One of the best things about a new year is that it makes us introspective and hopeful at the same time. We’re exhorted to ‘know thyself’ – to acknowledge our failings as well as our wins. So, at the intersection of old and new year it’s helpful to say good-bye to past failures and make steps to replace them with new goals. Well, that’s the hopeful plan, anyway. This week we’ll be sharing what areas of our lives need renewal – be it physical, mental or both.
A couple years ago I had anxiety coming out of my ears, so much in fact I took myself off to see a VA shrink, something which in itself caused a boatload of anxiety. She wasn’t much help, and the only tip she gave was to start meditating. The advice felt unhelpful because I didn’t see how meditating was going to help stave off an anxiety attack while it was happening. Oh well, onwards and upwards. Did I try meditating? Yes, but had to give it up when the act of sitting for 20 minutes with my noisy head made me, you guessed it – anxious.
Now, with the advent of a new year, and being in a less anxious state, I am once again tackling meditation. I use a couple of the sessions from the UC San Diego Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction files. I recently learned that a couple reasons to practice meditation are that it grounds you in the present, and you learn to somewhat control the mind by continually bringing it back to the present. And controlling the mind is useful in some areas such as, ahem, lessening anxiety. So, maybe I should cut the shrink some slack. Meanwhile, I’m learning not to judge and critique each meditation session, no matter how scattered my monkey mind – just to breathe and reboot, I mean, renew.
[Img.Src: Marguerite Agniel, c.1929]