Monday, 17 August 2015

Mindfulness in a Divorce Part I

SO, HO, HO... how did mindfulness become my "go to" when divorcing life got tough for me. Those mornings waking with THAT rock cosily tucked into my solar plexus, my mind full of juggling thought balls and my faithful mind monkeys partying day and night, how did mindfulness find its incredible way through the scary unknown? 

A very thoughtful, kind friend handed me - John Kabat-Zinn's Full Catastrophe Living and one day, after dropping my children off at school, the reality hit of another day of The World of Divorce and I took to my bed. Feeling embryonic and safe, I started to read, words that allowed me to understand the potential of mindfulness to be the salve to my emotionally supercharged life. 


I dipped into chapters that resonated, the words soothing fears of the future, actions of the past and what was offering itself to me during this present moment, in my bed, a safe place. Glimmer of Hope shimmied up and waved at resident Agitation, (a player in "unknown and scary single parent world ") and acknowledged Responsibilities unhappily holding hands with Divorce and all these aspects convening on a simple method of mentally changing your brain for the betterment....


The monkeys scattered unhelpful thoughts such as "YOU are too stressed", "YOU don't have time" and "can YOU even meditate?" BaHaHaHa they laughed........ 


I pondered over a definition of mindfulness "a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, whilst, calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations" ... it felt right, my intuition spurring me on...have a go...


So I laid on my bed, found a Body Scan mindfulness meditation of about 30 mins and I began to listen...I fell asleep at the left ankle.....kind of first base... YUP!  Sleep deprivation, a dulcet voice soothing my frayed brain programming....it was inevitable. I woke up to silence, felt frustrated and negatively self-judgemental for my inability to even focus for 30 minutes on what I had thought would be an instant calm
panacea, a shining light on my journey to mental peace.

So that day I chose to feel beholden to my frustrations, continuing the day in a state of flustered disappointment. What I was fighting to understand was that mindfulness is about acceptance, without any judgement, whatever the outcome is, and being kind to yourself regardless. Acknowledging that maybe, it could take days, weeks or months to stay awake during a Body Scan, SO the thing is...YOU ARE DOING IT... IF you fall asleep it could just be that your body and mind maybe crying out for that extra 30 mins KIPPAGE.... it can be as simple as that.... 


Now being that quite headstrong person, I returned to the tome later on that evening and I read that mindfulness is NOT just about meditation, BUT living mindfully too....

So.... the next morning, with a reluctance of sorts, boosted by head monkeys hanging around the kettle, I decided to mindfully make myself a cup of tea...It felt hard, giving myself permission to make a cup of tea, slowly, amidst the chaos of the morning rush. I focused on filling up the kettle, putting a teabag into the cup, filling the cup, feeling the weight and heat of the cup in my hands, smelling and breathing in the aroma of the tea and then slowly drinking it.....savouring the experience ....

What I realised was this.... in my busy thought-driven automatic pilot day, I often drank a cup of lukewarm tea; something I was mostly disenchanted with, but in the thought driven day had never any attachment to the enjoyment of it...

So the hot tea mindful moment...it felt...good. I realised I had chosen to focus on the present and my mind had been given a mini breather. I felt surprisingly better as I finished the children's morning preparations.  I gave them focused attention and recognised this as being mindful and on balance, although my Body Scan meditation didn't work first time, this home tea "experiment" did.



SO ...I had a little chat with my head monkeys, I told them I was going to train them, they might not like it for a while, we would have good days and bad days... however ... with patience and possibilities, we could all have workable boundaries. The monkeys would be fed and watered regularly by a happier, less anxious head monkey keeper and our lives together could be more productive, kinder and a whole lot less judgemental. Of course the monkeys were cynical, change is difficult and mostly scary, but somewhere down the line in this commitment to mindfulness ....we all agreed life could be immeasurably better.

This is an ongoing Blog of my mindfulness journey resulting in me training to teach mindfulness to others. 


I hope very much you stay with me on this ... mindfulness has really helped me ... OH AND BY THE WAY...this word "SHOULD".... go write it on a piece of paper and burn it. It really is a word that mind monkeys enjoy us using and it serves no purpose other than to make us feel unworthy, guilty ....and when we feel these emotions, we generally are less kinder to ourselves.

With love Natasha X





No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to hear your thoughts about this post!

Choosing Your Divorce Battles and Mindfully Letting Go!

Heads up on the liberal use of a powerful word... So yesterday I had a perfect parcel of "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mar...