Day 31 - #365MeditationChallenge

Lately I feel like I am walking around with my nervous system on the OUTside of my body.  I am jumpy, jittery and skittish.  I startle easily and everything feels too loud, too bright, too busy, too intense.  Other times, I am noticing that I am having a hard time paying attention.  Hearing other people talk, putting things back where they belong, driving the correct way to my destination. 

All signs of anxiety...and depression.

Over the years, what I have noticed is that my emotional state seems to pendulum between two extremes; let's call one side AVOIDANT and one side ANXIOUS.  For those of you who are familiar with attachment theory, these all also types of attachment.  Somewhere in the middle of these would be SECURE.   

For many, many reasons, as I said above, I tend to move between avoidant and anxious, with brief stop-overs at "secure" sometimes along the way.  Based on these terms, I would have to say that my attachment style then is "anxious-avoidant".

Another thing that I am noticing is that the "avoidant" side of the pendulum feels like "depression" in my body.  It is the part of my that holds the stories of isolation, hopelessness, abandonment and despair.  The "anxious" side of the pendulum is the one I describe above.  The nervous-system-outside-of-my-body thing.  

What I am noticing lately is that I seem to be fluctuating between these two sides of the pendulum at Mach speed lately.  As in, back and forth between the two extremes several times in ONE NIGHT.

It is so uncomfortable.   

And that is what is true for me today. 

And the reason why my 12 minute meditation was one of the toughest ones I've ever sat through.  It was a challenge for me to even keep my eyes closed. 

Something I say in the video, and I believe it's true; even though I'm in tough with my metal/emotional state right now... I have a sneaking suspicion that I would be worse off if I wasn't meditating at all. 

Bam. 

 

Day 30 - #365MeditationChallenge

Affirmations. 

I think this is actually one of the first "spiritual tools" that I ever learned about.  I am not sure who actually gets credit for them, but they came to me via the immitable Louise Hay.  

Ok now for honest hour: I have always thought that affirmations were well, kind of hokey.  I have used them a tiny bit, but my efforts at them have been half-hearted at best.  Not convincing at all.  

Instead of verbal affirmations, I have instead relied upon written affirmations and vision boards.  Both of which I have found to be supremely helpful.  I have a vision board next to my bed and written affirmations in my wallet, my computer and all over my many journals.

But lately, I have been reminded of the power of the spoken word.  As in, it has shown up everywhere; on my facebook feed, in the book I'm reading, in my dreams and in my coaching.  

So, today while in a fairly deep meditation, I somehow found myself speaking outloud the feelings that I most desperately wanted to feel.   

I heard myself saying: "I am safe.  I am safe.  I am safe."  Slowly, methodically, over and over, with tears streaming down my face, my body all tingly and coming fully "on-line" with the pulse of the Universe.  

It felt so damn good that I continued on with other desired "feeling states" and let me tell you by the end of 30 mins I feel a whole lot different than I did going in.  

Who knew? (Don't answer that.  I knew.  I just wasn't putting it into practice.  One year meditation challenge for the WIN - again!)

 

Day 26 - #365MeditationChallenge

In this video I talk about how I used my meditation practice to help myself adjust to a change of pace.  The Waterman and I headed out to Nordegg for a few days of R n R and as soon as I got there I noticed that I was having a really hard time being quiet and still.  Meditation proved to be a very valuable tool in helping me to "change gears" so to speak and re-adjust to a different calibration of life.  Awesome.

Day 24 - #365MeditationChallenge

You can meditate on a barge or boat

You can meditate while you float

You can meditate outside or in

You can meditate with your kin

You can meditate in your house or CAR

You can meditate anywhere you ARE

 

Ahem.  I was wondering when my first car meditation of this challenge would be (I have been known to eat, work, meditate and even nap in my truck).  Turns out that today was the day.

I spend a LOT of time in the car.  In my "other job" (or what some might call my "big girl job") I work as an educational consultant, travelling all over this fine province to work with kids/school teams/parents who are blind and visually impaired.  

This morning I had the Divine Privilege of giving a two hour talk on the subject and man oh MAN do I ever LOVE public speaking!!!!  BAM!  It is the BEST!   

I know, I know, I'm a special breed.  And you can probably hear/feel the ridiculously bubbly energy that is still coursing through my veins.   

So while this morning I got to do one of my favorite things in the world, now I need to transition to other things: consulting/assessment/report writing and coaching. 

Meditation is the perfect tool to help me with this transition.   

Unfortunately, we as a society aren't quite at the place where I can just pop into a meditation centre (I think we'll get there and we're already on our way), so I was left with meditating in my car.   

Not ideal but it does the trick in a pinch. 

Happy meditating to you: wherever you are! 

 

 

Day 23 - #365MeditationChallenge

The healing effects of last night's coaching session continued throughout the day as I integrated and fully owned the experience.  A big part of this was sharing this with both my mom and the Waterman (he was away for the past three days) and debriefing the experience.   

