Meditation: Calm, 7 Days of Gratitude: Unlocking Happiness Length: 12 minutes Where: Noho Park, Los Angeles How It Felt: Like a mental smile Who Joined Me: Steve
What happened to May??
I know that’s a thing people say literally all the time. “This year really flew by!” “I can’t believe it’s already fall!” But… seriously… it was just May 1st, I swear. I had a million things I wanted to do for Mental Health Awareness Month! I had a 5k I was definitely signing up for! I had goals I was for sure going to check off the list!
I mean, ok, I did a lot. I started the month off in Michigan, ended it in LA, and went to Mexico for a week in between. I know I accomplished a bunch of things I wanted to accomplish…
I just thought there would be more time!
So, time for a check-in!
Yesterday Steve and I re-started the “7 Days of Gratitude” course on the Calm app. I just experienced this amazing miracle beginning when I completely lost one of my AirPods in Mexico. It is a total mystery- like, I have no idea where it went. Just one pod. Not the other. 100% disappeared from the case. I was sober and present. I maybe turned my back for a minute? But who just steals one? It will always make me insane because it went nowhere and makes no sense!
At any rate, I was sad about it because I love those little buggers and use them non-stop, but prepared to pay for a whole new set, or at least a replacement (they are so expensive!). At the last minute, I posted on one of my community groups on Facebook, knowing it was basically a ridiculous request, but thinking maybe someone, somewhere, also lost a lone AirPod, and maybe it was the other one, and maybe they didn’t need its mate anymore…
AND MY NEIGHBOR HAD IT!!!
Can you believe that?? I’m back to a full set! I’m so happy! She happened to have one lonely AirPod, after she had to buy a new set and felt weird throwing out the remaining old one! And it was the right one! (Well, the correct one. It was actually the left.)
SO, after that adventure, and after the week of pure magic we experienced in Mexico last week, and after a few more amazing things happened that were just beyond lucky, I felt it was time for some intentional gratitude! I started that meditation course, I’ve started combing my things for items I can happily donate, and I’ve offered to help some people with a few things! I’ve also decided to get back to volunteering for some of the various organizations I like to work with- I took a bit of a break after the intense work I was doing for the election. (Now, more than ever, we need to keep up that fight for reproductive rights!! Oof!)
So, if my blogs get shorter, just know my hands might be tired from pumping out postcards en masse or holding up that sign during a march!
So much to be grateful for, and so much good to do with all the privilege and blessings we have.
So, with that energy, onto the check-in for May!
What I’ve been hoping to find:
- Increased calm, less anxiety– Man, definitely. Yes. It’s sometimes hard to remember how quickly I could get anxious before. I’m still always going to have anxiety, I’m sure, but I feel like a much, much calmer person now.
- Better balance & handling of my manic episodes – Beyond a shadow of a doubt. I also attribute this to skillful microdosing, use of sleep aids when manic, and a slower pace of life currently, but much better. The only exception, perhaps, would be the recent Supermoon, but I really wasn’t too amped up, just happy and not getting much sleep.
- Much less reactivity in my daily life– Yes! I am so proud of this! My husband is the most laid-back person in the world, and lately I find myself telling him “oh, it’s not worth getting upset about” more and more. I’ve never been that person. I’m the person that gets super dramatic right away! (Then over it pretty instantly, but still.)
- More empathy- for myself & others– Yes, completely, yes. Every day more and more. And then more. Even the people who made things the worst for the past four years, or during the pandemic (you know who they are), even them- I’m finding more space to try to understand. You can understand behavior without accepting it- meditation helped me remember that.
- A better understanding of who I am at my core– Again, every day more and more. RuPaul told me all that quiet time with myself would reveal who I really am, and he nailed it.
- Inspiration, ideas, & solutions– Yes! I’m currently sitting on three strong book ideas, two of which I came up with during meditations!
- A more direct connection to my emotions– I think so? I’m not sure. Again, I’m pretty in touch with my emotions in general, but I think I’m hoping to have better access to them for my career, and better control over them and their causes in general. This just hasn’t been tested a lot recently.
- Forgiveness– I still get mad. I still struggle with forgiving those few evil people who hurt the ones I love most. Only one is still actively a part of my life (and only on the fringes), so that helps. Working on where the line is for me here. But I’m very quick now to forgive silly little things.
- A deeper capacity for love and acceptance– Hope so! I pride myself on being a very loving and accepting person, but am making more space for those who are… difficult… to love and accept.
- More range & confidence as an actor– God, I hope so. I had one reading and a couple auditions this month. It’s trickling back slowly. It feels so good.
- An even more loving marriage– Every month I write that my marriage is even more loving than the month before, and this time is no different! I’m almost shocked some days. Like, this is real? I have an actual, insanely loving, trusting, kind relationship with the most supportive person on the planet? I really get that movie romance everyone told me didn’t exist? And the best friend, down-to-earth, real love that goes with it? Every day it gets better. And I like to think meditation is helping me do my part to make that happen!
- Some wisdom, perhaps– Lots and lots. Equanimity forever. Space in your mind. Not controlling, not trying to make things what we wish they were. Impermanence. Gratitude. All of it.
- Less annoyance at the world in general when things don’t go the way I think they should– Ha, I really hope I’m doing better at this. I struggle with people who must act like asses, but I think when circumstances just go wrong, I’m better and better at rolling with it.
- Greater flexibility– I’m starting to notice this more! I think it goes hand in hand with not trying to control things.
- The ability to meditate well– to sit comfortably, to let thoughts pass without grabbing them, to actually get the most out of the practice (with the understanding it will never be “perfect” & that some days will be more challenging than others)– I’m getting really good at this physically, but still find myself struggling to focus or to let thoughts pass without inspecting them about half the time.
- A clear map to that quiet place that lives inside all of us– I definitely feel I’ve got a reliable compass at this point!