mental health, parenting, wellness

All the Feelings

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I haven’t posted in a while. I had a draft started about turning fifty, which happened earlier this month. But since then one of my daughters has gone to the hospital, and it just doesn’t seem important or relevant anymore. The gist of it was “I don’t feel fifty” and “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be getting older”.

Instead, my days are spent glued to my phone, in case my daughter or someone from the hospital calls. Researching the internet for resources and answers of how to best support my child. Mental illness is a horrible thing. I wish it did not exist. It very much does. The adolescent programs we have been using are bursting at the seams. Anxiety. Depression. Eating disorders. Addictions. Self harm. Trauma. The list goes on.

It is hard to be a teen, period. Coupled with these illnesses it is down-right scary. I know parenting teens is difficult. Parenting a teen with a mental illness is terrifying. I so want to do the right thing. In all honesty, I want to take it away, fix it. But I can’t do that, and according to my favorite author, Glennon Doyle, trying to fix other people’s pain is like stealing their happiness; both are sacred. All I can do is hold space for my daughter and her beautiful, strong spirit.

That and try to take care of myself, so I’m not a train-wreck next to her. I have been doing an abysmal job of this, which is another reason I haven’t written. Didn’t seem appropriate to get on my “nurturing self and others” blog and talk about how I don’t have the energy/desire to even get out of bed, let alone do one of the many self-care practices I know would help.

I did meditate once yesterday. I also scheduled a therapy appointment for myself. I have amazing supportive family and friends, whom I’m eternally grateful for. So yeah. That’s where things stand. Not a glowing, rosy picture, but one filled with infinite love and a sliver of hope for brighter days ahead.

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aromatherapy, ayurveda, nutrition, transcendental meditation, wellness

Re-Entry

Native plants

I wrote about my idyllic time at the Raj at the beginning of last month, for which I am extremely grateful. Now it is time for my blog to catch up to real life… I learned all of these great techniques and now I am trying to implement them in my own crazy, hectic life. No one is cooking for me, making my bed, massaging oils on me, checking on my meditations. (Well, Amy kindly calls to check on me, and it is great having my mom to check-in with regarding all of this too.) But you get my point–life post-Raj is much more scattered, frenzied, and un-Zen.

In the end, I decided I was trying to implement too many life-changes at once. Yes, ideally, I would be waking at 6am for tongue scraping, oil pulling, nasya, garshan, abhyanga, shower, sun salutations, pranayam, and meditation. All before I prepare and eat my barley flakes with fresh fruit and tea. But somehow, this was not happening… So I modified it to garshan/abhyanga/shower every other day with salutations… Which has somehow turned into hey-I-brushed-my-teeth and have-taken-a-shower-in-the-last-three-days I’m good to go!

I want to get back on track though. I need to get “back on track”. Each of the self-care steps I outlined (along with daily NingXia Red, essential oils, a second meditation, and clean eating) make me feel better. Who doesn’t want to feel better?! So the battle of the old, entrenched habits against the new, healthier habits wages on. Sugar & Screen Time are currently in the lead; but I have hope that Meditation, Ayurveda, & Essential Oils will still come out triumphant in the end.

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Learning, transcendental meditation, wellness

My Stay at the Raj (Part 2): Transcendental Meditation

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Lawrence Sheaff painting at The Raj

The impetus for finding the Raj was a google search of “transcendental meditation retreats”. I have not meditated regularly in the past; however I have felt a strong pull towards it. Last spring I read The Self-Driven Child by William Stixrud and Ned Johnson. This was an excellent parenting book, and in it they talked about transcendental meditation (TM) and how beneficial and life changing it was for them. Google search (yep, I’m a google girl!) led to all kinds of amazing information about this well-researched form of meditation.

During our time at the Raj, my mom and I worked with dear TM instructor, Amy Ruff. She carefully selected our mantras, helped us learn to use them, explained the process the brain undergoes during TM, explained the role thoughts play in meditation, uplifted, encouraged, and laughed with us. My main goal in learning meditation was to relieve anxiety. My first day home, one daughter commented I looked thinner, the other said I had a much calmer energy. I replied “Thank you” to the first, and “Oh my gosh, really?!” to the second.

I am still at the very beginning of my journey, but I am anticipating my practice becoming richer and more positive as I proceed. I highly recommend TM for everyone! To find out more information and find a meditation center near you, go to: https://www.tm-women.org

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nature, wellness

New beginnings

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Spring is a beautiful time of anticipation and curiosity. I love seeing what each new day will bring in my garden, in my family, and in myself. Apparently today is the birth of a new blog. (Who knew?!)

I have been taking some time each day to uncover different areas of my perennial garden. It’s like unwrapping a gift to see the tender green shoots poking up from previous years’ plantings. Being outside, breathing fresh air, smelling the soil, seeing the transformation of the plants, hearing the birds’ songs–all of these things induce a meditative state in my usually whirling mind.

It feels good to slow down, breathe, and tend to the plants which simultaneously cares for my spirit.

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