Hello, Old Friend.

There are times when I cannot fall asleep. I lay in bed and think about how am I ever going to fall asleep when I have to be up in only X amount of hours. And then a bunch of other anxieties come up, too, and all the day’s prior meditations and mind-tiring tricks (counting sheep!) won’t help.

So where did I turn back to? Nope, not Xanax. I turned back to relaxation MP3s. They worked once long ago when I had a similar problem and they worked again. They were a life saver.

This time I turned to the Gaiam Meditation Studio app, which I’d gotten for free from a Starbucks download last year. I’d highly recommend downloading it because it’s cheap – like $3.99 – and it has TONS of meditations (including a bunch with my yoga teacher, Chrissy!). 

Take that, sleepless nights. Let’s hope the insomnia stays at bay this time. 

HAHA. Right. 

Subway Anxiety

Sometimes when I’m almost home, like a couple of stops on the train away, I get anxious.

I get anxious and think: “I hope my cat is okay.” (There’s no reason she should not be.) “I hope the train doesn’t break down. What if it does?” (If it does, I could walk I’m so close.) “It’s so hot out. I really hope I don’t have to walk home if the train breaks down.” (Shut up.)

And on, and on, and on. 

I’ve never gotten anxious when I’m far away from home. Maybe that’s because I’m nowhere near it and so worrying is futile. Or I know someone is with Playbill, so no need to worry. I don’t know. I don’t know why I get so anxious when I’m so close to home I could (if I really wanted to) walk rest of the and it would take 20 minutes, max.

But yesterday, around 79th Street, I noticed it and instead of stewing in the anxiety and feeding it, I began to breathe into it and ask why I was feeling this way. I felt it and let it go. I told myself I’d be home soon. 

And it worked. It was nice. I got home and Playbill was fine. I was fine. My night was relaxed because I didn’t let the anxiety of my subway ride take over. 

Controlling Your Thoughts

I need to meditate more. Because my anxiety is brutal lately.

I’d bought an amethyst crystal bracelet at Rock Star Crystals last week for “calm” and I thought it’d been working.  

Then I left a beautiful yoga class at Yoga Shanti, a studio across the street from my office that’s absolutely beautiful, last night and saw a Slack message from my boss and absolutely lost my shit. It was just a simple question but I made it mean that I did something wrong, when I’m 99.9% sure, I did not. I immediately text my boyfriend and began stressing him out. I felt really bad. I responded to the message when I got home and spent the rest of the night watching Orange is the New Black

I’m feeling like I need to tune back in and sit in quiet stillness more often. I have a meditation MP3 from from Kris Carr that is 14 minutes long.  It’s mostly just soothing music and Kris Carr reminding you every few minutes to keep counting your breath. I sat through it last night for the first time and it was Hard with a capital H. This means I need to do be doing it regularly

A year ago this would’ve been easy. I would’ve been going to the Be Society on a weekly basis and I probably would’ve gone to The Big Quiet at least twice by now. 

I made plans to go to the next Big Quiet in July with one of my yoga teacher friends. And I emailed a teacher of Transcendental Meditation who I’ve practiced with a few times in the past and signed up for his August TM course. It’s time to finally get serious with my TM training. Everyone swears by it. Oh, and I’m going on my first yoga retreat in July. Which I’m so excited for.

I need to journal more and not rely on others to talk me down off my Stress Cliffs of Death. I want to go take a Reki healing class too because those are always fun, too. 

I don’t think I need meds. I don’t want to take meds. I think meds are great for people who really, really need them, but I don’t want them yet. I want to continue to learn how to control my mind. 

Epic Battle: Meditation vs. Anxiety

My spiritual guru Gabby Bernstein always says that when people tell her they don’t have time to meditate, she asks them if they have time to feel like shit. I think this is a pretty good way (although somewhat forceful) to convince people to meditate. 

I noticed as soon as I got into the office yesterday that I felt different and very anxious. I devolved into that hyper-paranoid person that I was (and still am, sometimes, just rarely) in previous years and it took a while to get back down to normalcy (what normalcy means to me, anyways). 

I spent a large part of the weekend with my dude and when I do that my meditation schedule usually hits the fan. I was still meditating for the last four days in my yoga classes but the morning and evening sessions weren’t happening. It’s not his fault; I usually just forget. Sometimes, and I’m trying to be better about this, I will sit for a session while he’s in the shower. 

Because J is great, he took note of my anxiety and ended up surprising me with a flower delivery yesterday afternoon. It was completely unexpected and immediately brightened up my Monday. 

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But incase a flower delivery isn’t an option for you, you can always turn back to your breath and sit in silence for a few minutes, coming back to a state of calm that’s always hiding somewhere inside of you. 

How My Mind Works

I’ve been conditioned to always expect the worst. I hate that. I’m slowly trying to reverse it. But this is how my mind worked when I realized, at the beginning of my vinyasa class tonight that I left a stick of incense burning in my apartment:

I may have left incense burning my apartment. OMG I SHOULD’VE CHECKED BEFORE I LEFT. But I looked at it a little while before I left and it didn’t really seemed to still be burning… EVEN STILL: MY APARTMENT MIGHT BE BURNING DOWN. I SHOULD GO CALL MY DOORMAN AND ASK HIM TO CHECK ON IT.

But I did not. I didn’t leave class. I told myself I was overreacting. 

And you know what? I was. My apartment is still intact. (Incase you had any doubt.)