Thursday, November 4, 2010

Change. Life. Meditation.

Meditation. I've decided that’s what I need.

Do any of you partake in this? Seriously – take depression tendencies, social anxiety that is off the charts, a warped desire for perfectionism, the ability to take on the feelings and problems of others I care about and major ball-juggling – and wrap them into a ball and you’d be in my brain.

It’s kind of like I know this much “stuff” in my life lately can be my downfall…but a part of me knows that THIS – this whole running around like a chicken with her head cut off thing – is what makes me tick. I can be a pretty cute chicken with no head after all.

Headless chicken-ing….is often when I’m at my best. Rising to the challenge is my place in life.

Anywhoozle….I have always wanted to learn to meditate. To be able to shut down my brain for just 10 minutes a day in times like these. While I excel during conflict…I can also feel it constrict my heart and my lungs and I can find it hard to breathe.

I suppose none of us handle change well but for me with my issues – change magnifies every depression and anxiety symptom I’ve ever had. Change throws normal people into a tailspin. Change throws people like me into a tornado. I need predictability and stability. Same-ness. It’s the reason I can eat the same foods every single day of my life and never tire of it. I need to know what’s coming – even if it’s food – because I fear any kind of unknown.
My body never knows the difference between good or bad change.  It only reacts with fight or flight.

I will never forget crying and pleading with the doctor that he was wrong about his diagnosis of depression the first time. I felt so guilty for being bedridden when my life on the outside was a freaking fairy tale. I told him that in the last 3 months I had married my soulmate, bought my first home, got my first job, bought a new car and moved out of my parent’s home. All amazing life goals…that nearly threw me into a deathbed. That doctor looked me straight in the face and said, “Your body can’t distinguish between good and bad – it only knows change and it doesn’t like it.”

Well giraffe balls. That sucks a fat baby’s ass. Turns out over the years he was right. Any change – good or bad – and my body reacts in ways others don’t.

I’m worried about a family member and when I say worried I mean I feel like his pain is my own. Not being able to fix it is nearly killing me. My work is changing – we are adding on and growing and growing – which yes….is good….but not for my mind and body. I can’t shut my mind off about the end of year things for the part time jobs. I suck at commenting on blogs lately and though I know everyone understands…the key is that *I* have to understand and back off of myself.

I am still on plan – journaling, planning, treadmilling, under-calories-ing and water-drinking. It is working but damn – it’s another thing on the huge to do list you know?

And Banana is sick. Nothing major – a cold. This morning despite my schedule and the fact that I was late I held her in the bathtub. Time be damned. I knew I could never get that moment back so I made the choice in that moment to be nothing but a mother. Tomorrow I am taking the day off to work from home so I can be close to her. And on and on it goes.

Change and life happen. I either need to stop the change, embrace the life or learn meditation. Today I pick learn meditation. Anyone have tips? Anyone actively do this daily? How? Do you chant? Music or silence? Incense?

I have oodles of self-hypnosis tapes that walk me through every bone and muscle in my body to help me fall asleep and they work. But I want to learn meditation to feel calm when I’m awake. What a stellar concept huh?

It and the benefits of it intrigue me so much and I think my high strung personality could benefit from it….so I appreciate your input.

And to quote a dear friend of mine - until I figure out this meditation thingy – just like little Nemo in the Disney movie “Finding Nemo”…I’m just going to keep swimming….just keep swimming….

It beats the hell out of drowning.


Leslie said...

Meditation is great and really helps with all your listed issues and more. I've done some and it's really hard in the beginning because as soon as I "sit and begin", my body and mind become fixated on the zillion things I have, need and want to do.
2 good books to get started"

Wherever You Go There You Are, by Jon Kabat Zinn
and A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield. Both are fantastic and helpful, but they won't quiet your mind! At least they couldn't do it with mine.

Cindy said...

Most of us spend our lives as if we had another one in the bank. ~Ben Irwin

Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think. ~Chinese Proverb

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around once in a while you could miss it. ~From the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off

MandaPanda said...

Meditation has helped me tremendously with my sleep disorder so I've started applying it to my waking hours and it's been great. Can I just also say that I was truly touched by "made the choice in that moment to be nothing but a mother." All too often, we forget that is our most important role. For you to recognize that with all these other things going on...kudos.

Pamela E. Williams said...

I'd be interested in the responses here because just last night I was online on my phone looking up meditation cds. I need one for beginners.

Swim draz, swim.

MrsFatass said...

That's my girl.

And uh, yeah, if someone finds out that whole Calm While Awake thing, let me in on it, too.

