Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I need this...

I'm not doing any guided meditations and I think my mental health is suffering. I'm very busy with work, the house and kids and tired a lot. Have even had INSOMNIA for the first time in ages. Not fun.

Busy, busy brain.. Just over stimulated I think - no particular thinking loop about a particular concern or worry (or annoying person).. just lots on and lots to think about and feel slightly stressed about.

I've got Tara's guided meditation podcasts on my phone now - not through iTunes as I was excited about in the last post, that didn't work sadly..! But I did easily download the 'Podcasts App' from the App Store (free, it's purple) and got Tara through that (also free). But I haven't been doing any car meditations or any in the home and honestly, I'm not just saying this because this is supposed to be a blog about my inner/meditation work, I think it's having an impact.

My brain is racing away with me. I'm getting totally lost in my thoughts and not 'observing' them. I'm not in the moment at all.. I'm away with the fairies in my brain.

And I'm feeling a bit 'flat' which may just be tiredness or may be a sort of low malaise.. not sure.

Have had a couple of moments where I've tried to ground myself and concentrate on my breath or observing my thoughts.. but I can only last 30 seconds or so before my mind starts to drift off again and BOOM I'm gone and it's hard to come back.

I don't think I'm 'good' or 'practiced' enough yet to be able to do grounding meditations on my own.. I need to listen to the audio.

I'm going to use this blog as motivation as that seems to work for me. So I am undertaking once more to post at least once every 2-3 days and update on what I am listening to.

I need this.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

So very very excited!!!!!!!!

I was a bit wound up yesterday (busy, busy life, busy, busy brain) so when I drove to the supermarket I stopped myself for a moment, sat in the drivers seat and did a meditation. I'm having trouble getting the Tara Brach ones working on my phone (which is REALLY ANNOYING) so I'm 'stuck' with the Mark Williams ones. This isn't a bad thing because they're great. It's just that I know them all so well now and Tara is adding new ones to her website all the time and it'd be great to have fresh guiding words.

Wish I could workout how to dowload Tara ones to my phone.

OH MY GOD WHILE I WAS TYPING THIS POST I JUST WENT TO THE ITUNES STORE ON MY COMPUTER AND TARA IS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE ITUNES STORE!! FREE! SO I CAN ACCESS TARA THAT WAY, PUT HER IN MY ITUNES LIBRARY ON MY COMPUTER AND THEN TRANSFER THEM TO MY PHONE AS MUSIC FILES AND THAT WAY I CAN BUILD UP MY TARA LIBRARY IN MY MUSIC LIBRARY ON MY PHONE I AM SOOOOO HAPPY!!!!!!!!

OMG OMG OMG THIS IS SO EXCITING!

Sorry I'm going to have to chill out now and drop the excessive use of caps. It's just that these car meditations are really working for me and therefore I need any podcast guided meditations to be on my PHONE which is with me in the car and for some reason the only way I can get podcasts to save onto my phone is to get them through iTunes... into my Music Library.

Am very excited.

Anyway back to yesterday.. I think the Mark Williams meditation did me some good in that moment at 10.30am. My mind was racing a bit but as always I was just gently reminding myself to stay grounded and 'in' my body. I was reluctant to stop and do it but I told myself 'it's only 8 minutes' and for goodness sakes why can't I spare 8 minutes to ground myself a little.

My kids school newsletter has a notice from someone offering mindfulness courses in the local community centre and I might sign up for those. Why not?! I'm a student of this stuff now and anything to help cement it as a practice in my life has got to be a good thing.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Myself the great experiment

I've been having some major diet issues which are totally related to my alcoholism but this is meant to be a blog about my inner work so maybe I shouldn't go on about that. Except that it's all related because it's all about ME and I am my own great experiment and I am working on myself hard so I can become the most perfectly perfect person I can be.

Ha ha.

No but seriously. I don't want to be perfectly perfect (good thing because I'm not) but I do want to be healthy in both body and mind and not be;

a) emotionally stunted - getting sober has fixed that or,

b) emotionally all over the bloody show - mindfulness work AND a healthy diet will help with that.

Because bad (sugary) foods mess with my mental health.

Let me say that again so that I get my own message. In caps no less. BAD SUGARY FOODS MESS WITH MY MENTAL HEALTH.

Of that I have no doubt. I've just conducted a 2-week experiment with myself by eating all manner of crap and yes I can conclude that the results of my testing clearly demonstrate that when I eat crap for long periods of time I slowly get more moody and glum.

So out goes the bad foods (which I have to stop seeing as 'treats' and start seeing as 'toxic') and in comes good healthy nourishing foods. And out go negative thought patterns and in comes inner calm.

Yeah, inner calm. That blissful state that I am striving for.

