Meditation and Mindfulness

About a week before the whole cancer thing started, I had been telling Jess that I wished I was better at stress relieving activities. I told him I needed to get a better handle on doing meditation, yoga, mindfulness and stress relievers, because I could feel all the energy from the world and my own body soaking it up. I was wishing that it was as easy for me to do meditation as it is to say, vacuum my house or sew a mask or help a student that is confused. Easy is the wrong word. Perhaps what would be better is MOTIVATED TO DO meditation like I’m motivated to help students or any of the other things I do during the course of my week.

Fast forward to now and it feels like an essential component to healing and not feeling like I’m drowning in fear and doom.

I made a meditation space, and wrote about it. And my friends have been sending me things for it, from my own private YouTube meditation channel from a dear friend, to yoga supplies. I’m so humbled. I can feel a shift in me, a little, about accepting gifts and support. I know I need anything that is offered to help me get through this. It’s not going to be fun physically, but that doesn’t mean the rest of ME, of my spirit and my happiness and lifeforce and love can’t be having fun and staying centered and calm.

Suddenly meditating and mindfulness is ALL I WANT TO DO. I do find a deep amount of mindfulness when I write, so that is why I write. When I realized that, years ago, I was able to give myself some love and support for finding mindfulness in a way that works for me.

But I know that I need to do some much deeper meditation. I need to let my mind and body get very present and very very very calm. And just sit. And just lay down. And just breathe.

I need to do that every day.

I had intense dreams last night. I was at a wedding, and a few people I know were there in the wedding, plus some celebrities. It was a big production with a burlesque show in the middle of it, and breasts were on display. I was carrying around a giant basket of greek olives I had just picked, for some reason, and I needed to put them down. I was at the wedding to be a helper, not to be there as a guest, but I didn’t know what my friends needed.

Then I saw Taylor Swift and she was hurt. Her body was limp, and she seemed like she had fainted. Everyone was talking over her, about her, and being star struck. In the dream that made me feel nauseated and upset and fiercely protective. I picked her up and carried her away, stroking her hair and telling she was going to be ok, and I wasn’t going to leave her alone. I found a couch to lie her on and sat with her. And then she disappeared. Somehow in the dream…I had put her somewhere in the in-between space where she was fine and ok, but the others couldn’t bother her. Especially the boy that was there when she got hurt that walked away from her.

Yes, I do listen to Taylor Swift music, and I know some of this makes sense based on her lyrics. I was deeply concerned people were going to keep being star struck vs. actually giving care. I think my dream is telling me to GIVE MYSELF CARE because all dreams are about mostly ourselves, anyway. I’m also going to send a little prayer of love out to her today, because apparently we’ve shared a dreamspace.

I think I feel like that limp body. I feel vulnerable and I know I have to count on others to get better. I feel scared and a little worried that I have to become such a researcher myself in order to make the best decisions about my care. It’s deeply overwhelming especially with all the other things I am having to step up on already with Covid. Yes. It feels a little unfair, but I don’t spend any time feeling sorry for myself about that. WE ALL have tons of “unfair” in our lives, mine is no different and definitely not harder than anyone else’s. We all are thrown curveballs.

Yesterday I bought myself a cute binder, a spiral notebook and some cute dividers. I’m going to need a cancer notebook. So. I am going to make one to keep all these notes in, and I’ll carry it with me to all my appointments. I’ll put what they say down in there, and I’ll write the day and who. I think it will help me to feel like I have some control over things, when really, there is very little. I can control how I collect the information told to me. I can control how I manage my stress. I can control who I let care for me in the medical field. But once I make my choices in care, I’m not going to micromanage my doctors unless it impacts my comfort or procedures. I’m going to let them do what they do.

These mountain photographs are from my solo backpacking hikes this summer. I hiked up there alone with my dog in active bear season, and I hadn’t done backpacking since I was 23, and not alone. I’d never done it before and I didn’t even bat an eye. I just put on the new pack I bought myself and headed out. The beauty was worth every single bruise and every single moment of exhaustion. I got to see this. I got to feel alone in the wilderness for a little while. Being alone in the wilderness for a little while is NOT bad. Continuing to be alone with my thoughts while I work through this won’t be, either.

We can do hard things.


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