Tag Archives: Mindfulness

Abraham Hicks Part 3: Feeling Thoughts

Following on from my last post Abraham Hicks Part 2: The Emotional Guidance System, I’ve been trying to practice thoughts that raise my vibration up the Emotional Guidance Scale.

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This morning was a good opportunity to do that as I woke up, weighed myself and discovered I’d put on a few pounds. My immediate reaction was panic, which I think is probably as low as 22 on the scale (fear).

“How did this happen?!!”

“I didn’t really eat that much over the last week did I?!”

“Arghhhhhh!!!”

“Are the scales wrong?”

“I feel so out of control!!”

Feeling Thoughts

Abraham Hicks describes these thoughts as “feeling thoughts”: thoughts that create a feeling or emotion. These thoughts immediately made me feel panicky and fearful of being out of control.

So, I thought about what I wrote in my last post- moving up the Emotional Guidance Scale. What thought feels better than this? I consciously spoke to myself as if I were a friend and tried to be supportive of myself:

“It’s ok, I know how to lose the weight, I’ve done it before and it’s actually quite easy once I get into the flow of it.”

“It’s easy to get back in control.”

“I’m still lighter than I was this time last year.”

“It’s been ultra hot the last few days and I’ve been drinking loads. I might have retained water which has increased my weight.”

“Weight is just a number. I am so much more than this.”

“I’ve got something exciting arriving in the post today.”

“I’m looking forward to practicing the flute again. I’m doing really well with it.”

“Teaching my pupil on Monday was brilliant- she’d practiced so hard and I was really proud of her.”

See how my thoughts naturally progressed from being about my weight to being about the things that really matter to me or things that make me feel good? This was totally a natural progression, so much so that I hardly noticed the shift. And yes, I did feel better with these thoughts. It felt easy at first to slip back into the panicky ones, but after a few hours of dog-walking, chores, and TV watching, I am now feeling more secure in these better feeling thoughts.

Awareness & Mindfulness

Awareness of your thoughts is key to noticing what’s going on in your mind.

Awareness comes with mindfulness which really isn’t this big subject that requires you to read books or take courses, like we are perhaps led to believe. Yes, it can help very much, but basically it requires your attention to be focused on the here and now.

Your awareness is on how your body feels, your breathing, the thoughts going through your mind, the room you’re sitting in.

It can be so easy for our minds to wander off into the future: planning, worrying, etc. This is all completely natural, and mindfulness is also about being completely non-judgemental of your thoughts and feelings- just accepting them as they are.

Without this mindful condition, it is difficult to have an awareness of what is going through your mind in the present. Your mental energy is focused in the future- with plans or worries or even excitement and anticipation. Or it may be in the past- remembering something that made you feel bad, or good.

Mental energy may also be focused on distractions which also take us away from the here and now: TV, the internet, work- we are giving our mental focus away to these experiences.

From these energetic positions, we are unaware of our current emotional state, and from that perspective, have no power to change it by creating new good feeling thoughts.

Directing Mental Energy

Mindfulness is about directing this mental energy, that we have projected into the past or future, back to ourselves in the here and now. It is in the here and now that we have the power to change our feeling thoughts and develop a healthy, nurturing relationship with ourselves.

To me this is all a completely new concept, as I’ve grown up with the programme installed in my mind that I’m never good enough, and critical thoughts automatically seem to appear from out of nowhere and often trigger shameful feelings.

To notice these bad feeling thoughts is the first step. It requires focus, intention and effort, but it is not difficult.

Once you are noticing and have the awareness of the thoughts flowing through your mind, you are then in the driving seat, in a position of power, where you can re-programme your mind by creating good feeling thoughts.

Positive Results!

If I hadn’t have tried to change my mind programming today, I may still be stuck at 22. But now I feel at a 4- with positive expectation and belief! That’s quite a big jump!!

I think it’s probably a good idea to record these results that I’m generating, to keep an eye on how successful the whole technique is.

I am fortunate in that I am not going to a busy job, in a noisy environment, and that I have the time and quiet to be aware and be mindful. I don’t always do it, but I’m working on it, and today has been successful so far!

