Zen & Now

I’m reading Zen Path Through Depression.  At the end of each chapter it has a suggested meditation to follow.  I haven’t had the space to do that lately.  It’s not like my Simply Being App which is just sitting and listening to the woman talking, which is simply easy, has done me a world of good when I remember.  It requires the listener to blank out ones mind and focus on the moment.  If thoughts creep in, let them creep out, notice everything around you (with your eyes shut, of course).  I’m not ready, I don’t think, to not have a guide with me to keep me on the path of meditation and not getting snarled in a bunch of dark and spiky thoughts which are always toed-up to the line to jump in and distract me. 

What I found really interesting was that Zen requires a focus spot and to imagine yourself up on a huge hill, feel the air and the freedom and the expanse.  Then you invite your depression into the meditation and take a good look at it.  This is where I’m lost.  I have no idea what depression looks like.  I thought it was like a big sucking black hole of hopelessness or some sort of snarling animal that wants to, at any weak moment, devour me whole.  I realize I have to identify it, name it and then tame it into a space where I retain the lessons learned from it but our of the way and reach so  it can no longer leach time and bar my talents from expression.  I’ve been a firm believer that if you don’t learn your lessons from life you are doomed to live the same trial over and over again until you master it.  I feel like I’m finally pushing through.

There’s this story that I know that gives me hope that my trials will be for good:

“Once there was a man, thin, weak and penniless.  He pled with God to help him.  God responded with “My son, push on this rock,” So the man set to the task of pushing the rock every day.  He would get up push on the rock, go home, eat and get up and do it all over again.  After a while the man is no longer thin or weak but he had huge muscles on his arms and abdomen and chest.  He threw his arms up to go and said “Why do you have me pushing around this rock when it’s too heavy for me to move by myself.  God responds back with “Oh, my son, I never told you to move the rock, just push.  Now you are ready to do that which I have chosen for you.”

I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each and every one of us, and it has a lot of trials in it.  One way to look at it is the greater the trials the greater His love and the greater good you are meant to do in the world.  He never forgets us, never throws us under the bus for a greater person because we are His, and He loves us each unconditionally and individually.  I don’t always feel that in my life, but it helps to know it’s true.

Closed for Business

Okay, so I’ve been hunkered down getting my New Years Resolutions together for the new year. This is one thing OCD is good for…organizing thoughts on paper and then trying to achieve the different tasks that are assigned each year. I will do a post later where I outline my mental/emotional goals. The overriding goal for the year is to be HEALTHY. I want to pull myself out of myself and try to re-engage in life and to no longer be a afraid of it. It will take some time, and I’m aware of this. I think with all the internal deconstruction I’ve done to turn myself inside out to be among the world would be like exposing a third degree burn to the sun on the hottest day in July. Much, much too painful. But I’m taking baby steps.

I’ve discovered if I make my bed in the morning I won’t crawl back into it at the first chance. I learned yesterday that it needs to be done while the bed is still warm otherwise I snuggle back into it. If I can find comfort outside of my bed to make me feel safe then I will become stronger. I’m not saying their won’t be bad days ever again where the only place I’m safe is my bed, but I’m saying in general, until the sky starts to fall again, my bed is closed  for business. Mom, of course, is thrilled I’m following her example (well, her helper person makes her bed). To her doing things like that means that I’m all better, not still in the process.

The other step I’m taking is trying to get my room organized and to keep it organized. For example, I want to turn part of my room into a yoga/Meditation space. But that is the space that I normally drop my clothes when I change out of my work attire. So, I’m training myself to change on the other side of the bed, tear down the pillows and fold back the comforter before I walk around and turn off the light. If I choose to leave my clothes on the floor, I can, or if I choose to put them in the sorting hamper, it’s totally up to me, but I will have my meditation/yoga/Zumba space if it kills me.

As for the near future, I am going to try and participate in Lent again. I didn’t do it last year because it’s not something I regularly do. So this year, instead of giving up anything I’m adding meditation and showering to my schedule. I know, showering is a strange thing to put down, but I’ve not been showering as much as I should and I want to fix it. So maybe if I do it every day for six week is something might stick….instead of stink.