Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

My vagina wants me to lay down again. *pity party*

April 9, 2009

Sitting up on the couch AND leaning back against it – two no-nos in the world of Twin Pregnancy. (Can you hear the horns announcing…Twin Pregnancy?) But you know, I don’t give a good fuck at this moment in time. Avert your eyes if you don’t want to see whining and self-pity.

But…I’m boooooooooooooored. Being at home is all fun and games assuming you are able and willing to move around. A life lived lying on your side? Totally fucked up, my friends. And I’ve got some kickin’ rib tenderness on my left side, which is made about a zillion times more uncomfy when I am lying down. So I thought, be a daredevil. Go on. Sit up, lean back, prop that laptop on your knees and experience typing from a normal position again.

It’s not quite as risque as buying a motorcycle and taking off for unknown territories, but it gave me a brief thrill for about ten minutes. Or five.

Fact is, I am clockwatching. I am waiting and waiting and waiting for TMD to get home. I’m lonely, bored, thirsty, uncomfortable, worried, etc. I am also radiantly happy and keep touching my bump. But honestly, the babies are okay company – but not quite the same as having someone with you who is living outside of your stomach. I need a hug!

I keep wondering how in god’s name I can possibly stay at home for another 18 weeks (if I deliver at 38 weeks, which is the plan) because HOLY FUCK THIS IS BORING. The upside is that all this rest means I am likely to head off bad complications from the SPD, preterm labour, etc. It also means I’m less likely to be forced onto actual never-leave-the-bed-rest. I know my job is to be a good twincubator and cook up some healthy, fat babies – but god.

I think I need something or someone to entertain me. Maybe a couch in the middle of some woods somewhere, with ambient bird sounds and leafy shadows/light dappling my body. Maybe the ability to sit up for more than 20 minutes without causing myself grievous pains and aches – and therefore being able to do some serious writing. Maybe the motivation to kickstart meditating (I’ve just bought Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living so maybe that will help?) and get into some sort of routine.

The thing is, I actually have a lot to do. Find a guy to make us a will. Download the legal documents to give TMD parental responsibility. Research dual citizenship stuff for the babies. Call the clinic and ask when we get the donor’s pen sketch. Ask them if the lady I donated eggs to got pregnant. Make a list of shit I need from work (my wind up sushi misses me, I am sure of it). Perhaps start filling in the paperwork to become a Superstar Therapist. Make a list of things for babies/my hospital bag. Make a list of stuff we need for the house. Call this strange local lesbian family to see if we can make friends, even though calling someone I don’t know makes me nervous.

But, crazy me, I feel like I can’t do any of that until my new orange notebook comes in the mail and I can make all sorts of crazy detailed lists in the book. Just for the satisfaction of crossing them out – but also because I feel better when I get things out of my head and onto paper. Or this blog, I guess.

Whine, whine, whine.

I spend my days flitting between tv channels. I turn my head sideways and read pregnancy forums, update twitter, mindlessly refresh my Facebook homepage, and check my email. Blog. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I am happy to be at home if it is the best thing for the babies and my body, but jesus why does it have to be so endless? Am I really capable of being home and essentially immobile for NINETEEN total weeks? Is my emotional health strong enough?

I need comfort.

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Reaching out.

July 7, 2008

I have always had a ‘thing’ for tangible items that might speak to something unspeakable inside of me. Tarot cards, runes, stones, therapeutic card exercises, random little toys, and on and on. Many of these were in card form, and in fact I’ve just spent some time with a co-worker looking at resources for children and young people. I’m not sure what it is.

I like the feel of these cards, which are often quite sturdy with a plastic coating. I like bright colours, flowing words, strong and subtle symbolism. Yet I always keep reaching towards the next thing, hoping that one day I’ll find the perfect whatever-it-is and not put it down. I’m still looking, despite being aware that none of these things will ever be the perfect size to fill this particular hole in my experience.

Religions have often played a similar role. In my time, I’ve run a semi-wide gambit: Catholic, Agnostic, Wiccan, Christian, Quaker, New Age, Humanist, Buddhist. Each spiritual quest has narrowed down what I am looking for, and my exploring is often limited within spheres of Buddhism now. I positively identify as a Buddhist, though I am not clear what type of Buddhist.

I officially belong to a form of Nichiren Buddhism called the Soka Gakkai. I find the philosophy and the people practical and powerful. Yet mindfulness is something I will need to reach out to embrace, as my type of Buddhism isn’t specifically about mindfulness – and I love it. Either way, I often devour things mentally and then have a very difficult time putting things into practice.

As a member of the SGI (Soka Gakkai International), Buddhism is based on faith, practice, and study. There is no God, as such. There is a daily practice of a morning and evening period, and while I can feel the actual tangible benefits in my life from doing it, I don’t carry on. This is true of most things that are good for me, or feel good while doing them.

