I Beat Myself Up for Beating Myself UP

All I can think about lately is how bad I am at this meditation thing. While I’m meditating I’m thinking about how I’m glad I’m doing it, how I get to send my little group a “done!” text, and that hopefully with time I’ll be the meditation guru that I’ve hoped I would become. I try to remember to pay attention to what I’m doing, like Andy says, be present when you stand. When you sit. Remembering to do this twice or even once per day is a huge success! I fail all day at that. I remember only when I sit down the next day to meditate and scream “DAMN IT! I was supposed to do that!” And then I think about how bad I continue to be at this whole ‘mindfulness thing’.

Managing Anxiety is the package I’ve chosen. Andy tells us that we have to learn to re-frame our relationship with anxiety. Instead of letting it define us, learn to work with it. (Damn, Andy sounds a lot like my old therapist…) But instead of saying “I am an anxious person”, say “I am someone that deals with anxiety”. Don’t let it own you, you are not anxiety.

During my meditations I beat myself up, a lot. Then I beat myself up for beating myself up–it’s a terrible vicious circle and it doesn’t really seem to work. But I continue to do it, I continue to try and learn and take these lessons to heart, and I guess by writing about it I want you guys to know that a little bit can and does help.

I’ve started to notice a few things:
-after a long day at work I had plans. Plans that involved a sick kid, decorating a Christmas tree, and whatever else goes along with that. But I NEEDED a minute before going from smiling barista, to smiling girlfriend… So I laid on my couch, boots, jacket, scarf, and hat all still on and I laid there and took like 20 deep breaths. Those few moments were for ME. Well, and for them because without those moments I think I would have snapped, gotten mad, or annoyed.
-often times at my retail job we have less than pleasant customers; I have yet to beat anyone up, yell at them back, or walk out on my shift–I’ll attribute some of that to meditation, some to my amazing ability to hold myself back from stupidity.
-I ran long and hard yesterday… my 4 mile trail run turned into almost 9 miles of bushwhacking and being lost in the woods. I was going to go run, lift, or both this morning–however, my body HURTS. So instead I did some slow moving, deep stretching yoga. That in itself was a meditation.

Anyway, long story short–meditation is never perfect. It’s not stopped me from wanting to drop kick the puppy that lives in the apartment below me…(I haven’t and I WON’T–but the barking, so much barking…) But it is helping in some small, slow ways. And for that alone I’m going to keep it up.

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Here’s a photo before I realized what kind of adventure I was going to end up on… It’s called Top of the World and that is our beautiful Lake Superior there!

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Ten Little Minutes

Why are days off the hardest?

When I see someone I haven’t seen in a while, they generally have to ask me “so, how many jobs do you have now?” I have to respond with a silly answer, “like a zillion”. However, that’s not true, I do not have “a zillion jobs,” currently I have three…ish. Four? Three that I pay taxes on. We’ll go with that.

So I have today off. A random Thursday to do whatever I want. Now, if that statement doesn’t stress you out, then I am jealous. So far today I have: Slept in, (however my alarm was going off and I kept hitting snooze and was feeling really bad about it), I made coffee, I started a new book, I meditated.

Meditated. Trying to be consistent with this is a new thing for me. In a fury of panic I re-downloaded the Headspace app, I paid for a year long subscription, and committed myself (and also recruited others via a group text, let me know if you want to join. It’s like a support group for women who are bad at meditating) to meditating 10 minutes a day. Ten minutes. It’s nothing. It’s the time I take to take a shower. Ten little minutes

I am on day 10 of 30 of the “Managing Anxiety” package in the program and I think I’m getting worse.

Going into my ten minutes I sit there and think of all of the things I need to get done after I check “Meditation” off my growing to do list. And when Andy, if you get the app, you’ll meet Andy, tells me that a wondering mind is okay. Acknowledge the thought, say Hi!, and move on. However, after I say Hi! to that thought more come in. And then my mind wanders to how bad I am at this, and it’s only ten minutes, monks do this for hours and days on end. Why oh why are ten little minutes so hard. Why is this couch cushion hard all of the sudden? What podcast should I listen to when I go to the gym? I should write about how hard this is because people will relate and blogging is about relating to people! People, omg people can be so annoying, customers actually, most customers at work are just annoying. I wonder if I’m an annoying customer when I go shopping, though I generally just keep to myself, rehang all the clothes for the people actually working at the store I’m shopping at because I KNOW the difficulties–…“and now just let your mind go, let it wander where ever it wants to…”

Shit. I was supposed to be meditating. What does my mind want to think about…



“and now bring your focus back to the breath…”
…shit. Mother fucker, I forgot I was supposed to be breathing.

…And they tell me that this is why I need to meditate.