The Nightmare versus The Mediation
When I was 8 I developed a recurring nightmare. In the dream, I was sitting in a train compartment, the enclosed ones with room for 6 or 8 people. I was alone, seated opposite a giant. The next door carriage was filled with pins from floor to ceiling and the giant was telling me I had to move them all from one compartment to another in 3 seconds, or else I would be killed. I realised the 3 seconds were almost up before he had finished delivering this pointless task.
The dream stopped after a year, but I’m still sporadically haunted by the feeling of overwhelming futility. Speaking to my therapist about that feeling the other day, he talked about survival physiology and hypervigilance, and how to bring down the charge. How to be ready, but not fearfully ready. It made me think about how hypervigilance is a useful attribute in a designer. Attention to detail in a look is what gives pleasure and originality, but directed towards the body, it creates such an extreme level of anticipation, like a racehorse forever locked in the starting blocks. It becomes debilitating and demoralising. And hard to give up.
During London Fashion Week, thanks to Kate Moss’s first anniversary of her beauty brand Cosmoss, I found myself lying on a yoga mat in the basement of the Mayfair club Annabel’s. We were being given a guided experience with meditation guru Deepak Chopra himself. I liked it. I have wanted to meditate but the addiction to fight or flight has been hardwired. Mediation can’t make the angst disappear, but it allows some resilience to meet it, like a huge mattress. When I feel bad, I can’t remember feeling any other way. And when I’m good I think the bad is gone forever. This mattress is definitely helping.
By the way, Deepak was wearing the most beautiful outfit.