Am I paying for the dental work...or the mindfulness?

I woke up this morning to realize that I had forgotten that I was having dental work done today.

On the one hand, it was a good thing, because I had essentially "forgotten" to worry about it. On the other hand, I now had all morning to worry about it - and it seemed like my anxiety really needed more time than that.

I put on my big girl pants and went to work, secretly hoping that someone would call and cancel the appointment. Or that there would be exceptionally heavy foot traffic on the TWO BLOCK walk to the office and I would be forced to turn around.

No one called. And I made it there in 2 minutes.

Upon arrival and being seated in the chair, in typical Abbie fashion  - I confessed that I was, in fact, anxious and that I might, in fact, pass out. Truth Speaking 101. (Note: I've never passed out really anywhere, but I always feel the need to throw it out case.)

The nervous part about the dentist - or any situation really for me - is not the pain. I can tolerate a lot of discomfort. The issue for me is the lack of control. And I hate the sensation of Novocaine and how it makes you feel like you don't have control over your mouth.

Plus - it's a big mind game - your lip feels puffy and yet it looks normal.

(Similar to when you put on a brave face and you are really masking hurt or disappointment underneath. You look normal to everyone else, but inside - you're a mess. This would make a great blog post for later - so let's remember that euphemism for another day.)

I was sharing this puffy lip sentiment with Dr. A - when she stopped me in my tracks with this little gem:

Oh, I know. It's so weird. It's because your mouth can't find it's way. We've blocked it's ability to feel.

Numbness is your body's way of saying: I'm lost. I'm looking for you. Help me find my place.

Seriously? Why does this always happen to me? I'm passing out in the dentist office and the universe is sending me this crazy revelation about numbness.

Because Dr. A is 100% right - numbness in our bodies - and in our emotions - makes us feel deprived of a sense of place. If you don't know where you are - it's hard to know where you are going or how you will get there.

Anxiety, stress, and fear - all make my body numb. And when I get on my mat and work through that - there is a sense of feeling lost and, eventually, being found. I would always prefer feeling something than the engulfing, drowning sensation that comes with numbness. That's why I keep coming back to yoga and meditation - I love that feeling of being alive. It's not about getting control back - it's about finding your way when you don't have control.

Which, in truth, is pretty much every moment of every day.

And so that's how my morning went. A little revelation about numbness and a sweet dentist who kept asking:

Are you breathing? Remember to breathe.

I'm not even kidding that this was the book I brought today to the dentist. #theuniversejustknows