Here’s my true confession: I’m a recovering drama-queen (DQ). If you’ve known me for awhile, you can’t deny it. You may even be happy that I am finally admitting it. Heck, I certainly am. And, while there’s no 12 step program for this condition, there is this blessed thing called meditation. Similar to a 12-step program, its power builds up over time, making my DQ incidents less intense, and further apart…
Before I go further, let me clarify, what I mean when I say meditation, for me personally: it’s taking the time to sit or lie down quietly, I then begin to follow my breath, and in a non-judgemental way, silently I monitor my thoughts – accepting them, then releasing them – and then while continuing to follow my breath, I reach a place of peace.
My personal practice takes place at around 5 am each morning, also, when someone says or does something that triggers me, or if an event is causing me stress. I can do this process for 30 minutes or for as little as 16 seconds, depending on when and where I am. It effectively brings clarity and relief.
I can do it for only 16 seconds in a crowd, and no one even knows.
“Does this really work?” you ask. Well, according to my on-line meditation guru, Davidji, more and more studies are neurologically supporting that meditation is not just for “flower-children” and Buddhists. If you click on this link (here), you can watch Davidji’s most recent vlog explaining the science behind why anxiety-prone people, like me, are finding real relief; here it is quickly:
There’s this inner brain portion called the Amygdala — it’s responsible for fear, anxiety and anger — and if you have had many high drama (emotionally threatening or life threatening) experiences, that brain portion is a major player in a person (myself included) reacting in a fight or flight manner (i.e. DQ manner – my words here).
One study showed: when an individual meditates, over a series of several days (56 was what the study focused on), that Amygdala will actually shrink. Meaning: smaller Amygdala equals less fight or flight reaction (because of less feelings of anxiety, fear, anger). This means, the ability to reason out a situation and respond peacefully, increases over time with a consistent meditation practice.
“Now that you have been meditating consistently, how often do you act like a drama queen?”
UGH – Another true-confession: still way more often than I want to admit. Let me bring us full circle; I repeat: “less intense and further apart”. Let me tell you what is different: When a DQ reaction moment occurs, I know it now. It might take a few minutes to identify it as such, but, when it happens, it just doesn’t feel good anymore. It just doesn’t feel good. Sometimes, if I’m mindful enough, I stop and take a 16 second pattern interrupt meditation, and halt the escalation in its tracks!
While my 12 step program analogy for meditation may seem a bit exaggerated, to someone like me — who has depended on emotionally charged episodes to feel alive, attention-worthy, or just plain “good”– meditation is my medicine. No, it’s my cure. When I skip a day or two, or perhaps a week, and an anxious moment happens, it feels more difficult to resist my old pattern: let’s make this bigger. But when I’m consistent in my practice, nothing needs to be bigger. Heck, stressful moments just tend to NOT even occur.
So, I invite you on this Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Day holiday to come to a place of peace with me: a place of peace within yourself. I think you’re a really great person to start with…maybe this is what Jill Jackson meant when she wrote the song lyrics “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” It’s worth meditating on. Let’s go.
Blessings and peace,