Xina said...

After college I lived with a wide variety of new-agey types who were really into meditation. I personally was never very good at it, though I've done it many times. I just never could turn off my brain long enough to fully get to that place of calm enlightenment.

Basically though what they would do is create a comfortable environment i.e.- light candles, burn inscense, play soft music- what ever helps you feel calm and relaxed. Then they would sit and be still. Focus their awareness on their breath and feel the energy coming up from the earth and out of the top of their head and then back down again. They were into aligning their chakras and a lot of energy type stuff. We would attempt to empty our mind of all thoughts, as thoughts popped into our heads we would acknowledge them mentally but not entertain them, let them float away again...(otherwise you start thinking about how your not suppoed to be thinking- oh shot there I am thinking again! and you start concentrating which is sort of the opposite of what you are trying to do)

Not all meditation is done this way, but it's the only way I've ever tried. I found it's a good way to relax and recharge when I'm feeling frazzled.

The Ninja said...

I can't meditate, tried it, can't do it. The Adhd won't let me. I have been to classes and tried tapes, nope, not possible.

Good for you hanging with your baby, I would and have, done the same thing.

Darlin1 said...

Meditation is wonderful---A good book to read is Eat,Pray,Love---it reminds us to remember what we already know.


Carmen said...

i have a book called "the art of doing nothing" it's pretty good
i always have trouble meditating because i can't quiet myself
i also agree with darlin about "eat pray love" i've been reading that dang book for about 6 months now, it has such a deep and profound impact on me i can only read a little bit then have to put it down for awhile
love you

Sandy Lee said...

I don't think I could meditate but it is supposed to be better than sex! So you should try it (and let us know). I just day-dream my days away. And try to look productive when my boss walks by.

Hope the calm comes soon tiddly wink so you can just soak in the calm of cuddling with your little ones.

Gen said...

I would like to learn to meditate too. The closest I've come is going to a very chant-y, quiet religious service called Taize. I did that last night. Not meditation, but meditative anyway.

I think it would be really helpful, great idea.

And good for you loving on your baby as much as possible! Good mommy!

The Candid Bandit said...

I am in exactly the same place right now (besides your reaction to change). I need to stop the external noise and stop feeling guilty about not being everything to everyone.

I literally disabled my FB account and posted a "Do Not Disturb sign" on my blog last night.

I'll be waiting and reading to hear how you face up with meditation.

THE DASH! said...

Ahhh mediation - that blissful state we would all love to practice but rarely get to put into motion. I think if you can get a handle on meditating it would be good for you. Good for all of us actually - maybe there should be a 'school for mediation' built into life.. we could use it.


Band-Babe said...

Sigh. I'm glad you chose that time with your daughter this morning. I'm happy when I stop stressing long enough to see what's really important. I've been working hard on just "letting" go. Not taking work or work politics or other people or anything too seriously. It takes conscious effort for me to be able to do that. You are wonderful to bare your soul, because if someone as amazing as you feels that way, then there's hope for the rest of us. Love you!

Bonnie said...

Sorry I can't give you any tips. I do find sometimes in stressful situations just concentrating on breathing, deep cleansing breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth can calm me down. It amazes me how doing this even a few times helps.

Justawallflower said...

Wow, I completely know what you mean about change. I am a very planned person. I do not adapt to change well, even when I know the change is for the better! I do not like when thinks do not go according to my plan. I need to know what is going to happen, BEFORE hand. I do not do well on an open schedule, fly by the seat of your pants, take life as it comes. I would rather live a boring life, doing the same thing day in and day out, then to embrace what is coming and roll with it. I really hope you find the meditation tips. I hear really good things about it, and should probably try it myself as well. I also hope your family member comes out okay.

~Lisa~ (Mrs C) said...

I'm not sure about meditation, but I love spending quiet time in prayer. Praying helps me to face my life's quandries, disappointments, hurry's and fears with clarity and determination. I don't always get the answers that I am looking for, but knowing that I'm not alone in the asking is enough to keep me straight. Just about ten minutes a day - talking. That's all. Nothing formal, no novenas, or prayer books.. Just talking and more importantly listening...

I take this time at the office, or on the way in the car, in the morning when I am alone, or at night when the house is quiet. Whenever it occurs, taking the time to just listen and speak in prayer simply grounds me... I am a confused mess when I don't pray.

Dizzy Girl said...

I don't know D...I don't see you as the meditation type. No offense- you know I love you. But you're good at what you do because you can handle so much- not because you slow down. I do agree with you though, that you need to find time each day to breathe and just be.

