10 February 2014

Calming down day 1: Breaking up the stress one piece at a time

Image courtesy of tiverylucky / freedigitalphotos.net


I could sleep in a little longer this morning. A blessing to be thankful for. School started a bit later since one of the subjects in school got entirely cancelled out of my schedule. (Guess which subject that was? Arts and Crafts. The one subject I can look forward to - they cancelled it.) But you know what... it was a disappointment for me. But I don't care now. It was a Monday that started off really relaxed and slow.


I made my way to school on foot. I decided not buy another monthly student bus ticket for €41.80. I decided - for today onwards - that I was going to walk to school. The whole 2.2 Kilometers. It takes longer, sure. I might have to get up earlier on other days, sure. But I've done this before in Goslar.

It was my daily ritual to take at least two 30 to 40-minute walks per day while carrying a full backpack. I decided to do this again because the reason that I've been so stressed up lately is because I've been working 5-6 hours straight when I'm home - almost on a daily basis - writing shit that must be given up on various deadlines.

So no more sitting around or wasting that much money every month for a 10-minute bus ride.

The weather was amazing this morning. What was more amazing was the fact that I thought I would've never been able to take in surroundings anymore. Like I wrote in my last entry: I was afraid because I feel locked out of everything I do, feel and need. But I was wrong.
There was no bus to chase after, no crowd to squeeze myself into it with, no smokers waiting at the bus stop pumping death in my face, no bus drivers yelling asking everyone to go further to the back, no weird stares from people and no reason for my brain to analyse every person I see.

It was just me and the ground and the surroundings and the sounds. It was great what I could take in... even while I was listening to Owl City on the way. The band's beats and melodies brought back some good memories of my time as a Kindergarten Teacher in Singapore back in 2009. Very, very good memories. And my breathing and my muscles and my bones and my sweat... in the cold winter wind.
For the first time again I could sense my feet on the ground.

I was walking for over 35 minutes and I sensed the first few wounds in me, that's been open for so long, starting to heal.

10:00 to 17:00:

Monday's always the longest day for me. Being in school is like being in another world. One full of - pardon me - purebreed assholes. But today it was a little bit different. I was nervous, still, and I thought: Wow, here I go again.
But I reminded myself each minute that my goal is not to be nervous, my goal is to get back on the ground. My goal is to calm down. For the first time in a long time, I could direct my thoughs towards something else other than the workload. I was thinking about the yoga class that I signed up for. The one I'm taking part in from today onwards every week until mid May.
And I had never looked forward to something as if my sanity depended on it. But I did. And because I knew that I was going to be able to relax after the long day, I wasn't at all disapproving of the long day at all. Let it come, I thought. I can go through it because I know that at the end of the day I'm going to forget about it.

And that exact thought was that very damned key I was searching for for the past 6 months. That goddamned key to the door that can lead me out of this stress (or least provide me some fresh air).


After a long walk from school back home, I had just 10 minutes to have dinner. Dinner served by the most amazing man in my life. Thank you, Sayang :)
I was a bit nervous about going to Yoga. I didn't know exactly what to expect or how to behave or when to do what. But that was the stress talking again. I just had my dinner without gobbling everything up and then I went to Yoga.

18:00 to 19:30:

I made an awkward entrance into the Yoga studio. Everyone - about 10 other people perhaps - noticed how uptight I was but that's fine. I was uptight. I was stressed up. I was nervous. I felt insecure. I was a big bag of tangled up wires and cables. That's the truth and I've lived with that for over half a year.
If an awkward entrance is all I have to do to get back on the ground then by all means.

Lying down on the mat... that was hard. It was hard because the first thing I noticed was how my heart was beating so fast, so loud and so hard against my chest. Calm down, I told it. Almost ordering it to. If I'm going to calm down then my heart has to take part.

And then within a few minutes I found it again - or rather there it was - the moment where I was just there. Present. Strangers didn't bother me. There was the yoga instructor, his calm voice, and silence. No buzzing, no chattering, nothing else. I wasn't thinking about work, school, or what I was going to do afterwards. My focus was on my body and my breathing.

At that moment I knew that I was doing something for myself.


I still have a lot to do. Now that I'm home again. Though I sense a sort of warm blanket covering me that makes me feel a bit safer. For a moment I had no sense of time and I wasn't chasing after it anymore.
I've decided to try taking at least 1.5 hours everyday to practice what I did in Yoga class today - at home. Not to get better at Yoga but to get better at calming down, sensing my body, being in control of it and at breaking up the stress one piece at a time.
This is one state I haven't been in in the longest time.
In the longest... time.

I'm glad I took the chance to write in my blog again. I wanted to record this part of my life. A little positive change that's been so rare on Stark Corner lately. I want to bring it back.
Blogging doesn't feel like a waste of time. Writing doesn't feel like a waste of time today.

I'm not going to plan the rest of my evening that much now.
I'm relaxed and I think I pushed myself so much physically today that I'm going to sleep well tonight.

Good night and I'll do my best to update on my stress-beating progress tomorrow.

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