Author Topic: Mindfulness  (Read 5516 times)

Twoapenny

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Re: Mindfulness
« Reply #195 on: July 14, 2019, 02:39:37 AM »
Another appointment with Therapist D.  She's putting pieces together... familiar pieces... moved around, presented in different ways, at different times.  She explains WHY things work, after she presents them, and she's so happy about the WHY.  It worked for her, and she wants to share her freedom, her expanded interior space, her restoration of choice, and happiness.

It's a lovely way to SEE how to put radical acceptance, mindfulness, and somatic attention INTO practice for myself, when I need it most.  When I need it most my limbic system is in charge, and denying access to higher brain thinking.  Trying to think my way through seems logical, but it's impossible...
until...
I put my finger on my nose, breath into the bottom of the vase at the bottom of my diaphram, then fill
that
vase. 

Slowly....
then release the air...
slowly, and tune into what I feel inside...
put my hand on it.....
 name it, and search for the feeling under it. 

Or not.

It's the breathing into it.... breathing space into that tightness....
providing expanding space around it....
paying attention to the space beside me, above me, below me, and occupying it.... bringing it inside.

And then I notice the tightness in my chest and abdomen eases up.  The strangling feelings in my throat soften and receed.  Space is around and in that area, and it's so
much
better.

I have to remember to put the stories on the shelf, and breath self compassion into that space.  There's no room for stories here.... just being here.... being home.... now.

Today I practice what I want for my tomorrow. 

If I want anxiety, and sadness, I practice those things today.

If I want relief, spaciousness, and a functional life....

I breath,  pay attention to my inner world, embrace it all, good, bad and ugly, and name it. 

Invite it in, which is familiar, and helpful in the past, but NOW I understand why, and where it's leading.  It's the next step to overcoming the fight or flight shut down, spiral, static, chaos.... and shifting OUT of it.

Understandig the shift.  Understanding things will get better,  and I have control over it is really helpful.

Understanding lasting change can happen in between 1 to 2 months... helps.

I don't have to start over again and again and again.  I can build on what I've got, and wire new pathways forever.  They'll be mine, and it's like a rock's been moved from a tiny stream.  The trickle CAN get through, but I can't let the rock roll back into it's comfortable place. 

The PAT..... again.... Postive Affect Tolerance.  There's a default setting of vigilance, and anxiety that has to be identified, embraced, and soothed, until I replace it.... until I can cultivate default settings I'm happy with.

Maybe some stories are true, and that's the case for me.  I'm not in a war zone, but I'll be dealing with sabotage, and legal heinous fuvckery for many years to come, as will my children, and then there's the misogyny, and people in positions of power preying on those with no power. 

And I hear about it when I turn on the tv, or radio.  I react, when I want to respond.  I'll be more capable IF I can calm the chaos, put down the story, and deal with what's in front of me right now.

That might not make sense, but it makes sense to me right now: )

Lighter

(((((((((Lighter)))))))))))))))  It's like being parented again, don't you think?  It's interesting to me that we need to be parented in different ways at different times in our lives.  This kind of therapy seems/feels to me like someone re-parenting you by teaching you how to reset your pathways back to neutral - kind of like re-setting the computer to factory settings once it's got in such a muddle no-one can untangle the pieces anymore and work out what to do.  Wipe, and start again.  I'm so glad she's working with you like this; I think having a practical skill to use in a (hypothetical?) situation is so useful.  And I only put hypothetical in brackets because by that I mean that we are often in a state of fear even though the bare bones of the situation in front of us doesn't warrant it.  But you're right, it lights up those old fires and we go into fight or flight straight away.  And we can't flee, because we've got our kids to look after, and the dinner needs cooking, and there is moss to attend to!  Lol.  And we can't really fight either, because there isn't actually anything there to fight.  And so where does all that fear and emotion go?  I'm so glad you've got someone there that is teaching you to manage it, and also validating it.  I understand when people say, "the fear isn't real, there's nothing there to be afraid of".  I get that, and my logical mind gets that, but the deeper part inside of me doesn't hear that at all.  It's irrelevant to that bit, and that's the bit that's in charge in those situations, in my experience.  So to have someone who understands that and is able to teach you a way to silently calm the part that's frightened - wow.  Excellent parenting all round!  Lol.  I'm really glad she's doing this with you, and is this the person that happens to be very close by or was that a different doctor?  I have got myself a bit confused and muddled some threads in my mind, I think.

