Black Friday

life-me-orlando-espinosaI had a panic attack on Friday. It came out of nowhere. I was just watching TV enjoying myself when BOOM! What the hell stress? Where’s your decency? My last panic attack was in December. I felt like things were going so well and then I get hit with a pretty bad panic attack. I laid in bed for at least 5 hours feeling like I was going to die. I tried to dial it back by taking rose root and some of the oatmeal drops that are supposed to help with nerves and then I did some yoga but it didn’t keep the panic attack from rolling over me. Maybe it made it less severe but still….

If I’m completely honest, I’m really disappointed and a bit sad about it. I bit the bullet today and called for a doctors appointment. I’m sure there’s some medication that I can take for when a panic attack hits. There must be something I can take if I have an attack so I don’t have to feel like I’m going to die. I can’t take care of myself in that state let alone my children. I look at my stress situation like a glass of water. Each day stress fills up my glass to a certain degree and each session of meditation or yoga, etc eearth-water2mpties the glass to a certain degree. Everything is fine as long as whatever I’m doing empties the glass faster than it fills but this last month, with my daughters long illness, the pressure to get the building done and the awful chaos which is work at the moment seem to fill my glass faster than I can empty it. I keep wondering when my life is going to calm down into some kind of quiet normalcy. I need normalcy to back off my stress levels. I know there’s this analogy going around that “put down that glass” but what if you can’t? What if you HAVE to deal with your child’s illness? What if you HAVE to deal with your kid having problems in school. You have to deal with the day to day things. Children need to eat and need clean clothes. There are some things you can put down and some things you can’t. I’ve really cut down on the things I do. I’ve cut out all extra curricular actives with the school etc. I don’t volunteer for anything anymore. The only extra thing I do is bass lessons and that’s purely for me and something I really enjoy and empties my glass so to speak. I don’t wash the sheets every week or do laundry every time the laundry basket is exploding. I don’t cook every day either. So you see, I’ve let go of a lot.

My life, I guess everyones life, goes in a cycle. It’s up and down all the time. When I first started experiencing stress symptoms, things were about as bad as they could get. My husband had lost his job. I had just had our 2nd child so the 1st child wouldn’t let me sleep during the day and the 2nd wouldn’t let me sleep at night. The income we had was tiny. Then I lost my job while on maternity leave. We were both unemployed and about to lose the house. We were also building our house at the time so talk about stress. High stress was my constant companion for a while. My husband was unemployed for 2 years and I went from job to job. My job security was terrible then. I never knew how long I’d have the job and if we’d be able to pay the bills. The good news is that both my husband and I got jobs and we didn’t lose the house but those years of stress had done their damage. I still had a temporary job and didn’t know where my next job would come from and then I did a dumb thing and studied for my Master’s Degree.

That did nothing good for my stress levels. At the end of my studies, my job also ended. Talk about stressful. I managed to get a new job through the graces of some really wonderful people that recommended me. The new job was not without it’s stressors. The first year was pretty awful as my boss didn’t really trust me and made my work life rather uncomfortable. Add on top of that building the house and taking care of little kids and well, not much reprieve from the stress monster. I finally have a steady job and it really was a job I liked until things were restructured and people were moved into positions they didn’t want. Now theres constant negativity at my workplace. Needless to say, it’s stressful at home and stressful at work. Where’s my reprieve? There are brief moments where things are great and normal, but I seem to have a lot a shit hitting my life fan if you know what I mean?

We’ll see what the doctor says tomorrow. I’m so tired of feeling like a hostage to stress. I deal with things pretty well but everyone has their limits and I’m at the point where I feel I need a little help. I would at least like something that I can lean on if I have an attack. At least then, I’d have a little security.

Classes for the week

  • Sunday: Pause. Breathe. Meditate
  • Monday: Yoga Nidra
  • Tuesday: Yoga Nidra
  • Wednesday: Yoga Nidra
  • Thursday: Yoga Nidra
  • Friday: Yoga for Stress & Anxiety
  • Saturday: Relax, Release & Reset and Drop Into Stillness

I really feel that Nidra isn’t enough anymore. I need classes that make my body release the stresses of the day as well as my mind. Nidra was great for relaxing the mind but I don’t think it does enough to release the tension that builds up on my body. So now it’s time to explore some new sessions.

