The Feat of Meditation.

Finding peace through meditation, I feel this concept is a load of blissful crap. Still, every day I encourage myself to meditate.  One day I will find this third eye of mine. Mainly I meditate because I want to overcome a part of me I dislike. One day, I will learn how to maintain my composure when things are out of my control. Hillary-33

Today I tell myself, meditation is all about practice.  If I just focus on how my inhale feels, it’s nice and cool; I can feel new energy enter my mind. Or maybe if I focus on my exhale, it’s warmer…I am starting to trail off onto another thought. Ugh, I am never going to get the hang of this. From what I have read, meditation is all about beginning again. So, I begin again.

How about I focus on one word.  Okay, so I will meditate on JOY, it’s my middle name; it should be easier to meditate on.  Oh JOY.  What brings me joy? Pastures, the rolling hills of beautiful green grass and moo moos grazing, or goats; goats are just adorable.  Oh now I am thinking of that spoof, the Taylor Swift spoof…AHHHHH.

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I actually saying AHHHH, my hip flexor is tight and my foot is going numb. The only other comfortable way to meditate is to lay down.  Ooh like savasana. I LOVE SAVASANA.  Only then am I usually able to quiet my mind for at least 1 minute.  I guess because I am so physically relaxed my mind doesn’t want to bother with thoughts.  In savasana I feel a sense of energy swarming over me, it gets a bit heavy, but it is comforting. That feeling seems lovely right about now, I will just mock savasana. So, I am going to just lay down right here on this cold wood floor, where dust bunnies run rampant, and practice my mediation. Hmm this is not as pleasant, it’s not 100 degrees in this room. Ugh, maybe if I am warm it will be relaxing. I’ll just grab this comforter. Okay this is nice, ooh especially if I grab a pillow. Yep, this is better.  I think my meditation timer went off like 10 minutes ago, I will just set a sleep timer for 15 minutes.  Then I will get up and start my day.

No part of me pats myself on the back for trying meditation every morning, its become a habit now.  That is actually great (one pat earned). I am trying something even though I feel defeated.  That is determination (second pat earned).  Instead of being so hard on myself, I am going to give myself a break.  I cannot get everything accomplished in one day.  I cannot get to the big picture without taking small manageable steps.  Maybe I am learning something from meditation.  Even though I do not know the color of my third eye, I am at peace with the fact that all I have is this present moment. In this present moment I am the happiest I can be.

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Have you started a meditation practice?  Comment your experience!  Let me know your favorite mediation tunes, apps, or books!  This evening I am trying a Sound Healing Meditation with Journey There Wands’, Autumn Austen.  If you missed this event Haylo Healing Arts Lounge plans to host this event again in the near future.

The Power of You and Support.

FallFall is my favorite season, yet I fear it.  In 2012, the bubble I had lived in popped. I no longer had school as a safety net, I no longer knew my purpose.  I began interpreting life in an unfamiliar way and it overwhelmed me with dark, deep sadness and angst. My diagnosis was mild depression triggered by anxiety. I was comfortable as a victim of my genetic predisposition.  As I became my diagnosis, the stories of my past became the answers of my present.  My future would be as it was. My story was my truth and it could not be unwritten.  I will never forget what depression feels like. My entire body was on pins and needles from overworked nerves. Should one thing have disrupted my routine, I would immediately spiral into a manic state.  In those moments all I wanted was to be out of my own skin.

My family and close friends supported me with grace and love.  We thought things were getting better. In January 2013, my wonderful grandpa passed away. My heart was broken, he was my hero.  He still is the kindest man in the whole world. He loved and lived with a deep sense of purpose. His passing shifted my depression into overdrive.  Medications and countless conversations with a therapist did not tune me in to what I was actually feeling. I was uncomfortable with the idea that I could change.  I had my limit, there was nothing more. I was a broken record; dying longer and living shorter.

One day in Spring 2013, I took my first step on my 10,000 step journey toward happiness.  Still, every fall my heart becomes weary. Recognizing that the moment I fear vulnerability or being uncomfortable is the moment that I stop growing.  Everything within me has the power to shift. That being said, there are days when things go to shit. Mismanaged stress triggers my anxiety and I am a ball of negativity.  However, I am by no means jumping on that slippery slope toward depression ever again.  By no means is my journey over.

Yoga and practicing meditation has certainly made the road less traveled on manageable. I now search for apps and self improvement teachings, to make mindfulness simple.  I currently am reading Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly and enjoy listening to audiobooks instead of the noise played on the radio. Cooking has also become an activity that feels therapeutic and taps into my creativity. By eating less processed and caffeinated foods I have noticed my body looking and feeling well. Also, I have more energy, and sleep better too. Benefits from good food and mindfulness have brought about a yearning for more stress management tools.  I now have gained appreciation for the power of my breath. By taking a deep breath in and out of my nose deeply, generates energy; massaging the heart and activating the parasympathetic nervous system.  Try it, count eight deep nasal breaths and then begin again. Did you feel that sense of ease wash over you? Imagine if you breathed like that every day.

Living is a practice, it means loving yourself and taking time to reconnect. Yes, you do have the time. So, rebuild your relationship with yourself and seek support from loved ones, or wellness professionals. Dig deep and find connection with your body, mind, and soul. You are worth it! Take your first step on your 10,000 step journey, right now.