Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: pema chodron

#30daysofdresses – day 9

The little yellow belt is back…so are the boots. Clearly the best $17 I’ve ever spent at Kohl’s.

This dress is my straight forward style – comfy, navy, and an interesting neck and hemline.

That’s it really.

If you’ve been following along, I haven’t been doing so well. As I write this, I’m feeling better, but the start of the week was rough.

But how to explain it to you?

I wake up rested, even happy, to be laying in bed in the dark – the cool desert air coming in, the cloud cover of the westside hiding the sun, and then some thought hits me, and anxiety. Can’t even tell you what the thought is.

Or I feel fine, and decide to vacuum (Carter’s fleas may be the death of me). And as I’m vacuuming, the drone of the motor, the rhythmic back-and-forth, the dog circling me unsure, I start to feel pissed that the carpet sweeper is broken, that I have to vacuum before work, and my mind races through all of these injustices and bam, I’m crying instead of cleaning.

If I could explain it, maybe I could fix it.

But I’m also learning that there’s nothing to fix because I’m not broken.

It just is.

If this dress is straight-forward me, then turning to books is my typical approach to feeling insane. The day I wore this dress I started reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. My friend Steve calls her one of my saints. That evening I watched part one of Elizabeth Gilbert on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Another of my saints. I watched videos of Pema Chodron on Youtube. These women hold up a light when I’m in this deep darkness. Anything to know that I’m not alone.

And I gathered three things:

1. “Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a questions of engagement.” ~Brene Brown

2. Elizabeth Gilbert saying that we have three different voices in our head. The child, throwing a tantrum because they’re exhausted. The older sister, who we think is the voice of our highest self, saying things like “why do you keep doing this to yourself?!” but, Gilbert said, if there’s any of this ::wagging her finger::, that is not your highest self. There is no judgement from your higher self. And the actual higher self she seeks to listen to, which is full of love, grace and support. The voice that says “I love you” and that’s it.

3. Pema Chodron saying that even she experiences times of meditation where she feels like her mind is crazy and the thoughts do not stop. But even if the experience of meditation that day isn’t great, it’s the post-meditation feeling that matters. That her meditation practice “opens more room in (her) mind”.

I wish I had better answers for myself so I could pass them on to you, but all I can do is read, jot down my notes, let the crying come when it does, and be gentle with myself.

 

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This Grateful Season – Bubble Baths

Tonight, as my blood sugar and mood both sank like a stone, I wiped down the bathroom and rinsed the shower. I filled the tub with hot, fragrant water and sank in quickly, the water turning my skin red. I didn’t care. I needed the quiet, the comfort, the solitude of a bubble bath.

It used to be impossible for me to take time to take a bath. In my obsessive need to do, do, do how could I ever think that sitting in a basin of hot water was a “good enough” way to spend my time? Especially when I find it to be the most luxuriating experience EVER?

Allowing myself to sink into a bath is another positive by-product of therapy. Of being able to do what I “want” and not what I “should”. To know that self-care will smooth the wrinkles and massage out the kinks of a bad mood, a bad day. That to let myself relax is the ultimate love.

When I’m soaking, the task-master’s voice just stops. It’s like I’m under water and I can’t receive those signals anymore. My brain slows, my head quiets. Sometimes, a quick 20min covers it. Other times I drain out half the lukewarm water and refill it with scalding hot water, rushing over my feet and up my legs, while I reheat and settle back in over and over.

Of course I read in the tub, putting my Kindle in a gallon freezer-bag to save it from moisture and the impending doom of my clumsiness. Tonight I started Pema Chodron’s “Taking The Leap”.

She writes:
“…when I was on a 3-yr retreat… I would be sitting in my small room looking out at the ocean, with all the time in the world. I would be silently meditating, and this queasy feeling would cover over me; I’d feel that I just had to rush through my session so I could do so something more important. When I experienced that, I realized that for all of us this is a very entrenched habit. The feeling is, quite simply, not wanting to be full present.”

THAT’S my life in a nutshell, the very thing I am working through. And while I’ve just begun, awareness is the first step. Awareness, being present and a lot more bubble baths.

~ ~ ~

**For the month of November, I’m posting something each day that I’m grateful for. It may be as long as an intricate post, as short as a quote, as simple as a link or as wordless as a photograph. A friend has come on board. Join us? #gratefulseason