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Posts Tagged ‘worry’

Today was amazing. I began the day feeling pretty down on myself until about mid-day when I read Susan Piver’s blog post about meditation which reminded me of the whole perspective of letting go of an agenda for meditation.

To simply be present to my experience without labeling it or judging it.

It reminded me of something Adyashanti says about letting go of the meditator as an identity and to stop judging how good I am at meditation.

So I meditated for 20 minutes and released all identities as I became aware of them. “I don’t need to be a meditator right now. I don’t need to be a coach right now. I don’t need to be a friend right now. I don’t need to be a cat owner right now.” It was so liberating.

I’ve spent the rest of the day going about my business and becoming aware of how I’m trying to present myself to people (in other words, the identity I’m “wearing” in any given moment), and then releasing it to discover what’s there when I just let life be as it is. It’s such a pleasant way to experience life! I find myself smiling a lot. 🙂

I think this is related to the worry I’ve talked about in previous posts. I think when we put on identities, it can be very easy to then worry about how well we’re living up to them. The purpose of meditation is not to create another identity that I can then worry about. Meditation is a time for me to let go of all of those “jobs” (because maintaining an identity can sure start to feel like a job sometimes, can’t it?) and clock out (as opposed to checking out or spacing out) and just be with whatever my present experience is.

This awareness of my emotional eating patterns has led to an awareness of worry, which has led to an awareness of the different identities I assume and how much stress that causes me.

And it seems I’ve now found where meditation fits into my 100 Days of Fitness!

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I had an energy healing session tonight at the Golden Angels Holistic Center, and right as the session began I was asked what my intention was. I said, “To let go of worry.” I was then asked to elaborate on what I feel in its place when I let go of worry, and I responded, “That’s what I’d like to find out.”

And I did. I felt…alive. Yes, there were waves of joy and happiness and peace and gratitude, and all kinds of good feelings. But the most powerful thing I felt was a deep sense of being alive, vibrantly alive. Most of the thoughts and memories that passed through my mind were positive ones; but even the “negative” ones had no charge to them. In fact, I was amused by how easily I’ve gotten upset in the past.

So my big insight today is this: Life is what I experience when I stop worrying. My choice in any given moment is between life and fear.

Regarding exercise: Workout F consisted of as many squat jumps as I could do in 10 minutes. My total was 165, up 8% from last time and 42% from the first time.

And I’ve decided that when I finish the 31-day Beginner Home Routine, I’m going to stick with it until I max out each workout in the series. So if some workout calls for 4-8 sets, I’ll keep with it until I can do the full 8 sets. Then I’ll move on to the Beginner Gym Routine.

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I had a big insight tonight during my Power of Now Group discussion: Worry about the future is what makes me unhappy with my life now. And as I mentioned yesterday, it’s this unhappiness with life that then leads me to seek happiness in food.

My main sources of worry are:

  1. Money
  2. Being unloved and alone
  3. Squandering my life by worrying

The third one is the most absurd. It’s a self-fulfilling action: Worrying that I’ll spend the rest of my life worrying.

It feels like I’ve identified a key piece of the puzzle. The shift I’m looking for might not be so much about finding/creating joy; it might be more about removing the main obstacle to joy. Maybe joy is my natural state. That is, maybe I experience joy naturally whenever I stop worrying.

Regarding today’s workout (E), it was sets of 10 lunges and 10 burpees. I did 6 sets of each, up from 5 sets last time.

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Duration of today’s sit: 20 minutes

The change in posture felt good today. My mind was racing and concentration was challenging. I was able to maintain a fairly continuous awareness in my body, even if it was only partial.

What filled my mind were thoughts of some exciting possibilities that came up yesterday, both personal and business. This mental activity felt fun, but there was also a subtle level of anxiety. And I realized I was discovering another kind of worry.

It’s great to be in a perspective of possibility, but why all of the mind activity? My mind was trying to prepare for all of those possibilities because it was worried that if it wasn’t prepared, something bad would happen. I’d never noticed this before. It’s another manifestation of the need for certainty.

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Duration of today’s sit: 30 minutes

I increased my meditation time from 25 minutes to 30 minutes today. Didn’t notice a difference. I want to sit for a full hour one day soon.

I also learned that if my iPod is not connected to the wi-fi, I don’t get “credit” for my sit on the Insight Timer app. There’s some ego pride in there, and there’s also the simple matter of tracking my progress. So I’m running the timer for another 30 minutes as I write this.

The quality of my concentration was mixed. The mind was racing, grabbed by a combination of creative excitement and worry about uncertainty. I was able to concentrate pretty well when I brought things back to basics, the simple 3-part object with a silent mantra of “in, out, body.”

And for the most part I was able to feel compassionate and gentle about the experience, reminding myself to “face what’s here.”

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Duration of today’s sit: 25 minutes

I woke this morning with a vision of peaceful productivity for the day. And I began my meditation very shortly after getting up, with a positive attitude and desire to sit.

My staying was relatively continuous, especially in contrast to the past few sits. Early on, there were lots of creative thoughts. I’m very excited by some new business ideas, and my mind ran with those for a while. I used the feeling body as a way to ground, and that helped.

At one point my phone rang, and I felt a strong ego response. There were two components, in parallel. One was worry that someone (family, a client) needed to talk to me; the other was anticipation that someone (maybe even a sexy woman) wanted to talk to me. But even then worry was in the mix because I was afraid I was missing an opportunity by not answering the phone. This reaction was instantaneous, as well as my awareness of it, and it dissipated quickly when the phone stopped ringing.

What’s so interesting is that my concentration increased quite a bit immediately following that. I think bringing the ego mind so clearly into the light of consciousness had a calming effect.

The final note I want to make is that this was my longest sit since I began these 100 days, and it felt quite short. I was not anticipating the bells when they came.

Even in just 9 days I feel more skillful in terms of preparing for the sit, choosing an attitude and intention, responding to agitation and drowsiness, and observing the mind.

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Duration of today’s sit: 20 minutes

Today felt totally old school.

I woke up not wanting to get up, wanting to hide from the day. Definitely did not feel like sitting. I had no compelling vision of the day or the week, or of life, though that sounds extreme. I wasn’t anti-life. Just not enrolled.

I procrastinated for about 30 minutes before making my way to the cushion.

During my sit, my mind was very agitated with elaborated thoughts of worry and conflict. I concentrated on the 3-part object but there were many distractions. I grounded myself in the feeling body, which would calm the mind a degree or two, until the next big thought grabbed it and ran.

But I think there was indeed an overall calming effect over the course of the sit because by the end I was able to create short periods of highly concentrated and continuous staying.

Tonight, I will set myself up with a compelling vision for the following day to see what effect that has on my morning sit.

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