other new directions

Despite all the change planned around here, I have been feeling remarkably calm. Well, maybe that’s not quite right. As I’ve said before I sometimes get a kind of low-level anxiety but I don’t feel super stressed, or overwhelmed, or any of those things.

I think some of that comes from hanging out online with Havi and trying some of her products. She has a really calming way of talking about things that seems to help. I don’t think I really “work on my stuff” the way she talks about that. I’m a horrible journaler. And I still haven’t got a yoga practice sorted. I’ve never meditated, at least not in some purposeful way that I know is meditation. But whatever half-assed version of all of that I’m doing seems to be working for me. I’m remarkably calm about the uncertainty and scope of potential change in any case.

But hanging out there has also opened me up to trying to do some of that kind of thing more purposefully. There is a wonderful woman at my church that teaches an 8 week course on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. I hummed and hahhed about taking is because I wasn’t really feeling that stressed. But then I thought that maybe mindfulness was something that would  work for me or be a useful tool in future or something. So I put down my money and registered.

Last night was the first class. I dealt with the lack of stress but having an argument with Tigger before I left the house, being a bit pressed for time, and then driving around the block several times looking for a parking spot that I might be able to get into and out of (many were filled with snow). I even tried one, got stuck half-way in and had to ask a passer-by to give me a push. We decided on “out” and I then found a better one. I arrived late and a bit stressed. We all laughed. (Our transit drivers are on strike, removing my usual thing of taking the bus down there.)

The resonances between this mindfulness business and whatever it is Havi does are striking. I don’t think Havi has ever used the term “mindfulness” but there are a lot of commonalities. So I feel like this is really a good thing for me right now. And another woman in the course mentioned that she had tried something like this a while ago when she was having a very stressful time and it didn’t work. So I’m thinking maybe the fact that I’m relatively calm maybe makes it a good time to learn techniques that might be helpful in more stressful times.

I also noticed that at least one other person in the class had been doing other things to change their life to make it less stressful. Not exactly the same as the changes I have undertaken but a similar kind of direction — rebalancing life to be less focused on work, having a less stressful job, etc. So maybe this is just one thing in a longer process.

I didn’t do my homework today in any formal way, but I did occasionally notice myself being mindful for a few seconds. I’m not so busy that it should be difficult for me to insert a practice into my day. I think it is more that judgemental self trying to work out when the best time is (morning? during the day? evening?). Intellectually I know that the best time is probably less important than just doing it. So maybe I’ll try harder tomorrow. There is also that bit of me that worries about it looking foolish. Again, I just need to get over myself.

But I’m not beating myself up about this. I know what I have to do. And I think I need to get used to the idea slowly. So I’ll build up to it. Maybe just being mindful of some of what I do in the day is a better place for me to start than a meditation practice with a CD. We’ll see.

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3 Responses to other new directions

  1. M says:

    This sounds like a really good direction. And I think assimilating the idea slowly is wise. :-)

  2. Audrey says:

    Ah! I’m on that path myself — reducing stress to focus on what’s really important. I had too many jobs because we needed the money. Then had too many jobs because I felt stuck in them. It was hard letting go, but after the first one, it became easier.

    I’m down to a manageable schedule and only one job takes me out of the house regularly (8 hrs/wk). One job is very fulfilling and could become my one and only job if it continues to grow the way it has been. I’d be happy with that since most of it is done from home.

    I also started detaching emotionally from work. I had way too much invested in work on a personal level, but no reciprocation coming back my way. Balancing that out went a long way to improving my mental health and reducing stress.

    I’ve learned (finally) to let it go… let it all go. I know where my priorities are — its just hard to figure out how best to serve them sometimes. I feel like I’m getting better at it all the time, though, and that makes a world of difference.

  3. kim says:

    Wonderful! I think you’ll be really happy you started the course and are working on your stuff. Stress reduction is such a big health booster too!Keep us posted.