Mindfulbites: Getting Back on the Horse

canstockphoto19973911Hunger Scale 1 to 10 (1 = least hungry, 10 = most hungry)

 Eye  Nose  Mouth  Stomach  Cellular  Mind Heart 
1 1 3 3 3 10 10

I have been putting off writing this post for months now because I’ve fallen off the proverbial horse and have been trying to get back on. The more I put it off, the more difficult it was for me to get back on the “writing” horse. So this morning, I’m going for broke.

Last summer, I’ve had a life-altering cross-country move. A good stress (because we moved much closer to family and grandchildren) but still mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting and incredibly stressful.This past year has been rougher on my nervous system than I had anticipate.

In the middle of the move, boxes and chaos all over the place, I was rushed to the ER due to crazy heart palpitations and sky-high blood pressure spikes. I had never experienced anything like it in my life and thought it was definitely curtains for me. I told the paramedics as they hooked me up to monitors in the ambulance, “Please, keep me alive! I’m too young to die now! I have so many unaccomplished things yet in my life.”

Thankfully, after months of tests and blood pressure regulatory medicine, my vital organs have been functioning well. However, I’ve been devastatingly tired. I go to bed tired and wake up tired. The most frustrating thing has been the spirit being willing but the body being incredibly fatigued. Fatigue being no stranger to me as I have suffered with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia for over two decades.

This time, it’s just taken me longer to climb back in the saddle and with that the onset of anxiety which has its roots in perfectionism, and its tap root, fear of failure. My procrastination is exactly that – because in my mind, not being able to report perfect mindful behaviour and produce the “perfect” post. So, with this self-revelation and confession, here I am having made it back into the proverbial saddle.

In reviewing my Hunger Scale, eating my breakfast of bran flakes and granola, I didn’t do well on mindfulness this morning. Because of the tiredness, for the past couple of days, I’ve been medicating myself with chocolate. But I console myself that it’s bitter-sweet, dark chocolate – 70% cocoa bean, and therefore qualifies as a vegetable, right?!

Eye hunger was not particularly high as the chocolate buttons were not as appealing as if they had been presented in a swirly, silky ganache, say. So I gave eye hunger a 1. Nose, stomach and cellular hunger were also low, but mouth, mind and heart hunger, scored high because I am mindful that my emotions are highly involved.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I’m an avid admirer and follower of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness practice which he defines as “Paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, with non-judgement.” To this end, in this present moment, I will refrain from judging my behaviour at breakfast or yesterday’s non-mindful behaviour. I will instead engage in the living experience of this breath and this moment. My favourite Jon Kabat-Zinn quote is, “For as long as you’re breathing, there’s more right with you than wrong with you, even if you’re two days away from dying.” Let me encourage us all to hold on to that thought when life becomes seemingly unbearable and/or unmanageable.

I would find your engagement and comments most encouraging and look forward to hearing from you.

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