For my meditation today I am actually going to write a blog post. I’m sitting here.
My meditation cards are there on the right in the cupboard. There are also beads that are standing in until I get a real meditation set. I have my “tuffet” that everyone else calls a cushion. It should be a perfect place to sit and just be quiet. A place to just be.
But the reality is, the perfect place to meditate is right where you are right now. Right where your feet are at. In my car I have a little note that says, “Be where your feet are”. Meditation is about your mind wandering and coming back to centre. Your mind wandering then coming back to centre. Ad infintium. Meditation isn’t a place. It’s a verb. An active place of quieting and then your brain going off in every possible and weird direction. Then quieting again. For just a few moments. The reason I got Breathe tattooed on my wrist is because it never ends. My mind is never quiet. But being aware of it’s un-quietness is in itself meditation. On my iPod I have reminders set to “check-in”. Because like everyone else, maybe even moreso, my mind is always going a million miles an hour. It goes from just sitting in my car eating blueberries and pumpkin seeds to being so anxious that we are going to die in a nuclear war that I want to call in sick and go home and cry myself to sleep. (That was exactly what happened today but I didn’t get to the point of going home and crying myself to sleep.) I have to check in with myself. My anxiety prone brain sends signals to my anxious body to panic. My body send messages back to my brain to think of a way out. And around it goes. At times in my life it has placed me in such fear I would not, could not, move. I would wet myself and sit like that until the anxiety let its hold up just a little. I would go change, shame washing over me. I had let it happen again. Who wets themselves at 23 years old? At times, I would wet the bed because I could not move. Do you know how embarrassing and humiliating it is to wet the bed at 17 years old?
Looking back, I see just how amazingly far I have come. Now I can hold down a job. I have close relationships. Everyday I make a positive difference in someone’s life. Yes, I still go to dark places with this mix of depression and anxiety. It will always be with me. I am flawed. Maybe more than most. I try to be aware when I am pushing emotions away like they are not welcome, like they are bad. They feel bad but they are not bad. This afternoon I had a conversation with my neighbour who lost her husband just over two years ago. She told me that she is lonely BUT she has it better than most and she looks at the positive. My thoughts were that just because others have it better does not mean her experience is not valid. Looking at the positive is not acknowledging her own pain. Pain is there for a reason. Pain is not the sickness. Pain is the sign of sickness. Her pain needs to be acknowledged and not shoved away because she has it better than most. And I am not talking about dwelling or feeling sorry for herself. Her husband died. The only man she had ever been with. Her best friend is gone. Telling herself that others have it worse is not accepting the pain for what it is. Pain. For me? Pushing away panic, anxiety and depression is not acknowledging the pain. It’s not acknowledging my fear. It’s not acknowledging that my childhood was shattered. The times I have been my most healthy mentally is when I welcome the pain. I acknowledge that it is trying to tell me something. As soon as I give it a name it shrinks.
Okay. That’s it for today. I’m going for a walk and don’t have time to proofread so I hope this all makes sense.