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. 



Day 8 - #365MeditationChallenge

It's the start of a new week!  As I move into this next week, it will be interesting to move through this meditation challenge as I start back to work full time.   

We have enjoyed some serious "down time" over the holiday season - we went to Phoenix and Palm Springs over Christmas and relaxed in the desert sun.  We hiked, slept late, soaked in the hot tub and I read my third fiction book of the year (out of about 50-60 nonfiction ones!). 

It was just the rest that we needed and I do feel ready to get back into the flow of things. 

With that being said, there is a certain level of anxiety that seems to creep in when I think about all that I have to do and the pace that my "regular" life demands.  I was saying to a colleague this past week, "I look at all that I do and keep up with and now that I briefly stepped away from it, I'm not actually sure how I'm doing all of that!"  It can feel a bit daunting. 

And THAT is why I need this Challenge.  That is why meditation is such a crucial piece of the puzzle.  It is why it is at the top of my priority list for 2017.   

Wish me luck!

Day 5 - #365MeditationPractice

Wow!  A minute is sure not a very long time to make a point!  I decided to limit the daily videos to around in minute in length so that they didn't take up too much time if people wanted to watch them everyday.  We used to follow a similar meditation challenge that came with daily videos and found the videos were too long so we eventually quit watching.  I love to write so I thought that I could post the quick video and then if I had more to say I could write about it here.  Today is one of those days where I felt rushed in the video with a lot more to say.

The reason is likely that today's meditation was all about managing anxiety.  I have struggled with anxiety (and depression - they are kissing cousins) for most of my life.  Last night I was having a bout of anxiety and I found myself unable to sleep (until about 2 am).  There was so much anxiety coursing through my body that it literally felt like I was vibrating and almost floating up off the bed.  If you have suffered from anxiety, you know that this is such an uncomfortable feeling.   

As I lay there, I tried to get into a meditation.  I tried using my breath to calm down my nervous system.  After an hour or two, nothing seemed to be working so I grabbed a rock that I keep in my nightstand and held it in my hand.  I began pouring all of my anxious energy (and thought streams) into the rock.  Immediately I felt things begin to shift and my hand and the rock got very hot with energy.  I finally slept.

This morning, there are still traces of anxiety left over, so I decided to use my meditation practice to release this energy as well as ask for clarity.  I carry a mesa (bag of medicine stones) which I have been working with for the past few years and I selected my quartz crystal to work with during this meditation.   

Using prayer to state my intentions out loud, I began to move the crystal around my body to the parts where I felt the most anxious energy (throat, third eye region and chest).   

Now, afterwards, I feel much calmer and more grounded than I did going into the meditation.  

I share this here because, like me, I know that many other people struggle with anxiety.  If you are one of those people and you haven't tried this - try it!  You have nothing to lose!

One last thing before I sign off for the day, I wanted to share a cute story about this technique.

About 5 years ago, I walked into my bedroom to see my three-year-old son lying on my yoga mat with some of my crystals and stones placed strategically all over his body.  He had his eyes closed and everything!  "Chephren!"  I said, "what are you doing?!"  His eyes flew open, alive and sparkling: "I'm meditatin mama"!