Tag Archives: mindfulness

Glorious Moments v My Monster Mind

I am tired. Are you tired? Is the person next to you tired? Go on, admit it. I think we are all a little tired, worn out, baggy around the edges and uninspired at times. I am certainly experiencing one of those times and I feel like sleeping for the next year. I don’t have anything ‘real’ to worry about, my world is full of good and I simply cannot complain of this fantastic adventure called Life. I am however finding myself staring into the middle distance and looking vacant. My emotions are giving me more highs and lows than a mountain range and I am reaching for the sugar and caffeine. My dreams are on a loop of the activities I crave and my body aches.

 

How on earth did I get to this? How did I transition from peaceful and free to crazy lady with wild hair and no sense of perspective?

 

I spent too much time thinking and worrying. End of.

 

My mind the monster has grabbed the reigns, kicked my peaceful and sane heart aside and decided to take charge. Like a toddler jam-packed with E numbers and let loose in a china shop, my mind has wreaked havoc in my internal world. If I relived the past month without worrying about it all along the way I wouldn’t be tired. The activity, the challenges, the changes have not worn me out. They’ve been great fun. It is my pesky mind refusing to stop churning over the unknowns that is the problem. My mind and I have not allowed a moment of stillness, a moment of mental rest before regrouping to pick up the broken china.

 

I am the creator of my own misery

 

I am out of balance and I have nobody to blame other than myself for this state of affairs. It is all thanks to me and that is terrifying. Or is it?

 

With a little awareness and reigning in I can turn this around….

 

Imagine how much easier life would be if we let go of the worries, let go of those mind patterns and just relaxed.

 

Let it go

 

Went with the highs and lows, smiled despite the frightening parts and laughed loudly and heartily at every single step of the journey. Let it go every single day with sunshine in our smiles, even when the mental clouds attempt to skitter across our minds.

 

Let it go. Be content. Breathe

 

It sounds blissful and it is entirely achievable with awareness and practice. But not when we are tired and need a rest. Rest comes first. Pick yourself up gently with love in your heart, dust yourself off and tuck yourself into a mental fluffy blanket. Take a moment to just be. Everything else can wait.

 

“I must be overtired’, Buttercup managed. ‘The excitement and all.’
‘Rest then’, her mother cautioned. ‘Terrible things can happen when you’re overtired. I was overtired the night your father proposed.”
William Goldman, The Princess Bride

 

Terrible things do happen when we are overtired, when our minds are out of control and affect the world around us with their negativity. I pity my family and friends that bear the brunt of my moments of insanity and I am forever thankful that they love me in spite of myself. I pity my poor body as I push her too far and I am thankful she never stops being there for me despite my lack of tolerance. I very narrowly missed being hit by a car when I was overtired and running this week. I was so mentally fogged up I forgot to look for traffic. Thankfully the driver swerved and I leapt towards the pavement as the air rushed past me.

 

It is time to rest

 

Rest doesn’t have to mean sitting down and doing nothing, though that is appealing and necessary at times. We can find rest in activity and activity in rest. Pursue those hobbies and moments that quieten the mind. As I write this I can feel my balance and happiness deep inside of me. She is always there waiting for my mind to simmer down. Through creativity and expression with words I come back to me. Cook a delicious meal, paint a picture, sing from the depths of my soul and do something kind and gentle for someone else. They are all restful.

 

What would you do if you took time to rest today?

Ask yourself what you really need

 

“Activity and rest are two vital aspects of life. To find a balance in them is a skill in itself. Wisdom is knowing when to have rest, when to have activity, and how much of each to have. Finding them in each other – activity in rest and rest in activity – is the ultimate freedom.”
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Celebrating Silence: Excerpts from Five Years of Weekly Knowledge 1995-2000

 

 Cherish the Glorious Moments

 

Are you still struggling to find a way to unwind so that you can mentally rest? Give thanks for the glorious moments. Take a deep breath, step back and make a list of the happy moments you have experienced recently. The moments that have lifted your heart, made you smile and feel thankful for life. Write them down and remember how wonderful they were no matter how strange or insignificant they may seem to others. With that in mind here are some of the moments that have brought me joy in recent weeks.

