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.