Ritual/ Meditation as Self-Medication
Meditation as Self-Medication
Do you feel like you’re one of the passionate people of the world, constantly striving to experience everything life has to offer? I certainly do.
Everytime I interact with something that inspires me, it’s as if a bubbling volcano gets placed inside my chest. I feel like a racehorse before the gates go up, chomping at the bit to experience more. That new book must be read today, I must learn that new technique before work, let’s hike that mountain already, adopt that new radical approach to life yesterday, and of course be super productive. I’m so excited but It can almost feel like anxiety. All of this intensity is going on internally and it sometimes makes me feel very impatient (agitated?). What to do with this energy?!
Thank goodness I am also an avid meditator and have been doing so for 20 years. Every single day I’m drawn to my meditation cushion to escape the habitual mind, fined inner peace, and build a better world. But a big part of the practice is just to help modulate the intense feelings and desires I have on a daily basis. For me, meditation is like a drug that takes the edge off, but without any side effects or chronic dependencies. And while I’ve been at it awhile, just a few minutes a day for a bit can make a huge difference.
In our society we are often taught to dump off intense feelings before they erupt. Some of the ways we learn to take the edge off is to have an extremely intense workout, party hard, work ourselves to the bone, or exhaust ourselves creatively or even sexually. All of this can work, and sometimes at the right dose it can be therapeutic. But often we dump just to get rid of ALL of our intense feelings. We clear the entire slate clean and then have very little energy left. Then we need to rest until we are inspired and fill up again, then repeat the whole process over and over. Load up and dump!
If you’re like me and suffer from Intense Person Disorder, before you schedule the next dump off, maybe try getting on your meditation cushion. Create a little self care meditation corner in your home or you can do what I often do, and bring my cushion into nature.
After a even just a little bit of practice, all those intense feelings soften just a little and become useful. We keep the fuel but still feel empowered to take action and experience life fully. Now the fuel is less explosive and feels less like agitation and more like power. The energy becomes harmonized in ways that help it feel manageable. The other benefit is never feeling drained or depleted because you dumped the energy. You never have to get rid of that fire that pushes you to grow and evolve.
If you are a high intensity individual, having a meditation practice is the kindest form of self care. For me, this means I can be who I am, so long as I hit the cushion. I love that.
Author: Frank Vogt
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