June 03, 2013

Bye-Bye Funky Fridays: Channelling Inspiration

There are many ways to calm a negative energy without suppressing or fighting it. You recognize it, you smile to it, and you invite something nicer to come up and replace it; you read some inspiring words, you listen to a piece of beautiful music, you go somewhere in nature, or you do some walking meditation.” - Thich Nhat Hanh

It's easy to get swallowed up in the shallow details of the everyday, focusing on what needs to be done in order to be on track for the next day and the next day and so on. Instead of allowing life to flow, we can view even the pleasurable things as chores. It happens when we are out-of-touch with our lives, when it feels like there's more chaos than order, and when we allow the crazy things to dictate the level of our happiness.

When I wake up feeling like this, and it can easily magnify throughout the day. Lethargy turns into hopelessness, and before it's noon I would swear to you that the earth was trying to swallow me whole. I had a day like that recently. It happened to be the second Friday in a row that this happened (hence the title of this post). I spent the whole day unfocused, unproductive, and unhappy. My head was spinning as I tried to get through the day without having to deal with these emotions. Dusk approached, and exhausted from trying to outrun my feelings, I resigned myself to them. I took a deep breath in, and watched the nervous energy release with my exhale. I felt better. I was still in a sour mood, but at least I felt better about being in it.

Meditation has made me happy, loving, and peaceful—but not every single moment of the day. I still have good times and bad, joy and sorrow. Now I can accept setbacks more easily, with less sense of disappointment and personal failure, because meditation has taught me how to cope with the profound truth that everything changes all the time.” - Sharon Salzberg 

The next day, I woke with an intention to make the day great. Despite my restless sleep and tense body, I welcomed the day with a smile. Tucker and I got up together and – me donning a slinky sundress and him slipping into his purple harness – stepped out for our morning walk. It was breezy, but the air was still so hot and thick. Nonetheless, I breathed in the fresh air with gratitude. The chimney swifts were chirping and chattering, I had ample energy for a long river walk, and Tucker was in a particularly inquisitive mood. What a glorious day this will be, I declared!

Once back indoors, I poured a tall glass of iced tea that I had cold-brewed overnight. Though I had a busy schedule lined up for the day, I took some time to sit down and peruse the blogs I love most. A few posts in, inspiration began to sprout. As it grew within me, I felt all the stuck emotions wane, and I suddenly felt so much lighter than I have in months.

Unlike other times that I reached this state, I didn't feel this freedom because I ate organic plant fuel, nor did I feel it from a workout-induced endorphine rush. It wasn't due to uplifting social situations, nor was it from garnering support in a time of need. It sparked from hitting pause on my obligations and giving no expectation to my life at that moment. It was a moment for the lazy meditator. My mind was quiet and therefore my creative self, in its truest form, became alive.

I am honoring this experience by setting an intention right now. I've been interested in meditation for a really long time. After I got sick – and especially after being diagnosed with adrenal fatigue – I knew that meditation would lead to miraculous shifts in my life. While I knew all of that, I was slow to integrate the practice. I can know all I want, but the shifts will not happen until I start to do. I did a 21-day meditation challenge in March during which I began to notice some change in me. I've been meditating since then, but not enough that I could call it a practice. Though I found great peace through practicing gratitude and adopting a positive but grounded outlook on my life, meditation is one thing that never became a habit for me. That is about to change right now.

I am setting an intention to make meditation a part of my daily life. I want to get to the point that a daily practice is as essential to my well-being as eating greens. If I can make time to make myself beautiful salads everyday surely I can find the time for this. 

You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day - unless you're too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” 
- Old Zen Adage

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