Recently, I have been doing a personal practice of noticing what has not been tended to. What I mean by this is noticing what lies within that I have not yet acknowledged or done my work around. Not only do I notice this within me but also I notice this with folks around me.
The greatest fuel for these things I haven't tending to is fear. If I choose to explore something inside me, there is a fear of what might come up as a result. If it's an emotion like love or loss, then there is potential for grasping, clinging or reliving experiences. There is an endless feedback loop of what used to be or what happened. I notice what I could have changed or want to change now. All of it is based on comparison of good or bad, of what makes me feel comfortable or uncomfortable. My mind is the one that categorizes and decided, based on fear, what I process.
Right now the practice is moving away from good/bad and truly allowing for things to unfold/enfold. This is a frightful feeling for me! No control of anything!? Fear is a tricky thing, right? It over rides what is sensible, what I know inside is true, but my mind creates this intense universe full of all the negative possibilities of what I would need to shield myself from. It's a defense mechanism, a survival strategy.
Oh the irony...how the thing I used in the past to survive creates the stress, anxiety and fear in the present moment.
A practice around tending:
• Notice what happens when you sit with the emotion when it arises. Notice how your body reacts to the mind stuff.
• Allow breath to explore the space around the emotion, the thought, etc. Breathe into and notice. Notice without having to analyze or figure it all out.
• Notice what would support you: movement, writing, speaking...find a way to honor what you are experiencing without having to change it. Support yourself on this edge you are exploring.
• What will you do with this awareness or is awareness enough for now? Is there a supportive, doable action to take? Notice what calls to you.