How to Stay When You Want to Run

Mindful meditation might overwhelm you some days, and underwhelm you others. With a little practice, you can stay curious and engaged, when you might otherwise run.

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As the roller coaster accelerated up the impossibly steep incline, I remembered, with very poor timing, that I am terrified of both speed and heights, and that a rather flimsy seatbelt was the only thing keeping me from flying off into a messy death. Even worse, I had talked my poor, dear old mother into coming along—for fun. As I heard my own whimpering screams begging for a swift end to this trip through hell, I could also hear my mother’s voice squealing with joyous abandon, “Wheeeee, this is so fun. Let’s go again!”  

We all want to feel good; we all want to feel safe. And if we could, we’d probably all love to have as much fun as my mom. The challenge is that what makes you feel safe and joyful might make me feel petrified and shaking. You might love the adrenaline rush of a roller-coaster, I might need a calming lavender-scented pillow and a clear path to the door. And it’s all OK.  

Mindfulness can help us un-frizz our frazzled nervous systems. It can help us train our attention. It can help us feel connected to…