In my last post, I was talking about Maggie down on St. Thomas. She and her friends are good. They were lucky and the storm gave them a glancing blow. It was a glancing blow to an already devastated Island. Hopefully, the hurricanes will leave them alone so they and the rest of the Islands, Florida, and Houston ( Mann it has been a Month!) can start the long process of rebuilding. Which, in my experience can be even more challenging than dealing with the storms!
So yesterday I started noticing a tightness in my back and kidney area, not painful but tight and uncomfortable. Over the next 12 hours or so it was more and more uncomfortable, but it was slowly moving lower, felt like a backache but not really. This morning when I woke up it was still broadly in my midsection but even lower, and I have surmised that it is probably my intestines upset and inflamed from some poor food choice over the last few days. Not only that but the constant waves of discomfort have my thinking going a little nuts. I am aware of the timing with all of the thoughts and worry from the last two hurricanes however much more likely were the bad foods choices I have made while worrying. Welcome to being a human. Things come out of the blue they affect everything. Each time they happen you think they will never go away and will be there forever!
I was in not only physical discomfort but some mental discomfort as well. I decided that it might be a good idea to at least do a little something about the mental discomfort which might, in turn, alleviate the physical discomfort as well. It is a slow road my friends! Kind of like walking across the field of cactus in the picture above.
Though I said my posts would get shorter here is a little-condensed stream of consciousness from my efforts this morning with the intent of going through an honest effort and not pretending that I walk around farting rainbows all of the time.
Sitting down on the cushions:
Ouch. What the hell is wrong with me, Ouch my back hurts. Ok let’s put some nice nature sounds on and see if we can’t calm down a bit, Ouch nothing with loud frogs nature boy! Ok Ok, how about a gentle forest rain, haven’t you had enough rain? Oh calm down and listen… Ouch, How about stretching upwards from the top of your head, that feels better, good lets circle to the center, Ouch, Find the central point, ouch feels like sandpaper inside, can’t we just stop, no, keep circling to the center, the gentle rain is soothing, mann my back is tight, It is nice how the rain is all around me, ok there is the center, lets twist the neck and the waist, I wonder what this pain is? Is this some dreaded disease, maybe I am going to die, Yes someday you will die, Oh shit now you bring that into the picture! Think we can calm down a bit? Ok, where were we, time for the three cleansing breaths, Oh, my God I, am not sure I can do this today! Oh, relax it will be fine, Ouch! Mann, my back is tight! Assume the meditative posture, lift the top of your head and sink, ouch still uncomfortable, Ok, how about we engage Mechanics of breath, What? No way man, can’t-do it, let’s get coffee! Nope! Chill out and watch your breath. You remember the balloon, the glass tube, the silver and gold threads? Let’s look at the balloon, how about we put the balloon at the Middle Tan Tien way too much going on down below, What?!? I can’t even find my breast bone! All I can feel are my guts and back. Let’s eat breakfast. Not today buddy give the system a rest. What ?!? Now we are gonna fast for the day!? Damn! Ok Ok look your breastbone it is right here, ( I lightly touch my breastbone, that’s where the balloon will be ok?) Ok, there is a balloon it expands as you inhale, ouch really I can’t find it! Yes you can, and as you exhale the balloon collapses, ( skipping forward now 10 minutes, because it would take pages of the same thing)
The balloon expands, the balloon collapses, I think the balloon should be yellow today, Oh there ‘s the glass tube. Whoa, didn’t realize my throat was tense too, how about we relax it? That’s better, generate a yawning sensation. Ouch back still hurts, The balloon really expanded that time, Pathway of the breath seems to be clearing. Wow, the balloon is relaxing, Yes now pay attention to and watch the glass tube as air move up and down, good that it starting to work. Ouch! Still, Hurts, yes but you haven’t thought about it for several breaths now so stretch up and look at the silver and gold threads breathing you. Whoa, I feel, better, See, you always doubt, but this stuff works, Can we stop now? No pay attention, watch your breath, See it has been 6 or 7 breaths and you have not thought about your back and you are calming down. Ouch, stills hurts, Ok Ok How about we balance our attention between, Mechanics of Breath and Saying ” I am Calm” When I inhale, “I am Relaxed” when I exhale. No way mann! Oh come on, just say the words for a bit. “I am Calm I am relaxed” (5 or 6 go by) Not working! Not getting it! Look your breathing is better you haven’t thought about your back? Ouch still hurts! I feel calm, and feel relaxed? Wait isn’t it I am calm, and I am relaxed, Beside the point, back to the activity,
(20 minutes later) I am Calm I am Relaxed, I am So Much better haven’t felt this good in a long while, Ready to stop? No keep at it a little longer? Wait? Why would you stop when you are feeling better? Ouch see it still hurts see? and back to I am Calm I am relaxed.
( Ten Minutes Later) At this point, thoughts have cleared up, I actually am smiling, with little or no effort I am feeling the balloon, the glass tube, the silver and gold threads moving in and out and the words “I am Calm and I am Relaxed” are actually physical sensations, my body is relaxed and though I am aware my back is tight the sensation of watching my breath and being calm and relaxed is much more in focus. I hang here for another 10 minutes to let it coalesce around me. Then wrap it up and have a much-improved lightness of being. Does my body still feel uncomfortable? Yep thought it has changed considerably. Task achieved. I have moved the needle from miserable to Ok.
Some basic take aways:
Meditation is a process it takes time and effort.
Be nice to yourself, and suggest rather than order.
As soon as you have success part of you will want to stop. Don’t. Hang with it a while longer.
Remember it isn’t going to be all sunshine and roses however there is sunshine, and there are roses so don’t give up.
And last but not least aren’t you glad you are not in my head today!!!