I also signed up for Reiki Healing lessons. Have I lost my mind? Maybe. I want to check out every avenue. Who knows, maybe I can learn to heal my imbalances and then maybe help other people? I want to help other people like me. Normal people that have had just way too much adventure (not the good kind) thrown at them. I know life is going to get easier, I just need to wade my way through this part until I get there. You know what they say….”When you’re going through hell, just keep going.”

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Empathy and Anxiety

I’ve been reading, as I often do, from the wide web of wonderful. Lately, I’ve been reading about empathy, empaths and anxiety. It’s been interesting to say the least. According to lots of people out there, there are those that feel other peoples emotions. This can be happiness, anger, sadness, desire etc. Empaths often have trouble telling their own feelings from others. You can google empath and anxiety and find any number of articles. Whether you buy into that kind of thing or not, it sure is interesting. Some of the signs of being an empath that really fit me are:

1. You feel other’s feelings

You’ve noticed how sensitive you are to the emotions of others. Even before they tell you how they are feeling, you already know. You can enter a room and have a sense of the general mood of the environment.

2. Negativity overwhelms you

Where others can tolerate raised voices, conflict, or anger, it sends you over the edge. You almost feel physically sick or in pain as a result of the negative energy around you. You crave peace and calm.

3. Being in crowded places overwhelms you

You don’t like being in malls, sporting events, airports or other public places with crowds of people. You feel suffocated and overly-excited. You can’t wait to leave.

4. Strong intuition

You seem to know things without being told. You sense what needs to be done or what’s about to happen. Your gut feelings nearly always prove to be correct.

5. You need time every day with no sensory input.

You want to withdraw to your room or another quiet place to recharge.

6. You avoid negative media images

You find it extremely disturbing to watch or read about tragic news events or see unpleasant images. It bothers you so much, you avoid looking at these images at all costs.

7. You frequently have lower back and digestive problems

These are the result of dealing with negative and stressful situations and people. Your feelings show up as these physical symptoms.

8. You are the dumping ground for the problems of others

People around you seem to gravitate toward you and unload all of their pain and problems on you. Because you are an empath, you feel compelled to help, even to your own detriment.

9. You often feel fatigued

Because others take so much from you, you often feel drained of energy and extremely tired. You might even have chronic fatigue syndrome.

10. You have a very vibrant inner life

You are highly creative, imaginative, and loving. You may be involved in the arts or other creative pursuits. You feel close to animals and especially enjoy your relationship with your pets.

11. You are sensitive to sounds and sensory feelings

Loud noises or sudden dramatic movements startle you. You also feel overwhelmed by bright lights, rough fabrics, and strong smells. You also notice very delicate smells, touch, and sounds.

12. You don’t like too many things at once

When you have to multi-task or have too much coming at you at once, you feel rattled and overwhelmed.

13. You manage your environment

You create your living and working environment to accommodate your sensitivities. You arrange your schedule and commitments to avoid unpleasant, chaotic, or overly stimulating situations.

14. You don’t like narcissists

You are particularly bothered by narcissists who put themselves first all the time and aren’t sensitive to the feelings of others.  You may even believe there’s something wrong with you or that you have some kind of emotional disorder.

15. You can almost feel the days of the week

Each day of the week has a specific “feel” to it. You notice when a Wednesday feels like a Saturday. You feel particularly heavy at the start of the work week. Even months and seasons have a particular feel.

16. You are a great listener

People tell you this all the time. You listen consciously and know the right questions and comments to draw people out and make them feel heard.

17. You get bored easily

As an empath, you need to focus on work and activities that stimulate your creativity and passion. If you get bored, you resort to daydreaming, doodling, etc. However, you are still very conscientious and try hard to avoid making mistakes.