Postive Affect Tolerance.  Yep, I can get that.  Feeling comfortable, secure, warm, looked after - doesn't feel normal.  So odd that we get to a point where being uncomfortable is our default setting and not feeling that way feels wrong.  I was talking to someone a little while ago who finally got some relief from a very painful problem she'd been dealing with.  She said she actually got a bit low afterwards, because she'd got so used to being in pain and dealing with that that suddenly not having the pain left her a bit adrift and all these emotions came out that she hadn't realised where in there, because the focus on her pain had blocked everything else.  We have to survive, don't we, whichever way we can, and sometimes cleaning up the mess afterwards is as much work as the original problem was.  I'm really glad you have this person in your life now to help you with it and I am looking forward to reading the next update :) xx xx

lighter

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Re: Mindfulness
« Reply #196 on: July 14, 2019, 02:42:54 PM »
Tupp:
Since the last T visit I've noticed less stress running in the background.  Less dread, and resistance.  I don't know if there was a shift, or if more understanding pushed out some of the reactiveness.  I don't worry about it.

 I'm grateful, and it's opening up space for new ways of being in the world.  Just noticing new creative thoughts is thrilling for me, and puts a hard underline beneath the resistance I let BE in the T"s office.  I saw her face register it, and she backed off and found another way around it, and helped me.....
She helped me breathe space around it, and it appears that space was permanent, or at least lasting.

I think that was a big moment for me.  This T is diwntown, 15 minutes away, and I got her name from the Neuro nurse practitioner, even though she had no availability, I called.  It took some waiting but I snapped up a cancellation, and went in sans judgements, very weepy, and ready to untie the knots. I kinda wish I could just throw myself on the floor and sob, but I'm so used to holding it in....very difficult.

Interestingly, I felt a good deal of poking to the left of my belly button as the breathe work went on.  I think I've been holding energy there my entire life.

I also think that finding the zone, being present, is something that is less cultivation, and more flipping the switch.  We practice different techniques, but we're really trying to change default settings and processes in our brains and bodies, as you said.  That makes sense, and is such a relief to know a switch can be flipped permanently, and built on. 

If we struggle to flip it, and manage sporadically, getting switched back again and again, which can become a pattern too, it's demoralizing, and exhausting.....easy to judge ourselves harshly, which doesn't help.  That takes up so much energy!

I know I carry more space inside myself now.  I feel knots gone, not just unraveled, which is a surprise, and relief.  I feel better.  I want more.  For all of us: )
Lighter

 

Hopalong

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Re: Mindfulness
« Reply #197 on: July 16, 2019, 09:35:55 AM »
I'm so happy to hear this, ((((Lighter))), so very glad for you.
You are doing wonderful, productive healing!

And:
Quote
easy to judge ourselves harshly, which doesn't help.

This is one of the truest answers you've found. It's not gymnastics or martial arts you're doing, where perfect performance and perfect form are goals, necessities.

What you're doing is full of gracious space, ultimate forgiveness, charity toward the self, leaps of trust (wow, you are doing it with this T and therefore with yourself).

There is NO skill that will move you forward as much as compassion will, for yourself and felt sincerely.

I am thrilled by the direction you're turning toward.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Mindfulness
« Reply #198 on: July 19, 2019, 04:12:07 AM »
Tupp:
Since the last T visit I've noticed less stress running in the background.  Less dread, and resistance.  I don't know if there was a shift, or if more understanding pushed out some of the reactiveness.  I don't worry about it.

 I'm grateful, and it's opening up space for new ways of being in the world.  Just noticing new creative thoughts is thrilling for me, and puts a hard underline beneath the resistance I let BE in the T"s office.  I saw her face register it, and she backed off and found another way around it, and helped me.....
She helped me breathe space around it, and it appears that space was permanent, or at least lasting.