Related Posts

Abraham Hicks Part 1: Bipolar Disorder

Abraham Hicks Part 2: The Emotional Guidance Scale

What Is Bipolar Disorder? Abraham Hicks: A Conversation

You Are Amazing!

Bipolar Management: Mindfulness and Meditation

 

 

 

 

 

Taking Care of Myself

ID-10046699I’m feeling much more positive today!! Hooray!!

Since I posted on Saturday I have been meditating to ground myself. Only a few minutes every few hours. It’s worked so far!! I feel more at peace with myself, though am still working with a few things.

Eating

I’ve used food for comfort since I was a kid. A dip back into pretty bad depression over the last 6 months has led to an increase in my food antics and a fast 16 pound weight gain. My knees have definitely noticed! My BMI is nearly 39, which is not good.

I think I’m at my limit now, where I say “Right, that’s enough now. No more.” There is no more denying the effects of what I’ve been doing, and the fact that it’s making me feel worse, not better.

A cease in cooking for myself is one of the first signs for me that I’m depressed again. But there are easy meals I am sure I could manage:ID-10038600

Jacket potato & baked beans

Eggs & salad.

Even a salad sandwich and some soup.

I know I can do this. It’s just a case of re-programming my brain! Lol!

I don’t want to eat in secret, feeling so guilty and ashamed. I need to replace the buzz of shopping for binge food and guzzling it with something more loving and nurturing to myself.

Dreams

I need to remember my dreams are important, so use these as a replacement! If I want to draw, I will draw. If I want to sing, I will sing. If I want to write a silly story, I’ll write a silly story!! I will resist the urge to tell myself there is no point in doing any of this, and remind myself that theses things are important- they are part of BEING who I am. I believe that we are all expressions of God’s spirit- being who we truly are (from the highest perspective of unconditional love) is what we are here for!

I’d like to reconnect to the childlike joy I used to feel when drawing and making up little stories, and dancing and singing. Joy brings light to the world!

Slow, but healing.

It’s definitely a slow day today too. Slow thinking, slow walking.

A very interesting observation was made by the psychiatrist Dr Russell Razzaque, author of Breaking Down is Waking Up. He took up mindfulness meditation for his own personal development and whilst on a retreat noticed something curious. During mindfulness exercises the participants were aiming to slow their thinking and  their walking, to observe themselves. He connected this with what happens in depression- our thoughts and movements slow down. Could it be that our minds and bodies are actually healing us through depression? I definitely like to think so!!

So with that in mind, I will trust that I am on the right track, and to listen and act on my intuition, rather than dismissing it as airy fairy.

Related Posts

Depression and Grounding

Hypomania and Grounding

Body Image and Lena Dunham’s ‘Girls’.

A Little Bit on Eating Disorders

Bipolar Disorder: Body Image and Anxiety

Conversations With Myself: Exploring Low Mood

Forward-thinking Psychiatry

Free Meditations with the Chopra Centre’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge

It’s a little late in informing you, but the Chopra Centre are half way through their 21-Day Meditation Challenge with Oprah Winfrey. It’s not too late to join though as the majority of meditations are available for 10 days online. It’s really easy to sign up (it’s even easier if you’re on Facebook-one click only!!):

Sign-up for the Chopra Centre Meditation Challenge

The Meditation Challenge happens about 2-3 times a year and is a fantastic opportunity to access some great-quality meditations by health guru Dr. Deepak Chopra. This season the theme is creating perfect health- hey, we could all do with some of that!!

The meditations are completely free and are sent to you via email each day.

Meditation has many health benefits including lowering stress levels, boosting the immune system and lowering blood pressure. It is also practiced to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

I’ve been doing the meditation challenge for about 5 seasons now and each time it helps to bring me greater inner peace and to connect to who I am and what I want out of life.

It’s a great time to start meditating!

Related Posts:

Benefits of Meditation & Free Meditations via The Chopra Centre

5 Benefits of a 10-Minute Meditation Practice.

What is Mindfulness and Mindfulness Meditation?

