My mind is tired of mindfulness

There was a moment a couple of weeks ago when I became extremely angry at mindfulness. Extreme stress had taken an emotional and physical toll on my body in a way that I hadn’t experienced before, alarming all the health-care professionals in my life, which in turn alarmed me. At first, I was concerned, scared and confused. Then I got angry!  I heard myself say sarcastically, “Well I’m glad I spent all these years in a mindfulness, yoga and meditation practice. Look where that got me!” Then I laughed at my venomous response to fear, and at the absurdity (and the truth) of those words.

I’ve had a very steady and intentional mindfulness practice for over twenty-five years. I started it years ago when I needed to change the way I was dealing with tremendous stress and hopelessness. I had two very young children at the time and needed to find a way to stay present when all I wanted to do was run away physically, emotionally, and mentally. Twenty-five years ago, mindfulness was not mainstream, but that didn’t matter to me. I quietly sought out teachers, read books, and practiced what I learned. It became a way of life for me and I found in the silence of my struggle it kept me steady and fairly calm.

It isn’t lost on me that I found myself weary and angry the other day towards the very thing that helped me find solace all those years ago.  Sometimes fear will do that.

Over the years as I’ve learned to live and find ways to manage the symptoms of complex PTSD, I found an important part of my healing was learning to live mindfully with intention. At times managing symptoms while living mindfully felt incongruent; a paradox. I wondered if my desire to live a life that was mindful and felt meaningful to me would always be shadowed by how I have to cope day-to-day with my PTSD? Could I find a middle ground? To my surprise, I could find a middle ground and I felt like I was able to carve out a purposeful life that I lived with intention.

Then I experienced what chronic, and pervasive stress can do to one’s health. It was more than just the platitude that stress does terrible things to your body. I am in the throes of living what unrelenting stress has done to my body. Some of it has resolved, but there is still some lingering damage. As I sit in silence and let the thoughts come, I realize that if I had not been practicing all these years, that I may not be here today, or I may be curled up in a corner rocking. I am both on the mend physically, and I’m definitely not in the corner.

I try to honor being awake. The connectedness we have to all things, the impermanence of the moments both perfect and non-perfect, the beauty, the wonder, and the power of being present. I believe that sometimes I will grow weary and tired, and maybe I’ll misdirect my fear towards the very thing that is helping me heal. Perhaps that is also part of the practice of mindfulness.

Photo by Ashley Batz on Unsplash

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph      

 

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41 thoughts on “My mind is tired of mindfulness

  1. Oh am touch by this post. this blew me away. Thank you for taking the time to share these write up through these words.

    These words are painted in truth, experience and perspective. I especially love how you started it and how you ended the write up. Beautifully written and as I read through again on each line I was amazed . Each word you used are true and reflective of my personal encounter with people .

    This produced a smile on my tired face after a long day. You’re appreciated.

    You are welcome

    #PATRICKSTORIES
    Peace ✌and Love ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks    for accepting and following my blog.

    I’m available to read your post at my convenient time.

    You have such an interesting topic I will love to read in
    your blog.

    I still remain  the simple blogger…..

    #PATRICKSTORIES
    Peace ✌and Love ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Marnie, thank you so much for sharing this with me. I’m so grateful that you have found comfort. God holding your hand is a beautiful image. You didn’t give yourself cancer, and I understand how your mind went there. Have a wonderful weekend. ❤️

    Like

  4. Alexis Rose, I complained to my therapist once that I was mad at God because I had to deal with so much – childhood sexual abuse, complex PTSD, depression, secondary PTSD from my work, and then cancer on top of it all. What are the chances that every bad thing that can happen to a person happens to me? She wasn’t surprised. The early abuse changed my mind and created so much stress that my body had no choice but to develop cancer. That made me feel somewhat better, knowing I didn’t do anything to give myself cancer. I think my relationship with God is where my mindfulness comes from. Really seeing my present, not hiding from it, with God holding my hand. Comfort for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Keeping it light. – Slow To Change

  6. I can certainly relate to this! It seems to me that there’s this general positivity & mindfulness CULTURE that is becoming so widespread sooo quickly, and while it can be amazing and helpful … it can also be borderline toxic if you don’t understand when and how to make them work for you. Like you said in a previous comment, sometimes we just need to sit with our stress and our negative feelings. We must process them as they come, we can’t just kick them to the side because they aren’t positive. It’s a recipe for disaster! Thank you for this article — and all the best to you. =)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you, Emma. That is exactly what my therapist and I talked about today. To just naturally go with you what we may need at the time, even if it’s emotionally painful or to just sit. I’m so hard wired to be optimistic, and sometimes thats just not what I need at the moment. A lot less stress learning to listen to mind/body and spirit. I’m sure learning lots of lessons. Thank you for sharing your experience. It always helps to know what other people experience too. Have a good evening! ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Alexis, people sometimes forget that constantly focusing on trying positivity can be draining. It needs to come naturally especially for people like us with chronic pain and/or anxiety. Basically, a lot of stress.

    I have found for myself, as well as coached, that fighting a feeling to get to positivity can be worse, often times. Acceptance of pain and meds have brought a great deal of peace.

    God bless you dear. 😁🙏💕

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thank you so much for your insight and validation. I really like that reminder that this is all part of being human. High blood pressure can be scary. I’m glad you have learned to stop when going into panic mode. Have a great evening and thanks again for your support ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  10. hawk2017

    This is part of being human. Sometimes we need to let off steam but finding the healthy way is hard to do. I am Ms. Panic Mode. I am learning to stop and think because I have High Blood Pressure. Ty for your article.:)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I feel your hugs. Hugging you right back. Thank you for your wonderful support. And I like what you said, about mindfulness being just a piece of the puzzle. That is the truth! Im sending you continued hugs as you heal too. ❤️

    Like

  12. I’m so sorry you’ve been doing it so tough. I get stressed a lot, it’s like the only thing I’m good at; overthinking, overstressing, almost like I can’t function unless I’m stressing myself sick. And that’s exactly what happens, it has such a detrimental knock-on effect. I can see why you were angry and frustrated with mindfulness, with you dedicating so much to it but still being overwhelmed and feeling the impact stress can have. I don’t really have anything to offer here as I’d otherwise be a total hypocrite, but I think mindfulness can be brilliant, but only one part of the puzzle. I think you’ve written this perfectly, so I’ll just send some hugs your way  ♥
    Caz xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I absolutely love the superhero persona analogy. I think we all have a super power, its just recognizing it and embracing it! I think the way you know yourself is always inspiring. I’m a more on the extroverted side so I need connection to fill my cup. I fully respect those that are extremely introverted and need solitude. There is such a wide range, isnt there?!

    Like

  14. If I had been married with children I would have done mindfulness.

    In my case I don’t have the personality for mindfulness. It requires focus and concentration two factors I only have for work, and when I was younger School. I prefer to escape through writing, Photography or art. I create worlds in my mind where I’m somebody else. That’s why I like Superhero movies. You can be a better person by taking on a grand persona. Given my personality I see myself as a Recluse in Five years.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: My mind is tired of mindfulness | fiercefabulousfunny

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