Bipolar Disorder, Everyday Life, Uncategorized

My New Mindful Mantra: Kitty

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Yesterday was an exhausting day.  I had therapy and I was put in my place.  There were some items that I have been needing to address that I have been skirting and I was asked to address them.  I ended up getting quite irritated and I nearly walked out.  Knowing that me walking out would do nothing, I sat on the couch, stared at my therapist and thought about how I was so angry and stopped listening (that would show her I thought).  And then I stopped acting like a three-year-old and re-engaged in the session that I am paying a very pretty penny for and allowed myself to be held accountable for my actions and set goals for the next week.

After the session I was feeling depleted but had a meeting to prepare for, so I was unable to go home and hide from the world, which is what I really wanted to do, because when I get upset, the first thing I want to do is to run home and hide in my bed.  Instead, I prepped for my meeting, even though it took me a bit to get engaged, and I arrived somewhat ready although it was pretty obvious that I was not myself.  I was given the option to reschedule, but I chose to keep the appointment as there were time sensitive issues to address and I did not want to allow my bad morning to affect my job any more than it already had.

Upon my arrival home a few hours later I was greeted by my children.  We talked about how our days went.  I did not give them the details about my day, but just that it was a trying day and I was glad to be home.  We starting crafting, and that brought joy to my heart.  As my daughter worked on her needle point, I made dinner for the family.  On Wednesday nights I have mindfulness class that I attend, so usually my partner makes dinner.  Since I was home earlier than normal due to the afternoon meeting, and I wanted to stay busy as to not focus on my morning, I chose to start dinner, so there was one less thing he had to do while I was gone.  Dinner for that evening was chili.  And not sure I have mentioned, but I really love to cook.  I hate, hate, to clean, but I love, love to cook.  There’s something about creating something from nothing and being able to make something that is good and nutritious for my family that brings such joy and happiness to my heart.

When Papa (my partner) arrived home, dinner was complete, and the house smelled amazing!  I left not long after his arrival.  I unfortunately was a few minutes late for my class, but I snuck in and quickly took my seat.  Having chili with beans before a class that includes yoga is not the best, and I was reminded of this poor choice during the stretching and mindful movement portion of the class, but I made the best of it.

During the body scan portion, I laid down on my mat in my weird, jagged “S” shape, which is not the way I was instructed to lay, but it is the way that I can lay for 40 minutes without having pain and needing to move and cause disturbances.  During the sessions my mind wanders, like I can’t even think of a thing that wanders as much as my mind wanders during a body scan session, because I don’t think anything wanders as much as my mind does.  I am reminded to identify the wandering and focus on the breath.  This sometimes works, but not really.  But yes there is a but, I tried something new last night.  I came up with a mantra.

Instead of focusing on my breath I focused on the word kitty.  Yup insert crazy cat lady right here!  I instantly had images of my two cats come to my mind.  I began to relax, and my own body began to calm, and the tension escaped.  I could stay focused on the word “kitty” and I did not think about the way that the chili was not sitting well in my stomach, or how I knew I was not laying correctly on my mat, or that I was having issues with complying with abstaining from my various addictions and the shame that I felt.  I just kept thinking about “kitty” and I felt love and compassion.  Before I knew it the 40-minute scan was over, and I felt incredible.

At times, we need to use what we are given and make slight adjustments to mold the exercise to fit us and our uniqueness.  In my practice, I am still meditating, and I am still using mindfulness, but with the tweak I made (“kitty”), I was able to go deeper into my practice and I noticed the increase in my overall well being.  Today I am feeling more peace and calm deep within my soul.  And if I think of the word “kitty”, I smile.

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