I’ve had a love–hate relationship with meditation for most of my adult life. I’d hear about it from people who incorporated it into their life, or from books, stories of those who went on retreats to meditate in silence for days on end, or friends who woke up early to meditate every day.
Something about it appealed to me, the peacefulness of it, the idea of calming my anxiety, wanting to experience the… I–don’t–know–what, that keeps passionate meditators on their cushions every day. I didn’t really understand how to do it, though, so I looked for ways to learn.
I think my first experience meditating was in a college class, when I was going to school and working full–time. At the end of a long day, we lay on the floor in a dark room, and I fell asleep every time to the teacher’s soothing voice.
I was in the locker room at the Y a few weeks ago. After showering I draped my towel across my front to walk a few steps to go into the sauna, leaving my back-side exposed. Bodies are naked all the time in the locker room and I’m casual about nudity, so it was no big deal. It’s a busy place and I barely noticed the mom with her young daughter crossing behind me. Until I heard the small voice:
“Look at her big butt.”
Ah, inner peace… sounds good, doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but since I’m an angsty person with a tendency to fall into negative-thought-holes and riding emotional roller coasters, a sense of peace has often been hard to come by. Due to some pretty challenging circumstances in my life, though, I’m getting lots of chances to practice new ways of handling things. I’ve been learning some tricks that are actually helping me out these days– finally! One of the biggest changes that has led to more peacefulness for me is this: Continue reading
Last year I wrote this post about the often complicated feelings that come up around the holidays. It seemed to resonate with a lot of folks, so I’m reposting it. May you find some peace and gentleness for yourself this Thanksgiving, however you choose to celebrate (or not). I am grateful for you, Reader!
I am trying to make sense of this, the deep feelings that come over me directly after a holiday. It might be when driving home from somewhere else, or when the door closes at my house after the flurry of goodbyes and coats and hugs. The sudden quiet, the change in energy… I find myself sucked into a vortex of sadness settling into my chest, an emptiness, loneliness. I find myself asking, Why?
Often, I will have had a good time celebrating the day. Even though I’m a quiet person, I’m more of an extrovert and love socializing. I have family. We have delicious feasts. But it often all ends too soon for me, with people rushing off, as people do in their busy lives. I find myself longing for more — more connection, more laughter, more time spent together. Is this all there is?, I wonder. Continue reading