My mind could use a holiday

It has been an interesting week. I love the way travel can provide an opportunity to “get away from it all.” Foreign sights, sounds, smells, and flavors create a reality so different from home that home can somehow fade into the distance.

Of course, with access to the internet, woes from home have a way of sneaking up on you for a surprise attack.

“Ha!” They shriek as they jump from around a dark corner and land firmly on two feet. “Gotcha! You thought you could hide and have a bit of a holiday. Well, we don’t think so.”

And so my mind has continued on its anxiety-riddled tirade. As we cruise along in a panga boat, watching Blue-footed Booby perched atop guano-laden, rocky ridges, I am worrying about my finances, wondering if my house will sell or if I will be able to find a new renter, how I fell for paypal fraud and lost $150, and whether I will be able to survive on a part-time, minimum wage job.

“Stop!” I yell at all of these worries spinning around madly.

I bring myself back to the present and focus on the water, the smell of brine, the feel of the sun warming my face.

It does not take long for my mind to catch up with my sensory self.

Why can I not just relax and be where I am?

Jan Chozen Bays (2014) has written, “ordinarily our mind does not rest. Even at night it is active, generating dreams from a mix of anxieties and the events of our lives. We know that our body cannot function well without rest, so we give it at least a few hours to lie down and relax each night. We forget, though, that our mind needs rest too” (p. 17).

My mind does need rest. My body as well, which suffers from the biological repercussions of anxiety: tight neck and shoulder muscles, knots in my arms, pain in my jaw and cheekbones.

Plus, I can rationally understand that I am wasting so much energy worrying about a dozen possible future paths that may never come to fruition.

“A mind filled with anxiety is likely to create what it most fears,” Bays stated (p. 13). I am reminded of the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Energy and intention are powerful. I have no desire for any of these realities, so I must state my intention is for all things to pass. Hopefully, the statue of Saint Joseph that my previous renters kindly buried in the yard of my Alaska home will finally come through, my current renter will be a distant memory, and my songwriting business will gain some momentum.

I have much to be thankful for and much joy and beauty that I intend to bring into the world. To succeed, I will need all of the energy my mind and body can spare. I suppose if my mind insists on being busy, I will simply have to give it more positive tasks to focus on.

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