Spring Joy & Stubborn Stress

For the past few days I have had the most annoying twitch in my right eye. Because I think this is due to stress, I experience a twitch, think about stress, and then twitch some more. It’s deeply frustrating and annoying.

And yet.

Spring has sprung and I can’t help but feel joyful, too. The sun is shining more, the air feels clean, and there are more hours in the evening to enjoy time with my husband and daughter.

So, I vacillate between feeling stressed, exhausted, and basically like I am army crawling toward the end of the semester finish line or like each moment is this wondrous, colorful gift. There is literally life in bloom all around me, so why the persistent twitch?

When an eye twitch presents itself, I’ve normally gone beyond everyday stress and into the “danger zone.” This involves overthinking every element of my life and others in it, including their perceived reactions to my life choices. I’m a real treat to be around, let me tell you. So, the solution becomes to not take myself and my life circumstances so damn seriously. As Richard Carlson famously wrote, “In the absence of your judgment, everything would be fine.”

Image from Sweatpants & Coffee
Image from Sweatpants & Coffee

Because I am an educator and was trained during the trend of sustained reflection and adjustment, I am always scanning for errors, whether it is in my students’ work or my teaching. And this scanning state of mind spreads into other areas of my life so that I am almost constantly “marking up” my life, whether it’s the state of my house, my body, my parenting. There is no space to just “be,” to be free of judgment, even when something as glorious as spring makes its debut and beckons me to sit. down.

Carlson2

So, today I am focusing on the present and attempting to let judgmental thoughts–of my students and of myself–simply float by. Rather than put my shoulder into ramming through daily life, I’m going to sit, listen, and be. And my hope is that in doing so I can not only truly embrace the heaven on earth that is spring, but also release whatever tension is causing this twitch, thus uniting my physical, emotional, and spiritual being in a state of greater calm through acceptance and gratitude for what is–whatever it is–today.

 

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