I can’t believe it’s Monday. Ok it’s Monday night really, but I started this post this morning. After being pretty much confined to my bed the entire weekend with a rather sweet cuddle buddy,
Do you see what she is resting her nose on? My salt crystal heart!
I thought I’d wake up feeling much better this morning…and I was wrong. It appears that an infection I had back in April didn’t go away entirely and I was in some pretty severe pain this morning and had to make an emergency appointment at a clinic to get some antibiotics. The co-pay was more than the meds Angie has been such a champ this weekend though, keeping me lots of company and showing me that she is much more trustworthy in the apartment. I kept the door to my room open but closed the bathroom doors so that way she could stay in her kennel if she wanted to (it’s her safe place and she LOVES it). I had a few blankets laying around as well as a few pieces of laundry and she didn’t chew them!! I was so proud, happy, and relieved.
Now on to the juicier stuff. I’ve mentioned meditation a few times on the blog and I thought I would dive into this a little deeper today. There are thousands of ways to meditate and they range from the religious to the spiritual to the academic. Some things are meditative without being given that title and a lot of people believe that in order to meditate you have to be a Zen Buddhist with a shaved head, wearing robes, and sitting in silence for hours at a time with your eyes closed. This is NOT the only kind of meditation!!!!
What I’ve learned is that meditation is often best suited when it’s customized for the individual. If you have to really change your lifestyle to meditate, chances are you won’t do it, but if you can, hey that’s great! As long as it’s a positive change that you can sustain, then good on ya! Otherwise, meditating should be something that you find attractive, interesting, and that after you do it once, you just want more! If you are practicing a type of meditation that doesn’t leave you with a good feeling, don’t give up on it after one try. Keep trying it out for a few days or weeks and if you still don’t connect with it, don’t keep doing it. If anyone were to judge you for the way you meditate, then that is really not your problem, so don’t let the idea that you have to fall into a specific type of meditation keep you from doing something that can really change your life, or at least your day.
(image source) Check this picture out very carefully- it’s so neat!!
I believe that making meditation meet your needs is what it’s all about. You don’t need anything at all to meditate, but if you have the desire, create a space that is just for you. It can be a corner of a room, an entire room, a cushion you pull out, whatever. You can create an altar (and this can be a religious altar if you adhere to a specific religion or it can just be a pretty space with motivational quotes, affirmations, flowers, candles, small stones, souvenirs that remind you of good things, etc) if you want to make it a little more special but the basic concept, I believe, is to create a ritual that is special and healing FOR YOU.
On Saturday I believe it was, I was hit by this negative energy. I know that in more strictly intellectual circles this is hippy-hokum talk and that not everyone will have the same beliefs as I do. I mean, I don’t think anyone could deny that there is energy in the world, after all, the sun gives us energy, water gives us energy, wind gives us energy, and our bodies need energy to keep alive and even more to thrive. So there is energy around us, that’s not the problem. The problem is more conceptual and has to deal with connotations because talking about coming into contact with someone else’s energy can immediately trigger strong thoughts and reactions in other people, ranging from, “That’s bulls*&^” to “I get where you are coming from, I’ve felt like that too.”
I then began to really struggle with some urges. At this point, I’m able to kind of play out urges in my mind, and that satisfies the need to release whatever I need to release. I don’t actually act on the urge because I know that it doesn’t serve me anymore. For a while, my eating disorder did serve a purpose because it let me know what I was lacking in my life and what my heart was craving, and now I have a roadmap of how to move forward and satisfy those needs in healthy ways. I won’t lie though, I still get urges, and I’m pretty sure those will never go away completely. I’m ok with that though, as long as they remain in my mind because there they eventually subside.
During this particularly vulnerable moment over the weekend, I didn’t want to call and talk to any of my supports about the problem because I felt too much shame and guilt. I then sat there with my salt crystal heart on my stomach as I lay in bed, and started guiding myself through my own meditation out loud. I took the information that the urges were telling me (that I was hurt, ashamed, felt guilty, lacked power, etc) and used it to create a mental space where I was the one who was in control.
For those of us who have had traumas in our past, the idea of control and not having any can wreak havoc on our lives. Now, I am not a trained therapist so if you have never had trauma counseling, PLEASE, don’t be ashamed to seek help, because it is crucial that someone with specific knowledge about how to help you work through trauma guide you, and I am not qualified to do so. I have however done A LOT of work in therapy about my own traumas, and I can keep myself safe while remembering them.
In my meditation, I put myself in control of the situation. I got the justice I needed and then sent myself down into a place of healing, where I used real places I’ve been to as well as imagined places to comfort myself and my “inner child.” Some might consider this more “visualization” than meditation, but for me it was transformative, thus I feel comfortable using the word meditation. I realized that I soon fell into this deep but rejuvenating sleep for a few minutes, and woke up with dried tears but feeling so powerful and wonderful about myself. I successfully put down urges AND learned something new about myself and my brain
Well friends, despite the fact that I’ve stayed in bed for half the day and most of the weekend (I did venture out tonight to Whole Foods to get some sustenance until I can really grocery shop), I haven’t gotten that much sleep. I’m going to continue working on my project and cuddle up with my puppy
A spot in Maui where I did my own “music meditation”
Your turn: Do you meditate? What is your style? What were your preconceived notions about meditation and how do you feel about it now?