 

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Furry microphone. My ‘pet’ for two weeks when Discovery joined us to film Shark Week 2014. Soft, tactile and made me smile

 

Beautiful sunrises at sea. Each one unique, a new beginning
Phosphoresence in the wake of our boat on dark mornings. Stunning sea fireworks
The realisation that in 56 sleeps I get to say hello to this ray of sunshine
Receiving photographs of the Bears, well and truly loved by their new family. Forever missed by me but their happiness brings me peace
30,000 words of my first book written. My dream of being published is one step closer
Passing my first PADI Dive Master mock exam. Facing my fears, working hard and making it happen 
Running up a mountain twice and seeing the ocean from the summit. I didn’t know I could run that far!

 

And most importantly my incredible friends and family. They inspire me every day and there are not enough photographs in the world to capture that.

 

Go close your eyes and set yourself free

 

If you are still struggling to slow down and you feel guilty for even thinking about it then I suggest you read this quote. If ever there was an excuse for an afternoon nap, this is it. Rest, wake up tomorrow and just do the best with what you have.

 

“Even a soul submerged in sleep
is hard at work and helps
make something of the world.”
Heraclitus, Fragments

 

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Happy Branch

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I played a little game this morning. The sun is shining down upon my patio and, as my mug of green tea steamed up my glasses, I thought why not. Let’s get creative and explore for a moment. It led me to this. I wrote down six emotions I have felt this last week that I am not particularly fond of. I wrote them out hastily in my black biro – perhaps a reflection of how much I disliked these feelings? Not a pink pen moment. Emotions that have pushed me off my happy branch where I like to bask in the sunshine and preen my feathers. Emotions that sent me fluttering to the rain sodden ground like a tired crispy leaf in autumn when I was enjoying being the pink, scent-filled cherry blossom in spring.

My mind, in her infinite wisdom, enjoys sending me upon an emotional rollercoaster now and then and I figure there is always a lesson to be learnt. I try hard to work with her, I try hard not to fight her and accept that the downside of being creative is perhaps being prone to a little too much self-awareness and a little too much of the crazy. In the absence of a lesson I roll my eyes at her and laugh as I climb my way back onto the happy branch again.

 

 When all else fails. Laugh and do it loudly. Often

 

With that in mind I started my game with some heartfelt laughter and wrote down the six emotions that left me on the rain sodden ground earlier this week. I scribbled hastily on my scrap paper as I lay in the sunshine. I asked myself….

 

How do I bring out the good in these emotions?

Can I use my heart and mind to make them blossom into something more beautiful?

 

I wrote down the ways in which I try and bring out the good in me when those emotions come rolling into my mind, demanding to be listened to and cultivated. The ways in which I aim for the sky instead of turning into a crispy leaf. I asked myself…

 

What happens when I do these things?

What is the benefit?

 

Now this was absolutely a pink pen moment. A grin spread across my freckled cheeks, much like the Cheshire Cat, as I wrote down some surprising realisations of the good my efforts can bring to myself and those around me. This only took me ten minutes. Ten minutes of scribbling, exploration and a cup of green tea. It was worth every moment, just to get to know myself a little better this morning. Try it, you might be surprised at the result.

So here is my list and the discoveries I have made on my patio today. I think they have a touch of relevance to us all. They give me a ladder back onto my happy branch whenever I need it most. I hope they will do the same for you.

 

 Fear

The feeling that tightens your chest and leads you to believe that you simply cannot do it. Ever. You will fail; your paralysis and terror tell you that is the truth. Left to her own devices Fear can be a cruel vixen indeed and magnifies with every frightened breathe you take.  When Fear rises within me I try and recognise it and take a step back to focus on her arch enemy Courage. I think courageous, playful thoughts and imagine me conquering Fear with my Superhero pants on and shouting chaaaarge very loudly. I ask myself that age old question ‘What would you do if you had no fear? If you knew you couldn’t fail?’ As I start to imagine a world of possibility the fear subsides and is conveniently replaced with one of my favourite emotions. Excitement. You know who she is. The one that puts the sparkle back in your eye with her giddy tone and makes you giggle uncontrollably in anticipation.

