Getting into my Headspace

I posted a version of this on Facebook today and then decided it would make a good blog post, so boom!

Headspace session quote: Meditation isn’t just about sitting for a limited time. It’s a skill to be applied to the rest of our day.

This quote was after my second session this morning and it inspired a post because I’ve been noticing lately just how much I apply my meditation skills to my every day life.

The headspace app is set up in such a way that one can pick packs which focus on a specific thing. For example, one of the early packs I picked, (Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, couldn’t resist) was the pain management pack. The specific meditation skills I’ve learned with headspace have been absolutely invaluable to me as I live with a progressing physical illness. I forgot to mention in the Absentee Blogger post that I had an MS flair in early April. I’ve had some lasting nerve damage on my right side, but physical therapy is helping me go through most days hardly noticing it, until I get hit with a fatigue.

It’s been a tough fatigue week with the weather going all crazy like. I saw my physical therapist on Tuesday and was explaining to her how I had been doing better and better and then the pressure started bouncing around. I love how she just gets the things I’m going through. She has so much experience with MS patients that none of what I tell her is weird. Like when I told her that on Sunday, I woke up but I never woke up. She just understood it, or was very good at relating things she’s heard from other patients to what I was telling her. I explained that on Sunday I tried to do some of my PT stuff since often times, those gentle exercises will snap me out of fatigue. but after one set I knew I was done. She told me that when I have days where I wake up but don’t wake up, that’s my cue that I’m in a fatigue and need to rest. *sigh* Acceptance is the answer yup yup.

I am so grateful this didn’t happen last week when my aunt and uncle were visiting from Tucson! Thank you, God!

Um, ok Ro but how does meditation factor in to all this?

the meditation practice I’ve been doing since last year with the Headspace app has made my mind an instant retreat. When I’m doing the things I have to do in spite of how fatigued my body is, I can moan and groan and choose to suffer, or I can remember oh, let’s focus on the breath for a ten count and pause…aaaah….ok, I’m ok. this will pass. My experience with the pain management pack helps me go into focus on the breath, center in to the pain, give it a color, and watch it dissolve. Wow. I also take myself into a brief meditation when I’m out at a meeting or on Paratransit or sitting somewhere and begin to feel overstimulated. Meditation has helped me understand the concept of the happy place.

Oooh I just remembered Hannibal Lecter’s mind in the Silence of the Lambs sequel, the book not the movie and that divergence of thought as I’m editing this from the Facebook post is a perfect example of what I would do while sitting in a meditation, focused on the breath. In (one) out (two) in (three) out (four) Hannibal Lecter’s happy place, yeah that’s not a very calm place but everyone meditates in their own way, yeah I’m just glad I can watch my thoughts as if they’re boats on a river instead of going into his memory palace oh wait wow, I’m distracted, note that as thinking…go back to the breath, in (one) out (two)…

All this to say that meditation has helped me through this week, especially when my thoughts lean towards self pity at the things I’m needing to set aside for rest so that I can do what I hope to do tomorrow. As my sponsor says, we do what we have to do so that we can do what we want to do. In my case that means choosing the earlier meeting over the later one and not doing both like I’d prefer to do.

I’m up to thirty minutes of meditation a day now, whoa! Twenty minutes of my current pack–the anxiety pack which focuses on the noting technique, the technique I love–and then a ten minute everyday Headspace with a different theme each day. Today’s was using meditation in daily life and not just when in session, hence this post.

I’m not getting paid to rave about this app. Perhaps I should be….ha!

After I posted the original Facebook post, I reconsidered the not getting paid part. If I turn just one person on to the awesomeness that is meditation, then I’ve gotten paid in the cosmic sense.

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Getting into my Headspace

  1. I really need to hoover up Headspace. I’m terrible. I’ve read all these books, but I don’t take the tips from the books into the real life, even though my head knows that I should. The other day, I don’t know what was going on, but I was super hyper and I could not calm down. Poor Steve had to endure me just rambling and babbling about who knows what, and at one point I started muttering “I can’t do the leaves on a stream thing even though I’ve read how to do it because I don’t do it and now that I need it, I can’t do it aaaaa!” Yeah, duh. And this is news to you because why? So this is my long and winding way of saying good for you to take meditation out of the theoretical and into the practical.

  2. Ro

    Leaves on a stream, that’s a new one for me. I do boats on a river or clouds in the sky. I’d never read about meditation before I started headspace. Actually I guess I sorta did when I read this book called Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach. But she didn’t really go into detail about how to meditate I don’t think. Oh wait, and I also read a book called crap what was it called. It was a book on mindfulness which maybe planted some seeds in the realm of meditation. Actually the more I think about it, I think that book really built my foundation so let me go get the title and author. And thank you Goodreads because I never would have found this. Fully Present: the Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness by Susan Smalley. That’s the book that really set me on the meditation path.

    But Headspace made it practical. The foundation packs walk you through how to do it and the app keeps track of your progress, which works on the competitive part of myself since I get to compete with myself, ha! I’m nearing one hundred days in a row and it’ll be my first time making it to one hundred, The last time I had a really good streak going, I had gotten out of the habit of doing it first thing in the morning, remembering to do it before going to bed, and I was on a late phone call one day and totally forgot. Noooooo!

    So, the app makes it fun. I’m not sure exactly how the pricing works because I had been afraid of putting any money down before I knew if the app was even going to be accessible. So I emailed them and they gave me a free trial. At the time, not every part of the app was accessible, but I was able to start different packs and stuff and I ended up loving it so much that I bought a year after my trial ran out. They’ve since made more improvements to accessibility so I’ll keep paying for it. So I’m not sure what all you have access to before subscribing. They have a minis section which aren’t part of the packs, so I wonder if those are accessible without a subscription.

    Just this morning when I woke up, I was excited to get out of bed and do my meditation, ha! I’m up to thirty minutes a day and that time simply dissolves. I’m not sure how I managed before Headspace. Oh wait, I know, I was like a coiled wire ready to spring at every moment of the day. Now I’m like a leaf floating on a gentle stream. See what I did there? Hahahahaha!
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