You may have noticed that my blog has been lying dormant for the past 6 weeks. That is because I took a last minute holiday from PNG at the recommendation of my psychologist. Unfortunately I ended up heading down a dark path – one that had begun but accelerated tenfold in its production after I watched the carjacking.
I have always been a person who needs my space. Without some me time, I become easily agitated and emotional. My me time is my chance to recharge my batteries so that I can be completely there at any given moment. It is very important and I would even suggest that everyone needs a bit of me time but the amount of me time would vary from person to person. I lost my ability to have me time as I pleased when I became a mother. Nothing could have prepared me for the frustration I had begun to feel or the grief at losing… well… me. What I didn’t realise then was that I just hadn’t learnt to accept that my me time was no longer on demand and I needed to adjust to scheduled times.
So there I was 6 weeks ago, in a dark, dark place where I could not think of even 1 positive thing to think or say or do. My husband noticed it and even spoke with me about changing my thought patterns. Luckily for him I took what he said on board and tried however didn’t have the skills or knowledge on how to put that into practice. I would try to think of a positive and then quickly find my mind throwing back a negative to counteract the hard work of thinking a positive thought!
My last minute trip, as recommended by the psychologist and eagerly pushed by my husband meant that I went to the Gold Coast in Queensland for 3 weeks (2 of which my husband came) and then 3 weeks in Los Angeles and Toronto where my sister and brother live respectively.
Whilst on the Gold Coast, I started hunting for some books on motherhood- the trials and tribulations and whatnot. I just wanted to read with encouragement that what I was feeling was normal. I particularly wanted to find books that encouraged ‘mindfulness’ as my psychologist had thrown that term around a few times with regard to troublesome relationships I have. In our last session, we also discussed separating the emotion from a feeling so as to observe the feeling rather than launch right into it and feel every inch of it.
I came across a few books and the majority were about Buddhism. Now I’m not Buddhist however I have always agreed that there are aspects of Buddhism that can only be good for the soul. I am a Christian and hold those values very dear to my heart and I am not about to compromise on my Christian faith however the lessons I have learned from ‘Buddhism for Mothers’ by Sarah Napthali have made great improvements to my overall outlook on my life as it is today.
I can now find joy in each moment, no matter how boring it may seem because I know how to look for it. My joy is now coming from being mindful, being in the now, not allowing my mind to think about the past or future and what it all means to me. I’ve been consciously trying to keep my mind in the now for only a couple of weeks and it is pretty easy to get distracted. Life happens! I don’t get frustrated with myself, I just kindly note to myself that I really cannot control the past or future and therefore I am wasting energy and time and missing what is in fact happening right now. I can now be there for my daughter, be full of calm (most of the time! Haha!), and know that by filling my life with love and acceptance (thank you Jesus!) I am allowed to enjoy the joy in my life.
Oh and on the Haus Meri note… I don’t have one anymore. They are bad for my health. Bahahahaha!
So how do you find your Zen?