The pandemic, the continuing isolation, and the ever-present uncertainty have been increasingly difficult for me. Anxiety mounts, and I work to stay calm. I remember well these feelings of worry and concern. When my son was in active addiction, my mind was a whirlwind of thoughts of what could be and what I would do if the worst happened. This is a triggering place for me – a reminder that I need to take refuge in my spiritual practice.
My reflection: I know well the feelings of stress that threaten to overtake me. I need to work to counteract these emotions. Addiction thrives on chaos.
Today’s Promise to consider: When negative emotions engulf us, we need to implement the practices that are nourishing for our souls. For me, that means staying in gratitude, exercising (even when I don’t want to), writing, walking in nature, and meditating. We all have ‘go to’ routines that bring us some semblance of peace. Today, let us prioritize self care. Let us retrain our brain to stop ruminating, if even for a few minutes. Let us breathe and find our calm.
I like the reminder to retrain our brain to stop ruminating. A friend once told me that the brain is similar to a vinyl record, in that it forms “grooves” when thinking patterns are repeated. Sounds weird, but let’s just accept that there are physical changes which occur in the brain with excessive, repeated thoughts. By changing those thoughts, we can develop new pathways which do not necessarily lead us “down the rabbit hole” or into “stinking thinking”. All of the above suggestions: walking, writing, breathing etc. help us become more aware and able to change thoughts. Brain plasticity. Having said all this, I still struggle with having a routine. Maybe my routine is to not have one at all.
Oh my, yes! And see my reply to Libby. I had not read yours when I wrote. Very connected.I need rituals but a flexible routine — I’m with you. Go with flow as much as possible, help keeps me hopefu,l somehow, mind more flexible, meeting things as they arise.
Dear Leona, Your comment is spot on. I’ve read similar research about how repeated thinking forms ‘super highways’ in the brain. We need to make new patterns. You’re right, and I love the way you explained it. Brain plasicity – yes! Thanks for sharing.
O Libby, so SO relatable to me. For Lent I am retreating into as much into silence as I can, fasting from “news and noise and buzz and busy” as much as I possibly can. And renouncing the “demons” of self -doubt and self-criticism in this desert time. But a message to you from one now in the legion of angels. I think I told you once, my son came to me in a dream about five weeks after he passed. I hugged and hugged him and noticed he had 2 lps duct taped to his snow suit. He was a happy four year old. I said honey what is this for? And he said well, Mum you know how I’m always losing things ( and he was) and before I could answer he said: Because you know Mama, you can’t lose the music.Then he was gone. The next day I found some soothing music –was first day I’d felt peace. The message was as plain as anything. He meant All music– the music of life, too. The peace of no words comes to me in listening to silence ,music in nature and music To you, love me and my happy little boy who wanted to soothe his mama.I know he would want me tell you. Music soothes and is such relief from sadness, worry, chaos. Thank you again for sharing the real and vulnerable you. Music.Therapy.We are in this together. https://youtu.be/QRjllL-MP0U
“The silence between the notes creates the music”.
How I can relate to all that you write. Yes, the demons of self-doubt and self-criticism, especially at night, seem to jump on my chest. Your precious son sent us all a messaage not to lose the music. So today I will listen to Debussy and honor your son. I’ll think of your happy little boy who wanted to soothe his mama. My soul needed the music. Thank you.