Those are the things that stood out for me. Not everything did but out of 22, 17 seemed to fit. When you look at the traits of being an empath and the traits of anxiety, there are a lot of similarities. Blocking emotions, avoidance of disharmony caused by emotionally turbulent situations, can be moody or have large mood swings due to overwhelming thoughts, feelings and emotion, tend to be slower at recovering from intense stimuli…..and so on. The list is filled with traits that are anxiety related due to the overwhelming nature of hypersensitive people (Empaths, HSPs). Interesting..no?

I dunno how much I believe but I think it’s always worth looking into every avenue especially if there’s a way to shield ones self.

This weeks activities are:

  • Sunday: shocker…Yoga Nidra
  • Monday:  Surprise…Yoga Nidra
  • Tuesday: Ooh..NEW! Yoga for Stress & Anxiety (love this btw)
  • Wednesday: Yoga Nidra
  • Thursday: Yoga Nidra
  • Friday: Yup…you guessed it, Yoga Nidra,
  • Saturday: Pause. Breathe. Meditate

Thank goodness I have a whole week off from work. I can really use it. It’s been a really lovely Easter. My car is finally fixed after being in the garage for 4 months (thank you hubby!). I learned to play a hard bass line…yes bass lessons are paying off. The tiling is almost done and I have a week off of work! I’m counting my blessings. You can find the source from: http://liveboldandbloom.com/08/self-improvement/empath-traits-of-highly-sensitive-person and https://empathicperspectives.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/empaths-hypersensitivity-anxiety-coping/

Oh that Wednesday

What a fine week. Full of action and stuff. Mostly stuff…and more action. I’ve been running around so much that on Tuesday night, I fell asleep without doing yoga that night. What ensued was a Wednesday where I was fending off a panic attack all day long. Never underestimate the need for the yoga session. I hadn’t had anything like that since December. I skipped yoga once due to sheer exhaustion and I almost had a panic attack because of it.

b4f5d8db3b183871a82a21ef310c4a49For me, the oncoming panic attack starts out with me getting very tired. I just want to close my eyes. My chest gets heavy like a cat is sitting on it. Then my heart starts to skip beats. My appetite disappears completely. Eating any food at this point will absolutely make me feel nauseous and bring on the panic attack immediately. Then comes the icky icky feeling where I can’t accept any more input. One thing that makes it infinitely worse is when I’m in a room I cannot get out of. This could be a meeting where I’m not allow to leave or a locked room, hospital or airplane. On the positive side, I was able to calm myself and keep it in check. I was very proud of myself.

What’s funny is that I had hoped to take part in an anti-stress study but I don’t think I have the resources to take on something new at this point. I’m just waiting for school to end, electricity payments to get smaller and life to just get easier in general. Thank goodness for a small holiday! I’m so happy that I have the week after Easter off from work. I’m practically dancing on clouds. If all goes well, both kids will be in school and I’ll have the whole house to myself for nearly a week! It’s a much needed holiday.

It almost feels like life is sitting there stroking its beard saying, “Hmm..it’s too quiet. Let’s throw some more shit in. This is pretty good, but let’s see if we can make her go bat shit crazy! More NUTS!”. Yup, that’s exactly whats going on. On the plus side, my daughter is finally starting to feel better after being home from school for over a month.

In order to make up for the missed yoga session (I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen again) I tried Yoga for Stress and Anxiety. It was really lovely! I totally recommend it. I’d not tried it before. It was 45 minutes of pure bliss. I’ll definitely do it again. So here’s how the week panned out:

  • Sunday: Yoga Nidra with Craig Norris
  • Monday: Yoga Nidra with Craig
  • Tuesday: crap I missed it by falling asleep
  • Wednesday: Yoga for Stress & Anxiety with Craig Norris
  • Thursday: Yoga Nidra with Craig
  • Friday: Yoga Nidra
  • Saturday: Yoga Nidra

This whole weekend, I’ve spend a total of 16 hours doing construction, so I don’t really feel bad about not doing more physical Yoga though I sure could use some stretching. I ache in places I didn’t know I had. Pray that I make through to my holiday.

