. But, like him, I'm happy to stay here. What is that? We just to be much more adventurous and curious about new places. I used to hate being in one spot for too long. But I find that once forced into making a move, I'm always happy that I did. Maybe we are still hibernating, and it will pass once Spring arrives.

Look at worry as something you are putting off until needed.

Carolyn said...

Reya, thank you so much for this post today. It is so apprapo. I love adventure and new things but when I move forward on something it's this 'should I shouldn't I" having one foot in the boat and one foot on land, when you put both in the boat life is so much easier! I love your photos, especially the bumper sticker. You'll do great.
Smiles and blessings

karen said...

love the images... can relate so much to the worry/apprehension thing. This is very old fashioned, but I have always, since I was a child, remembered a cute little song from "The King and I" about whistling a happy tune... ie I tend to interpret this as totally blotting out the worry with an onslaught of positivity! sometimes it even works! :-)

Unknown said...

When I was worrying aloud about a situation, a friend said to me, "You have nothing to worry about - lots to think about, but nothing to worry about." And she was right. You will be fine, Reya.

Reya Mellicker said...

Based on these comments, I don't believe our grandmother had the license on worry!

One of my favorite worry tonics is humor. Sometimes I crack myself up, I get so far into it it becomes truly ridiculous.

Thanks, blogfellows, for all the insight and compassion. We are Mighty Worriers! Oh yeah!

Tom said...

i've nothing more to offer but my own good wishes and of course you know in a week or two you'll have something totally new and different to worry or occupy your mind ... do something nice for yourself !

moonshin said...

the more things seem to change... the more they stay the same.

Delwyn said...

They say excitement and anxiety are the same physiological responses only expressed in different emotions - maybe its excitement too??

and after all, while you may not be able to undo a change, you can always change a change...

Amy said...

Oh, Reya! How you've touched on what so many of us mere humans feel. I think there's something positive about a healthy dose of fear of the unknown to keep us sharp. Too much of it will immobilize us, but you're nowhere close to that! Onward and upward!

Reya Mellicker said...

Delwyn, one of my great teachers used to say that anxiety is fear without breath. Isn't that great?

Janelle said...

remember what the dalai lama said, if there's something you are worried about and there's something you can do about it, then there's no need to worry. if there's something you are worried about and there's nothing you can do about it, then there's again no need to worry....i try and remember that...but you know...jeez. we're still on the trip, eh? once you're doing it, it will flow...lots love xxx

Ronda Laveen said...

I have felt that you were readying lately for your new project. I look forward to reading about it as it unfolds.

On the spiritual/intellectual side of worry: My teacher would say that there are only two human emotions. That of fear and that of love. To move out of fear, move into love. Love of your work, your god(dess), your clients, etc. Love is high frequency, high vibration, positivity and lightness. Fear is low vibration, frequency, negativity and density.

Also, check your subtle/energetic bodies. In times of conflict, they are out-of-round to the physical body. Use your centering techinques to bring them equally around you and you will instantly feel calm.

On the humorous/physical side, I have collected a number of acronyms for the word "fear" for your use. Maybe you can give us a different definitation each day for the first couple of weeks or months depending on the outcome of the day. Or not, I'm easy.

Acronym Definitions

FEAR First Encounter Assault Recon (gaming)
FEAR False Evidence Appearing Real
FEAR Forfeiture Endangers American Rights
FEAR Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002
FEAR False Expectations Appearing Real
FEAR Forget Everything And Run (polite form)
FEAR For Everything A Reason
FEAR Forget Everything and Remember
FEAR Finding Everything and Realizing (Ian Brown music video)
FEAR False Emotions Appearing Real
FEAR Failure Expected And Received
FEAR Future Events Appearing Real
FEAR Forgetting Everything is All Right
FEAR Finding Excuses and Reasons
FEAR Flexible Embodied Animat Architecture (language independent open-source project for the creation of portable AI)
FEAR False Expectations About Reality
FEAR Felines Enraged About Rodents (book - Ragweed)
FEAR Future Events Appear Real

All of the comments on this post were very intuitive. The two I most resonated with were those of John Hayes and Delwyn. I was thinking about sending "Dennis" the one about "Felines Enraged About Rodents," what d'ya think?

Pauline said...

A little worry (like a little guilt or a little fear) is a good thing - it makes us aware of pitfalls. But there comes a time when worrying is just tiring. When you reach that point, say, "Ah the hell with it," and embrace whatever scares you. The ride is always worth it.

Reya Mellicker said...

Pauline I agree with you completely.

And Ronda, oh yeah, Dennis would join up immediately with the group "Felines Enraged About Rodents." I wonder if that group exists on Facebook?

Unknown said...

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life. Fear ceases to be a dominant factor in what you do and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change.

This is something we all struggle with and I work on often.