I cancel my promises to staff the meditation retreat this weekend. I cancel anything that is not comfortable or known or healthy. No, this is not paranoia. I am quite aware of what I am doing and it is called self-preservation.
I know now that I have been to this place of anxiety before, but I did not know to call it as such, nor was I the same person. At the old boarding school, there was always more to be done, therefore I worked myself sick doing as much as I could. At the time, I didn’t have boundaries or awareness of my own limitations like I do now.
So, after almost three semesters of grad school, that feeling of “always more to be done” has accumulated enough to bring about this old beast yet again. Only now I am more in touch with my own limits and my own boundaries, and most of all, my own emotional well-being. I seem to be feeling everything more viscerally, then, because my awareness is coiled around everything and letting it prick my heart at each bend.
Therefore: simplify, simplify, simplify. I have eight months left until graduation. I commit first and foremost to emotional health and my writing, and the necessary symbiotic relationship between the two. I commit equally to loving my parents and practicing the dharma. I commit next to my dear friends, many of whom patiently put up with me as I navigate this course (and I beg their patience and forgiveness for what I cannot see, and beg their strength and wisdom to help me grow). I commit next to my job and the broader community at the craft school.
And I commit to get through this with grace.