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

It’s another beautiful Sunday and my glutes are sore. In fact most of my muscles are sore. I think it’s safe to say that they are going to pain me even more tomorrow (pain in the ass…yes I went there). Muscle pain not withstanding, building can be really nice. My mind is focused on doing the job right so I can stand looking at the work I’ve done for the next 20 years. None of the normal day to day humdrum enters my head when I’m tiling. While I was toiling away, nothing was getting done otherwise. The kids were still up and not bathed, no dinner had been served. No laundry had been washed. I got pretty pissed off actually.

I finished up the building job and then continued on the chores putting the dishes away, etc. I grumbled to myself while the kids finally went to get washed up, (thank you baby daddy) and I was putting away dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. “How can he have done nothing while I was up there toiling away?!”. It was at that moment I stopped myself. This is the “I do more than you” speech I talked about in an earlier blog post. Then I started thinking about a YouTube horoscope reading I’d recently listened to (yes I listen to horoscope videos…don’t judge). She said that Libra’s tend to label things as Good or Bad and that we ought to work on that. After some thought, yeah…she’s right. There always seems to be a good guy or bad guy in every story. My husband, in his infinite wisdom (not even a joke) says that there are 3 sides to every story. The first person’s story, the 2nd persons story and then theres the truth. Nothing comes at face value really. Everyone is fighting their own battles. Of course there are some really evil f*ckers out there, don’t get me wrong but for the most part, people are just trying to get through life the best they can. They’re dealing with there own unique set of problems and so is everyone else.

So when you get mad at someone, take a breath and try to see the situation from a different point of view. It doesn’t pay to get bent out of shape over what someone else does. Let them do them..you and you do you girl.

If you haven’t listened to Amber Khan do check her out on her channel #TheQuietestRevolution. I really enjoy her videos.

Again another week of Yoga Nidra. Though that might sound very boring, look at it this way. 2017 has thrown all sorts of shit burgers at me that would have other wise broke me down. As of this point…I’ve not had any kind of anxiety attack since December. Thats amazeballs! Until the physical exertion stops when it comes to building, I’ll just have to be satisfied with Yoga Nidra =). Be well all..and keep your head out of the drama. I’m going to do my best but that’s as much as I can promise.

The Meds Don’t Work

I’ve got several friends that are taking medication for anxiety. I’ve always been just a little bit envious that my friends got medication but I didn’t get any. The doctor told me no and so did the psychiatrist. Their reasoning is that my attitude is too positive. I always thought that medication was the fix all for anxiety. Pop a pill and the attack slinks off into a corner and weeps a little, having had its hiney whipped by captain Xanax.

864362d0b90c14b9901b13a0d8ae05c4One of my friends (blessed with medication) told me that they had a major attack even though they had medication. This shook my belief system to the core. All this time I’ve been thinking that medication is the be all end all help to make the anxiety boogie man go away. Imagine my shock when I found out that you can still have attacks while on the meds. All of the sudden I’m not so ready to take a pill to tame anxiety. What’s a girl to do? Is there no escaping the big A? It’s a bit like feeling secure in knowing the emergency exit is near by only to find that it’s been bricked up.

I guess there’s only one thing to do. Keep going on my current path and not rely on medication as an alternative path. Nothing is for sure. You ever notice that medication and meditation are nearly identical words? Change out the ‘c’ for a ‘t’ and there you go. These weeks have been very busy, and frankly, I’m amazed that I’ve been pretty ok. I’ve had some days where breathing has been hard (can’t catch my breath) and my heart was beating in my ears but it was manageable. Lately, whenever i’ve been feeling like life was spinning out of control, I just think to myself, “None of this is real or truly important”. If you read the previous post about the holographic universe, you’ll know why.  In fact, I’ll share the video with you. It’s a five part series but it’s so worth it. You’re welcome.

This week (and the past several weeks) I’ve been doing a lot of building. I’m beginning to think my fingernails will never recover. The goal is to get the building done by the end of April so we’re in full insanity mode. Me and my husband are crazy non-stop building. My job has been tiling lately. Tiling adhesive stuff eats your fingers and your nails. I think when we’re all done, I’ll go have a manicure and pedicure to celebrate. Add a bottle of Champagne to that list. You can bet your ass I’ll be celebrating when I paint that last wall.

