Are you emotionally tired? Are you physically tired? Or a combination of the two?
Daily questions we should all ask ourselves but too often we focus on the ‘tasks’ on our to-do lists rather than the vital vessels that need to carry out those tasks.
I thought I didn’t have time to sleep, rest or recover let alone to be still and meditate… I had too much on… Overloaded by social media, family bereavement and life challenges, negative vibes and the world can just feel noisy…polluting my sensitive brain.
Yes I have existing severe mental health problems which have been triggered hence why I share my recent moments of hearing voices and paranoia below… but really we all have mental health so we all need these techniques to give ourselves a proper brain break… a mindful nap away from triggers no matter how big or small.
Clutching at my desk I try to seat myself in my chair behind me, the soft cushioned pink is normally inviting but as I struggle to stand straight or even sit, instead I am hovering over my desk, hunched back and unable to feel my feet or know where I am. I daily hear voices, but this is more intense today, my blinds are shut, I think there’s tears dripping down my face but I am too out of it to know or even care.
Sometimes my flashbacks feel so intense that I am back there in those moments, reality becomes confused and my mind and body is flooded by my senses to the point I am not sure what world to accept is real.
It isn’t as clear a picture as you see in films when they portray PTSD or trauma which comes in waves… my flashbacks anyway aren’t clearly “flashbacks” in the cinematic sense but in those moments…all the senses lead to me to experience a wave of real emotions and my body feels the agonising pain too.
Whoever needs to question whether the mind and body is related… only needs to speak to someone with severe anxiety or PTSD or any chronic mental health problem to understand the two are interlinked.
Anyway, today, I had a mindfulness session booked in… I really did not want to learn mindfulness or have any therapy right now… worst of all via video camera… what could it really do for me in such a state?
I could not step foot out of my house with a loved one let alone a practitioner online… virtually in my home. But my stubborn brain won’t ever cancel things unless I literally cannot physically do something. So I clicked the link, still whilst hovering at my desk. I had mopped up some of my snot and tears in the hope I could mask it as a physical ailment.
But the practitioner only had to take one look through the web camera to see right through my: “I’m just a bit exhausted today,” excuse.
She heard the trembles in my voice as if my head was intruding my words and instead of our planned session, she led a pain release meditation.
Now I am all for mindfulness but ‘meditation’ always scares me when I feel unwell… the thought of being still and peaceful in these murky moments sounds like the antithesis to what I need.
But she invited me to try it for a few minutes. I thought: “Ok a few minutes and then I will leave it. As she led me through a sequence which somehow took me from the source of the pain and into the future and back into the present.
I sobbed throughout but felt such a relief.
I am not sure what happened but an hour had passed and instead of masking my trauma with clutter and busyness, I was able to feel free. I didn’t feel totally healed but my painful fatigue had gone and instead I realised I was emotionally and physically exhausted and one day I could be free.
Here are some pain release meditations to do at home:
Or for all of her brilliant work: https://focussedmindfulnessmeditations.buzzsprout.com