Tag Archives: 40 in 2014

Tough Week for Mindfulness

I credit my current mental state and well-being to clawing my way out of a rather traumatic situation a few years ago thanks to learning how to exist in the “now,” no matter how terrifying, soul crushing, or painful. It was a time I felt for certain I could not survive, at least emotionally if not physically, so minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, time passed and I got through it. It was probably over a year later when I stopped to realize that by doing things that way I actually got to a much better place – not a trouble-free or pain-free place, but a place where I wasn’t having to call on all my resources to get through soul-crushing panic every minute.

The story from there to here is too long to tell right now. One item, though, is the change between myself of 10 years ago, and myself now. I used to be a collector of mementos and souvenirs. From tokens that came from friends, books I read as a child, toy figures, mugs, stuffed animals, I kept it all. I especially loved photos that proved where and when I was. These were all anchors, mostly to the past. I found that last year, after I shipped a few boxes from my mom’s house to my home that after I examined their contents, I was no longer interested in cracking them open again. Much of it seemed like foreign memories, and little of it did I wish to remember.

Staying in the present is not an easy thing. I have a few things I do to keep myself as chill as possible (which is not an easy task, since I’m prone to anxiety.) Mostly it’s asking myself, what is now? I take a sensory inventory, without judgment, to figure out where my body and mind are at, sometimes just focusing on the sounds and the air around me.

I hate being dragged into the past.

Last weekend I had a conversation with a relative who has a tendency to bring up the distant past, with memories of the same time periods quite divergent to my own. There’s hints of judgment and blame that swing to praising the very thing that was judged as negative. Every step in the conversation that I tried to take forward, I felt yanked three feet back. Though I’ve had some resolution to some if it in the subsequent days, I still feel it tugging at me.

I think one of the main reasons I shy away from blogging is that when it’s not recipes, restaurant or product reviews, it’s something that has passed, and I don’t want to dwell on it any longer than I absolutely have to. Even present, news-worthy events, I don’t want to dwell on. It provides an anchor, and I’m terrified of being anchored to a past idea, event, or self.

This post is an anchor, but maybe by putting it here, it can serve as a reminder to let it go.

Tracking

One of the things that I wanted to finally sit down and write about was mindfulness. It turns out though I can compose these thoughts in my head, and maybe tell you about them over coffee, it’s much harder to sit down and put them on the screen.

I thought I would try today – but I’m too exhausted. That’s the excuse I’m sticking with right now. I’m also decaffeinated due to figuring out that even half-decaf coffee starts disrupting my sleep and putting me on edge. I also lost the use of one of my security devices, Fitbit One. It turns out I’ve become reliant on knowing all the little things that the device tells me about myself. It’s ridiculous, but sometimes humans are ridiculous. I am going to try the UP24 while I wait for the kind people at FitBit to ship out my (free) replacement. I have two weeks to decide if I want to keep the UP24 or return it (per the Apple Store’s policy.)

I stand back and think of this as a sort of madness that I am unwilling to stop myself from engaging in. I also think there’s some parallel to ideas of mindfulness and the attachment to unending streams of personal data.

I’m too tired to think too hard about that right now, though. Luckily UP has a caffeination tracking app available. Maybe that will come in use.

Feelings

How are you feeling?

Are you taking your medicine?

How are you feeling?

How is your kid doing developmentally?

How are you feeling?

How are you feeling?

Are you still walking regularly?

How is your weight?

Is your weight appropriate for this stage of your pregnancy?

How are you feeling?

Placeholder

Its been a full day, but I promised to post everyday, right? We went to a benefit tonight for our favorite local charity, 826 Seattle. They raised a heel of money! Yay! Also, brilliant commitment to theme.

It’s really inspirational how 826 Seattle can inspire fearless writing. I remember being that fearless, but then I became too self-conscious.

Stay inspired, people. Don’t quit.

Child Psychology

Two doors, hung inches from each other,
The space between just small enough to prevent a child’s enclosure,
The wood heavy enough to silence one door slowly opening
So I can put my ear up to the door.
Deflated, my 8 year old ears can hear nothing of the therapy behind that door.
I return to climbing the steps to take a slide down a polished Victorian banister.