Month: September 2019

Breakthrough by Lois Hewitt

Finally, I’m starting to see clearer and feel better. The meditation is working. I have only been at it a short time but the results are in my view.

I am experiencing the beginning of being more present. Instead of worrying about my entire day at once, I am only focusing on where I am at in the present. I plan things like dinner but I do not obsess any longer. It is not completely ingrained yet, but it is a start. My mind still wanders but that is OK.

I have had thoughts about a lot of different things, especially those issues that are causing my anxiety. I have started to notice how I react to things that I do or that happen. I have noticed a distinct issue with technology lately.

For example, I hate my phone. I cannot make or receive calls in certain places. My stick fingers cannot seem to text without several corrections. My mind goes back to my childhood rotary phone. Only time that beige beast did not work was when the phone line was down.

Along that vein, texting is a necessary evil in my mind. I am going to start writing letters or cards again. I miss that tactile feeling of holding a letter in my hand or the simple joy of finding one in the mailbox.

Same goes for books. I thought, at one time, that being able to carry a hundred books around with me would be the most awesome thing. All of my books are now gone, moved to someone else’s home. I have a lot on my iPad, but the pure joy of reading them electronically is gone. I miss the feel of the pages on my hands and the smell of the paper.

How about solitaire? I miss shuffling a deck of cards, listening to the sound and again feeling them in my hands. Playing online simply becomes about beating the clock and starting another game. It all seems so rushed.

In my quest for better health, I have slowed down my consumption of soda. But even before I made the decision, I slowed down because I dislike the taste in plastic bottles. I grew up drinking an ice cold Coke in a glass bottle. I then graduated to only drinking beer from a draft or a glass bottle. It just tastes better. Many an outing was funded by returning bottles and collecting the refund.

No more fast food. I know want good food eaten slower. I have spent the last few decades eating either in the car or just chugging it down in a hurry. This has truly contributed to my health issues as well as the weight I can never lose. I have to learn what real food tastes like.

I remember on a slow summer day, jumping in the car for a drive to nowhere in particular. Windows down, music loud. No one in front of you and no one behind. Driving today is so stressful, I do not want to go anywhere. I am not an aggressive driver, so driving today is pure anxiety because the thrill is gone.

I miss the sound of a needle on a vinyl disk. Music, in my humble opinion, sounds spectacular on vinyl and flat electronically. I miss the nuisances of background sounds that are engineered out today for a cleaner sound. Yes, electronic music is more convenient but you have to give something up for that.

I miss homemade chocolate chip cookies. I miss eating cherry jello with real whipped cream. I miss eating apples right off the tree. I miss the excitement of going to a movie theater.

I am not trying to be unreasonable here. But I think some of my anxiety of late has manifested because I feel that I no longer fit into this modern world. Technology is passing me by at an alarming rate. I have lived for a long time under the umbrella of speed and convenience.

Have you ever seen a movie where a character is standing still while everyone else around them is moving in fast motion? That is how I feel every day and I just never realized it. I have joked about the sloth being my spirit animal, it turns out it is not a joke.

I want to taste life but I have conditioned myself to always be running (not literally… That is not happening). If I am not busy, then I am lazy. If my to-do list is not full, then I am doing something wrong.

I have no answers yet, but I feel that I am on a path to figuring it all out. It is going to be a long process but one that will be enlightening.

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A New Epic Journey by Lois Hewitt

Today is the day I have decided to embark on a new epic journey. As of late, I have been dealing with a lot of anxiety. I don’t feel comfortable in my skin. I feel very out of balance. All First World problems, I know, but my struggles nonetheless.

The original epic journey was about me changing my life about seeing the country and beginning again. I did those things without the outcome that I had anticipated.

Wonderful times were had along the way. I have had the extreme privilege of meeting some of the most awesome people… Many I am still in contact with. I have changed but many of my old thought patterns remain.

I feel on edge a lot of the time. Peace is still at arms length away. I have come to realize that there are choices I need to make. There are behaviors that I need to throw away once and for all. I need to start controlling my life, instead of it controlling me.

My faith has seen me through and that is not going to change but I am going to start adding a new component to my life. Mindfulness. I, truthfully, do not fully understand the concept. But I am always living either in the past or worrying about the future. The present is the one place I need to be.

My doctor suggested that I study some mindfulness techniques to assist with my high blood pressure and other health issues. I want to do it to calm my mind. I realize it does not cure my problems, but it can help learning to live with those issues.

So today, I trudged to Target. I hate shopping but I chose to try to enjoy it. I purchased a large, soft pillow and a comfy, soft blanket to cover a loveseat. This is going to be my meditation place. Just a place dedicated to breathing and clearing the mind. It is not much, but it is a start.

I have a few things to read to help me on this journey along with an audio to listen to. By all accounts, I have heard the process of learning these techniques can take some time. I am dedicated to start living in the present. I cannot change the past and my constant worrying about the future has done me no good.

I am going to try to document the process. Over the years, I have forgotten what used to make me happy, hobbies and what have you. Everyday I worry about my health issues and it can be consuming.

So tomorrow I wash my new blanket and set up my space. Step one is always the hardest. If I can change the way I think (and fear) about life, maybe I can start to have some fun again. Mindfulness, here I come.