I think that was a big moment for me.  This T is diwntown, 15 minutes away, and I got her name from the Neuro nurse practitioner, even though she had no availability, I called.  It took some waiting but I snapped up a cancellation, and went in sans judgements, very weepy, and ready to untie the knots. I kinda wish I could just throw myself on the floor and sob, but I'm so used to holding it in....very difficult.

Interestingly, I felt a good deal of poking to the left of my belly button as the breathe work went on.  I think I've been holding energy there my entire life.

I also think that finding the zone, being present, is something that is less cultivation, and more flipping the switch.  We practice different techniques, but we're really trying to change default settings and processes in our brains and bodies, as you said.  That makes sense, and is such a relief to know a switch can be flipped permanently, and built on. 

If we struggle to flip it, and manage sporadically, getting switched back again and again, which can become a pattern too, it's demoralizing, and exhausting.....easy to judge ourselves harshly, which doesn't help.  That takes up so much energy!

I know I carry more space inside myself now.  I feel knots gone, not just unraveled, which is a surprise, and relief.  I feel better.  I want more.  For all of us: )
Lighter

 

I hope that she continues to make such good progress and such useful suggestions, Lighter.  I think it's that unnoticed stress/baggage/difficulty that we carry with us that is so wearing.  It always makes me think about what we can't see.  If someone was trying to get a wardrobe up a flight of stairs you wouldn't ask them to carry a cup of tea as well.  But we can be carrying the equivalent of an emotional wardrobe and then someone makes a thoughtless comment, or we get an email or a letter, or even an unannounced guest, who we like but just aren't in the right frame of mind for at that moment - and we can't cope, because we're carrying so much else.  And no-one else can see what we're carrying, and it gets tiring trying to explain it to people so we try to just to the extra thing so we look 'normal'.  It's just so exhausting.  I'm so glad you are feeling less background stress - carrying a chair now, rather than a wardrobe :) I am finding I'm less stressed generally because we don't have college, and it does make the additional things less stressful.  She sounds like a really good T.

And the creative thoughts, yes!  So hard to have and keep and act upon creativity when there's so much day to day blah blah blah to deal with.  Your moss garden sounds like a good creative project, as does the she shed!  A whole whirlwind of female creativity going on :) xx

Hopalong

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Re: Mindfulness
« Reply #199 on: July 19, 2019, 10:22:51 AM »
Quote
....it's that unnoticed stress/baggage/difficulty that we carry with us that is so wearing.  It always makes me think about what we can't see.  If someone was trying to get a wardrobe up a flight of stairs you wouldn't ask them to carry a cup of tea as well.

This is a brilliant image, Tupp. It's going to stay with me.

Thanks,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: Mindfulness
« Reply #200 on: July 21, 2019, 06:46:15 PM »
Returning from funeral in Toronto.  Final arrival time is midnight, and I think I'll sleep on both flights.

Will try to catch up on board now.

Lighter

lighter

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Re: Mindfulness
« Reply #201 on: July 24, 2019, 04:58:52 PM »
DD17 had wisdom teeth removed yesterday.  She was weepy alllll day long, in pain, and emotionally ping ponging around into the night.  I was in such distress,  it was really difficult.  I was exhausted.  Couldn't wait to sleep. 

It's a good jumping off place to work on boundaries with T today.....
keeping emotional distance in place so we're not both in a hole.  I learn how to remain outside dd's pain, shining a light on her and her stuff, so there's a chance of helping her out, and not getting sucked into the darkness too, kwim?

I'm going to handle my stuff,  and trust she's wise enough,  capable enough, competent enough to handle hers. 

That
is
such
a
relief.

I can be OK, even when my loved ones are in pain. 

That's new for me, in concrete practice. 

Knowing something is different than practicing it.

Understanding how something is supposed to work is different than putting it in place.

I can't practice it UNLESS I calm myself down/get out of fight or flight mode.  Learning how to do that is useful, and leads to feeling better.  I thought about it as "hard" earlier, and T changed that into something more helpful, bc the body has no sense of humor, and takes thoughts on board, with gusto... implements them biologically. 

I look forward to more ease in my life, from today forward.

I will mindfully choose the different resources, until they're second nature.

 Tapping, before funeral last week, was immensely helpful. 

I look forward to walking this part of my journey, with eyes on my journey.