This week has been another week of Yoga Nidra. Building is all the exercise I need at the moment. My ass muscles hurt and I can feel every single joint in my body when I wake up in the morning. I think it’s safe to say I’m getting plenty of exercise. I would love to do some yin yoga though. That’s so lovely. I just need to find more time in my day. Generally I come home from work, cook food, go build, come down and put kids to bed maybe, build more and come down when I’m too exhausted to continue and then fall into bed. One benefit of doing Yoga Nidra is that you can do it in the bed under warm blankets. It really makes it easy to fall asleep. Sometimes I even fall alseep during the session. It keeps my head from thinking about all the crap I need to get done and all the crap I didn’t get done.

I just need to keep breathing. I know I’ll get through this phase of my life. In Finland, they have a really nice phrase for the years with young children. They’re called “ruhkavuodet”. That basically translates as busy years. How are people dealing with all the stuff going on? I’m just hanging on for dear life. I guess that’s why we have captain Xanax.

Zero F*cks Given

I’ve been doing a lot of investigation this week. I have no idea how I’ve managed. I didn’t get to bed last night until after 2am due to construction work (that’s a whole other can of worms right there and subject enough for a 2nd blog) and decided that this weeks Sunday blog post could wait until Monday. Actually, by my clock its 7 minutes after midnight so I’ve fudged by two days BUT what an interesting week!

It’s been an introspective week for me. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly religious in the traditional sense but I do believe that there are greater powers at work. Let’s just leave it at that shall we? I like to investigate things and ask questions. It gives me things to think about and ponder in this otherwise mundane life of mine. Some people have television (I would have TV but I’m last in line for watching TV…again…another story), I have YouTube and questions about the universe, such that it is. I mean seriously…acupuncture, eastern medicine, universal energy, yoga, meditation, ghosts, manifestation, black holes! It’s all so amazingly fascinating!

subtle-art-of-not-giving-a-fuck-540x709Now I’m sure most people have heard of “The Secret”. It’s this idea that if you think positive thoughts, you raise your vibration and manifest the stuff, crap, love, etc that you want in life. I would love this idea to work but I have to say that my generally positive outlook on life has not brought me mass wealth or a half naked cabana boy anywhere into my general vicinity. I see people spend money on seminars on this subject making other folks rich but the same people go back time and time again asking the same questions so that kinda makes me think that this shit is whack. You can imagine my surprise when I came across the book called, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”. I was intrigued. Here was a book that didn’t appear to give a rats ass about positive thinking or all that feel good stuff that most people are peddling these days. Unfortunately, the book was really pretty empty (lots written without saying a whole lot) but there were a few things I took away from the book.

  1. The harder you try, the worse you do, so stop trying.
  2. You only have so many f*cks to give so choose your f*cks carefully.
  3. Live a happy life by giving f*cks about things that matter to you.

Yup…that about sums up what I got out of the entire book. Point number 1: For example…you ever try bowling and you really want to try hard to get a strike but the harder you try, the worse your throws get? When you stop trying and just kind of go with the flow, things work out better so stop trying to hard. Surrender to the flow!

4db77_orig-look_at_all_the_fucks_i_givePoint number 2: This can be illustrated with a story. I had this happen to me this week at the hardware store. I was standing in line waiting for service at one of the info desks to ask about a faucet and had been patiently waiting there for 15 minutes when some douche bag lady comes up and gets served before me. The info desk guy doesn’t even notice that I was there first and serves her. I give her the longest, dirtiest look…staring her down as she walked past me (she knew what she did…). I wait a while longer and finally one of the info desk guys comes back to the desk, starts clacking on his computer and totally ignores me. After standing there a while longer, blood pressure rising, I clear my throat in a really obvious way. The guy FINALLY gives me eye contact (heaven forbid). I tell him I want some info about a particular faucet. He then proceeds to tell me that he doesn’t know about faucets and that I should walk  to the other info desk an isle away to get help with that particular subject. I wanted to throat punch both the lady and the guy behind the counter but I take a deep breath and walk over to the other counter. Imagine my shock when I see that there’s NO ONE THERE at the other service desk. There’s no sign, no bell, no service phone so I’m pacing back and forth between the “no help” desk I was at before and the currently empty desk that supposedly has sacred info about the faucet in question. After another wait… staff finally shows up and I get the help I needed. By my watch it took me about 40 minutes to get my question answered. You know what my question was? “Is this faucet for a bathtub?”…..reply…”Nope”. When I mentioned my dissatisfaction with the wait time to get my simple question answered, she replied, “We were eating lunch”.  Total. Service. Failure. K-Rauta Palokka customer service failed me that day.

