It’s hard to be in the moment when the moment sucks. I’m grateful for Geek Movie Night at Endeavor Arts a few weeks ago. They played The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy; their promo poster had the big red heading: DON’T PANIC!
I was trying to remember that this morning when I woke up feeling like hell, exhausted, my muscles howling at me, and that emotional instability that beeps: 20 minutes to meltdown… A warning that usually only triggers when I’ve pushed my myself too far and I know I’m gonna lose it if I don’t stop NOW. Not a good sign if I’m waking up with that feeling.
Don’t Panic! In addition to the low grade hysteria that hits when I just feel bloody awful and all my coping juices have run dry, is the impending freakout about all the stuff I’ve got to do today, most of which is impossible to do if I feel like crap (like be bouncy and co-ordinated performing Samba at Carifest). Shit.
But something in me just kept saying Don’t Panic, stay in this moment. Sure, in this moment I feel like hell, but heaping all kinds of conjecture about what’s going to happen in coming moments isn’t gonna help this moment one iota. This moment involves getting the pain under control, getting myself moving and comfortable. When I’m topped up, I’ll have some coping juices available to look at what really is a problem and deal with that. Not performing if I feel like shit is an option. Shit happens, we are a band, and it does not revolve around me. Very few things would cease to exist if I just let them go. Perspective helps.
Turns out I got the pain under control, as well as that monkey mind that was gearing up to go apeshit (pun!). And while I’m a little slowed down, I’m going to be alright. I’ll get the things that really matter to me done today, I’ll just be moving a little more gently in them.
I had me a really shitty moment, but I didn’t panic, and the next moment wasn’t too bad. That’s the beauty of impermanence, nothing lasts, not even the shitty stuff. So take heart in that, and Don’t Panic.