100 Benefits of Meditation- ineedmotivation.com.

A Christmas Present to Ourselves

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With Christmas comes the inevitable present-buying for others. If you’re like me, you love to shop for presents. I love the challenge of trying to find a gift that will make someone smile and then the creativity you can bring to wrapping up and hosting family get-togethers. Maybe you get a bit hypomanic- I definitely do, especially with shopping and seeing family & friends.

I find it’s easy to become overwhelmed by Christmas, caught up in presents, decorations, merry-making, twinkly lights and games. It’s all wonderful, but I do tend to forget about keeping myself in a “good space”- remembering to ground and centre myself and keep a sense of inner peace.

This Christmas I think it would be a great thing to remember ourselves in all the chaos and give ourselves the present of:

Committing to our own Inner Peace & Bipolar Balance.

How we can best do this will be individual to each of us, but I can think of no better present than making sure we look after ourselves and find as much Bipolar Balance as we possibly can.

Think about what you really need in this moment.

Here are some ideas for maintaining Bipolar Balance during the holidays:

– meditation or just time to sit and be with ourselves in peace and quiet.ID-10050484

– yoga.

– gentle dance to peaceful music.

– sitting and stroking a pet.

– cooking a healthy meal (or lots of healthy meals!).

– booking a massage or spa day.

– walking in fresh air.

– tidying that messy drawer or cupboard.

– swimming.

– crafting/drawing/painting.

– taking time out in a quiet room when at friends & families’ Christmas parties.

–  journalling.

– staying away from the shops if we’re feeling energised and impulsive.

– hot bath with aromatherapy oils.

– recognise early on if we have over-committed and reduce our schedules. Nobody will mind and if they do, remember we need to put our health first!!

– light a candle and give thanks for all we’re grateful for.

My head is already buzzing with mind chatter, so I’ve been taking the Bach Flower Remedy White Chestnut which is excellent for quietening things down a bit! Impatiens is also good for reining in that hypomanic speediness, impatience and pressure to do, do, do!!

Click here for more information on Bach Flower Remedies.

Let’s commit to our Wellness and Peace of Mind this Christmas! 

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Photo Credit:nuttakit via freedigitalphotos.net;sakhorn38 via freedigitalphotos.netSimon Howden via freedigitalphotos.net.

A Little More Self-Forgiveness

Last week I posted about Self-Forgiveness and how important it is for us to be forgiving towards ourselves.

Many of us who have experienced mental health issues may be particularly hard on ourselves, or have had unpleasant or traumatic experiences that we blame ourselves for. All this blame and constant self-bullying is in no way helpful to our wellness. We cannot change what has happened by berating ourselves for it. We feel we deserve to carry the weight of the past around us, when in reality we deserve perfect healing.

To help with forgiving ourselves I prepared this meditation. It takes 20 minutes so it’s a good idea to make sure you wont be disturbed and let yourself have some quality time for yourself.

A Little Meditation

I have a little meditation I wanted to share with you guys as I find it really helps lift my low mood, so I thought I’d do a bit of experimenting with video. The meditation lasts about 10 minutes so if you need a little pick-me-up and have a bit of free time why not have a go!

I’d be grateful if you could let me know if there are any issues with viewing- thank you!

From Overcare for Others’ Opinions, to Self Discovery.

One of my unhealthy patterns, throughout life thus far, has been to care about what other’s think of me way too much. All the time.

I think many, many people do this: dare I say- particularly women?! But I guess there are those that just worry a little about what everyone will think of their new outfit, and those who care so much about what others think that it affects their life decision-making process, and causes great anxiety (possibly Social Phobia), even shame.

I fall into the latter category.

There are many ways I’ve allowed this anxiety over the opinions of others to affect me, but two really stand out.

Jobs

I’ve allowed my care for what other people think of me to push me into many unsuitable jobs. Jobs that I got just to prove to others that yes I could work and that I wasn’t just going to “sponge off the government”. This usually led to barely controllable Bipolar symptoms.

(I don’t believe it is sponging off the government now. I know I truly was ill with Bipolar and had a genuine need for that financial support. There are many who genuinely need this support).

