“Do not have an attachment to an outcome, yet do have an anchor.” – Joseph Goldstein
In the Fall of 2019, I was at a point where I was not sure how to continue along with this blog. I felt that I was lacking a voice, that I hadn’t yet truly found the blog.
I shared this uncertainty on Facebook, and one of my friends recommended that I share more about my inner me and used the words “journey to self.”
This really resonated with me.
The decision to see a Therapist was one made in the Summer of 2019, after reaching a point of being so scattered that life was pretty much directionless.
Following a difficult conversation with someone very close to me, it became evident that unless I changed, I was no longer moving along a path that lead to something better, and if I did not step away from this path … I was headed toward a point of no return.
Per a recommendation from my Therapist, I started meditating at the turn of the 2020 New Year.
Ten Percent Happier was offering a New Years Challenge.
The structure and commitment were very much needed at the time, hence the nudge from my Therapist.
Throughout my journey, the following prompts have proven very useful:
Begin again. Probably, if not definitely the most significant and comforting aspect of mediation. If you’re feeling lost, not in the groove, scattered … simply begin again.
Soft mental notes. While meditating, you can label feelings, actions and emotions to bring more awareness to the meditation experience. “I’m feeling agitated.” Note: agitated. “I’m thinking about yesterday.” Note: thinking.
No dwelling. Let your thoughts flow like clouds.
Return to the breath. If this is challenging, use the mental note: “Not the breath.”
Just this breath. Literally taking things one breath at a time. Inhale. Exhale.
“Check the attitude of your meditation experience.” – Joseph Goldstein
“Emotions are like the weather.” – Oren Jay Sofer
George Mumford advises to keep mindful of the “lenses”, the “glasses” used to shape how we view life, and how this perspective, the what and how our feelings, affect these views.
Journey to self.
I have been fascinated with the mountains and mountaineering for some time, and an image of Everest was used as the original theme on this blog when I launched it in January of 2019.
It has been a adventure with many parallels to high-altitude mountaineering: seeking a journey, finding the “why?”, trekking in to base camp, making the ascents to camps along the route to the summit; all while staying mindful of progress and gauging your condition along the way.
To me, The New Year’s Challenge was like trekking in to Basecamp, and once arrived, getting acclimatized and ready for the next phase of the expedition.
Completing the first few courses was like making the ascent to Camp 1 on Everest. It took focus and commitment while being very aware of your surroundings and keeping tabs on your progress.
Reaching the six-months of practice milestone was like making the the ascent to Camp 2 on Everest. The familiarity with the trek in to Basecamp and ascent to Camp 1 provided a solid foundation from which to draw and apply experience along the way.
I’ve found a lot of clarity.
I’ve found a more resonant voice for the blog.
Having just completed a year of mindfulness practice, I’m feeling well equipped to handle whatever lies ahead, and I know from experience that mountain weather can be quite dynamic. Yet, I have my prompts for guidance and support … my Sherpas, if you will.