This brings me back to Point number 2. Did I really need to give two f*cks about the poor service that day? Probably not. I should be choosier about what I get riled about. I should be choosier about the f*cks I give because, according to the book….

“…we only have so many f*cks to give….”

Point three: you can live a full and satisfying life by giving a f*ck about the things you love. If you want to chase yeti’s and backpack through the himalayas with nothing but your clothes on your back, that’s whats going to make you happy. In short, when it comes to life you just gotta do you baby!

This brought me to my next great mind f*ck* From there, I got into a five part series on YouTube called, “The Holographic Universe”. If you really want to screw up your views on reality and life, check it out. It will blow your friggin’ mind. There’s a lot to it but to tie things together with the aforementioned book, we don’t control anything. In this thing we call life, we’re not driving the bus. So we might as well check out the scenery and lick the windows. Also, apparently, nothing is real. We’re all holograms in some amazing construct. As far fetched and nutty as that sounds, something in that idea makes it easier to let go of things. Makes it easier to deal with things and difficult people. I found myself, several times today actually, thinking, “damn that person is irritating…but they’re not real so it doesn’t matter…we’re all friggin’ holograms anyway.” Let’s just say it’s adjusted my point of view.

This week’s yogaia sessions were all yoga Nidra again. I feel like I need to justify my session choices. I’ve been helping to build our house so my day looks something like this:

  • wake up and drag my tired ass outta bed
  • Drive hubby to work and kids to school
  • Get to work and work like a crazy person
  • Get out of work to pick up child from school
  • Pick up hubby from work
  • Get home and either I make dinner or go to the store to buy food so I can make dinner
  • I change clothes and go tile bathrooms
  • I might need to come down to tuck kids into bed
  • finish tiling for the evening
  • Do Yoga nidra
  • Pass out and start all over

This doesn’t include days where I run kids to karate, or take kids to the doctor or have Bass lessons, trips to the hardware store for crappy service or any of the household chores I might do. I have to say I pick my battles when it comes to house work though. My house looks destroyed just so you know…and I don’t care. If you come over to my house and complain about the mess…I will gladly hand you a broom. I’m not saying my hubby doesn’t help, he’s really wonderful and helps pick up the kids from karate and laundry and cleans up on occasion. He’s also the driving force to getting the kids moving in the morning. Me and mornings don’t work well together so it’s a beautiful partnership we have. What I am saying is that my days have been super full and, at times, very physical so the last thing I’ve wanted to, during the past few weeks, after having a long day is doing  some intensive vinyasa. Some weekends I’ve spent 12+ hours tiling so my body is often pretty sore.

So now that you’ve got some background on that, I hope that helps to explain my session choices. Do I hope to do some other sessions? Yes, absolutely, but for now, I’m being brutally honest when I say it’s the only thing my mind and body can handle right now. I’m not driving the bus in this life, I’m not in charge and I’m along for the ride in this movie that is my life so I might as well sit back and enjoy the ride. I’ll be the one in the back licking the window.

P.S. I was supposed to think of positive things last week and be amazed by results. This was halted by two things: 1. I found out that I should stop trying because the book said so and 2…I was busy just trying to hold onto my own ass. Damn, it’s 1:30 AM. Yass….life is fun.