 

 Jealousy

This has to be right up there as one of the worst emotions to experience. The bitter taste of green, much like overcooked cabbage. I have moments of jealousy where I desire what others have, just like we all do. I ache for the flat stomach and long legs of the pretty people rather than my rounded little belly and the 29inchers that are apparently fully grown legs. I am jealous of the insanely kind, patient people that are always so content and able to forgive. When jealousy draws my eyebrows into a knotted, slightly wild frown I pull myself backwards to reality and focus on wishing the object of my envy joy. Wishing them every happy moment of their long legs, their contentment or whatever it is they have that I lack. I wish it with my eyes closed and with all my heart. This is not easy, especially when it involves the object of my affection and goes along the lines of ‘I wish you find the true love of your life. I wish you the woman that will bring you happiness, a lifetime of love and contentment and long legs. Even if that isn’t me’ But you know what, focusing on sending out those loving thoughts to other people brings me back to my heart. It takes me away from turning green and gives me the beautiful gift of Acceptance. I love that feeling.

 

 Selfishness

Now I can really be selfish at times and I am not proud of this. As evidenced by my one rule in life….I do not share dessert, ever. That is so selfish but true and I apologise I cannot seem to change this. And there are many more selfish things I have done and will probably do in the future. But let’s not go there. When I am being selfish, thinking of me a lot and retreating from others concerns I find myself feeling ill at ease, flat and prone to pacing. Slightly odd but again true. This is quite obvious but when I find myself being selfish I intentionally focus on being selfless. I go out of my way to think about the people in my life I can do something nice for and DO IT. It doesn’t matter how small the gestures are, they help. They help bring on the number 1 feeling of them all. Love. Pure, selfless, love for those around me and for myself. She wraps her warmth around us all like a soft blanket by the log fire and makes everything okay.

 

Hate

I see things in other that I hate. I see others that I hate. Isn’t that a terrible thing to admit? It is an appalling, poisonous emotion and I am guilty of cultivating it at times despite knowing this. I try to be non-judgemental and compassionate but sometimes Hate gets the better of me and ties my hands behind my back with her grasp. Pours poison into my veins and it spreads rapidly. There is only one thing to do when Hate strikes. Stand still and recognise that the thing I see and hate outside of me is merely a reflection of something within me I am yet to accept. Not everyone will agree with me on this but I believe it to be true. If I hate someone it is usually because they have a quality I can’t stand and have failed to accept I too have within myself at times. With that recognition I can give myself a big mental hug, send a little self-love my way and Bingo that person no longer offends me.

 

Loss

We all feel the pain of loss at times. The way it leaves you feeling alone, broken and wistful of Before…that time when it was simple and there was no loss to mourn. And you know what, I have come to realise that no matter how much I dislike feeling my losses there is only one thing I can do here. Accept them. Let them sit within me, cry it out when I need to and recognise they are a part of me. They are precious gifts in my heart that have brought me compassion and understanding but they will always hurt. It’s okay that they do. There is nothing to work on here. Just let them be and move on when you are ready.

 

 Pride

My pride, she comes from my Ego. That ridiculous character within me that likes to think I am better than others; that I cannot and must not fall from grace and in no circumstances should be vulnerable or wrong. Pride keeps me distant from the world around me, builds a horribly isolating shell that keeps me from making real connections. From being REAL. So when my pride strikes and I feel my Ego getting the better of my heart I drop her. And I drop her fast. I do everything I can to step back and recognise when she is talking – she’s that voice that is high pitched, whinges, reacts quickly and defensively to others and takes life entirely the wrong way. When I am able to recognise those moments I am rewarded with a wonderful feeling indeed. I come back to ME. The real me. The one who is made up of heart, soul, smiles and laughter. The one within me that sings every day for the joy of being alive. You know the one; the person within you that thinks life is great, doesn’t care about looking like a fool and goes out of their way to be humble and thankful. A fantastic person indeed.

 

If you look up you will find that version of you sitting on the happy branch. Waving at you to climb and join in.

Go for it. Enjoy and be free.