I needed an MRI a few weeks ago for some chronic back issues, requiring me to be in a completely enclosed tube for about 25 minutes. As I was moved into the tube, eyes open and aware, I panicked. Swept away by the intensely captivating and suffocating “reality” of the physical experience, my fear and anxiety skyrocketed.
Within seconds, I told the technician I needed to get out NOW; gratefully, he responded quickly. With great wisdom, he suggested it might help if instead I covered my eyes. So I calmed myself down and gave the okay for try #2 -- this time with eyes closed and blindfolded.
And indeed, without the visual, outer story hijacking my attention, I noticed there was enough space in my inner world to choose a response. I did not have to be trapped by my physical confinement…or my story about it.
Knowing that I had to be as deliberate as I’d ever been with my focus, I became intensely present. The panic was just below the surface; I could not be sloppy.
As soon as the smallest wave of “oh no, I’m trapped” started to form in the periphery of my awareness, I gently reoriented my attention. I distracted myself with pleasant memories and exciting plans. I focused on things I am grateful for and started raving about them. When I felt twinges of anxiety in my solar plexus, I simply felt the sensations without going into any mind-story about why I was feeling them. They softened. I breathed.
Buoyed by a growing spaciousness, I was able to relax. I knew I couldn’t be any less deliberate or mindful; if a single, panicky wave swelled, I could drown. But this wasn’t work. It was simply me, in this moment, choosing to be mindful and deliberate.
And inside that tube, I soared. What an incredible opportunity to reclaim my freedom and power! In this microcosm, my true identity was confirmed. As I slid out of the tube 25 minutes later, I knew my power as a creator.
It is easy to feel trapped by fears, assumptions, thoughts or beliefs. We can fall under the spell of the physical world and our attention can get hijacked by scary stories we tell.
What if these struggles were your invitation to reclaim freedom and power?
Sometimes we simply need to don our metaphorical blinders and deliberately turn away from things that feel bad, focusing instead upon things that feel better.
Whatever is going on in your life, no matter how “real” it feels, you can always tell a better story. As you choose to focus on things that bring even the slightest relief, you create a win/win situation; you feel better in the moment, and, from that better-feeling space, your experience of the outer world shifts.
True freedom, power and peace come when you recognize that your outer, physical-world experience is determined by your inner intention and attention. You get to choose how you respond to what is showing up in your life. Reality is simply what you happen to be focusing on right now. It behooves you to choose your focus carefully.