Intensity: great energy, strength, concentration, vehemence, etc., as of activity, thought, or feeling.
There has certainly been much concentrated activity, thought and feeling going on around me. I’ve spent time with groups of people and have been to several different places—put on quite a few miles, experiencing much activity. I have been out of my routine and comfort zone 24/7 for close to 3 weeks. There are now less people around and I’m back in my space, and the activity, although not yet finished, is slowing down.
I am used to having a lot of space in my life, physical, emotional, relational. I am an introvert that needs quiet and alone time. I like most people one at a time. I tried really hard to convince myself that I could handle a bunch of togetherness and activity. I used to beat myself up about not liking it when it happened. But, I gave that up and have accepted that, no I’m not really that great with a crowd and I’m o.k. with that.
This concentrated intensity over these last weeks has certainly made clearer for me the benefit of my self-awareness and self-care practices as well as showing me how far I’ve come. In the past I would have shut down, melted down or completely numbed out. And, admittedly I did all of these things at certain points, but this time around I was aware of when I was doing them. I took steps to manage my own self and my needs based on accepting how I am.
I took lots of breaks. I was vigilant about my meditation (I got up early/stayed up late to do it and sometimes inserted it into available moments). This helped me to see the ‘stories’ I was telling myself about where I was and what was happening. Some of them were quite hilarious. My loving, insightful inner voice at one point said to me; "Stop being so serious! Look around, no one cares!" I stood up for myself when I wasn’t ‘feeling’ it. In the past I would just go along and resent it.
This time I realized how often I default to resistance. In most situations when I’m not in my comfort zone, I tend to believe I should be somewhere else, doing something else. This caused me to suffer. When the gatherings and activities felt intense and I could catch myself resisting, I would practice being present with my whole self. I wasn’t always successful, but when I remembered to stay in my body and be where I was, things were much more pleasant for me.
I see all around me that life is intense for most of us. I’m not sure it will be less intense any time soon. This round of intensity helped me to see how my self-awareness and self-care routines matter. It is during intense times that I can see the pay off. There, of course, is room for improvement. There are things in all areas of my self-care that I can adjust or clean up. Not so that I can self-improve, but so that I continue to expand. Thank you, intensity.