Today, I decide to spend the whole day chilling out at home. I have a lie-in, I meditate, I eat breakfast.
I reply to a few text messages. I attempt to get cheap car insurance. I have lunch. I read emails. I watch Whip It for the second time.
By four pm, I’m agitated. What to do next? I could watch another movie. What a privilege to have the time and space to do so. I could read.
But I’m starting to feel uncomfortable. I’d probably feel better if I went for a walk. It’s sunny outside. I’d feel less guilty if it was raining.
I could follow a yoga class on YouTube. But I just don’t want to.
In the past, when I suffered spells of depression, I spent long periods in my room. I stayed in bed. I binged on junk food and mind-numbing box sets.
As a result, I became even more depressed and self-hating. Then, I definitely didn’t want to face the world because I felt so ugly and useless. Now, a part of me is scared that something similar could happen again.
For the past while, I’ve made sure to exercise every day. I get out of the house. I’m sociable. I’m busy. I work. I write blogs.
What I’ve learned from Chinese Medicine is that, when we don’t move enough, our energy becomes stagnant and we experience pain and fatigue. When enough energy doesn’t go to the head, we can feel depressed. That’s why it’s important to move our bodies and to receive energy treatments such as acupuncture.
However, I’d been moving my body to such an extent that I’d injured myself several times and I was exhausted. Following an acupuncturist’s advice, I haven’t exercised in four days.
Last night, I met a friend who’s home from abroad. She told me that I’m looking really well. I wanted to work out immediately. But I didn’t. Instead, I noted this reaction and I was okay with it.
For a change this Saturday, I haven’t arranged any coffee dates. I haven’t driven to the gym. I haven’t walked or yoga’d or even ventured outside the house. Instead, I drink hot beverages in bed, bite my fingers and click on Facebook for something to do.
The energy is rising. I usually shake it off or stuff it down. I’m not used to doing nothing. I don’t think I can do nothing.
I want to pump iron and dance and make love with aggression. I want to race through the countryside and bomb into the ocean. I want to laugh and cry and scream with abandon. I want to explode all this energy into my writing. I want to squeeze all my blackheads and peel off my skin. I even consider rejoining Tinder.
But I don’t do any of these things. I stay in my room, turn my phone on silent and sit on my meditation cushion. I bounce a little and rock back and forth. I start composing this blog post.
Then, I realise that there’s something about this energy that makes me want to burn it off. It doesn’t matter how. It just has to be released.
Suddenly, images of yogis and monks come to mind. People who have trained themselves to sit with this energy and allow it to build.
Humans who have managed to transcend these egoic and bodily urges to sex and spend, do and distract. They harness this energy and use it to connect with something bigger than all of this. To be present to all that is rather than losing themselves in all that they wish they were.
There’s nothing wrong with making the most of this creative energy. Artists splash it across canvasses to form beautiful masterpieces. Musicians and singers unleash it with passion. Champions triumph. New lives enter the planet.
And the rest of us mere mortals make sure to stay just ahead of it so we don’t have to think or feel too much. We move forward, we move forward, we move forward. We don’t want to get caught.
Most of the time, when I write an article, I’ve reached some sort of conclusion. I’ve come up with a positive slant. I’ve learned something. I’ve let go of something else. I’ve made myself feel better.
Today, I don’t transcend body, mind or ego. I sit on that meditation cushion for 10 minutes before moving the cushion in front of the laptop and vomiting all over WordPress. I feel a little bit better. I guess I’m still ahead.