Meditation … Again

I’ve written often about how important meditation is to me. You can search for it using the search window on the mobile app, or you can click on the word “meditation” in the column on the right in the desktop version of this blog.

In therapy Tuesday, I talked about work-related stress and how much it was impacting my life. We talked about it, and we talked about how to take away its power. My psychologist knows how important meditation is to me, and he asked if I ever meditated about specific things. I told him yes, so he suggested I meditate about releasing the power stress has over me.

I tired it, and a mantra came to me. I repeat this mantra often now, and it has a very good effect. It is

I have faith. I don’t know what’s going to happen in my work life. I’m not going to pretend that I’m completely fine with not knowing, but I’m willing to sit with the uncertainty and the ambiguity. I’m willing to sit.

It has had an amazing result. I feel lighter. I have slept really well two nights in a row.

Meditation is not as daunting as it sounds. Sit in a chair and concentrate on your breathing. Your thoughts will wander. Try to be gentle with yourself, and don’t get upset with the wandering thoughts. Simply allow the wandering thoughts to have their space, and then gently return your attention to your breath.

When your thoughts wander, you’re not failing. It’s completely normal. Be gentle, and return your attention to your breath. It does not matter how many times you have to return your attention to your breath. You can do it every other breath, if necessary.

Be gentle and breathe.

In order to release negativity, here’s what I do during meditation. I get a feeling for where the negativity is in my body. Sometimes it’s in my stomach, sometimes in my chest, and sometimes in my head. Once I know where it is, I picture its shape. With that shape and location in mind, I then ask an angel to remove it, and I picture it being taken out.

The beauty of this little visualization is that I can repeat it as often as I want. I haven’t failed when the negativity returns. That’s normal. I just release it again.

Be gentle and breathe and release.

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Opening Energy

Yesterday, I woke up and meditated as usual, and then I did something that’s different. I put on my swimsuit, and I went to the water. I don’t do this often, because of anxiety, but yesterday, I didn’t give myself time to think about it. I just did it.

I went in for just a short time and got completely under the water at one point. I floated for a while.

I got out and stood for some time letting the water drip off me with the sun shining on my back through some wispy clouds. I just watched the water and the people around me.

With my glasses on this time, I went back in the water and stood. I just let the feeling of the water surround me. I didn’t have any agenda. I allowed it to flow. I allowed myself to simply be there. A young man and his dog were swimming back and forth together. The dog looked like he was really enjoying himself. It was rapturous to watch. They were full of sheer joy.

I got back out, and though I’d only been there about an hour, I decided to go home. I rinsed off in the shower, and the young man and his dog were there. I told him how much joy it had given me to watch them play. He grinned widely.

As I walked back to my car, I felt amazing. I’d only been in the water a short time, but I felt exuberant. I felt elated. I felt completely open. I used that feeling throughout yesterday, and I’ve recalled it today, too.

I’ve got a lot of stress going on at work, and this feeling of openness is really helping. I can bring it up to the surface by closing my eyes and calling it to return. It’s pure joy. I’m so grateful for it.

I will be returning to the water again soon.

A Miracle

I’m recovering from a break up that is causing me a lot of anguish. Admittedly, the grief is fading. Of course, I would like it to fade faster.

Yesterday, I had a sudden realization. Through it all, through all the turmoil, I have not once had a suicidal thought. I have had an unfortunate return of negative self-talk, but I have never once thought I would be better off dead.

The absence of this type of thought is honestly remarkable. Just a few years ago, I thought of death multiple times throughout every day. I’m in the midst of pain, but I’m not thinking about wanting the ultimate escape.

I can personally attest that recovery is real. Recovery works.

Walking Through a Day

I had extremely high stress at work yesterday. That is in addition to sleeping very poorly the night before. My sleep has not been very good since the break up, and that very break up does not make it easy to be stable.

After work, I thought of getting some exercise by going for a speed walk. I also thought about just taking it easy and recognizing the difficulty I’d been going through. The urge to exercise in this one case was a misplaced desire to deny the truth that my body needed rest.

I chose rest.

Not only did I give myself an easy evening, I also decided to take an antianxiety medication at bedtime. As a result, I slept very well. I awoke this morning with good energy, and I went for a long speed walk before work. It felt very good.

Sometimes the right decision is to rest.

Walking Through the Stuff

My psychiatrist warned me that this break up would likely cause old feelings to resurface. He was right. I’m experiencing a resurgence of negative self-talk that I haven’t had in many years. It feels lousy.

I’m happy to report that a short meditation usually eliminates it, until it resurfaces again, and I have to meditate again to release the negative thoughts.

It’s temporary. This too shall pass, but it’s a pain right now. I’m walking though it. I have good moments and bad ones.

I think it’s a matter of perspective. I have lived through a lot of pain, but the important point to understand is that I lived through it. I lived. I survived.

I survived pain in the past. I can survive this, too.

Walking Through It

In my last post, I wrote about my recent break up. I’m still experiencing varied moods due to the end of that romantic relationship. I have good days and bad ones.

I’m happy to say I’m using the tools I have, and they help a great deal.

My most important tool is meditation. I am able to release a lot of difficult emotions very quickly and thoroughly by doing some simple meditative techniques I’ve learned over the years. I wrote about one technique in that last post.

I’ve used medication, too. I have some medicine I can take for anxiety. I have used them occasionally. I used them daily just after the break up.

I’ve spoken to my therapist often, and that helps give me clarity.

I’ve chatted with my best friend multiple times each day. He’s a rock in this situation, and I’m grateful for his love and support.

I’ve exercised a lot, too. I’ve walked and walked. I enjoy speed walking, so I do it daily these days.

I’ve been careful with what I eat. I allow myself some junk every once in a while, but I’m careful. I eat an almost completely vegetarian diet. It feels like the right thing for me to do.

I’ve been getting good sleep most nights, which is an enormous help. Sleep resets me, so I can start fresh every morning.

Yesterday was a rough day, but I used the tools, and I survived. Today feels better except for the fact I didn’t get enough sleep for some unknown reason. I’ll be fine.

I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

Interpersonal Relations

Relating to people is the most difficult thing any person does. We maneuver a minefield when we try to convey our thoughts. At best, we can be aware of some of the history the other brings to the communication experience, but we can’t know it all.

We can’t know if the other person is feeling off because they were rushed in the morning. Their personal history may be a factor. Maybe they skipped breakfast and are feeling hungry. It could be a worry about a sick relative.

There are so many variables every time we want to communicate with another person. The best we can do is be sure of what we need to convey and be as careful in how we speak as possible.

I’m taking a long time to set up something that’s simple to say: I had a fight with my boyfriend. I really don’t understand why he appeared so angry. I truly don’t understand it. I tried to keep the conversation light, but it did not work.

In the end, I had to defend myself by stating I did not deserve the anger I was hearing.

I don’t know what’s going to happen next. I’ve talked to my therapist. I’m willing to accept several outcomes. There’s an outcome where we move forward and try to help each other, and there’s an outcome where I move forward without him. That would hurt a great deal, but I’m willing to do it, if it comes to that.

What’s remarkable is I know I’m going to be OK with any outcome.

I am a person who lives with mental illness. I live in recovery from bipolar disorder. To realize I’m going to be OK is huge. I have spent years in therapy building a core that is stable enough to withstand the storms of life. Whatever happens with my boyfriend, my core is still going to be stable.

Obviously, I want to move forward with my boyfriend in my life. I love him. I love me, too. I owe it to myself to be with a man who recognizes and respects my stable core. I’ve worked hard on it. It’s firm.

While all this drama plays itself out, I get to continue living my life. I feel good.