It's a relief to stop making comparisons... to stop measuring myself in "successes" and things I've overcome, or will overcome.

Not thinking about it frees me up to actually be free.

 
Lighter


sKePTiKal

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Re: Mindfulness
« Reply #202 on: July 25, 2019, 10:13:27 AM »
I'm trying to work on not going into those dark places with someone else too, Lighter. Being close enough to understand and sympathize, but just outside the FEELING zone so, I can send the lifelines of light that are needed MORE, than me trying to assist carrying that wardrobe of burden up endless stairs.

It's OK if I don't get it right; I'm still learning, looking at it, and practicing.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: Mindfulness
« Reply #203 on: July 25, 2019, 12:37:55 PM »
Yup. We practice trusting our loved ones will be strong enough to carry their burdens. 

We stop short of experiencing their pain for them, and get a little distance on it.... and that feels wrong somehow. 

BEING RIGHT THERE, in the moment, with them.... that's my default.  Shouldering, willing them to feel better, and carry less.

That's not how it works, unfortunately. 

We're stronger if we remain a tad distanced, and understand their pain.  Not feel it with them, as you say.

Then we're more capable, stronger, able to act, and that's more helpful than being in the hole, IME. 

T said tapping is super helpful for pain, btw.  There are 8 points that are pretty easy to reach.

This too shall pass. 

Lighter


sKePTiKal

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Re: Mindfulness
« Reply #204 on: July 27, 2019, 09:25:34 AM »
Right now, I'm having more success practicing this with Buck, than with the kids. I guess I need to just finally convince myself that at 40+ they either have acquired what they need to sort it out their own way... or they'll acquire the tools on their own.

But there are some new non-routine for me, things coming up with him that are objectively positive and stir up disquieted feelings of discomfort. I am going to have to learn how to ask for what I want; simply... without a lot of song & dance... because I'm really afraid to ask. (Old taboo I think)
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: Mindfulness
« Reply #205 on: July 29, 2019, 02:55:54 PM »
I tapped on a problem yesterday.  Something that was vexing me during yardwork... had me mumbling to myself, and I just didn't want to do that anymore.  I tapped on it,  but noticed resistance to JUST DOING IT, without procrastinating.  I felt better, and didn't think about the rest of the day, but..... reflection on the problem was still charged with a good deal of angst. 

It's not routine to stop, tap, and move on. 

Yet.

Notice, I resisted using the term "it's hard/difficult to remember/do it."

I changed it to something more positive.... "it will be my routine soon."

This morning I had my first Brain Center appointment, and learned a good deal.

First, my Alpha waves are supposed to be between 8 and 12.... 8 is sleeping, and 12 is very active.  My brain waves were at 8, which wasn't surprising.

 The biofeedback machine makes a noise when brain waves are where they're supposed to be, or heading in the right direction.  Mine sounded like an electrical circuit cutting ON, OFF, ON, OFF.  Just very add, but wonderful to imagine I have control... or will have control.

I really do feel my brain went into FAWN/FREEZE mode years ago, and I'm learning how to shake it off. 

My brain has to work super hard to get simple tasks done.  No surprises there.   

Aside from vitamin D levels being super low, my thyroid is "sluggish."  I have to go back to using the big muscles in the body, consistently, to build muscle. 

I learned "tactical breathing" today.  You breathe in for 4 seconds, hold it for 4, and breath out for 4 seconds.  4 4 4 breathing.  Law enforcement/military use it in crisis situations.  You do it several times when stress hits. 

Much of the day going from one room to another, repeating tasks on a vibration machine, dealing with the vestibular system, while going through the alphabet for girl's names, then boy names, then for items to take on a picnic.... apple, banana, cat, dog, elephant, Frankenstein, geode, etc. Starting from the beginning each time a new one is added.   It's interesting how difficult it is to do the names.  I mean, at the end of the first round I had difficulty breathing AND was getting really dizzy... and finding names was sometimes impossible. 

What else?  The metronome featured big.  They put a sensor on your dominant hand, and you clap to the cowbell.  Responses are measured/recorded.   
You want to hit it exactly on the beat, which lights up a green box on the screen.  Yellow lights mean you're a tad slow or fast, and the red means you're slow or fast.  Lots of anticipatory claps points to trouble controlling impulses.  This is more difficult than you might think.   Getting it exactly on the beat takes intense focus, and I'll be doing thousands over the next week.

