Contentment, at Last We Meet

Brain Chemistry by Carisa Miller

I told my husband that I think I’m easygoing now.

“Poof!” he said with a wave an imaginary magic wand, followed by copious laughter. I can’t blame him for thinking I was joking. I don't think my name and the term, "laid-back" have ever appeared in the same  sentence.

But lately...

Everything is alright.  

I’m not exhausting myself and, even better, I don’t find myself exhausting.

I haven’t been able to locate my tendency to get worked up. I keep expecting to find it at the end of a grueling day, or when I run into a mountain of chores, but it’s not there. I’ve even stopped describing my days as grueling and making my chores into mountains. They’re just days and chores. Just life, neither overwhelming or panic-inducing. 

Is it possible I have banked enough yoga, running, meditation, acupuncture and maturity to cash in for a rewire of my high-anxiety, self-critical mind?

Something in me has definitely shifted.

I think I may have finally turned myself into an inhospitable environment for my neuroses.

If this is inner peace, I have to say,  it's is lovely here. Well worth the 36 year journey.

It isn't that I was an unhappy wreck before. I’ve been painting the broad strokes of happiness for years.  

What I am feeling now is the difference between concluding I am happy after taking an inventory of my life and simply feeling joyful in any given moment.

Joyful and sleepy. I’ve been fueled by anxiety so long, being at ease feels a lot like I’m about to doze off.  This must be what people refer to as “relaxed”.  

It’s so comfortable here: unconcerned by what others think of me, removed of whatever is left of my impulse to present well and please people, understanding that being a kind person is my only job, free to move and speak on my own instead of following the direction of whoever that asshole was, in my head before, telling me I needed to impress people.  

My interaction with others is less me chomping at the bit to get my turn to speak, more actually listening. It seems I no longer need to voice my opinion on absolutely every topic. *falls over from shock*

It’s a little too easy and obvious.

I might very well work myself into a panic over the fact that I’m no longer panicky.

I’m experiencing a general lack of concern over how situations will unfold. Or in the case of laundry, get folded.

Mindfulness gets more done than worrying ever did.

Whoa now.

My standards are lower. I still prefer a clean home and organized schedule, but untidy and not being on top of everything are no longer life-threatening.

I’m less concerned about my personal appearance. I feel adequate without much fuss. Could this be self-acceptance? It's awesome.

I used to be so proud of my intensity. I thought calm and easy were tantamount to uninspired and passionless. But there is still a fire behind my eyes. I checked.  It’s thoughtfully constructed now; built for a purpose and contained instead of wild and burning everything inside me at once.

Fulfillment doesn’t imply a loss of ambition, it improves focus. I am less easily distracted and disrupted by the buzzing of things that do not serve me. I’ve turned down the volume on the outside noise so I can hear my inner guides. They’re telling me I don’t need to be so concerned with what everyone else is doing and recommend I eat more bacon.

The zen thing to say here, would be that I’m not worried about how long I’ll be able to float in these calm waters, because I’m too busy enjoying the present moment to be bothered by ripples I cannot foresee.  And-I’ll be damned-that’s just how I feel. Perhaps I’ve also kicked the bad habit of convincing myself that every new mood is everlasting. You’d think after several hundred rounds of PMS, I’d have clued in on that one before now.  States of mind are fleeting. The positive pathways in the brain require maintenance. From out of the dark places I’ve come to practice a life that is conducive to the upkeep and I am reaping tremendous rewards.  

I’m not even annoyed with myself for producing a document saturated in new-agey speak.

Contentment, as last we meet.

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At this point, I've written several, somewhat interconnected pieces at various stages of my journey toward improved health. See here-->          It wasn't intentional and this is not a comprehensive look at my inner struggles,  (I wasn't writing during my darkest days) but there is a good bit of reflection and hard work here. And also, thank Snoopy, a few laughs. I hope they offer something relatable for you.