Have you ever felt deep anxiety, dread, or stress? Of course you have- they’re all part of the human experience. What about excited anticipation? Sure, and probably enjoyed it! But… did you ever think all these emotions, both positive and negative, may just be two sides of the same coin? If you’re thinking, “Wait, what?” I feel you. My thoughts exactly, in fact – until very recently.
Let me tell you what happened to me.
My body has confused excitement with stress and had a stress reaction, which for me looks like a rash of poison oak. But what gives? I’m discovering more opportunities within my freelance writing and coaching business. I started a health and wellness podcast called Way to Wellness (check it out!), I’m learning so much on a spiritual level which was one of my biggest, most important goals for 2019. Oh, and just a little trip we’re taking to Las Vegas for a full week, no big deal. I’ve been singing “Viva Las Vegas” on a non-stop loop in my mind. Because VEGAS. Have you ever been? It’s fantastic. Suffice it to say, I have more than enough to be grateful for. Life is good. So what the hell with this rash, then?
Despite excitement being perceived as a good thing (and I’m not here to argue that it isn’t), it warrants considering that certain aspects of excitement can be interpreted as reductive. I talked about this tonight with someone who’s been through the same type of weird bodily reaction, and we agreed: excitement is all about future focus. Future focus takes you out of the present moment and into a place that doesn’t yet exist. You’re quite far removed from the present moment, which is all we really have – and all we really need. When you’re excited and in anticipation of a certain outcome, your brain’s understanding is that the present moment isn’t good enough. The future hasn’t even happened yet. This outcome you’re so excited about literally only exists in your imagination – in your brain. It is not in reality. If it was suddenly taken away, what would you really lose? Your daydream, basically, because you don’t even have the thing yet.
You do have the present. You can choose your thoughts to focus on this moment. You can appreciate what you have right now because it’s all you’ll ever really have. You don’t have anything in the future. You don’t have anything in the past. You have everything in this moment.
This is my practice. Being here now. Really seeing the world around me and unpacking the thoughts in my head. Gratitude. Appreciation. Curiosity. It’s a chance to go deeper into asking yourself who you want to be.