:: Context - I broke my Greater Trochanter / Upper Femur in a skiing accident 12 days ago ::
Lying in bed last night I got caught in the swirl of thought and fear: I can't handle it anymore. How can I do this for months? Will I ever fully recover? Can I handle the rehab? How much longer do I have to sleep in this position? Will I ever get a good nights' sleep again? I felt trapped and hopeless.
Somehow, even while lying mostly still, I found myself writhing.
In the dark of the night, things feel more intense for me. It's the only time I really experience what I may call anxiety. Not just now that I'm forced to lie only on my back and dealing with discomfort and pain. But it's surely worse.
I've struggled with claustrophobia and fear of being trapped for as long as I can remember.
It took every ounce of my discipline to keep coming back to my breath. I kept forgetting, getting caught up in the downward spiral.
At times, I couldn't even complete one cycle of "Gentle in breath. Elongated out breath." I knew that the work for me was to keep coming back to the present moment. I actually felt the invitation, almost hovering above me. Asking me to love my body as it is. To accept and love all of it - even the agitation and anxiety. To be in this moment - even in the midst of increasing levels of discomfort - physically, emotionally, mentally. To breathe.
Can I stay with this moment?
Can I be present to everything happening inside of me? Around me?
I'm not gonna lie - it was an inner battle. This is a whole new level of practice for me and I'm not sure which part of me "won".
I wanted to escape. I just wanted it all to go away. I just wanted to fall asleep and wake up feeling better. I begged for help from God, the Archangels, my guides - anyone!
But I also know that I experienced a few micro-moments of touching into the present moment and my felt experience in those moments. And I know that's a huge accomplishment.
My natural impulse is to resist, run away, avoid discomfort, find a way out. I seek to skip to a future time in my head when it's better. Power through the bad to get to the good.
For the past decade, I've been inviting myself to lean in, feel more, experience all of life even when it doesn't feel good, surrender to what life is offering to me rather than what I think I want. And I've been teaching other women how to do this.
Here I am, being asked to reeeaaallly walk my talk.
Last night felt like advanced training and it was not fun at all. But mindfulness is a muscle that needs to be exercised. A practice. And the rewards come from the micro-moments of present moment awareness.
It would be easy to just complain and vent about last night, and I've done a little bit of that this morning, but I know that all of this - all of life- at some level - is happening FOR me. For my own journey to connect to myself and be with my experience. To be present in my life. To not need life to be a certain way to enjoy it. To accept life as it is FIRST. Anything else is arguing with reality.
AND the truth is, I'm still "in it" - feeling some resistance and fear. So today I get to love the part of me that's resisting. To love the part of me that wishes my leg wasn't broken. To love the part of me that feels a little scared for the future.
I'll move through it. I'm actually REALLY okay. I love life - I love it all. And I'm open to learning what life is teaching me today.
My, oh my, this journey can be a humbling experience.
What's your experience with being mindful and staying the present moment?
This is Part 3 of a 3 Part Series. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
I spent more than 40 years mostly in my head. I am a “head type” on the Enneagram and being my head’s a very comfortable place for me to be.
But I’ve learned that my best inspirations, ideas, clarity, answers, and solutions come from getting out of my head and into my body, into my heart and into THIS present moment. For some of you, this will not make a lot of sense…so you’ll need to try it to believe it.
For you, I ask you to trust me and give this a try.
And, yeah, some of us can talk ourselves out of our worry thoughts – reminding ourselves that these are just thoughts – that we don’t have to believe our thoughts – that they are just possibilities and that we are the thinker NOT the thoughts. But that takes a great deal of awareness and mental strength. Sometimes it’s just better to do something else!
10 QUICK WAYS TO GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD
BONUS: If you find yourself awake at night worrying or in a place where you can’t do something from the list above, use these to CHANGE your thinking:
Do you have anything to add to this list? Put it into the comments below!
Part 2 of 3. Read Part 1 here and Part 3 here.
This blog post is summarized from Wayne Dyer’s amazing very first book called Your Erroneous Zones.
Okay, let’s get real here…I’m not suggesting that we’re never going to worry again…we’re adults living in a complex world with problems and children and jobs! So we’ve got a lot to worry about.
Full disclosure: I was just up last night at 2:42 worrying. And the truth is that a little bit of worry sometimes PUTS me INTO action.
But what I don’t want for any of us is that we look back at our lives with regret that we spent most of our precious present moments beating ourselves up about the past or worrying about the future. Here's the thing - if it was useful, I'd be encouraging it. But guilt and worry are rarely useful habits.
So, let’s explore what we can do to manage these 2 habits:
Note: How much you worry does not equal how much you love.
Check out the final blog post in this series for a list of quick and effective ways to break the worry/guilt habit by getting out of your head and into the present moment!
What one thing are you going to try to do THIS week from these lists? Pick the one thing that you are most likely to do…put it into the comments below!
This is part 1 of a 3 part blog post. Read Part 2 here.
Are you a worrier? Am I alone when I say that sometimes the worrying and thinking gets a bit out of control? My head can be a crazy place sometimes!
One of the things that I worry most about is that my kids are on electronics too much. And then sometimes I realize I'm distracted and not really present with my kids and then allowing them to spend too much time on electronics so I can have “time” to worry and think about “important things”.
It started to get more clear that being stuck in my head was the source of some of my guilt. Being stuck in my head keeps me from doing what it would take to be present with my kids, to connect with my husband, to take care of myself.
And then I feel guilty and shift into beating myself up about being distracted and not fully present with my husband or my kids.
Can you say V I C I O U S C Y C L E ?
When our minds are F U L L, we're anything but present. Well, we may be present to our thoughts, but most likely, we're not present to everything that's happening all around us.
A little guilt (learning from the past can help us make better decisions in the future) and a little worry (can help us prepare for the future and prevent a gut sense of something being wrong from getting out of control) is to be expected and would be considered normal. Right?
BUT YOU AND I KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT…
The over-thinking that makes us not hear our kids when they keep repeating “mom” over and over.
The guilt that turns into beating ourselves up and leaving us feeling bad about ourselves.
The way we repetitively choose to do "one more thing" and neglect self-care, play and rest and then feel burnt out, impatient and reactive.
The panicky worry that has us awake at o-dark-thirty.
“If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will ever change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.” - Wayne Dyer
Here’s the thing. Besides stealing our precious present moments, these 2 habits - indulging in worry and guilt - are often ways to avoid taking real action in your life NOW.
WHICH IS ANOTHER REASON TO STOP DOING THEM!
This is how it goes…
We feel guilty, then we beat ourselves up which makes us feel crappy about ourselves. This leads to feeling shame and that spirals us into inadequacy – which tells us we have no ability to do any better or to deal with the situation. So we don’t take action around the thing that we originally felt guilty about. This becomes a vicious cycle and we get stuck in inaction. Frustrating right?
And that worry that keeps us up at night? We’re fearful for the future (especially for our kids). We’re hanging onto the hope that we'll somehow improve the future outcome by worrying. But most of the time, it’s completely out of our control. Often, worrying will cause so much emotional distress that we end up feeling immobilized so we avoid taking action we know could be beneficial for the future.
WHEN OUR MINDS ARE FULL, IRONICALLY, WE LOSE THE ABILITY TO TAKE THE ACTION THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
What can you do?
Did you have any a-ha's from this? Share below!