And I don’t mean ‘good’ in a blase way. I mean it in a deep, connected, and true sense of the word. Good like warm homemade bread, good like walking in fields on a sunny day, good like the first time you are embraced and realise you are safe. Good.

I’m still reading Writing as a Way of Healing, during my lunch breaks when I stay indoors. I think I want to write about my breast reduction, as it keeps coming into my mind lately. Feelings of guilt are strongly attached to this for me, and I want to see what it is like to write about it. I have debated whether to do my fifteen minutes of writing here, or whether to craft and mold a story as the book suggests. I think we all know I get a more immediate release from journalling; whether it is the better option, I don’t know. I also think I could embrace both.

So tonight I want to carve out some time to write. Lately when I get home I am so tired I collapse onto the couch. I’m worried about Louis the Lump, I’m exhausted from working much longer days than I am used to, I am besottted with all the television channels that are now in my life. I’m leaving work an hour early today, so hopefully I’ll manage to find a little time and space for myself and my words this evening.

I think I like little things I can hold and look at because they are outside reminders of all the things I am trying to remember on the inside.

It’s hard to be anonymous about countries when it’s the Fourth of July.

July 4, 2008

1. I am marching in a parade tomorrow. Maybe you will see me if you’re there. I’ll be the only one not wearing rainbow clothes or leather.

2. I just got THE best phone plan in the fucking world. For ten [units of money] a month. I also made soulmate friends with the phone guy, who lives the next street up from my work and will probably also be at the parade tomorrow.

3. I need to phone the Big People to find out what’s going on with my application for citizenship. Ironic to think about this when it is a day traditionally reserved for breaking away from this country.

4. Is there any point in being country anonymous? If I don’t use any names or identifying details (well, things that would be non-identifying if you didn’t already know me), does it actually make a difference if people know where I live or where I was born?

5. Operation Fingerpaint had some mindfulness meditation time yesterday, and we may start regular meditation groups. I’m feeling inspired and may start doing body scans during my lunch hour.

Ode.

May 8, 2008

Went into the heart of the city tonight to buy that book on fertility. Walking along those old streets, music in my ears, I suddenly stopped and took it in. The tourists from all over the world, laughing and snapping pictures, awe stamped across their faces, their babies splashing in the fountains. I walk here as one who calls this home, this city of old stones and fountains and statues. I walk here not as someone with my accent or upbringing here for a flying visit, but as an older me with a softer accent, gently aquiring the ebb and flow of another land.

I carried my new book around in its tidy black bag, while other people carried camcorders, giant backpacks, passports.

It was beautiful. The last of the sun lit up the HoP, glinting and making the tower look like it was made of copper. Chlorine-scented water splashed up, stern lions sat frozen, and I made my way to the steps I have sat on so many hundreds of times, in that square I love any time of day, any day of the year.

Those smooth, grey, worn steps have seen me meditate, be in the background of a big time music video, eat lunch, drink beer while watching concerts, write in my journals. Tonight they just sat there with me. No music in my ears, no pen in my hands, just my eyes wide open.

I will be proud to be a citizen of this country, with its epic past and unknown future. I will bring a bit of my own culture into it, never forgetting who I am and where I come from. I grew up with different customs, different voices; I am still not clear I understand how to write a cheque here, and I know that in restaurants when I ask for the ‘check’ no one understands what I am talking about.

In three weeks I won’t be a resident of this city any longer. I’ll be moving out into a part of the country that’s more like the country I came from. I’ll miss this city. I want my children to know the curves, age, inspiration. Tonight I looked at things from my sister’s point of view; she is a woman who sees every minute with fresh eyes and exhiliration, ever hopeful that life is getting better – even as she believes every moment is as good as it gets. I saw the carved words with her eyes, and from a friend’s artistic perspective, and from my own moment of openness.

And I was thankful.

Have you meditated lately?

April 1, 2008

I feel down. No real reason to do so, except for being in the second half of my cycle and feeling stuck. The two aren’t connected, but one certainly makes the other harder to bear.

Last night TMD wanted to try this body scan mindfulness meditation I’ve got, courtesy of Kleinette. We went through the elaborate debacle of setting up a CD player next to the bed very late at night. I passed out after about 20 minutes, and she hung on almost to the end. She keeps saying how much she liked it; it would be good to have her committed to doing this, as perhaps we could occasionally do it together. I find things easier when I’ve got a buddy.

I really, really want the main book by the guy who created this mindfulness course. It’s called Full Catastrophe Living: How to Cope with Stress, Pain and Illness Using Mindfulness Meditation, by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Have any of you read it? I can vouch for the bodyscan – Kleinette encouraged me to do it for two straight weeks near the end of therapy. I stuck to it – much to my surprise – and was delighted by the clarity and here-and-nowness I felt as a result. Like many things that are good for me, I drifted away from it.