My car meditations are going well. I did one in the carpark outside the gym the other day! I also do them before school pick-up. Someone asked on my last post if I download the audios or stream. These ones that come from this book (which is utterly brilliant by the way and is changing my life) you have to download and can't stream. But I couldn't download them directly onto my iPhone or iPad - it just wouldn't work. I could however download them onto my iMac (yes I am an Apple girl through and through) which is fine for when I am at home in the study but not fine if I am out in my car or in the bedroom or wherever. I emailed them to myself so I had them on the phone/ipad but the emails kept disappearing over time. Finally I realised that I could use iTunes to transfer them from my Mac into the music library on my phone. So now I have them permanently saved as tracks on my music library on my phone and can listen wherever I like! This did actually create some joy for me! The Tara Brach ones I don't download because she is constantly adding new ones. I just go to her website on my phone and use mobile data to stream it .. but this takes quite a bit of time to get set up so it doesn't always work (and is frustrating) when I have literally just left myself 20 minutes before the school bell goes..! Actually now that I am typing this I will go to her website now while I'm at home and get it all ready for when I'm in the car at school. Sorry this paragraph is long and boring but this is the actual practical stuff that matters if we're going to lock these habits in daily. Goodbye for now.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tara to the rescue...

The car meditations are totally working for me. I leave for school pick up a good 10-15 minutes early and then sit in my car and do a 20-minute guided meditation. Have been listening to Tara Brach ones.. but also the Mark Williams ones from the book I've just been following.

It's funny sometimes because I can hear mums chatting as they walk past the car! And there's me with my sunglasses on sitting upright, hoping they don't knock on my windows and can't see that my eyes are closed. I have the phone sitting on the passenger seat and I can hear the audio clearly. The outside noise isn't too distracting.. I can focus on the words that are being spoken to me.

Maybe one day I'll do more 'silent meditations' but for now I am really enjoying the guided audios. And I do still really appreciate the opportunity to stop the mind chatter and focus on my breath or whatever.

It's always nice and very helpful I think. And I think it has a cumulative affect. The more you do it the better you are at slipping into mindfulness habits when necessary.

I got a bit caught up in my mind with some frustrating stuff last week. Work stuff that I had little control over but boy was I gnawing over it in my mind... having imaginary conversations in my head that were turning into arguments, and I was playing both parts!! Ridiculous.

On Monday I listened to an hour long Tara talk - this one .. it's called 'Investigating Reality, Beyond an Interpreted World' - and she totally helped me shift away from this frustration and now I feel quite chilled about the situation. At one point in the talk she said for everyone listening to shut their eyes and think of a scenario which is difficult in your life right now (easy for me to pick this work thing).. then she got us to burrow deep inside our thinking of this difficulty to unpick what was at the route of the problem for us (for me I burrowed down to a belief I had about this one person and what they were doing/what their motivations were/they thought of me)... and then she said 'now what if that belief was wrong'. And the way she did it.. well I suddenly had this shift inside me and the angst about the situation went away!!!!!

Not sure if I am explaining this very well but it totally worked for me, Tara to the rescue once again.

So nothing changed except how I was thinking about the difficult work thing, except now I am relaxed about it.

How amazing is THAT??!!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, May 3, 2015

School pick-up meditations...

So I've started rather slowly now that I've been cut loose from the book. Haven't been meditating daily and haven't been setting my alarm for 6am I must be honest about that.

But I have developed this rather cute habit which is working quite well. Every day I go to pick up my boys from school and often I try to go early-ish so I can get a half-way decent park close to school.

Well a couple of times last week I went even earlier and parked, got my phone out where a I have a couple of the book's meditations saved and I've been sitting upright in my drivers seat (i.e. with a posture that signifies my intention to be awake and pay attention) and closing my eyes and listening to them. Before I head into school to be there when the bell goes. It's great!!

This is a time slot that really works for me so I wonder if that might be the best one to lock in as a daily habit. I can easily leave even earlier and make it a good 20 minute meditation, maybe save more audios to my phone so I can listen in the car.

Aside from those formal sittings I have been trying to take semi-regular 'Breathing Spaces' (as taught to me by the book). I have been stuck in a thinking loop (stress) about a work thing, and am having lots of imaginary conversations with someone who is tricky.. i.e. wasting lots and lots of time thinking about something that I can do nothing about. The thinking about it isn't helping, all it is doing is taking me away from the present moment, making me scratchy with the kids and generally feeling wound up and frustrated.

So I've been trying to pause and take a moment to centre myself and stop the flow of thoughts.

It's kind of working.

I think more of the formal sittings would help me in general.

So I'll work harder at fitting those in.

Love, Mrs D xxx