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LOVE IN THE DETAILS

the night wind
rocked the ancient trees
till they gave out
their knocking creak
and
the peep-eye moon
stood watch
a storm comin’
snow coming
crows’ seed
will be buried
by morning
no worries
not a worry
there’s always a way
to feed somebody

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FORMING ASSOCIATIONS

. . .U-u-u-m-m, I’m at it again. Another neuroscience class, mindfulness seminar, online PTSD meditation. So, I learned something that might help someone else. After thinking on this information, I thought, if our brains can give us so much trouble with retained images, enough to cause crippling PTSD. Well, why can’t we get some purchase on that and make our brains form associations that please and help us? So, I tried it.

It does work for me, but hear this about what I mean by ‘works’. NO, it does not lessen or relieve pain in a physical sense. Yes, it does release my emotions from the grip of physical pain and I can acknowledge the physical pain without ‘suffering’ over it.

I often wake in the night or very early morning hours with pain. This is where I began. When I would wake up, I would immediately make myself a cup of ‘special’ coffee (usually cafe international flavors), and I would go out on our deck, often wrapping in a blanket to be warm. I would listen, look, breathe in and I would consciously think about all the things that bring me joy, even just the thought of them causes my voice, expression and the feeling inside to change. I would think of knitting afternoons in a friend’s old Victorian home, on the porch with the hummingbirds whizzing through and the lovely, fresh mountain air. I would think of the music of ‘my generation’ and how many good memories that calls up and I would watch documentaries about favorite musicians, even began learning to play keyboard. I would think about how much I loved learning languages and traditions of other cultures, started to practice Irish. I would call to mind and think on the season changes and I’d find a good book, maybe one I’ve read already, by a favorite author.

Now, when I awake with pain, my mind takes that default – of those pleasant associations. No, as I said, the physical pain does not go away but the once attendant suffering does. I can lie quietly and enjoy a book, some music, knitting a shawl for a friend, holding and petting my favorite companion, dear Ruby. I can relax and accept that there is pain in my physical body and that I’m knowledgeable about that and do what I can to address it but that it does not have to control my expectations or mood.

Yes, you can make your brain develop positive associations in the face of pain. Best to you, and thank you. Lilie

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MINDFULNESS

Hmm. . . I’m not crazy about that word anymore, it has become kitchy-katchy and a marketing ploy for some slick go-getters out to make a quick buck off the credulous.

Yet, it is important to me. No, mindfulness is not a cure-all ills, but it sure is helpful. I believe in self defense, most definitely, and mindfulness is a big part (I believe the first part) of that instruction manual that should come with us.

We can’t go into each and every home and make sure that no child, no parent is abusive or being abused. Not all abused persons leave their situation, nor are they able to. What can we do? Well, there is one plan that does work, that has the data to back that up. Mindfulness. Over-simply put, when we train a person to know their own mind, to understand how the brain works, we arm them with a stronghold.

When we practice mindfulness, incorporate it regularly, that becomes the habit of your brain — you take control of that brain. You are the designer of thought, speech and action and, often, you pass that on, by word or practical example. Mindfulness tends to encourage appreciation, ‘seeing’, compassion, acceptance, resilience and can lead to more skillful life choices.

For me, that moment of awakening, realizing how incredible, awesome, marvelous all living beings are, that was it. It was my way out of a mind prison (and later, a body prison – chronic pain). Realizing I had within me all that was necessary for my successful survival and that the ‘plan’ for my life was simply to know my mind and fully engage it in all its capabilities, that my life was up to me. Much you can’t control, much you can decide how to think about it.

Nothing outside of you makes your life better, nothing outside of you is your wisdom. We need others, we need to learn and appreciate the experience of others, but dependence upon that is not ok for us or them. You have resources. Your life is important, to live it as such is to regard all other life.

As always, thank you for spending your time here. Lilie