Back when I first became a massage therapist I would try to meditate all the time but it never really worked for me; never saw the little white/blue ball of enlightenment or whatever. However, I have learned to slow down and try to be present in the moment sometimes (can't remember to do it all the time). Enjoy the moment you have right now (like you did this morning with your baby). Those ARE the moments you can't get back- and those are the moments that you want to remember- trust me- when you think back on your life at the end- you won't care about the moments that you were sitting there trying to be all zen like and learning to breathe until you were high. You'll care about the moments spent with loved ones. Meditation is good because it helps people learn to relax and slow down so they can enjoy their moments a little more.

So I would say make the goal and take 10 minutes everyday and breathe. Just breathe. And just be. Start letting go of the list of things that need to get done. Stop worrying. Pray; count blessings; watch your girls- do things that make you happy (bath time with Rambo???).

It needs to be your time, and you need to relax. But I don't think all the meditation tactics are really going to make that much difference. Incense, candles- it all just helps you get in the right frame of mind.

You can do it!

Anonymous said...

I think a small amount of meditation will work wonders! I have been struggling with the whole long-program and candlelit atmosphere type of meditation for a while. It is hard for me to shut off my mind. I happen to be one of the busiest persons I know, so when I steal 5 or 10 minutes here and there for myself - I can really tell a difference. Of course, I can only steal these minutes in the car, in the closet, or in the bath (sometimes). I would start just by sitting upright - if you want to cross your feet on top of each other - that is considered your body becoming one with itself. You close your eyes and take deep breaths - in thru the nose - out thru the mouth and try to focus only on your breathing. Do this as many times as you can before the thoughts are so bad, they won't go away and it becomes annoying. Every time you sit, just try to go a little longer before the "thoughts" take over. Meditation simply, is about (even for a short time) rebalancing the mind, body and spirit through quiet deep breathing.

Anonymous said...

I like to visualize a curtain blowing through an open window on a spring day - as I breath in the curtain falls to the wall and as I breath out it moves and dances with the wind - this delays the thoughts from taking over.

Cat said...

I remember a cartoon about meditation, a little girl was trying to imitate her friend, who regularly meditated, and she knew that she was supposed to concentrate. She kept having random thoughts, and finally decided she needed a word to concentrate on. She couldn't think of a good word, and then touched the floor. Her mother walked by, seeing her daughter, in full lotus position, repeating, "floor,floor,floor,floor,floor"...

This is just a thought. Try what others above have said, but don't WORK at it too hard. It defeats the purpose. If you try to be absolutely still, and only focus on one thing HARD, eventually, you will drive yourself bonkers. It takes lots of training to do that. I have tried, and found that I can do it sometimes... But I am not so far removed from the little girl mentioned above.


Cukiemunstr said...

Me trying to meditate:

"Ok, here goes." 2 minutes (or 10 seconds) pass. Nothing
"Ok, I am gonna do this" wiggle wiggle a few more seconds pass

Screw it, I need some wine.

Genie @ Diet of 51 said...

I could use some of that in my life, too. Ruts are hard in the long run, but change is hard in the short run, if that makes any bit of sense.

Give yourself permission to let go and try it. You don't have to be perfect at it. Remember that.


Barbara said...

Wow.. I am so far behind in catching up on blogs Draz (and I always look for yours).. but it is so weird you write about this.. today i was just scrolling through the On DEMAND feature of our cable service and for whatever reason I hit the show on stress management (you know not for me . .but maybe someone else (sarcasm inserted) and the number one recomendation to manage stress was meditation. they went through all of the types of meditation but recommended the breathing type.. closing your eyes and focus on your breathing .. just detach yourself from thought and focus on filling your lungs with air and slowly releasing.. oxygenation really helps you.. I tried it and felt so much better.. in fact I am going to focus on this this week. hugs to you.. hope you are feeling better.. sorry for the long post.. it just struck a nerve (as so many of your posts do)

Miz said...

laaaaaaaaate to the soiree but meditation has saved me. My form of meditation which literally started with ONE MINUTE a morning and sloooowly has worked up to five :)

Ive found that I can truly and utterly detach and mellowout for five and its a great start to my day.

any more than that and I get to fretting and grow distracted.

Joey said...

I need to start doing this again, too! It really is great. We used to do it in phycology class in college. The prof called it "getting still", which I prefer over the idea that it has to be a big long process - you can just do three minutes a day sitting upright in a chair and get the lovely results. Just listen to your breathing. Ommmmmmmmmmm....