Meditating with Headspace

98_headspace-meditation6_1-27-19In my last post, I wrote about a decision I made years ago that helped me navigate the self-critical voices in my head and challenge their disapproving chatter. As a result, my inner-landscape-thoughts turned in a new direction. The directional change was slow, but that decision led me to experience myself and the world as kinder and gentler. The outside world hasn’t gotten any kinder; but my inside world has.

A few years ago, I made another good decision: I started meditating on a regular basis. Meditation takes the learning from that earlier decision and deepens it. It helps me tap into greater equanimity and contentment. I feel more balanced, less tilted toward finding things wrong and getting upset.

Andy Puddicombe is my meditation guide, his lessons delivered via the Headspace app.

Bubba discovered Headspace after coming across a talk Andy did at Google in 2014. Andy is the voice and experience of Headspace, having spent ten-years studying meditation before being ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk.

Continue reading “Meditating with Headspace”

Advertisements

When Things Go Awry, Agitation & Self-Talk

Pixabay: johnhain Free for commercial use; No attribution required

Sometimes small things agitate me; today it was forgetting to bring my health insurance card to a medical appointment.

As soon as I walked in to the lab, I realized my new insurance card was at home. The sign in the receptionist’s window said cards were required for service. I hoped they’d let me email them a copy when I got home; I feared they’d tell me no card, no service, and I’d have to go home and get it.

This would be an unexpected change in my plans; a change I didn’t want. Unmet expectations are not uncommon in life; they are what they are. But sometimes those unmet expectations—things not going the way I want them to go—can trigger an inner reaction.

When that happens, I’m trying to pay attention to how my body reacts; because my body usually sends me signals before anything else.

Continue reading “When Things Go Awry, Agitation & Self-Talk”

Mentor Cat

ggirl144 on Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons

“Note the thoughts. Note the feelings. Let them go. Don’t chase after them; don’t resist them.”

“Note the thoughts.” It’s a fundamental lesson of my meditation program. It resonates. It’s helping me be less attached to thoughts and feelings. Not all of the time, but I’m discovering, with greater frequency, a wee bit of space between thoughts and how I act upon them. In that space I’m finding greater clarity and calm. And less judgment. Which, given how active the internal Judge has been in my life, is something I celebrate.

I’m getting it, slowly. Bubba and I have a joke that it takes 19 times of hearing something before we “get it.”  I’m still in single digits on this.

Recently I got lucky and got to watch an element of this meditation idea in action. The “don’t chase” concept was demonstrated by that great spiritual teacher: our cat.

Continue reading “Mentor Cat”

The Judge and the Dishes

70_Judge+Dishes2_6-14-18

When Bubba and I met, we each had years of experience loading dishwashers. The thing is, we didn’t load them the same way. And since each of us was sure “our” way was the “right” way, we had to deal with some relationship hiccups as we figured things out.

Routine aspects of life give me regular opportunities to “figure things out.” That usually means trying to understand the inner voices that chirp away when, for instance, I see Bubba do something my Inner Judge insists is just not right.

Maybe he’s putting forks into the dishwasher tines-down.

“The tines won’t get properly washed!” The Judge says, absolute in her declaration.

Continue reading “The Judge and the Dishes”

Good People Feel Anger

24_AngerWhen shit happens and things go wrong, two characters often step into my brain, duking it out over how to respond.

“GD#*F!Soa%B,” the first one swears angrily. “The jar fell and broke and now there’s rice everywhere.” Grumble; stomp. In cartoon-land, this one is red and wearing devil-horns.

The other one—wearing a white, billowy gown with wings—instantly appears, chirping, “Yes! But, good news! No one got hurt! Be grateful for that! Let’s find the silver lining! There’s always a silver lining!”

Continue reading “Good People Feel Anger”

Pain and the Impromptu Gift

18_gift1-e1521327996389.jpgI was talking with a woman I knew marginally, our interactions connected to our non-profit work. As we finished up, she caught site of a ring I was wearing. I don’t wear rings often. This one gets more use than others because I’m particularly fond of it.

“That’s beautiful!” she said, and asked if she could try it on. I handed it to her.  She put it on her right finger, commenting that it fit perfectly.

I did something out of character: I looked at her and said “keep it.”

“What?” she said, startled.

“Keep it,” I responded, “it’s yours.”

Continue reading “Pain and the Impromptu Gift”