Adios, Drama

This week has been helter-skelter. I just started working with a new client; am in talks with another potential client; and am helping Jordan respond to numerous project opportunities, all while preparing for SXSW – a whirlwind unto itself. These are all good things – very good things – and so I am trying my hardest to remain grateful amidst the swirl of activity; sometimes, though, all I feel is my heart racing and muscle tension as I spring from one task to the next.

This morning, I realized that the key to calming down was to let go of the drama. Let things be as they are – don’t whip them into a story about stress. Sometimes, we do ourselves a disservice by spending our energy narrating our lives back to ourselves, instead of just acting them out, one beat at a time.

When the yogi in me has the mic, the drama in my life dissipates. As I wrote on Monday, I’ve been experimenting with rolling straight out of bed and onto my mat each morning, and it makes a big difference. It helps me find my grounding before I proceed into my day, reminding me of the power of breath to bring me back to myself and away from the swirly-whirl of Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, email — the maelstrom with which I must dance in order to earn my living.

Still, practicing yoga is no guarantee that you’ll never get stressed out. The question is: how do you respond to the stress? Do you lose yourself to it, like an addict OD’ing on her drug of choice? For me, the challenge is restraining my inner storyteller — the part of me who likes to spin the events of my life into a narrative, constantly, with heroes and villians, trials and travails. How exciting these stories can be…and how stressful.

Sometimes, a busy week is just a busy week.

I don’t need to suppress my storytelling instincts – just redirect them. Instead of telling myself the story of my stress, I can tell myself a story about how in just a few short days, my workload will die down, and I’ll have plenty of time to rest and relax. It’s not a sexy story, but it’s a reassuring one.

Once upon a time, I threw helter-skelter out the window. Drop-kicked it, even. “Adios,” I called after it, “and please, don’t come back.”

To be continued.

How about you? What story could you rewrite to help reduce the drama in your life?

The photo above is by Flickr user Eduardo.

6 thoughts on “Adios, Drama

  1. "Let things be as they are – don't whip them into a story about stress. Sometimes, we do ourselves a disservice by spending our energy narrating our lives back to ourselves, instead of just acting them out, one beat at a time." – LOVE IT.I think I need to be more honest with myself and allow my natural tendencies to want to decompress and relax so I can do great work in shorter, more powerful bursts instead of drawn out, stress-filled periods.My name is Brianne…and I'm in love with resting and rejuvenating. *sits down*

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  2. Glad I stumbled on this. It made me take a deep breath. I started a new job and I'm in a lather. All the new responsibilities, the learning curve, my family responsibilities…. I felt my pulse accelerate just typing that.It all just is. Didn't I take this position because I wanted to learn something new? Yes. I'm supposed to be excited, not freaked out.I don't like my frantic self that much. And just at the time when I need it most, I dropped meditation and yoga. Duh.

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  3. It's so funny. I have no problem being in the present during improv. I live there, happily. But as soon as it's quiet….I am discovering that yoga helps me sooo much I have that inner storyteller in spades – it's so hard to shut off. Focusing on breathing & balance is a way to keep me in the present. I'm not entirely able to shut down my inner voice, but I'm practicing. That's what it's all about, right?

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  4. Oh, ladies. We need to use our storytelling powers for good, not evil! Why do we turn on ourselves??I do think yoga is a remarkable tool (practice), but I know for other people, it's running, or knitting, or any number of things. What I love about yoga is that it teaches you breathing and body awareness that you can carry into the rest of your day… helping you practice balance and stillness well beyond the 30 or 60 minutes you might have for yoga class. And Patti, you are not alone – I often do the same thing, and recently read that my restorative yoga teacher finds herself backing off her practice in stressful times, too… and I saw her as a paragon of centeredness! I think we all struggle with this, no matter where we are in our journey…

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