Ugh. If I had to give today a name it would be Mood Swings, and it made focusing on each moment really challenging. Deepak’s challenge for us today was to remain grateful, but I don’t feel like I did a very good job.
Work was crazy stressful, I felt jittery and had a super tough time concentrating and completing tasks, and I’m PMS’ing so I feel irritated.
The only carefree and balanced moments of the day came on my drive from work to yoga. I had the windows down and the radio up and it felt amazing.
Also, I remembered hearing something about not trying to fix the pain you feel in moments of anxiety or heartache, but rather to let your chest stay open and exposed and reframe the energy into a source of giving love.
The idea behind this is that our natural tendency when we feel anxiety or pain is to close up and retreat, but that’s sort of a waste of energy.
So on my drive, I tried to visualize the physical aspects of what I’d been experiencing all day in my chest.
Instead of trying to close up the hole where I felt negative emotions, I imagined my heart unfolding out in front of me and love coming out.
It definitely wasn’t easy, but I got it to work for a few minutes and it felt cool that I was able to visualize a physical feeling in my body, manipulate the feeling through my thoughts and then re-position a situation in my brain to see it as an opportunity rather than a loss.
† There are going to be days when all I can do is keep trying.
I haven’t given up on practicing mindfulness today even though that’s all I want to do right now. I just want to take a sleeping pill, go to bed early, and call it a day. But that will just end up dragging out the duration of the lessons I’m learning right now, so I think it’s the right choice to just stay with what I’m experiencing and ride it out.
Also, it occurred to me tonight in yoga that a lot of this anxiety I’m feeling is probably the result of a massive purge, because for 32 years my body rarely got physical exercise, ingested tons of crappy food and soda, was deprived of adequate water, and was offered virtually no relief from tension and stress.
And then, all of a sudden, ten months ago or so, I started sweating profusely and stretching my muscles for 60 to 90 minutes a day in hot yoga, drinking tons of water, eating healthy, taking time to meditate, and just becoming more aware of my needs.
This is obviously a huge change for my body, and I’m not a doctor but it seems to follow logic that there would be a not so pleasant detox period associated with opening my body up, relaxing muscles, releasing accumulated negative energy/stress, and purging years worth of anxiety, stress, frustrations, bad food preservatives/chemicals, etc.
It would be weird if I didn’t feel all of this crap as it seeped out, right?
Anyway, here’s what I’m grateful for today:
– my willpower
– my mother – her support, her voice, her love
– my sisters for their love, their sweetness, their support
– my bed
– being able to read and write
– my steady income
– my healthy body
– my best friend for her openness, support, companionship
– my car