Please check out the upcoming 21 day meditation challenge at the bottom!!! So I wrote my last post about being Zen about the blizzard that dropped three feet of snow on us. Well by the day after that post, I threw most of that out the window. I will post the picture from that day at some point. It was raining. Grey. The car was stuck in the driveway. The white snow had turned black. As the freezing rain poured down on me, I literally texted my mom: “I’m coming to Florida.” My parents spend a lot of time down there in the winter. It was a debate in the fall if I was going to come down then we eventually decided no since the trip itself would be hard and all of my “resources” were back home. Well, that dreary, gloomy, sleeeting winter day, I decided on the spot, no matter how hard the trip was going to be, the current weather and situation wasn’t conducive to ANYONE’s health.
The flight down went smoothly, my mother made it very simple for me and we decided to make it super simple by doing the whole wheelchair thing from gate to baggage claim. I know I will get to look back with big smile soon and really say: look how far I have come. I had a hiccupp a couple of days after arriving but it’s been all good uphill since there. And I am not discussing any of that any further as I am doing a “brain retraining program” right now 🙂
It’s been a bit of a time warp,my emails and texts have piled up. Meanwhile, I have been out in the sun, meditating like crazy and going “back to the basics.” I brought down the bare bone supplements that I know defintley help and other than that am taking a break from everything and focusing on natural vitamin d, destressing and taking a life break. Although I don’t think of anything back home as particularly stressful, I didn’t realize how running around to appointments, going to work and trying to keep up with things to the best I can is stress even if it’s not perceived that way by me. Even removing TV from my life for awhile has impacted how much more quiet my brain feels.
It’s been nice to pull away from everything and get some clarity on things and to just stop trying so hard. I came down here with a plan to read a long list of books that I found interesting, journaling assignments, this that and the other thing but I got down here and sort of threw it away. It’s a time to just be.
The only thing I am working hard at is the Dynamic Neural Retraining Program I am doing. It was orginially designed for people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivites but has branched out to CFS, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, PTSD, etc. It is similar to Gupta’s Amygydla retraining program, I simply choose DNRS because I was looking to buy one of the programs used and it was the first one I could get my hands on. It is based on the growing field of neuroplasticity. It basically helps to bring the nervous system out of the chronic flight or fight mode that it has become stuck in from an initial trigger, in the case of CFS, the trigger is normally a virus or infection. I will post a lot more on this soon but I am impressed. It’s just a lot of work so this break was a really nice time to start it because I truly have the time. It requires a minimum of a hour of a day of assignments after you complete watching a long DVD series. I have talked to a lot of people and most will tell you, you really only get out as much as you put in and as you learn, repetition, repetition, repetition is so important for “brain retraining.”
I am starting to slowly sleep better. And anyone who knows me knows this is huge for me. My sleep patterns have been disturbed for so long.<
ANYWAYS: The real reason I wrote this post. Starting tomorrow is another 21 Day Meditation Challenge through the Chopra Center. This time Oprah and Deepak are teaming up together. The theme is Perfect Health. I highly, highly, want to reccommend this to anyone. Even if you are reading this late, you can join at any point. This 21 day challenge in November is what truly exposed me to meditation. It's 15 minutes a day. We all have 15 minutes. I really reccommend just setting your alarm clock 15 minutes early and not getting out of bed until it is done. I can attest to how hard it is to actaully to do it as the day goes on. I am no different.
The meditations are a really gradual way to get into them. They have an inspirational message for the first couple of minutes followed by a meditation with a mantra. If it's overwhelming, start in small doses and work your way up to the 15 minutes. It can seem daunting at first, I know when I first started them they felt long and I couldn't get my mind to quiet, I was amazed at the end of the three weeks how much easier it had become and how quickly they went by. Now, I look for longer ones because 15 minutes doesn't cut it. I remember being really amazed at how much more centered I felt towards the third week of the last challenge.
Many people get really intimidated and put off by meditation. But meditation does not have to be intimidating and is truly beneficial to everyone. Look in Pubmed for all the studies on meditation and the positive effect on health and well being https://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=pubmed+meditation&oq=pubmed+meditation&gs_l=serp.3..0j0i22i30l3.1873.3771.0.39184.108.40.206.0.0.0.177.1007.7j4.11.0.les%3B..0.0…1c.1.5.serp.2NQIkWZRHbc&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.&bvm=bv.43287494,d.eWU&fp=a7c13f9524bf647b&biw=1600&bih=783
Meditation helps to decrease cortisol which a lot of us tend to have LOTS OF in our high stress society. Chronically high cortisol levels leads to belly fat, insulin resistance, depression and a long list of unwanted things. Meditation has been found to lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and improve sleep. For the long list of meditation benefits click here: http://http://www.chopra.com/ccl/why-meditate/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Meditation%2BNewsletter
I think most importantly, meditation allows us an opportunity to slowly start to learn how to “shut off” temporarily and connect with ourselves. It is amazing how much easier everyday life becomes after consistent meditation. You will find your reactions to people and situations may not be so extreme, other people may find you more “happy” in general and the things we truly desire out of life start to become that much more clear. I could go on.
It’s 21 days. It’s delivered to your email every day. It’s free. Try it. I dare you.
And that is all. Do you meditate? Are you undertaking the challenge? Let’s hear!