Body Image

Caring so much for the opinions of others led me to a fairly appalling view of my body- I think I thought this kept me slim and healthy. It did for a while, but not anymore. My self esteem was, and still is, massively affected by how I think others perceive my body. I worried about what other people thought about what I ate. In fact I still have issues about eating in front of other people.

Not Knowing or Trusting Myself

With my mind constantly obsessing and analysing myself from the perspective of how others perceived me, I lost that real sense of knowing who I am. I still don’t trust myself to make good decisions (someone once said to me that there is no right or wrong decision- only the effects of that decision to deal with). Lack of Identity is a core feature of Borderline Personality Disorder and I believe present in Bipolar too (see Bipolar/Borderline Sensitivity & Loss of Identity)

What do I want from life? This is such a tough question to answer. I’m so used to thinking I must follow the set path laid out for me by society: school, university, career, marriage, babies. Anything less would be a failure right?

But Bipolar has made me reframe my perspective. It prevented me from progressing further down this pre-determined social path. I had to reassess what I believed success to be.

Does it really matter that I’m not going to be a doctor or teacher? I might never be married or have children. Does this matter? Was this really what I wanted in the first place? I don’t know!!! I don’t know what I want. I’m in the process of finding out.

Self Discovery 

Self Discovery is a term I really like. It makes the whole process sound more subjective and a bit of an adventure. There is room for expansion and exploration.

Self Discovery also requires that we are mindful of our thoughts and feelings towards things. You can’t discover what you like or don’t like unless you pay attention to your own reactions. This may sound simplistic but, believe me, I’ve been studying everybody else’s reactions for so long it can really be a challenge to listen to myself.

(Mindfulness is a well known tool in managing depression and anxiety, so allowing this process of self discovery can only be a positive thing).

Individual Needs

I’m enjoying exploring my innate NEED to write, to learn and to analyse things in a psychological way (sometimes this is a good thing, other times it can lead to rumination on the negative). I have a lot of passion in me- for art, music, causes, people, animals, many things.

Everyone has needs that I never knew existed and are completely different from one person to the next. My partner has a need for physical exertion, for engaging in sports like football and cycling. His method of relaxing is through challenges and using skill, for example he loves playing pool.

I’ve never really viewed these things as NEEDS before, more as indulgence and a luxury. I’m learning they are actually essential to our health as a “whole” being-: physical, mental and at a soul-level. All these facets are important in creating a balance in our lives.

I’m learning that I have many sides to myself that all need equal attention: there’s Rachel the artist, Rachel the writer, Rachel the philosopher, Rachel the musician, Rachel the student, Rachel the child who needs to play, laugh and have fun, Rachel the explorer who needs to be out there trying new things and going to new places.

Managing These Needs

These are all needs that I never really knew I had in me. They all need attention which sometimes feels completely overwhelming.

I think organisation might be the key here, which, when you’re a creative person, feels a bit boring and sensible as there is also that yearning for spontaneous creative flow. But I’m learning that you need to put in the structure, discipline and work before you even get to the creative flow. I have to put in the time playing scales on the piano to allow my fingers to work with skill and efficiency when playing the more desirable pieces of music.

Motivation Through Inspiration

I also need to devote time to inspiration. This comes to me when I’m watching ballet, listening to music or out in nature. I always used to view spending time on these things as selfish. But I now know I NEED them!!

Whilst watching the Olympic Gymnasts I was inspired by their beauty, grace and power, but also by their total commitment and dedication to gruelling training, and hours and hours of hard graft in the gym. It is this discipline and mental strength in overcoming self-doubt and discomfort that I find so admirable. It is lacking from my character and something I would like to develop. They are great role models for me and provide motivation.

I’m learning that I do have control of my life- I don’t just have to let it happen to me. I can take it by the reins and steer it in the direction I want it to go, no matter whether other people approve of this direction or not.

Resources

How to Stop Worrying What Other People Think

Social Phobia

Bipolar: The Identity Thief

Who Am I? Borderline Personality Disorder and Identity Problems

How You See Yourself is What Matters (blog post in relation to the writer’s eating disorder and Complex-PTSD)

Photo Credits: Girl & Apple by Imagery Majestic; Cartwheel by Imagery Majestic via freedigitalphotos.net.