Happy Wednesday, friends! How is your week going? I'm back at work today after a very pleasant and productive two days off (could use about 29 more to be honest). I've been in my head a lot these past several weeks. Even through the static and of-no-good-use derailment last week, I've had a lot floating around my head about my life, career, skills (or lack thereof), things I want to accomplish, fears, friends, family, BMI, money, recipes, apartment hunting...well, I could have stopped with "a lot of things" but I think you follow me.
I've mentioned before that I've been meditating. It helps tremendously for me, and yes it takes a bit of practice; but now I look forward to it everyday (especially my before work and after lunch mini-meditations). Since the derailment last week, I've been looking for ways to improve upon my mini-meditations and get more bang for my buck particularly when I'm stressed or in a work situation I don't care for. While searching, I stumbled upon an article in Mind, Body, Green. I like this website most of the time and I have found some pretty, shiny gems there rather regularly.
The 4 A's of Successful Meditation Practice caught my eye for obvious reasons and after reading it, I got to thinking a little bit about those 4 A's and what they really mean when it comes down to the nitty gritty stuff that comes up when left alone with one's thoughts. The 4 A's are as follows:
In regards to meditation, most people unfamiliar with the practice may be surprised at the depth of the psychological aspects that accompany it. For those who practice, whether you like it or not, you know you come face to face with a lot of things that have been rolling around your ole noodle waiting for a chance to be heard.
Never one to be afraid of my own emotional dust bunnies, I didn't fret about those things bubbling up to the surface as I'd had it happen in previous experiences with meditation (and I sincerely believe that working through that gunk and garbage is worth it). However, the sheer volume has been surprising! Nothing mind-blowing or anything. Just...life stuff.
All of this is to say, friends, that outside of the realm of meditation, one can apply this 4 A's to help with the gunkier more garbagey things in your life. Things like talking disparagingly about yourself or others, sabotaging your healthy goals, lashing out at people when you're upset with something else entirely, drinking to excess, dangerous addictive issues, withholding affection or gratitude for a vague sense of power...you get the picture. Deep down inside you are aware that these things exist within you (and are projected from you). No one is ever truly shocked to find out they do something that hurts themselves or others- there's a voice inside that can never really be shut up. It'll wake you up at 3 am and not allow you to sleep. Blame it on whatever, but eventually- you'll have to listen to that little voice and become aware of the bigger issues at hand.
Acknowledge that little bugger. It may be sitting in your living room for a little while. It'll feel like it's everywhere with you and that's because it is. Until you accept (and try forgiving) the part you played (or someone else did, if that applies) and accept that you are human and guess what? Humans make big stinking, smelly mistakes all day every day. It may not be okay what you're dealing with; but you can be okay with being healthier and happier despite it.
Then take action to change that shit.
Make an effort every day to alter the habits, dark words and thoughts, guilt, shame, and anything else you may be feeling from all that old crappy stuff. Make the littlest change a day, such as giving a compliment to someone when you'd usually keep it to yourself. Apologizing to someone you've hurt in the past, or choosing not to complain about eating this or that in your healthy-eating plan and instead close your eyes and identify the flavors you do like (in carrots for example). Be present in your life. Use those 4 A's to kick the troublesome issues of your big P (your past) right in the ass and out to the curb. Incinerate that nonsense with love, forgiveness and courage.
Working through major and minor emotional issues isn't easy. It can be ugly and you will have to allow yourself the fact that you are/will be vulnerable (and perhaps accept the vulnerability of others while you're at it). You will most likely have to make some big apologies to others and especially yourself. You will ugly cry like Sookie on True Blood (LOVE that ugly cry!). You may rage, you may scream at yourself in your car or at the sky. It's all good. Work through it. Crawl through it. Scrape through it. Then suddenly you'll find yourself in the clear. Aware of a new kind of peace and a bigger slice of happiness than you thought you could stomach beforehand.
Good luck friends. I'm doing it, you can too!
I hope you have a truly wonderful day!