Most people who know me well know that I don’t like crowds. I’m not sure exactly when it started, but somewhere along the way the noise and the number of people around me really started to affect me. I started avoiding places that were Loud and Crowded.
So to take the kids to Disneyland/world…I had to mentally and emotionally ‘charge up’ ahead of time and at each, we only spent a day. Same goes for waterparks. And the school Carnival. And the Mall of America. And…well – seemingly anywhere there are fun things for kids to do, I have to ‘charge-up,’ get ready, armor up.
After the events, I am super depleted and very quiet.
Are you like this?
During Yoga Teacher Training – my teacher Teri was talking about how almost her entire life she was painfully shy. She could have NEVER imagined standing in front of groups of people teaching..and yet, there she was (and so relaxed and teaching with such ease.) She didn’t let her shyness make her life smaller…she pushed against her edges. It took practice, but she was able to expand past her shyness.
I walked up to her after class and said, “So…could it be possible to keep my center and well of energy in say…A CROWD?” She said, “Sure.”
Huh. I walked away knowing I’d have to sit with that one for a bit. I always thought that Loud and Crowded drained ME. That THEY were the culprits. But what if I could stay on my center and not allow it? What if I could not let anything or anyone drain me?
Yesterday my husband and I got tickets to the Green Bay / Seattle game at Lambeau Stadium. This is his idea of HEAVEN. He thrives in crowds and with a lot of people.
So in the middle of it, it was so thick that I had to walk behind him – I was gripping his hand for dear life. People were all around me and the DIN was unbelievable. I found myself shallow breathing and really losing my center.
I shut my eyes…and I took a deep breath…and I willed myself back to my center…to my calm place…to the place where I hang out most regularly. And I kept doing it throughout the evening.
I’d like to tell you that it wasn’t exhausting…it was. But it was also FUN. I’d like to tell you that we didn’t spend almost the entire car ride today in silence…but we did. I’d like to say that I was full up and ready to go another round for something Loud and Crowded…but I’m not.
Here’s what I learned…I don’t want to spend my life avoiding Loud and Crowded. Because often FUN accompanies them. But what I may start practicing is being mindful during Loud and Crowded situations so that maybe I can keep more and more reserves of energy. Maybe then I can feel more FULL and less DEPLETED.
Practice, practice, practice.