As I’ve been focusing lately on these Meditation CDs something amazing has come to my attention. I have a VERY sensitive startle reflex! I mean CRAZY sensitive!! I know that babies have this (called the “Morro reflex” I think) but it was always my understanding that we kind of grew out of it.

But I’ve had such a revelation.

I will be following the meditation, listening to the voice, focusing on my breathing. But in the CDs where there is perfect silence rather than any music or ambient noise I find that the next word by the teacher or the bell or even a distant “clunk” in the house causes me a SHOCK! I briefly shiver all over and jerk my eyes open, then feel a release of what must be adrenalin. My heart rate increases and my breathing sometimes stops — I seem to hold my breath.

Now that I’m more aware of this response it makes sense that anxiety and panic have been such a presence in my life. Maybe this happens regularly, and without my awareness. And maybe the Panic is actually a build up of these ‘startlings’ rather than some ‘attack’ from out of the blue. I’m thinking that I have a habit of reacting this way, and it is now automatic.

Paying attention to these times when I’m startled has allowed me to dissipate the feeling in the moment. I breathe it in and out. My heart rate settles back down. I come back in to my body and the moment. They don’t seem to be building up. I have a sense of clarity and awareness in my life, but not really any underlying anxiety or panic.

I’m not sure I understand it totally but I think I’m gaining some insight about myself here.