Meditation: Calm, How to Meditate: Free and Clear Length: 15 minutes Where: Home Office/Guest Room, Los Angeles How It Felt: A little bit difficult but good
Back to the “How to Meditate” course on the Calm app today. This was number sixteen out of thirty total, so I’m a little over halfway through. I am loving this whole course, but I’m also finding I need breaks in between, since these really ask a lot of you sometimes. Some days I just like a nice, breezy, less structured meditation to break it up.
I’m going through some stuff here. Personally. I don’t know what it is exactly, but, as I wrote about previously, it’s been a bit of a struggle to start diving back into life. Things were so slow and quiet for so long, and I know I’m crazy excited to get back to my old life in most ways, but I also want to be sure I’m not going back to old bad habits, either.
I want to come back better, stronger, more focused, with more healing and grace.
I’ve talked to a few friends who have described their struggles with life starting back up again. Most have issues with the world opening up so early (theme parks, restaurants, etc) when we are SO close to almost everyone being vaccinated- and I agree. We have half-assed this shutting down thing so hard, it’s insane. Dragging it out, constantly reopening just to surge and close again…. why on earth didn’t we just do it correctly in the first place, at the very beginning?
Wow, that rant was unexpected, but true, so I’m leaving it!
The main thing many of us are struggling with is how quickly things are getting back to “normal” when we weren’t mentally prepared. It’s not easy to just jump back in, at least not for many of us. Not for me. I hit the gas pedal and I’m paying for it, a bit. I’m somehow simultaneously doing too much and never feeling like I’m doing enough.
I think this is also a consequence of so much virtual interaction. It’s like eating candy for dinner- it fills you up but not with the right stuff. When I talk to someone I love in real life, my soul feels nourished. I feel connected and happy, even if I need some quiet time afterward.
When I talk to friends and family over Zoom or Facetime, I’m happy to see them, but I’m exhausted by the end. You can’t really have deep conversations, because it freezes, or it cuts out when you talk over one another, or there are a million distractions. I’m grateful for the technology that has kept so many of us in touch during these scary times, but it’s a poor substitute for the real thing, especially in bulk.
My creative endeavors feel the same. I’m so lucky I’ve had some steady acting and directing work over Zoom, but it doesn’t light me up the same way. It’s exciting, and fun, and fulfilling in its way, but it doesn’t get down deep into my soul and make me feel more alive than I’ve ever felt, the way that stuff does in person. It’s just not the same.
So, I can talk to people all day, even do my work, volunteer, etc, all virtually, and still feel like I’m not doing much at all. I’m stuck in a loop of doing dishes and laundry and ordering groceries and boring life stuff without the real, amazing, “light up your soul” stuff to break up the mundane.
The tedium has worn me down. The “in-between” way we are living- not full stop, not all the way- is messing with my mind. The rush to get back to life has me a bit panicked. I feel like a bear coming out of hibernation, except I thought I had a few more months to sleep in my cave.
This particular meditation had to do with releasing judgements, which was well timed. An example, as given in the meditation: if you look outside and see it’s gray and rainy, you could get upset. “Ugh, my day is ruined, stupid rain. So dark and gloomy outside. This sucks.” You get it.
But, the rain isn’t good or bad. It’s just rain. It’s just rain raining like rain does. It just is. We put labels on things depending on how we feel, what we want, what we’ve learned, what we wish things could be, etc. If we can “pop out” (as Jeff Warren loves to say) and just observe the thing in a detached way, we release ourselves from labels and perceptions and we can let things be what they are, without trying to control them.
Right now, I’m caught in a loop of judging myself for how I’m responding to a set of unprecedented (in my lifetime) and crazy circumstances. A situation that has killed millions of people, that has upended the world as we know it, that is circling back around just when I got used to things. How do I think I’m supposed to feel? How would I even know? Why would I think I should be “handling” any of this any “better” than I am?
Who runs out of a dark cave into the bright sunlight and doesn’t squint a little bit?
Whenever I talk to people in my life about how I’m feeling, they seem relieved that they aren’t the only ones going through some discomfort with change, even when that change should feel positive. Change is always uncomfortable. We need to normalize voicing our struggles and letting others know they aren’t alone. We beat ourselves up for totally normal emotions all the time. If we just connected and stayed honest, without having to put up “I’m great!” and “everything is FINE!” fronts, we would all feel so much better, in my opinion.
At least we could be kinder to ourselves!
So, that’s my deal lately. I’m putting one foot in front of the other and trying to remind myself that I don’t have to go from 0 to 60 just because I technically can. Slow down. Breathe. Meditate. Write and reflect. Slow and steady.
I’ll get there.
We’ll all get there.