I feel like I need to be propped up; surrounded by literature, people, and places that support me to be where I want to be. I don’t like feeling like I can’t keep motivated or fulfilled on my own, but right now that’s just how I feel.

What keeps you in good cheer? Any recommendations of books, meditations, movies, activities, etc are welcome – though I may be too poor to actually purchase them. *smile* I’m holding faith that somehow what I need will drop into my life, if I just put the energy out there. I am an old hippy long before my time.

Here and there.

February 17, 2008

‘A writer lives, at best, in a state of astonishment. Beneath any feeling he has of the of the good or evil of the world lies a deeper one of wonder at it all.’ – William Sansom

Is it just me, or does this sound an awful lot like mindfulness?

 It’s odd, how often the importance of breathing has been mentioned lately. It seems like everywhere I go, every discussion I enter, the topic of breathing enters the room. No, I don’t hang out at the pub and discuss lung capacity or anything.

But…professionally. Breathing as a tool. Breathing as awareness. Breathing, breathing, breathing.

I know I have a tendancy to not breathe, or to breathe shallowly, especially when upset. Anyway…it’s 11:19 am, a church bell is ringing, and I’ve only just woken up. I’m dosed up on cramp-killing medication, sun on my back and a day of obligations staring me in the face.

All I can think about is our lovely little flat. If we were there, now, the patio doors would be open. Fresh air would be wafting in.

Still, I mean, I should look at my blessings in the moment. Hell, I’ve got my period, five reports to write, a giant case study to write, and a lesson plan to do. This life is worth living!

Trust.

February 4, 2008

Sometimes I think I don’t trust myself. This feeling of okayness is so new; I’m not used to it. I am moving slower, taking time to walk an extra five minutes, eat by myself for an hour at lunch, write my words down. Taking peace from just being with myself.

It’s new.

To be continued, always.

February 4, 2008

The best way I can describe what is happening to my job is a corporate takeover. Today is the deadline for submitting pieces of paper ranking our preferred job choices. This form is called an ‘Exp*ression of Int*erest.’ Every time I see these words I feel odd inside – I don’t feel a particular interest in any of the jobs on offer.

If I were to really express myself, I’d hand in a paper with paint smudges on it. It would say:

I am interested in…

  • how deeply honoured I feel to sit with people in their painful, and joyful, moments
  • how good it feels to squeeze oils out, the way the paint just spurts and oozes. It’s sensual.
  • getting to know myself better
  • giving my potential more than a passing smile
  • having long lunches by myself
  • going on courses that involve active exploration and risk taking
  • figuring out when I might realistically take The Next Big Course
  • thinking about The Next Big Course and feeling purposeful and happy, and finally on the right path after a lifetime of wandering around the grassy bit at the sides
  • joy
  • contentment
  • sniffing my orange flavoured beeswax chapstick
  • sitting in the centre of a crowd and telling stories that make people laugh and laugh and laugh
  • the wonder of how things are
  • the smell of my pumpkin candle, the feel of water on my body, the confidence I feel in my new glasses
  • telling the truth
  • figuring out what the truth is
  • squashing grapes with my bare feet
  • fingerpainting and surprising myself with the result
  • breathing
  • and more breathing
  • trusting my intuition more
  • learning how to believe in myself
  • growing, growing, growing. staying still. growing some more.
  • decorating my Christmas tree, smelling campfires, how fabulous my hair looks when I take it down from this messy bun
  • having other people thank me for the way I have contributed to their lives
  • being honest about what I can and cannot do for others
  • moving at a slower pace

Becoming, in the best way possible. Forgiving myself.

February 2, 2008

Tonight I came home and slid into a bath. I lit a pumpkin scented candle and read a few pages of The Artist’s Way. Then I decided to get out while the bath was still hot – I normally feel obligated to stay in until the bath is no longer enjoyable – and dried off. I dug out some fancy lotion my mum sent over for Christmas and methodically rubbed it into every part of my body.

It feels important to take care of myself this evening. I’m wearing a glamourous lilac floorlength nightie – now about 8 sizes too big, which feels nice and cozy – and sprawled here in my special chair. The Cameron book is on the floor, a baggie of bright markers lying on top of it. I feel bad about missing one of my best friend’s parties this evening, but …well.

We spent all day today talking about working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It was exhausting. It lasted almost an hour longer than it was supposed to, and tomorrow is another full day. I think I was holding a lot of tension in my body, because my legs hurt so badly when I got home I could barely walk.

