Last week I said to John “let's get stoned!” He asked me in a joking way if I was serious. “Yes,” I said, “let's get stoned.”
I just wanted to escape, to numb, to loose all my responsibilities - even if it was for a minute. The excitement of getting high and altering my state of consciousness without effort was so appealing. I had gone into the 'stuff it' attitude and wanted out of reality.
I looked at Kailash and then sensibility hit. Marijuana effects breast milk and to think that my actions would impede Kailash and perhaps his brain development was more than enough to bring me to my senses.
For as long as I can remember I have always been drawn to things that distract and exhilarate me. The euphoric feeling of sweet chocolate hitting my lips, getting tipsy downing cowboy shots, spaced out watching TV, impulsive shopping, smoking, adrenalin rushes … you name it, anything that gives a bit of a buzz, just like a moth to bright light, I can be seduced by it.
Too much of one thing is never good. When it comes to 'good' things I don't seem to have an off switch. Once I start with a substance or behaviour that elevates my state of being I want more and more and more.
This got me in to trouble when I was younger, so much so, in my teens I recognised these destructive tendencies were tearing my life apart. I was bought to my knees and joined Alcoholics Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous. These Twelve Step fellowships along with yoga have been an integral part of my life for over a decade.
Today I am blessed with freedom from addiction and more often than not, when I find myself mesmerised by something out of myself I get suspicious. It's easy to give away ones power. And being lured by the idea that I may get enjoyment out of smoking a joint screams alarm bells in my head.
So whats behind all this? The truth of the matter is, sometimes life feels overwhelming. Sometimes living in the present and trying to be aware of all my thoughts and actions gets all too much. Constantly I'm working to improve my attitude, my beliefs and approach. Whilst this is truly a wonderful way to be and I wouldn't change it even if I could, the fantasy idea of zoning out and having a holiday from myself is enticing.
From experience I've learnt, no matter how tempting it may be to use a substance or behavour to avoid and escape life, it never works. In fact by having the awareness of these tendencies and then acting out in them, only brings suffering. Putting my head in the sand and running away from life is not the person I want to be today. No joint, martini, chocolate bar, or new dress can give the deep sense of self-worth and contentment I crave.
So what works? Firstly acknowledgement, then acceptance and finally action.
Acknowledging my thoughts and feelings without judgement and labelling as right and wrong gives me the starting point. How can one change and grow if one doesn't even know what's going on and where they actually are? Simply observing and assessing in an uncensored way can be a challenge, but much freedom and self-discovery comes from it.
The next step is acceptance. What I resist, persists. I will never find ease within if I am fighting the mind. Allowing and giving permission to be as I am automatically brings peace. Accepting that this is where I am at right now doesn't mean I have to like it, or I have to stay here, it simply provides the space to be. In this space comes the power.
The final step is action. What action can I take towards being the person I choose to be today. I love this step. It's exciting and empowering. To know YOU have a choice. YOU have the power. YOU can be however YOU choose to be. Wow, what more can I say.
For me, when I'm in a space of wanting to escape it can be helpful to do something that shocks me back to reality. Having a cold (or best I say coldish) shower works a treat. Breath awareness and various pranayama practices are my number one tool to get me out of my head and yoga nidra always relaxes my nervous system and alters my state of consciousness in a healthy way.
So there you have it. I was a little hesitant to write about this as my ego would love me to be beyond wanting to numb and avoid but I am just a human being, being the best person I can be today. I wish you an empowered day, a day of choice, being the person YOU choose to be.