Afterwards, I went downstairs to meditate and decided to allow for a very  "organic"  experience; kind of like a "check in".  

I wanted to sit without a timer and see how long of a meditation my mind/body naturally flowed into and out of and it turned out to be around 18 minutes.   

It was an interesting meditation and if I had to describe the feeling of it, I would have to say it felt similar to how you feel in your body when you see or hold a new born baby or a puppy.  It felt new, fresh, innocent and hopeful - my heart cracking open just a tiny bit more. 

And so, once again we begin anew.

 

Day 22 - #365MeditationChallenge

Wow.  Just... Wow. 

As you will see in tonight's video, I had an epic healing session tonight which changed my perspective on, well, everything.   

Driving home from dinner at my parents, I was very present as I listened to my 8-year-old sing is heart out from the back seat.  In that moment I was so frustrated and disappointed with myself that I was feeling the way I was feeling (God-Awful) when I know how much I have to be grateful for and joyful about.   

"I think I need to ask for some help", I thought to myself.   

"Yes", I thought, agreeing with myself.  "I need help".  Immediately my thoughts drifted to a friend of mine.  A coach that I met in the Martha Beck coaching program and now a dear friend.  We hadn't connected in quite a while, so I started to think about how and when I might reach out.  Ten minutes after I got home I got an out-of-the-blue message from... you guessed it: that same friend.  

"Oh my God" I texted her, "The Universe is LISTENING TO ME!"  (This is far from my first experience like this, but I can still get pretty stoked.  After all, miracles are just that: miraculous).   

A little later, after I got my son to bed, she was guiding me into a deep healing journey around one of my ancestors, the Divine Feminine, self-love and forgiveness.  It was beyond powerful and impossible to put into words.   

I am not exaggerating when I say that coaching is one of the tools that has literally saved my life, and it continues to Bless my life with amazing gifts.  I am SO GRATEFUL for the opportunity to be coached by such a genuine, loving, authentic soul and to be given the opportunity to coach and hold space for others.   

 

 

Day 21 - #365MeditationChallenge

As you can see from the video below, I'm still navigating the "muck".   

Ok fine.  Enough with the surgar-coating, let's call it what it is: depression. 

I live with depression.  I like this description because it implies that depression is like my roommate, which feels like a pretty accurate description of her.  

Depression lives in the basement and there are times when I don't see her that much, or spend that much time with her.   

Other times, she is right in my face... I'll come home and she'll be everywhere I am: in my kitchen while I'm cooking dinner, in my bed while I try to fall asleep, in my office while I'm trying to work, in my shower in the morning and yes, even in my meditation room.  

When she is that present I find even the basic functions of living to be super challenging: going to sleep, getting out of bed, cooking, eating, showering, brushing my teeth.  Everything feels fucking impossible.  Like it requires a gutsy, over-the-top "performance" just to show up in my life.  

And she talks.  Oh. My. God.  The incessant talking.  And she is fucking crazy.  Like really crazy.  And Dark.  And Twisty.  And she doesn't think very highly of me.  Or my choices.  Or my life.  

You can see why I don't love hanging out with her.   

Other times, I barely know she's there.  It's like she retreats to her basement lair and recharges for her next foray into my life.  And while I do enjoy these little breaks, I have learned to brace myself; I never know when her next appearance will be.  

And here's the thing: I have tried everything I know how to do to evict her.   

Initially, I resorted to some less-than-healthy behaviours; alcohol, smoking, risky behaviour, promiscuity, and binging/purging food.  Thankfully, these not-so-good choices eventually got replaced with healthier ones: a healthy diet, exercise, good sleep habits, prayer, meditation, music, yoga, therapy, coaching, plant medicine, shamanism, reiki, herbs, light therapy, and writing.   

At one point, I gave anti-depressants a try too.  For me, these seemed to shut her up some but in someways it made me even more like her; an existence that I couldn't  bear.

I have even tried making friends with her.  Trying to really understand her and where she comes from, hoping that this might somehow change her nature or incite her to move on or move out.   

And the thing is; through this 25 year relationship that I have had with her, we have made progress on our journey together.  I do (in some ways) understand where she came from and why she is here.  When she really takes over my life and gets all up in my grill, I can sometimes remember that everything she says isn't true and that eventually, if I hold my ground, she'll retreat.   

Stepping out of my metaphor for a moment, I know cognitively that this is all a matter of neurological programming.  I know that my brain has laid a lot of "tracks" for her existence and that with time, patience, discipline, continued effort and practice, that these "tracks" can be rewritten.  That they are being rewritten, even right now as I write this.

But FUCK is it slow.  And sometimes I just feel so fucking tired of her.   

Anyway, thanks for listening.  I'm off to make some healthy choices and keep fighting the good fight. 

Oh, and happy 3 weeks if you're doing the challenge!

