Being me is a full-time job. (That is unrelated to this post, but it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about.)
I had a good meditation this morning. My meditation is changing a little. I have no idea if this is a permanent change or something that’s just happening because I need it right now.
When I meditate, I process stuff from my life. I release a lot of fear by visualizing myself gently pulling it out. I also get a good indication of what my daily energy feels like.
Lately, I’ve been doing less of the processing, and I’ve been spending more time just trying to concentrate on the breathing. Of course, my mind wanders, which is what it’s meant to do. I let it wander and then bring it back to the breathing without judging the fact it wandered. Letting go of the judging is key. It’s just wandering. It’s meaningless, so why get upset about it?
That’s trite to write it like that. I don’t remember when I was able to release the judgment, but it happened. I just kept returning my concentration to the breathing, and over time, the judgment attached to the wandering mind dissipated.
When I think about it, the mind is actually quite beautiful. It’s always busy trying to figure out what’s going on around me. Mine has a lot to do figuring out what’s going on inside me.
But the mind is not the most important thing I have going for me. Somehow being able to get a few good breaths with good concentration is more important than what the mind is doing. And when I’m in the middle of those breaths, I absolutely love my mind deeply. I love its wanderings.
Today, I am calmly anxious. Is that possible? I am functioning and getting work done, but I’m waiting for some news. I’ve been waiting for five days, and I have to continue to wait, and that makes me anxious.
Anxiety is part of bipolar disorder that is the most difficult for me to deal with these days. The medication keeps me stable, so I don’t have the swings of depression and mania. The anxiety is different. I talk about it at every therapy session.
The current anxiety is related to something I did last week. I reached out to my ex asking if he would like to talk. Reaching out to him was a decision that took me a long time to consider. A few days later, he replied asking what I wanted to talk about, and I answered that I wished to discuss whether or not reconciliation might be possible.
There are three possible outcomes. He may not reply at all, he may say he doesn’t wish to talk, or he may say that he would like to talk. The first possibility will take longer for me to process. The other two give firmer feelings for me. Right now, I’m living in the ambiguity of waiting, which is not a space I’m comfortable in. Actually, writing about it here has helped release a lot of anxiety. That’s always true for me. Whenever I speak about a worry, it loses its power.
I’m at peace with any outcome. I’ve meditated about this numerous times and will probably repeat it more. Meditation is free and easy. It gives me clarity in the midst of the anxiety. My favorite part of it is that it is limitless. I can use it as often as necessary.
After writing, I’m calm. For the moment, I’m no longer anxious. I’m grateful for this moment.
I was just reminded talking to a friend how our preconceptions of meditation are wrong. It is not emptying the mind.
Meditation is breathing.
Sit comfortably. I sit on a stool with a cushion. Relax. Try to relax as much as you can while maintaining yourself in the seated posture.
Now simply concentrate on the motion of your diaphragm as you breathe. It rises when you inhale, and falls on the exhale.
Thoughts will come. It’s completely natural, and you cannot stop it. When you realize your mind has wandered, tell the thought that it has had its time, but now you’re going to go back to concentrating on your breath and diaphragm. Return your concentration to that.
Give yourself a small goal of trying to concentrate for 3 breaths. Then you’re mind will wander again, and you will return it to your breathing.
Don’t judge the thoughts. Don’t judge the fact that your mind wandered. Just allow it. If you find that you do judge it when your mind wanders, ask yourself why you’re judging. Then return your thoughts to your breathing again.
Concentrate on breathing. Allow the wandering mind. Return to concentrating on breathing. Over and over.
That’s it. That’s all meditation is. Nothing more.
I’ve had a rough week. I got some unexpected bad news at work that really threw me for a loop, and it caused my anxiety to skyrocket. I’m extremely lucky that I work at a place with generous understanding of mental health issues, so I took off a day and half to recuperate. I really needed it.
I used the tools I have to get through the difficulty. I took the medicine the doctors gave me to help exactly at times like this. It really worked. It didn’t solve the problem, but it helped.
I also called and got an extra appointment with my psychologist. He had an opening, so I was able to get in. He was not mild with me, and I plan to tell him that I think some of his responses were inappropriate when I see him next week. I feel like I should be allowed to grieve for the problem at work, and he’s not giving me space to do that. He wants an immediate shift into the solution, and I want to grieve first. I know that sounds like I want to wallow in the problem, but dammit, if I want to wallow, it’s my wallowing. I get to own that wallowing. I get to feel it the whole way through. No one gets to tell me to “get over it.” I get to decide that for myself.
I meditated, and that helped. Again, it didn’t solve the problem, but I felt better doing it.
Walking helped, too. It got me out of my house and into the fresh air.
Now, I need a dog. It’s a dream.
Today, I am grateful for a quiet place to meditate. I woke up late this morning, so my routine was curtailed a great deal. I only had time for a very short meditation. I could really feel it at work. I was distracted, and I could feel irritation starting to build.
I finished a task at work, and I walked down the street to the cathedral during my break. I sat in the back row and meditated. I sat there and breathed. The New Moon was last night, so I made some wishes, too. I felt so good when I finished. I’m calmer, and I don’t feel any irritation building.
I didn’t just walk through the stuff. I breathed through it.
Meditation has worked for me once again. This time I combined a releasing visualization that a good friend walked me through on the phone. The result was astonishing. I felt completely better. I was exhausted after the visualization from releasing all that negativity. I also have a much better view of the end of that relationship.
The visualization is not complicated. Here’s a step-by-step guide, if you want to try it.
- Sit comfortably, breathe evenly, and relax.
- Ask an angel to be near you.
- Imagine you are sitting in a shaft of beautiful blue-green light, and breathe it in over and over.
- Imagine a cylinder of white light in front of you.
- Imagine all the negativity in you about any particular topic. Ask the angel to help you pull that negativity out. Once it’s out, wad it up into a ball.
- Place that ball in the cylinder of light, and ask that it be transformed into something positive. I like asking it to be transformed into the laughter of children or nourishing rain on areas of drought.
- Finally, breathe more of the beautiful light you’re sitting in.
That’s it. You did it. The beauty is it can be repeated as often as you want about any topic you want. Don’t be discouraged if the negativity returns. That’s not failure. It may take days, weeks, months, or even years of repeated release for something to leave altogether.
This isn’t a race. My healing took decades. It’s worth it. I feel so good.
Grief comes in waves, and yesterday, I was experiencing a wave of grief for my relationship that ended 2 months ago. I chatted with my best friend about it. I had questions about my ex-boyfriend and his feelings that, of course, my best friend could not answer. I didn’t expect him to. I simply wanted to express my thoughts. He answered with a question:
Why is everyone broken?
And it stopped me in the middle of my stream of thoughts. It was the perfect question.
We are each one of us broken. We have all experienced pain.
My next question is more important:
What are we doing about our brokenness?
Being broken is not the real problem. What we are each doing about it is. I have been actively working on my brokenness for more than 30 years. It has been a long process. I can honestly say that I’ve healed some truly big traumas. I can say to anyone who needs to hear it that healing is possible. It really is. I did it. The work is worth it. There were times the work was painful, but the reward is so good. I feel whole today.
I’m still healing more broken bits that I find under the healed places. It never ends, but it truly does get better.
My healing comes through meditation, therapy, medication, exercise, sleep, and a healthy diet. Your healing will come through ways that are appropriate for you. If you need guidance about how to start, I recommend talking to a doctor or therapist first. You’ll know what’s right for you. Use that.