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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Over a year ago (nearly two years, I think) I began engaging in simple meditation. No chanting because I wouldn’t know what to chant, no music because I wouldn’t know what music would help (although I later began to play sounds of rain because nostalgia), no words or rituals. I just sat cross legged, staring at the wall (although, I would bow before and after because it helped to have a beginning and an end to the practice). It’s probably worth mentioning that I appropriated a few things from some other cultures that I had no business appropriating. I didn’t know this was problematic at the time, but I learned to know better and put away all the extra things that I was not a part of, but continued the practice.

At first it seemed difficult and fruitless, but over time it became easier and eventually I began to see things in a different light. I thought I saw things as they really were, and there was this really strong sense of euphoria when I realized I could abandon the things that made me unhappy and I didn’t have to live in the past. I could be myself and actually understand what that meant. I began to feel whole again. Nature brought me contentment—I know it sounds silly, but I could feel the life around me when I went for walks in the trees. I felt like a real living, breathing part of the world; connected to everything in a way that I hadn’t felt since I was a child.

I went days, months, almost a whole year without a panic attack and laughed every day. I was getting better, this was really happening and I could scarcely believe it.

Then something happened. A few things happened, actually, around the same time and any one of them could have been the thing that did it—but it shattered my illusions of peace and contentment. I was wrong. I hadn’t been dealing with pain, I hadn’t been enlightened, and I wasn’t putting mind over matter. It was just another technique to lie to myself and stifle the memories. I went back and read the things I had written at during that timespan and realized how nonsensical it all was. I was just making things up as I went with no rhyme or reason so that I didn’t have to listen to myself. I still consider doing a massive clean-out of most of my old entries, but I think it’s useful to remember where I came from. (I still meditate, but for different reasons.)

The panic set back in again, worse than before and with no warning signs, the connection I felt had been severed and I felt more separated from other people than ever before. Things got so bad that I began feeling suicidal again for the first time since I was a teenager. I could feel my instinct to keep myself alive get slowly drowned out by the desire to disappear. Then something else happened.

I told a friend about my traumatic experiences as a child and teenager. They took me out for a beer. I went home feeling a little better.

Nothing is easy.

Reach out.

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Lust for result isn’t the same as striving for greatness.

Do something that connects your body to your mind. Simple exercise isn’t enough; do something that finely tunes the control you have over your body and you will find that your mind will follow. Dance, fight, swim, do sports.

Accepting fear is being unafraid. Facing pain is overcoming it.

It seems that it doesn’t matter how much I eat as long as it’s something good. I don’t think it’s possible to get obese by eating broccoli.

Give your time and strength to other people. It feels good.

I’m not defined by what I do, but I do need to be doing something.

Forget the past, but remember mistakes.

Get to know new people, but don’t forget old friends.

It’s okay to come home and hide for a day. Just don’t do it every day.

It’s okay to feel hurt. Even if you’re partially at fault, it’s bad to ignore those feelings. It’s also bad to hold on to them, which can happen if you ignore them.

It’s never too late to apologize.

People are way more awesome than I thought they were.

Don’t be afraid to put yourself on the spot. A little embarrassment can be good for you.

Alcohol is a massive depressant. Coffee is a panic inducer. All things in great moderation.

Trying new things means more than doing it once.

Before you give up on something, dedicate at least one solid hour to it.

When creating a piece of work, let yourself go. There are no bad ideas. More often than not you’ll create something great and even if it sucks, nobody has to see it. Write down words that rhyme, draw stick figures, put your fingers on the fretboard in weird patterns, jot down obscure ideas that make no sense. It’s how all great works began.

Running away only works if there’s something chasing you.

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