Anxiety meets the tipping point

Wow!  I may have actually reached the tipping point with acceptance of life.  I am a planner by nature, but not a detail oriented planner.  For example, plans for my recent road trip included destinations and sleeping location. There were no plans made for each destination except to be in nature.  Exactly what that would look like was pretty loose.  I wanted to listen to my heart and body each day for what it needed, and then do that.

I left Virginia with a plan to go back to Glacier National Park. I wanted to visit Bowman Lake again. The day I sat at the water’s edge in 2015 was filled with acceptance of life while experiencing amazement of such natural beauty. I designed the trip to revisit Jack the Jackass in the Badlands as well. Every other stop was decided with the intent to get there and back without insane driving days.

My second stop along my 2017 road trip, was in Illinois visiting my brother on the way to Sioux Falls, SD.  I awoke to a friend sending a link of information about Montana being on fire and Glacier’s evacuation.  Hmmm, that may change my trip completely, I thought to myself.  Even though, I kidded with friends that I may not return.  I was referring to me continuing my journey to California, not being caught by fire.

Sharing this with my brother and his beloved, we broke out maps to reconstruct the trip with the main goal being at the forefront; walk in nature.  Within a matter of hours, I redesigned the trip while listening to my heart.  At one point in the process of regrouping, I felt tightness in my heart.  With taking a breath to listen to the quite voice of my heart it asked me to go sit outside.  Around the fire pit there are beautiful trees.  I leaned back in the chairs to look at the trees and take in the spectacular sky.  With breathing quietly and listening, my heart said, “You need to drive a bit as well.  Let’s go to the edge of South Dakota.  We can hike in the naked mountains of the Badlands and the dense forest of the Black Hills.” I calmly listened and followed my heart.

After new reservations of where I’d sleep in what town were all done I returned to the fire pit.  This time my brother joined me.  He sat and abruptly shared how amazed he was with how calm I was during the whole process.  He even shared that he would most likely go with the original plan regardless of the fires or needless danger.  Simply because he planned it, he’d go come hell or high water.  Well, it would be fire in this instance.  He made a comment that my medication was certainly working.  I smiled as I turned to him and said, “I am not on any medication.”  He responds, “Really?  That is amazing; something is certainly working great for you!  I am proud of you.”

In that moment I realized that the tipping point of leaving unwarranted anxiety and fear behind has finally been reached!  All of the years of therapy, writing, shining light in the darkest areas of my life, listening to my heart, hiking in nature, practicing yoga and meditation have paid off for me.  There never is a quick fix, and certainly not an an overnight success story.  My overnight success took me about a decade of nights to get here today.  I am just able to experience the layering effect of those practices.  It is pretty amazing when you can roll with the ever changing tides of life.  My trip changed drastically several times along the way.  There is still anxiety when things have to change, but I trust the process far more than I trust my anxiety and fear.  As a result of the changes, the trip was spectacular and better than anything I could have ever planned; much like all of the amazing experiences of life.  I will return to Glacier National Park one day, it was just not meant to be on this trip.

Kristin Springfield
Surrendering to life with gratitude