Despite the most amazing sleep and probably the best one I have had in the last 34 days, I woke up in a complete funk. Agitated. Frustrated. Unsettled.
I really wanted to wake up and it for it all to be over. The line drawn. The past left where it should be left. Not necessarily forgotten, but the lessons learnt. And the present moment and the bearing it has on the future, the only important thing to concentrate on.
But that is grief for you. It is a slow process. And for good reason.
So as I did as I did when Mumbo was dying, when I was recovering from one my visits and when my head was noisy with trying to block the pain, yet trying to face it and think of the positives.. I used the same technique as I did then to get me out of the loop, to get my mind to play to a different tune.
I practiced mindfulness. It is a form of meditation, but true meditation doesn’t come easily to me. Focussing on nothing stresses me out, the watching of my thoughts only makes me want to beat myself up for not being able to stop thinking…
So I have worked up my own little routine of calm, of mindfulness that takes me from a place of anxiety, to a place of peace.
I can’t sit bolt up right. My body too tense. So I lie down. Flat. And I like my hands on my tummy.
I plug in my earphones and listen to trickling water or the wind in the trees or some gentle rhythmic pipes. Something that entices me away ….
And then I have a 4 step process, which I flow through, moving on to the next one when I am ready.
The first one is breathing. I tried kundalini but I felt sick. I tried fast power breathing but I felt like a dick… So I just breath. I imagine the breath from the bottom of my tummy flowing up to the top of my head, where I let it rest and then I let it go back to the bottom of my tummy. I focus on that breathing sensation and thoughts do come, and sometimes I follow them.. and sometimes I don’t. And when I feel relaxed, the tension gone from my shoulders and my mind a bit quieter, I move on.
Step 2 is all about gratitude. What am I grateful for in this moment, right now. Answering that question, I always give thanks for this quiet time. And then I move on to whatever comes to mind – usually something one of the boys did or said and then invariably for an event or moment in the day so far. These moments of gratitude make me relax even more, because I realise I have everything I could ever need. And that is a very liberating feeling.
Step 3 is my ‘loving kindness’ mantra. I read in my favourite book ‘I love me’ about this meditation which provides healing to not only yourself but to others. And I have adapted it slightly to make it work for me. I perform a body scan and give thanks for all the different parts of my body that have supported me, provided for me over the years. I think of how I have benefited and then I focus on my heart. And I repeat ‘I am loving kindness’ over again until I know that everything I do, I do and will do with that in mind. And if I am upset with someone or someone has upset me, I think of them and repeat it again and let the anger or negative feeling go. Currently this step takes me a while, but when I am ready to move on, I do. But I can’t move on to the next step freely until I know in my heart I can.
For the final step is the future. Letting my mind wander and dream and create. And I can’t do that if I am stuck in the present with hurt and anger. So then I ask ‘What do I want to happen, if my wildest dreams could come true?’ And here I stay… for either a brief period or a long period.. Sometimes I am clear on what I want and it is quick and precise and done. Other times, I let the dream play out, I let my mind fill in all the little details and I allow myself to smile, my heart to swell with joy and my mind to get excited.
And then, I let it all go.
And my mind has been miraculously cleared of all negativity, doubt, frustration, anger and resentment.
And I can get on with my day, with positivity and loving kindness at the heart of everything I think and do.