The Art of Distraction

I admit I’m a worrier and I’m rather compulsive about it, especially when it comes to my health. You ever get a pain in your body and you think about constantly? You wonder what it is…you look up information and make some horrendous self-diagnosis and think about how many months you have to live because, obviously, you have a tumour. You think about it and think about it and sure enough the pain gets worse. Then it turns out you’re just constipated or something.

monkey20brain

Bad case of monkey brain.

The point is, our brains and the thoughts we dwell on have power. The more you think about something bad the worse it gets. Can you imagine what would happen if we dwelled on awesome stuff? I gotta try that. Seriously….I want to compulsively think about all the awesomeness the world is going to bring me this week. I’ll do that and let you know how it works out in next weeks blog.

As per usual…I’ve been obsessing. This time it’s been about my teeth. I recently had a new filling put in and it’s still pretty sensitive. Of course it’s only been a week and it can take 2-4 weeks for a filling to calm down. Of course my freakishly over brooding brain starts rolling ALL sorts of crazy things. “Maybe the dentist missed something…maybe it’s not filled right..” The list goes on and on. Of course the more I think about it and brood on it…the worse the tooth feels. In my rational thinking, I know it’s just sensitive and the fact that I’m dwelling on it and clenching my jaw (I do that all the time by the way) doesn’t help. So here’s what I noticed….Distraction is awesome!

If you give your brain something else to do, you totally forget about the thing that bothered you in the first place. Give your brain something else to work on. My monkey brain needs things to keep it occupied. I started to notice this after I started bass lessons. During my bass lessons, I totally forget about everything in the outer world. I am so focused on learning new things and making the right notes that my brain has no time to obsess about anything else. Knitting also does that for me. I figure meditation also fits into the category. Could knitting, bass lessons and meditation all be considered the same thing?

The point is, I believe that, in addition to the yogaia.com sessions I’ve been doing each day, keeping my brain occupied with tasks I enjoy has helped. I do bass lessons and knitting because I enjoy them, not because I have to. I always used to shy away from doing extra things but at the time, it was responsibilities I felt I had to do. These included volunteering at my kids school, parent teacher meetings, major chores and grocery shopping (the devils task). After I saw the doctor and psychologist about my stress symptoms, they both encouraged me to cut away as much I could from my schedule, even suggesting I take a 4 day work week if it was at all possible. I dropped all the extra things I could, but still obsessed about chores and who did what. I was very good at the blame game and martyrdom. “If I don’t do it, no one will.” or “S/he will never get it right!”. I also used to (and still do sometimes) keep score.

Keeping score is when you go over your entire day, week, month…lifetime, etc. and start calculating how much you’ve done compared to someone else. There’s no way to win that contest. When you keep score, you’re only egging yourself on to do more of what you didn’t have to do in the first place. The combination of “S/he will never get it right” with keeping score will suck your will to live. Here’s an example…

“Oh goodness. Look at all the laundry! Why isn’t the laundry done? Why doesn’t anyone else do it? They’d just mess it up anyway, I better do it. I wash the laundry, do the dishes, clean the house, run the kids around…yada yada yada. See how much I do!? I’m so stressed out? Why doesn’t anyone else help me? GAH! BAH! People suck!”

It’s a terrible cycle. As soon as I figured out that the world didn’t end if I didn’t do the laundry, etc. my life got easier. There are very few things in life that we HAVE to do. It’s fun to think about. Try it sometime. It’s fun to realise that most things in life are choices and are totally in your power. You don’t have to run the kids to school, or go to work or do the laundry. Of course doing a thing or not doing it has consequences but it’s all choice. It’s kind of trippy when you really think about all the things you think you HAVE to do and realise that you really don’t have to do them. Freaky.

This weeks yogaia.com sessions have all been Yoga Nidra. Every stinking one of them. I’ve even got my daughter doing it now! She’s had problems falling asleep. I put the yoga nidra on for her and she was out in minutes. The power of Yoga Nidra, I’m telling ya’ll, it’s the shiz.

I like distractions, they keep my brain happy. In fact, I’ve been beautifully distracted by this blog and haven’t thought about my tooth. You know what? The pain went away because I was distracted. Get distracted people! Enjoy life and go find a sunset! A glass of wine doesn’t hurt either.