Climbing

Finally.
Let me tell you, the last week has been so refreshing.
It’s not that any of the situations in my life have changed, but the perspective has finally shifted.

Many people have always thought of me as a happy, bubbly, social, person; and it’s not that I am not, in some respect, that person.
Lately though, I have been having longer and longer spells of introspection.
Sometimes positive.
Sometimes gut-wrenchingly negative.
I know by now that I have these cycles.

But, I’ve been trying to find ways, in the darkest parts of the cycle that holds the reigns on my mind, to pull myself out. Sometimes, it feels a bit like a climbing route. I’ll look up and see no passible route, no possible hold – from this position it seems impossibly hopeless. Yet, upon changing directions- a tilt of the head in a different way – the shadows shift, the angles align, and a new way up appears.

Climbing. Shifting perspective.
That’s what meditation has been doing for me.

I have been practicing meditation seriously now for the past couple of months.
At first, it was frustrating. My thoughts raced in every possible direction, and it seemed like there was no possible way to coral them.
Often times, I gave up and moved on to other activities, most times I achieved a few seconds, at most, of a clear mind and counted it as a good experience.

At one point, though, I decided I would sit down, and I wouldn’t be getting up until I was satisfied that I was in control of my thoughts.

It took a long time. I had headed into my room while the sun was up and finally lifted myself from my seated position on the floor only after the shadows had deepened and the only light came from my flickering candle.

Any one who knows me knows that my sitting still for that long is a feat unto itself, but what I was more thrilled about was the absolute out of body experience that I had just undergone.
At some point while sitting there, I just let go. I stopped trying to micromanage my thoughts and suddenly they were drifting away like wisps of smoke caught in the wind. The constant, maddening discomfort behind my eye was suddenly forgotten. I was just there. No purpose, no agenda, just existing.
Letting thoughts flow freely in and quickly out of my mind, felt so foreign and yet so refreshing.

Sometimes, it feels like every thought that comes into my head gets stuck in a sort of quagmire, until my head is so full of thoughts that I’m certain it can contain not another sentence; and so this experience – this peace, this airing out, this raising the blinds, almost like a spring clean for my mind was such an incredible experience.

It’s a process every time, but eventually, my hope is to be able to reach this stage of self awareness even with distractions and even with a limited amount of time.

I think even the process of detaching from everything, the practice of scheduling time in which to accomplish nothing but self-healing, self-focus, and mindfulness, has been so incredibly helpful to me. It has made me more aware of my body, and much more cognizant of my own needs.

It’s a bit like the feeling I got standing here in this photo, only I don’t have to hike five hours to feel it.

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I know I’ll trip up again.
I’ll need time to get my feet back under me.
I know that there will inevitably be days where no matter how hard I try, I just can’t find the light. It’s the nature of the sickness, but finding a way to lessen those moments – and in a dream world be free of these chemical imbalances without ladening myself down with countless medications – is my ultimate goal.

Day by day.
Step by step.

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