staying calm and being mindful

I learned some valuable things from my therapist yesterday.  Last week I didn’t do something to take care of myself when I should have.   I was mad at someone else who was trying to stop me and I wanted to stay mad.  To stay mad I had to sacrifice my well being.  I have to own that choice.  I wasn’t thinking that way at the time because in the moment I really couldn’t think very well.  I tend to put a harness on my anger (which was really about feeling abandoned, unloved, and unsupported).  Then I close my eyes and will not let go of it until I am emotionally exhausted.  I don’t recommend it, I am learning how to NOT operate this way. 

Anyway, therapist says that emotions have memories.  Things that Brad does will trigger an over reaction in me.  So I am not only reacting to a situation at face value, but to all of the painful memories of the past.  I’ve heard this many times, I knew this, but what I didn’t know what how to go about helping myself out of this pattern. 

So we talked about what to do in the moment.  In those moments I am highly emotional and not very rational.  To regain some balance and center myself before I react I should first of all, stop reacting.  I should do something to distract myself if I need to, and then sit quietly and go through some type of meditation exercises.  This is supposed to shift my brain activity and help get my rational brain cells to work.  I’ve heard of mindfulness talked about in the context of being mindful about how you are behaving or affecting others.  We talked about sitting quietly and being mindful of all five senses, and being purely in the moment.   Paying attention to everything that is going on in my body.  That was another suggestion to help me clear my mind of all the junk running through my mind when I am starting to get upset about something. 

We also talked about being mindful of being in the moment when we are talking with someone.  Most of us when having a conversation have a running commentary going on in our head about what the other person is saying, while they are saying it.  I am supposed to practice listening without the filters and without thinking about how I am going to respond.  I am the type of person whose mind runs 1000 miles an hour and barely stops when I go to sleep.  All this is going to be very hard for me.   It’s been interesting to pick apart my ways of coping.  I feel silly saying but trying something new and unfamiliar is terrifying.   Not because I am worried that I can’t do it, but what will happen when I do.

I love being a girl

I found this poem on another blog.  I hope you enjoy it too.

I am an Emotional Creature
by Eve Ensler

I love being a girl.
I can feel what you’re feeling
as you’re feeling it inside
the feeling
before.
I am an emotional creature.
Things do not come to me
as intellectual theories or hard-shaped ideas.
They pulse through my organs and legs
and burn up my ears.
I know when your girlfriend’s really pissed off
even though she appears to give you what
you want.
I know when a storm is coming.
I can feel the invisible stirrings in the air.
I can tell you he won’t call back.
It’s a vibe I share.
I am an emotional creature.
I love that I do not take things lightly.
Everything is intense to me.
The way I walk in the street.
The way my mother wakes me up.
The way I hear bad news.
The way it’s unbearable when I lose.
I am an emotional creature.
I am connected to everything and everyone.
I was born like that.
Don’t you dare say all negative that it’s a
teenage thing
or it’s only only because I’m a girl.
These feelings make me better.
They make me ready.
They make me present.
They make me strong.
I am an emotional creature.
There is a particular way of knowing.
It’s like the older women somehow forgot.
I rejoice that it’s still in my body.
I know when the coconut’s about to fall.
I know that we’ve pushed the earth too far.
I know my father isn’t coming back.
That no one’s prepared for the fire.
I know that lipstick means
more than show.
I know that boys feel super-insecure
and so-called terrorists are made, not born.
I know that one kiss can take
away all my decision-making ability
and sometimes, you know, it should.
This is not extreme.
It’s a girl thing.
What we would all be
if the big door inside us flew open.
Don’t tell me not to cry.
To calm it down
Not to be so extreme.To be reasonable.
I am an emotional creature.
It’s how the earth got made.
How the wind continues to pollinate.
You don’t tell the Atlantic ocean
to behave.

I am an emotional creature.
Why would you want to shut me down
or turn me off?
I am your remaining memory.
I am connecting you to your source.
Nothing’s been diluted.
Nothing’s leaked out.
I can take you back.

I love that I can feel the inside
of the feelings in you,
even if it stops my life
even if it hurts too much
or takes me off track
even if it breaks my heart.
It makes me responsible.
I am an emotional
I am an emotional, devotional,
incandotional, creature.
And I love, hear me,
love love love
being a girl.

I’m not going to do it….really

I am writing this right now, just so I can make myself stick to my guns.  Because now that you all know my temptation to do what I decided I would not do (or you will in a moment), it would be embarrassing to fail to keep my promise to myself.

I started a new diet 3 weeks ago or so.  Not a weight loss diet but a more healthy diet, although I’ve been delighted to have lost some unwanted pounds.  I am only supposed to eat lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and eggs are ok too.  It is surprisingly very easy to stick to once you get past the horrendous carb cravings the first week. 

For Easter my daughter wanted to make these cute little bird nest things.  They are made with rice krispie treats.  Unfortunately rice krispie treats are not a meat, fruit, or vegetable.  They are however, one of my most favorite foods in the whole world (when homemade of course.)  My daughter just left with my niece and now I am left at home with warm, gooey, delicious rice krispie treats in my kitchen and no distractions.  I keep thinking,  I could just have one bite….what’s the harm in that.  But I know if I do, I talk myself into more, and then not only will I been super disappointed in myself, then I will have to deal the raging carb cravings all over again.

So officially, NO rice krispie treats for me!

Just to make sure, ask me about it later, ok?

Does this ever happen to you?

Brad and I had planned on some playtime in the bedroom last night.  The problem was that our kids went to bed late and our oldest was taking his time in going to sleep.  While we were waiting we were watching tv.  I was gearing myself up mentally, trying to get into the mood.   He was laying on the couch starting to fall asleep.  When we finally had no children awake I looked at him realized to was half way out.  I asked him if he still wanted to do anything, know full well he was going to say it was too late and he was too tired.  And that was his answer. 

I decided to go back to bed myself and I was a little disappointed, but on the plus side I could now go and finish watching The Mentalist.  I got all snuggled into my bed, it was the perfect temperature under my covers and I was so comfortable and was started to drift off myself.  Ten minutes Brad walks in, looking fully alert, and turns to lock the door.  I groaned because now I was going to be uprooted out of my perfectly comfortable bed.  He gave me some sort of evil little smile that said – “you know I can make you get out bed, don’t even fight it”.  I didn’t bother and of course we ended up having a good time.  It’s just that I’m starting to get whiplash….. this happens more than you would think.

hopeful

Something that Greengirl said reminded me of this quote that I read a long time ago –

I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable.
                                                       –   Joseph Addison   

If I’ve learned anything the past couple years it’s that you can’t just expect time to heal all wounds.  In the area of awareness, I’ve grown up a lot, though I am sure I will always have plenty of room to grow.  The hardest, most painful thing to do is to feel hurt and yet continue to be open and vulnerable.  I’ve only just begun to crack open the door on this skill.  I’m going to have to trust that all the work will pay off in the end.  I’m hopeful…