In times of significant change, it seems that my mind works 20 times the speed it usually does, which in essence renders me completely incapable of doing… well… much of anything. I become paralyzed by the pure volume of what I’m trying to sort through, figure out and accomplish.
I had learned, just by trying, how to center myself. Sitting outside and breathing. Or by sitting in a quiet room (after the kids were asleep) and just breathing. Maybe wrapping my arm around one of my dogs and just focusing on his breathing (my faithful Cleveland is incredible source of peace for me).
Not saying that my few moments of meditation have been completely effective, but they’ve certainly kept my head from exploding from overload.
This clutter that frequently fills my head is not good for anyone. I become overly sensitive, completely exhausted and, basically, just a foul person.
A few months back, I had consulted again with someone I know who reads cards. (He’s a fascinating person who I had met late last summer.) He told me that this transition I’m in will last three years. In that time, I’ll figure out myself and my career, as well as that my life will settle down. Three years. I’m coming close to the end of year one (by my calculations since October of last year is when I filed for divorce) and have gone through such significant changes I’m stunned when I stop and think.
Three years – that’s approximately 1,000 days. Ironically, I had started a book early last year about the divorce/rebuilding process – loosely basing it on a friend who had left her husband the year before. I had tentatively titled that book “1,000 days to Joy.” (Capital J for my friend’s name.) Could that possibly be a sign that I knew this was coming and the adjustments and transition would take so long? I can’t help but think it is.
Yet, thinking about it… my mind starts to fog when I think about the possibility that I have two more years of this transition. Two more years where I’m still trying to find me and some solid footing. And my mind is racing again.
He also told me that I’m struggling to find spirituality and religion in my life. That as soon as I can find that base for myself – whatever it is – I’ll feel more whole. I could no agree more. With a diverse history of various Christian-based religions and learning more about different religions, I’ve found myself more spiritual than religious. And I’m very comfortable with that, but I don’t feel like I “belong” anywhere.
For the past few years, I had considered trying yoga for many different reasons, but probably most significantly because I wanted to learn to relax and center myself. I never knew anyone who had tried it, but I fairly recently met someone who swears by it. So, I have started yoga. Finally. I can’t even describe the feeling when I left the first class. I hadn’t felt that relaxed and at peace in a long time. It was so incredible. And so fleeting.
After my second class the peace again was wonderful, but “the high” didn’t last as long. Fortunately, I’ve already been able to take some of the teachings and attempt them on my own time. While it’s not the same as being in a quiet room, with low lighting and peaceful music, I am able to regain some of that peace for a few moments. I am confident that the more classes I attend, the more I learn this wonderful practice of meditation, listening to my body and quieting my mind, the more I can carry the peace with me.
I am feeling inspired to learn more about Eastern religions. What I’ve always enjoyed about the brief readings I’ve done (mostly the “Tao Te Ching” and some random high level overviews of other religions) is how these teachings tell you to simplify. They seem to be about looking for the answers within ourselves. I’ve long believed in looking for signs, but maybe the key for me to uncluttering my mind is to stop looking for the signs and connections, find peace within me and wait until the indications are obvious.
But, don’t most of us want validation? Confirmation that what we are doing is the right thing? Like good grades in school, I’m continually on a quest for any kind of pat on the back. I did a good job? Yea me! What can I do next? Maybe it’s my type A- personality (I will sleep in any given day, I’m not that motivated) that keeps me looking for the next thing. Maybe it’s lack of affirmations in childhood and most of my adult years. I don’t know. But it’s just not working for me to be always on the go like this. I do need to change and learn from 40+ years of experience that haven’t brought me to where I want to be.
I can easily see why this transition will take me several years.
For now, I will strive to take each day as it comes. I’ll set new goals that are for me only. Goals that include finding my peace every day and decluttering my mind and my life. (Lots more cathartic cleaning to come.) I will read more about ways of life that can help me distress and simplify. And I will look forward to the next phase of my life when I have transitioned into it. But… I will also fully acknowledge that every step I take gives me a new experience and new lesson. After all, life is about the journey, right? Hopefully one growing more peaceful by the day.