I like to think that I'm tough. I'm tough when I need to be. Still, I'm also sensitive. More sensitive than I'd like to be, especially when it comes to business relationships. I care too much about maintaining relationships. Is this good or bad, I don't know. The other night I got into a confrontation with clients. It was heated. It was a first. And then work continued. Who knows if this tense confrontation rattld my clients. It certainly rattled me. Later that night, when my body was aching of exhaustion, my mind was throbbing with adrenaline. Of potential fall outs from this one tiny tiff and lost future millions. Of would-have-beens and could-have-beens. Then my thoughts drift further to the many unstoppable troubles that will befall my Maisie in the next hopefully 95+ years of her life.
This wasn't something that one margarita would fix. I had to put a stop to it. I returned to calm.
More exactly, I returned to the iOS app named Calm.
The app uses guided meditations, body scans and visualizations to force your mind to relax, or at least focus on something else. There is an assortment of options for the easily bored like me, and sound effects and calming backgrounds to transport you. Much like the similar tool Headspace, it's a good foray into the meditation space. Plus, it reminded me, in a good way, of a special memory -- at the age of eight, lying in my aunt's bed down the shore in Ventnor, NJ, with the air conditioner on full blast to overcompensate for the sweaty, salty air, as she talked me through clenching and unclenching various muscles to relax myself for bed. I've always had difficulty unwinding.
As an adult, when I've needed to decompress, I've turned to running. It worked well, but now my schedule doesn't always allow for a long run, and sometimes a run still won't clear my mind right before bed.
My first encounter with Calm came nearly three years ago, during a challenging time at work and life when my anxiety became consuming. At first, I had a difficult time getting used to the idea of regular meditation. I thought it would be too hokey for me and it took me some time to get used to the visualizations. I also had a great deal of difficulty accepting that my mind was going to wander. In time, I found comfort in the repetition, let my thoughts go where they wanted and felt the tickle of my breath on my nostrils.
I continued meditation throughout my pregnancy. Then when Maisie was born, my exhaustion overtook my angst and I no longer needed this tool.
Now, once again, as I battle the balance between being hard and soft, I'm using Calm to help me let go -- at least for a few hours.