“Just because life is insane right now, it doesn’t mean I have to have crazy hair,” I said with my blow dryer in hand.
Right as that statement came out of my mouth, I knew I had to write it down. Life is so nuts. Things can be so out of control.
We are going through a particularly difficult and scary time with a loved one. I have upped my meditation practice and upped my other self-care tools.
Today, I couldn’t listen to a guided meditation because my cell phone line needed to be left open for emergency calls. I handed the phone to my husband and got comfortable (sort of) on my meditation cushion in the corner of my closet. (I didn’t have the motivation to go upstairs to my office, where my nice meditation paraphernalia is located, so I plopped myself down in my closet.)
I took myself through my own guided meditation, talking to myself in my mind.
First, I did a mini body scan, trying to systematically relax all my body parts. When I got to my right hip and glute, where I am suffering sciatic pain, I sent some softening and soothing. (It’s ridiculous that the pain is called radiculitis!) Then I focused my attention on my breath – feeling it and seeing it in my mind’s eye – going into and out of my body.
Then I tried something that failed.
I tried Tonglen, the sending and receiving meditation that I talk about and teach in my book, “Life Falls Apart, But YOU Don’t Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm In the Midst of Chaos.”
It usually works for me. I was breathing in the pain and suffering of myself and my loved one, along with the pain of other souls in similar situations. I tried to breathe it in and morph it into love and light on my exhale.
After a dozen attempts, I switched direction and breathed in courage, calm, and ease; and breathed out bullshit, pain and suffering. In with courage, out with bullshit.
That started working, and after maybe 5 minutes I started to feel much stronger and more solid.
After that, I thought about what I would most like to hear – that everything is going to be o.k., or even if it’s not o.k., that I will be able to handle it. So I started repeating, “I am strong, I can handle it. I am strong, I can handle it.”
You know what? I am strong, and I can handle it!
It’s a miracle I had the bandwidth to wash my hair. I used some hair mousse and was just going to leave it at that…
Then I looked in the mirror and saw myself as a crazy woman with crazy hair.
Well, I thought, I certainly can do something about that! Crazy day doesn’t need to equal crazy hair!
May you have the Mindful Methods to manage whatever you are going through with less pain and more ease.