Day 18 - #365MeditationChallenge

I found myself actually craving for meditation time today, and feeling so grateful that I could make the time/space for it.  I had a 30 minute journey-style meditation today. I set some intentions at the start and prayed for guidance, hoping to get some clarity around and/or move some uncomfortable emotional energy I have been feeling in my body. 

As I speak to in the video, I believe that our prayers are always answered, however sometimes just not in the form that you are expecting.  I did go on a journey and receive some guidance, but at this point I am not totally sure what to make of it and THAT'S OK!   

Sometimes it can take days, weeks or even months for clarity about a journey to set in.   

The other interesting thing I will share is how often (for me anyway) the answer seems to show up in one of the myths/stories/legends of our culture.  For instance, this journey happened to be about the story of Peter Pan.  As I said, right now it's all a bit of a mystery for me but I will sit with it as it unfolds. 

Happy Wednesday to you! 

 

Day 17 - #365MeditationChallenge

I first found meditation, and I mean REALLY found meditation in 2005 at my yoga teacher training down in Mexico.  The program was a month long and we spent a LOT of time in meditation.  Actually, one of our last days there, we were asked to fast for a day and spend the entire day out in the desert in meditation.  It was one of the most profound spiritual experiences of my life and the whole experience forever changed me.   

When I came home, it did not take long for my "old" reality and my "new", inner reality to clash.  And clash they did... hard.   

I couldn't seem to find that inner space in my "old life".  It drove me crazy and started me on a seekers journey which I have been on ever since.   

So, as I have alluded to throughout this challenge, meditation has come and gone over the years.  When I became a mom, one of the stories that really began to get in the way was that "I couldn't find the time to meditate" now that I was a mother.  For those of you with kids, you know how all consuming they can be.  

My son is now 8, and as you can see, he is part of the club.  We have encouraged him to join into our practice and alowed him to make it his own.  He doesn't always choose to participate, but when he does, he is solid.  He likes to challenge himself to sit longer and longer, and as we show in the video, he likes to play the singing bowl.  Sometimes I offer him guidance, but most of the time we just sit in silence.  I feel so good about bringing this practice to his life while he is young.  With any luck, it will become a natural part of his Be-ing!

Blessings from our home to yours! 

 

Day 16 - #365MeditationChallenge

I did a 20 minute meditation today and I spent the first 15 minutes with that "wall" I spoke about yesterday.  As I allude to in the video, I felt like one of those pantomimes putting my hands up and down this invisible wall in my consciousness.   

And then, all of a sudden I got a very clear vision of a bridge.  The bridge looked as though it had been blown up and I was standing on the edge of it looking down into an abyss.... just nothing.  I couldn't see over to the other side because it was all misty.   

I get it.   

All of a sudden I can see neuron cells in my brain making new pathways... to the unknown.  I have literally never been here before.  It is a new frontier.  It is a new way of thinking and being.  I am becoming.  

And holy CRAP does the notion of this make me excited.   

Lately I have been doing some reading about mental health and chronic conditions and decided that it is very likely that I literally have brain damage/trauma that has resulted in a whole host of undesirable symptoms (depression being first and foremost).  I am PASSIONATE about creating new brain circuits that are healthy and NOT of the variety that spin me into this old story of depression.  

I have been working on it for years and, although I do feel like I'm making progress overall, it's slow.   

It is a daily journey to re-write your programming.   

But the image of this bridge is exciting!  I feel like it means that, through meditation and the time that I am putting into this very deliberate, intentional box, I am finally going to create something new.   

This makes me feel PUMPED. 

 

Day 15 - #365MeditationChallenge

This video talks about hitting "a wall" in my meditation practice.  Historically, I have had a lot of experiences with meditation that have been AWESOME.  I'll meditate every day for weeks or months even and have wonderful experiences.  I'll easily be able to get in, stay in, and go DEEP.  Eventually though, I will hit what seems like a wall in my practice and all of a sudden it will be hard to get in or stay in altogether.  In the past, this has prompted me to simply allow the practice to fall away and return to it at a later date.  Today, as I talk about in the video, it seems that I have hit that wall again.   

I will be curious to see what will happen next.  Thanks to this challenge, instead of walking away from the practice for a bit, I'm going to stay with it and see what happens.   

I'll keep you posted :) 

 

Day 15 - #365MeditationChallenge

This video talks about hitting "a wall" in my meditation practice.  Historically, I have had a lot of experiences with meditation that have been AWESOME.  I'll meditate every day for weeks or months even and have wonderful experiences.  I'll easily be able to get in, stay in, and go DEEP.  Eventually though, I will hit what seems like a wall in my practice and all of a sudden it will be hard to get in or stay in altogether.  In the past, this has prompted me to simply allow the practice to fall away and return to it at a later date.  Today, as I talk about in the video, it seems that I have hit that wall again.   

I will be curious to see what will happen next.  Thanks to this challenge, instead of walking away from the practice for a bit, I'm going to stay with it and see what happens.   

I'll keep you posted :)