I was thinking to myself… what is wrong with me? Why can’t I get a handle on things? But the truth be told, there is nothing wrong me with me. I am not a product of my emotions. I am not crazy or losing my mind. I’m simply in a heightened state of emotion and it will pass.
The funny thing is that in the moment, it doesn’t ever feel like it will pass. It doesn’t ever feel like you’re going to come right again or recover. You become so wrapped up in what you’re feeling in that moment, that everything else loses it’s clarity. I do believe that we should “feel” our emotions in their entirety, but it can become toxic if we let ourselves become flooded by them. Which is what I was doing!
How Meditation Pulled Me Out Of Myself
I started consistent meditation using an app called Headspace. (I actually don’t use it anymore, but it definitely got me into my own personal rhythm.) I am a true advocate because in all my years of yoga and meditation, this is the one tool that has helped me stick to a healthy and regular meditation practice. Some might see it as a crutch, I see it as my meditation companion. Without it, I simply don’t practice as often, and that’s not good enough for me!
The app has a number of different packs based on categories that you can choose to delve into. From dealing with cancer to helping your kids focus. There are so many to choose from that there is no doubt you will find one to match what you currently need to work on. It is so fitting that the one I chose at the beginning of the year was called “Change”.
Every morning (or afternoon, depending on when I find the time to sit quietly for 15 minutes) I am met with a meditation that seems to be targeted to my exact state of mind. It’s like Andy Puddicombe has stepped into my brain, had a look around and decided, “Right! THIS is what Kat needs to hear today!” This makes me feel so at peace for two reasons:
- It means that absolutely everyone in the world feels the way that I currently do. Maybe not right now… but they have felt that way or they will in the future. Every single human being has at some stage or another needed the words recorded on the “Change” meditation. We are all the same! And in knowing that, it makes you feel like you’re not actually losing your mind… you’re simply going through a rough patch, and it will pass.
- Change is inevitable. You will feel like shit on certain days, but that’s okay… because that too will change. As Andy says, just because you feel anger, it doesn’t make you an angry person. You are simply experiencing anger. The same applies to sadness. You are not a depressed individual… you simply feel sad. But that emotion does not define you. It is not YOU! It will pass and you will feel a whole host of emotions after that.
Change is the only constant. It’s a phrase I’ve heard in various corners of my life for decades, but it’s never had as much relevance to me as it does now. The key with this series on the Headspace app is to recognise when emotions rear up, how intense they get and then to watch them as they leave. It’s almost as if you visually feel the emotions as they run their course through your heart and mind. But the truth is that they always do pass through. Sometimes they take longer than other times, but by recognising them throughout their journey, it makes it so much easier for you to deal with.
How was your start to the year? If it’s been as tumultuous as mine, be gentle and be kind to yourself. And if you’re in any doubt, I highly recommend downloading the Headspace app to help you on your way.