My tutor from the first year was teaching, and she is always a gift to be around. She’s so warm, honest, and humourous. She makes me feel sane. One of my clinical supervisors is so analytical, I sometimes feel not good enough as a counsellor. Like I’m not planning enough, analysing enough, drawing enough inferences. When I am with a client, my focus is on that other person – and myself. I am attuned to our mutual presence, and work largely from intuition. In supervision, it seems like intuition isn’t good enough.

Anyway.

I felt so differently than I did two years ago when we first studied this topic. Then it fucked me up for weeks, if not months. In my first session with Kleinette, I made reference to the fact I thought I had been sexually abused. I was let down and disappointed that it took months – maybe a year – before I felt like I was taken seriously. Then she held me. Not physically, but with her words, looks, self. I had the experience of being really listened to and cared about. This is what allowed me to change and develop as a person. Love.

It’s very easy to talk about setting clients homework, speculating about this parent or that parent metaphorically castrating them, interpreting everything they say – telling them what they meant to say, like you know them better than they know themselves. In actuality, I offer love.

This does not mean I am unfailingly positive. No, I act in a loving way when I challenge people, when I laugh with them, when I sit there silently and let them struggle. I believe every one of us has potential, and we are enough to be all that we want. That already, we are who we want to be, we just don’t realise it. This goes for me, too.

As we talked about sexual abuse today, and some of the same worksheets and discussions happened, I just felt Kleinette within myself. When the tutor talked about how she told clients to breathe, when she said the simple fact is that a survivor might never know the full story of what has happened to them. Kleinette has said these things to me many times. I felt supported and strong.

I will not say I feel comfortable with not knowing. I would prefer to know. I criticise myself, wondering why my ego is not strong enough. Then I hear a gentle voice, telling me I am enough. My story is enough. I am who I am, and there are reasons for what I remember and what I don’t.

I’m tired this evening, but utterly inspired. A lot of things are clearing up for me. Counselling no longer seems like a nice second best compared to writing. I think I might have the potential to be really gifted in this field. I believe in the work. I believe in people.

And my past has been a gift to me. Because of my own pain, I am more capable of bearing the sheer despair and sadness of others. Because of my past, I am enriched and able to seek deeper levels of joy.

The air smells of pumpkin, wrapping around me. My skin is moist and soft. I am comfortable, following my body and soul this evening, doing what feels right to me. This feels empowering and special.

Part One of many.

January 11, 2008

Saw Kleinette Wednesday evening; she came in to teach our class. Ironically, one of the exercises she did with us could be enough to drive me right back into therapy. I’ve been meaning to put up a picture of a drawing I did during the class, but now I’m trapped at work (anticipating the arrival of homeless children and adults soon).

Anyway, it was an exercise about The Journey Of Life. Yes, I imagine it probably really does have capital letters. I got stuck on the part where Kleinette said, ‘Everything behind you is the past. Done. Ahead of you is the future.’ …Or something to that effect.

I very clearly saw a path/hiking trail. The past bit was very rough, brown, etc (glad I was wearing hiking boots!). On the side of the path were my past experiences, thoughts, actions. They were in the form of pine trees, although there were also wooden boxes. The sides of the path were very cluttered with these trees and boxes.

I was stood exactly on the line between this hiking trail, and The Smooth Path of the future. It was very smooth, shining, white. And there was absolutely no clutter on the sides.

I stared at that picture in class, and everyone around me was talking about their experiences, and I thought, Well, that’s me. I’m always exactly on the edge. I am very stuck, too stuck to step forward onto the white path.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Much of the stuff of my past is negative, but a lot is also really positive. It’s also what made me, good and bad, black and white – all blended into something surprisingly un-gray.  Plus, I feel safer where I am than in some unknown. At the time, the white road looked really appealing, but now I wonder if it wasn’t too clinical? I’m not sure. Perhaps all the whiteness and lack of clutter was about possibility. A landscape there utterly for me to create and experience.

I also was thinking about how everyone else’s pictures were about who they were, but mine was about where I am. I think there is something around the idea that in order to honor who I am, I need to find the right ‘where’ for myself.

On the bus today, I was thinking about being in that in between place again – and it suddenly reframed. Of course I am always in that moment between past and future; it’s called ‘the present.’ I think Mindfulness is a valueable way to experience myself in the here and now. I feel peaceful when I think about living in the present, experiencing things and being aware of them.

I feel stressed when I feel I am always on the edge of Something Great. Chirp once gave me a little yellow book she’d owned for awhile, and in her inscription she pointed me to a particular page. I wish I had it with me right now so I could quote it exactly, but it was along the lines of….’You call me and say you are on the edge of something big. I come over and we sit on the couch eating ice cream. I wait to watch your something big.’

I feel that way all the time, and sometimes it makes me feel great. A lot of the time it makes me feel lousy.

I want to cultivate my awareness and acceptance of self; I want to be okay with being who I am, instead of getting so frustrated with my own potential.