The first item on my list of things I wish I did for myself, is ‘Read my bible daily and had a morning routine for my spirit’.
So this month this is the habit that I am working toward incorporating into my life.
What this looks like for me is the following:
- Listen to a Podcast from Laudate.
- Send thoughts of loving kindness and pray a blessing for 3 people.
- Read 2 chapters from the Holy Bible. (typically I use the Bible Ap by youversion.com)
- Meditate (currently 10 min.)
I have been in the practice of doing the above occasionally over the summer, however I have done it consistently for the last 3 days after beginning Project Maple.
In addition to doing this for myself, I would like to do something else for myself. Make a plan to help me fall in love with life again. A loose plan has been forming in my mind today.
Recently (for a little over a week now) I have been rather depressed. I wanted to give myself 2 weeks to see if I’d snap out of it, I mean a girl can have a bad week right? I had noticed the negative change and considered that I may need to up my anti-depressant dose (still within the range suggested by my MD), so I asked 2 trusted friends to keep an eye on me and let me know in 2 weeks if they thought I should indeed up it as I suspected. But after only a week it was becoming increasingly worse and I was scaring myself, so I consulted with these friends again, and decided to begin today to slowly increase my dose (to the max suggested by my MD).
This morning I woke up early, which has become a pleasant and healthy custom for me this summer. I have had rough sleeps the last 3 nights, as my 7 yr old DS (with special needs) has been coming into my room and crawling into bed with me. I decided to go back to sleep, and discovered an important pattern. I often have vivid and disturbing dreams, but usually only when I go back to sleep again, after initially waking in the morning. Bad dreams often trigger further negative feelings, so it would be wise for me to not go back to sleep again in the morning. When I woke again I started developing my loose plan to help me fall in love with life again. As part of the plan (which I will lay out in more detail later), I began to recruit friends to do things with. When I met with the least bit of resistance, my mood immediately dove, which I’m sad to say is not unusual for me. I then spent the rest of the day in bed dozing off and on and trying to work slowly and systematically through my spiritual routine/devotions between sleep. Bogged down and slowed by my depressive state and exhaustion I was unable to make much sense of the podcast, which I listened to anyway; Unable to pray much beyond ‘Dear God please help me’, and sent only the most basic blessings. I usually begin my 2 chapters with the chapter that Bible Ap takes the verse of the day from; however seeing that it was from Deuteronomy and keeping in mind my current state, I chose to read Psalm 1 & 2 instead. I found the words from these Psalms to be comforting and familiar. This perked me up enough to get up, but not enough to give me much hope of focus for meditation. So I got up and painted my toenails blue. I found the effect of my freshly painted toenails on my mood to be surprisingly revitalizing (Something that I must remember in future when I need a pick me up). Immediately following I sat down to meditate while my nails dried and found that my focus was better than it had been in any other time of meditation.
This type of meditation, that I’m currently practicing, is new to me. I’m told it’s called mindfulness meditation (Mindfulness… how I hate that word 😉 ). I’m learning about it under Josh’s guidance and through reading a book that he recommended called ‘Mindfulness in Plain English’. As a long time mouth breather I struggled particularly with relaxing while breathing through my nose. This is the first time that I meditated while breathing through my mouth and it made such a huge and positive difference for me. I also chose to do something else different… when thoughts entered my mind, instead of telling them ‘not now’ as I have been in the past, I accepted them. Just a simple hello to recognize them and name them was acknowledgement that they were there, and I found they quickly faded away. I believe that this new success in ability to maintain focus has much to do with my attitude toward intrusive thoughts, and the difference between fighting them and accepting them.
I think that in future it would be wise to do my spiritual routine first thing when I wake up. It will likely provide me with a better outlook and perspective for the rest of the day. And then I would be up and ready to go, instead of fighting depression and finally crawling out of bed at 2pm. Plus if I don’t go back to sleep a second time, I can probably avoid those strange and vivid dreams. 😉
Be blessed, I’m going to put a second coat of paint on my toenails.
The ups and downs throughout my day have been dramatic.
Todays Mood out of 10 with 1 being low: 2 – 5
Todays Lessons To Remember:
- Painting toenails can be incredibly revitalizing.
- Devotions are best done first thing.
- Going back to sleep a second time in the morning often brings bad dreams.
- It’s ok to mouth breathe in meditation
- In meditation acknowledgment and acceptance of random thoughts and feelings yields better results than fighting and rejecting.
Todays Joy Notes:
- Being able to rest and not having to go anywhere.
- A great link from a friend JF about HSP and routines.
- Blue nail polish and brightly painted toenails.
- A successful meditation experience.
- Promise of fun times ahead with a friend TP, whom I havn’t seen in over a year.
- Starting to watch a new season of ‘Master Chef’ with the kids.
- Safe travels for DH.
- The final glimpse of the sunset edging the clouds with flaming pink, like a ribbon of molten lava across the sky.
- The night heat was broken by big fat lazy raindrops that turned into a downpour.
- A friend JF sharing this beautiful quote with me, even though I find it challenges me:
I am pleased enough with the surfaces – in fact they alone seem to me to be of much importance. Such things for example as the grasp of a child’s hand in your own, the flavor of an apple, the embrace of a friend or lover, the silk of a girl’s thigh, the sunlight on the rock and leaves, the feel of music, the bark of a tree, the abrasion of granite and sand, the plunge of clear water into a pool, the face of the wind – what else is there? What else do we need?
- Cold Chocolate Milk.