Holy shit my back is OUT. Sitting is kind of uncomfortable, laying down is fine as long as I don't move too fast, but standing? NOPE. Shooting pains and numbness in the legs from sciatica, and it feels like my midsection is in a vise. I'm doing the old lady shuffle today.
Been working on my Woo lately, in response to an overactive skepticism that's been hijacked by nihilism and my depression. I'm taking an online class with Jesa, she of the Faerie Oracle fame, focusing right now on the basics for beginners: daily meditation of a very simple sort, some journaling, and the one that I have the hardest time letting myself do, which is energy work. The exercise involves trying to feel an energy field between your hands, and wow do I have to fight the "LOL HIPPY" reaction while doing it. That ain't helpful right now, brain. (Writing any of this down makes me feel embarrassed when, really, in the moment I don't feel embarrassed at all and I feel like it's working and it's helping, and even admitting *that* makes me want to crawl under a rock, so clearly this reaction is more about being taken seriously by other people than about my own personal beliefs or well-being. Basically, I don't want to admit I'm spiritual or buy into this stuff for fear of ridicule or being thought stupid by . . . I don't know who. Internet Atheists of the worst sort. Anyway.)
The meditation and centering exercises have been the most successful, though doing them daily is still a struggle for me. All we do is count our natural breaths to ten, and then restart the counting. Do that for ten minutes. I'm getting more practiced at letting random thoughts pop up, and starting to understand better what people mean when they talk about the meditative mind; at this point, it isn't so much about stopping unconscious cognition but consciously rerouting *meta-cognition*.
I cannot overstate how helpful that skill is for people with anxiety.
Yeah, anxiety is chemical, and there are days, even with meds, that I wake up and I am afraid, for no reason whatsoever or for a reason triggered by my dreams. In the beginning of my quest to understand that I was living with a real condition here and not just a failure as a person, identifying those triggers was super important. Now though? I know what makes me upset. I know *why* it makes me upset. And since the anxiety is partially a chemical reaction, knowing that what and why doesn't always defuse the fear. Doesn't *often* defuse the fear. So the best thing I can do is recognize that, yes, this is a thought and this is a feeling, and they exist, and then *not dwell on them*. At that point I'm going to drive myself down that pretty hate spiral if I keep attacking a problem that can't be solved because it is only a problem in my illness.
So let it go. I can't stop the feeling, nor the thought, but I can stop myself from feeding it's fire. Likewise, in a meditative state, I am not going to stop that nattering voice that's observing everything, or the internal secretary reminding me of things to do. I can stop giving them import, thought. I do that by not admonishing myself for having the thoughts, by not responding to the thoughts, and by not getting tangled in the thoughts. Just redirect toward the breath and the counting.
So meditation! Good thing.
Continuing my project breakdown:
Project 7: House!
While we do not yet own a house, I am living in one and renting to own, and it needs a little work. Money is the biggest obstacle in the way of this, of course (MONEY OH GOD MONEY that is a whole other post we will get there). Organizing shit is what I can do right now. So my filing cabinet's content are all over the library and I really, really need to go through the back porch and get a yard sale ready. Other, smaller projects to tackle right now: the cabinet doors and some yard clean up. The cabinets are falling off their hinges and the screws to replace them are completely impossible to find *or* will not stay in the doors; consequently, to get them to stay on, the only screws that will work are too long and punch through the fronts of the cabinets. The real solution to this is to replace the cabinets, but, well, we already covered that hurdle. I think I have a solution-- putting the screws through so at least the doors will stay on, and then covering the ends with a painted bolt and a glass bead. Functional and decorative.
Also, yard work. I need to reseed the year and clean up the rock beds, plus plant some flower bulbs my mom has and rake up detritus so I can mow. There is a lot of detritus. All three trees on the property are terrifyingly fragile, slowly dying, and both of these factors were exacerbated by the tornado a couple of years ago. They must be taken down one day. In the mean time, I keep cleaning up the branches and pray they don't fall on us.