NEXT076 Pause When Agitated

Posted on : 02-10-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Mind Fodder

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What? Me pause when agitated, are you kidding??! Not on your life could I pause when I was agitated for many, many years.  Ugh, it was so not a very fun way to live.  I could go from -3 to 105 in as fast as my synapses could misdirect my brain chemistry to the rage sector.  We still have a mark on our pantry door from over eight years ago when I threw a glass across the room to underscore how I was feeling and it miraculously bounced on our Satillo tile floor back up to bam into the door.  Thank the heavens above I don’t have to live that way today!

One of the first “promises” I remembered from a 12-step meeting I began going to in the 80’s was “we will pause when agitated”.  Today, I can finally do that after lots and lots of clearing away of mental rubbish, various healing modalities, giving up alcohol, drugs, caffeine, nicotine, flour and sugar and learning how to meditate.  Oh, and finding the right combination of medication to take via a psychiatrist who really knows his stuff and who I trust implicitly. Also in my faith tradition I say lot’s of prayers and keep in contact with a higher power of my understanding.  It’s very frustrating for those of us who are off chemically to do so many things to try to help ourselves and find that nothing quite works until you take the right pill.  It’s like taking a step with your right foot and then tripping yourself with your left.

It’s amazing to me that in the year 2011, many of us are still so ignorant when it comes to medication for depression.  Because I choose to engage in the world, I knew that isolating in my home was not going to work for me as a way of coping.  For years I grappled with low self-esteem issues and un-checked anger flare ups.  Impulsiveness was my nemesis.  I remember a friend and I admitting to each other a long time ago that we were scared to death to be anywhere really high because we felt this uncontrollable urge to jump.  Except what I didn’t tell him is that fighting that uncontrollable urge was something I did everyday not only about jumping if I was up somewhere high, but also in saying things out loud that I knew should not be spoken (or at least not in that way or at that time or to that person). Deciding to get on medication was a very difficult decision for me because, at least in the beginning, I interpreted it as meaning that I was less than.  I also loved the way I felt when I felt good. It’s just the bad was staying around a whole lot longer.

Today, because I have the ability to pause, I can think about what it is I’m feeling and then choose how or if I want to respond.  All the energy that I used to expend bursting out can now be re-directed into all kinds of creative endeavors as well as enjoying my friends, clients, animals and life.  It’s kind of a bitter-sweet realization that the reason I was able to finally consider talking with a professional about getting on meds is because of a very special therapist who I saw for several years who suggested to me that I was doing everything I knew to take care of myself well so why wasn’t it okay to see if medication would help?  It’s bitter-sweet because that very special therapist was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease a little over a year ago and there isn’t a way that I can let her know how much she helped me with that one question.  Somehow I hope my prayers touch her.

Such a simple thing for us to be able to pause when agitated. I wonder how many wars would never have started and arguments never accelerated if we had just been able to pause.   My good friend Vickie S. used to say, “if you gotta, gotta say it or you gotta, gotta do it then you probably don’t need to do either”.

How about you?  Do you pause when agitated?

DINK #155 When Nature Beckons To You, How Do You Respond?

Posted on : 25-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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I don’t know about you, but my days are so “full” from sunrise to sunset that it’s easy for me to go way, way inside of my head thinking about people and the world, figuring everything out and trying to make sense of so many issues that don’t make sense that as a result sometimes really important matters fall by the wayside. Today was no exception with going to this meeting and that meeting and running errands all over the place plus catching the talking heads on NPR discussing the impact of China being #1 in the economy department. This evening, I did some last minute neatening up around our home with family coming in late tomorrow evening and as well as packing to go out of town this weekend.

So it’s no surprise to me that when I sat down to type out this evening’s blog, nature started beckoning me first with the image of the moonlight on the water in the pool and then the thought of the swaying Cottonwood above and since the temperature has finally fallen to the balmy 80’s with a nice breeze blowing…I had to go submerge myself in it all! I stopped what I was doing and went out to our back patio and just laid right on the pool’s cement edge which was still a little warm from the day and right below the leaves of the tree blowing in the moonlight. I probably could have stayed there most of the night but I still have to pack for the weekend.

Even though I only laid there for about 15 minutes, I feel much calmer now. I was starting to get a bit revved up with all the loose ends that need to be tied up before 11:00 tomorrow morning and I was starting to get scattered with starting two or three things and leaving them all partially done. It was time for me to take a break and listen to nature beckoning me to come be still.

When nature beckons you…..respond to it. Even if all you do to respond is take five minutes to go sit by a window and look out. My best meditations are those that I do outside. And spontaneous meditations, like tonight, make all those times when I’ve sat still for half an hour with a raging racing mind, so worth the effort. Eventually, your spirit will overtake your mind and you will be able to disappear into the calm stillness of what is effortlessly.

Sending you thoughts of peace softly folded in the summer moonlight. Ommmmmmmmmm

DINK #140 When You Meet Yourself Coming And Going….It’s A Clue!

Posted on : 09-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Today I left the house running to a meeting that I had double-booked on top of a doctor’s appointment. Realized not even five minutes out the door that I had left my cell phone on my desk and decided to just go on without it so I wouldn’t miss the brief time that I could be in the meeting. Arrived at the meeting right on time and as I was waling up to the door it occurred to me that this meeting may have actually been scheduled for next week so I knocked on the door and when nobody came, I got back in my car to make it to my doctor’s appointment with about 30 minutes to spare. Wasn’t until I got home and checked my voice mail messages that I learned that, Yes, the meeting was in fact today and my friend was frantic to find out why when she opened the door she had seen me driving away. Oy vey.

I try to take in about 30 minutes of meditation time every day and this morning I let it slip by and thought that it wouldn’t make a difference. As you can see, yes in Lynn’s world it does make a difference. My mind can quickly become a very scattered place to live in a relatively short span of time without the gift of just stopping and letting all the information that I’ve been piling into my senses catch up with me so that I can let it go and reach for something higher. Again, I know there is some kind of quantum physics equation that could elegantly explain this, but alas as I am not a Quantum Physicist, I cannot do that. What I do know is that being quiet for at least 30 minutes a day does reset my clock somehow. Time expands.

So because I don’t have anything urgent that needs to get out the door right this chili-red hot second, I’m going to grab a glass of water, light an incense and take 30.

Why don’t you join me?