There's an electrical shock treatment applied to the tongue.  A PoNS (Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator)  machine in other Countries has been approved for personal use. This machine was applied by the doctor, and felt like a ferry thumping my tongue with a little hammer.  You expect stinging, or heat, but it's not like that.  My heart rate immediately improved, and continued to improve with each use.  I learned how to improve my oxygen levels.  This machine taps into the brain stem, and I'm interested in the research.

I had to make crazy 8s with my hands, and feet, opposite sides of the body, at the same time.  I think the martial arts background made that easy, bc I just did it w/o thinking.  First with support, holding onto a wall, then without support.  See if you can do it.  Arm extended, palm up, then down at each end of the 8.  Foot low to the ground, side to side. 

Focusing vision on a dot, then moving my head a tad to the right and left, while counting each time head moved.   Then up and down, while counting.  Counting means we keep breathing,  bc intense focus often shuts down breathing. 

We went through these over and over, changing things up each time.  Core strength was determined on a mat on the floor doing planks, balancing while lifting a hand, or a leg, or both. 

There were more things, but those give you an idea.

Amber, you have habits with the kiddos that you don't have with Buck.  Also, Buck's always been an adult in your life, where your children have been every stage of human, from infant to adult.  That gets all mixed up, and frozen when there's trauma, IME.  I really have to think about letting the kids handle their stuff.  Today I oldest was driving, and I just kept my mouth shut entirely.  Normally I give plenty of warning before turns, etc, but not today.  DD mentioned how different it was that I was silent, while remembering where to turn.  She said it was odd not having my voice there, reminding her. 

I'm conflicted about that.  I think I started naming colors and shapes for the girls when they were tiny, and just never stopped explaining/naming things for them.   I understand what I did, what I've done, and what I want to change.  There are positives and negatives, and I'm going to skip judgments, and just get to making the changes I want to manifest. 

The ability to shift into observer mode is easier now.   

Lighter




Hopalong

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Re: Mindfulness
« Reply #206 on: July 29, 2019, 06:12:35 PM »
Quote
I started naming colors and shapes for the girls when they were tiny, and just never stopped explaining/naming things for them

What a terrific insight, Lighter. Wonderful. Empty of shame. Just insight.

Love it!

Quote
I am going to have to learn how to ask for what I want; simply...

Amber, same to you.

WOWS.

hugs
Hops
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Garbanzo

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Re: Mindfulness
« Reply #207 on: July 30, 2019, 01:47:10 AM »
I'm trying the 4-4-4 right now. It works.

lighter

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Re: Mindfulness
« Reply #208 on: July 31, 2019, 03:40:05 PM »
That's great news, G.

I try it every day, and it seems that tapping works best for me.

The doc said that deep belly gargling, and humming are other ways to calm ourselves.

I hummed all the way through the cottage renovation, with the crazy contractor upset, and demanding I stop.  Honestly, I couldn't have stopped if I'd wanted to.  Tomorrow I'll learn more about what people do, without realizing it, to calm down.

Lighter

Twoapenny

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Re: Mindfulness
« Reply #209 on: August 02, 2019, 02:13:33 AM »
Just catching up on your thread as well now, Lighter, wow!  That is a lot you have going on right now!  Do you find doing the work on yourself tiring or invigorating?  I'm always curious as to how resetting patterns and systems feels for people - it's interesting that it can be doing good but make you feel worse, or make you feel better straight away.  I'm keeping the 4 4 4 in mind.

It's sooooo easy to just do for people when you're used to doing that.  I find myself doing things sometimes and realising son can do it himself and I'm just doing it out of habit - almost like muscle memory?  Not even conscious, just reacting.  I am looking to see if I can find an app for his IPAd where we can load up everything he needs to remember to take with him to college or for trips out so he can just use that rather than me checking with him.  Well done for not commenting on the driving - I'm a terrible passenger and generally have to spend my time looking far out into the view rather than at the road or I think a crash is imminent every time we go around a corner :) Lol xx