Image of big blue sky and white writing: Bee's Mindful Monday

Mindful Monday ~ Letting Go

September 2019

This post was first published in April 2015 and I am surprised how far we have come since 🙂

April 2015

Colleen over at “The Fairy Whisperer”, who gives us this wonderful meme, wrote about how she had trouble to calm down her mind on Friday while struggling with a writing problem. And again I was reminded of synchronicity because I am in the same situation right now. Well, my mind is hurling but not about a writing problem.

It’s a problem at work, that I can’t get further into, but it occupies me since Friday and no matter what I’ve tried thoughts about it crept up everywhere. Even though it worked well for Colleen I have trouble to let go of it. Looks like I need to ask for advice first before I can let it go.

But this morning I drew my daily cards over at Earthmagic. One was “Vision Quest” (go into nature and meditate and pray) the other was “Kiwi” (go on a walking meditation every day this week). I don’t have to go to work this week and the weather is beautiful, so I decided to do exactly that. There is a little river down Weaver’s Way and early in the morning I walked down there and just spend time singing, meditating and taking pictures and breathing. Most of all breathing :-).When I walked back  my mind was calmed down in a way that I could left most of it go and think:”It will sort itself out. The universe will take care of it”

Not sure if that relates to Colleen’s post which asked us why we cannot be like children and just look at things from a different angle every now and then. But it surely strikes me as interesting synchronicity that she had to struggle with a similar problem.

She also asked about our mindful goals for this week. Well, mine is to have none. No goals that is. I have a week off work and will just go with the flow and relax and breathe and see where it will lead me :-).

photo of green Weaver's Way Sighn and Norfolk County Council announcements

This post takes part in Colleen’s “Mindful Monday“. Please head over and find more mindful posts in the comments.

Mindfulness and Nature

For a couple of weeks now I am walking Sherky along Paston Way which is partly an old railway line with lots of trees and squirrels to either side. It is a beautiful walk especially if it is very warm and I use it to calm my hyperactive mind down.

I focus on my breathing and to listen to what my surrounding is telling me. This is a beautiful mindfulness exercise and I encourage you to try it out sometime.

video credit: Luke Skillen on The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education via YouTube

Image of big blue sky and white writing: Bee's Mindful Monday

Mindful Monday ~ Bugger That! (Sorry for my bad language)

April 2019

Maybe it is time for me to stop pondering and just do…

December 2017

I am pondering to bring Mindful Monday back. For now, I’ll give you a couple of old ones to see what you think.

Here is one that fits perfectly at Christmas time. I admit I repeat myself with this one but it’s an important topic so please bear with me.

October 2016

Feeling guilty is a huge topic for survivors of abuse and it has been on my mind for a long time. Of course, those in Christian countries December is a month of feeling guilty too: You remember all those relatives and friends whom you haven’t contacted in ages and you eat much more than you should.

In June I wrote a post about guilty feelings with some bad language 🙂 and I thought I’ll share it again. Here you go:

June 2016

Welcome to Mindful Monday a blogging event that has been created by Colleen over at Silverthreading* (the feature and the blog does not exist anymore but you can find Colleen here) but for a while is hosted here at “A Spirit of Healing”*(the blog does not exist anymore but some of its posts are integrated here). Colleen follows her call to tell the fairies stories, so her blog follows other paths.

Therefore, I have stepped in as I believe Mindful Monday is important, and it is important to have it as a weekly feature. Thanks, Colleen for letting me be the host for the time being!

Mindful Monday is a blog feature to support each other on our mindful and healthy journeys. It is not a challenge but a community of bloggers who post insightful posts on Mondays which make us think, change and hopefully act too.

Please feel free to leave your link to your Mindful Monday post in the comments, so the Mindful Monday community has the chance to head over to your place and give and get support.

I am looking forward to reading your insights for this week!

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I had time off work last week and it was an odd experience. Not that strange things had happened but I was strange somehow. I do not drink an awful lot of alcohol, always make sure I stay in my budget with our food and keep sugars and coffee at a minimum.

Last week I thought: “Bugger that!” (sorry for my language)

I had such an urge to drink some Guinness the only beer I like that I got a pack for the husband and myself and happily drank along. I had some distinguished cider (yeah! right! it was the good old Savannah) in the evening and a mug of coffee in the morning with lots of spices, cream and chocolate. I was on holiday after all. You have to spoil yourself sometimes!

At the same time, I was mindful of the fact how much I feel guilty when I do these things. It feels like I have to punish myself for whatever sin I have committed when I was young or in a former life and again I thought: “Bugger that!” (And no I do not apologize this time)

I have always been the sensible one. The grown-up one who was used as an example for her cousins of how well I behaved and how much responsibility I took from an early age on.

Of course, surviving abuse means you do things that are not that great and I have been a mean bastard towards my younger brother at times (sorry bruv I hope you know I love you). The adults around me often didn’t see that part of me and I did everything to hide it.

I suspect me trying to be the good girl all of my life was to hide what I have done. However, these things happened when I was a child and I didn’t know better. An abused child does develop guilt for many reasons and it is a huge problem for adult survivors of abuse.

Looking at what I drank and ate last week I realize that it is not that much. I didn’t get drunk and didn’t put on weight. But I really enjoyed the treats we had and felt extremely grateful that I have the chance to buy us these things.

It was a very freeing experience and I hope it was symbolical for me letting go of other guilt that I still feel. In my experience feeling guilty doesn’t help to resolve a situation or to find healing. Feeling guilty keeps us in a vicious circle of resentment and acting out that makes you feel even guiltier.

Maybe the best “weapon” against feeling guilty is counting your blessings and to count your blessings you need to have achieved a certain amount of mindfulness.

I must have managed some breaking out of my guilt prison because I managed to walk every day for at least 30 min and at a few times even double that. That I think was quite something!

What do you feel guilty about and how do you manage to let the guilt go?

 

Good Morning #Mindful Monday ~ Rewiring the Brain and Music

March 2019

I posted this entry in October 2015 but it still resonates with me:

Good Morning Writers and other Mindful Ones!

Description for visually impaired readers: Landscape on bottom of picture with field and trees in back. Rest of image blue sky with white clouds. White writing says: Bee’s Mindful Monday

How is your life going? How is your writing going? How do you motivate yourself this week?

Please bear with me today as I have to explain a few things until I can get to being motivated and mindful.

Making the best of a bad experience

As I wrote last week again my past has gotten the better of me. It’s nothing new and somehow I would love to write about happier things, but life is as it is. So I’ve decided to make the best out of this situation and work through it in writing.

Things I haven’t known before about childhood sexual abuse

There are things related to childhood abuse that I wasn’t fully aware of. My latest therapist had told me that it is now known that all sorts of abuse (emotional, sexual, physical) actually re-wires your brain. Parts of the brain that are connected with storing memories, dealing with emotions and the connection between the left and the right part of the brain are changed or even damaged in the long-term.

There are things that are still difficult for me even though I have had the chance to experience EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy and it has nothing to do with me clinging onto old bad experiences but because my brain has been wired in a certain way when I was abused.

Difficulty in judging the danger in a situation

One reaction that is changed forever for a survivor of sexual abuse is the judging of the danger in a situation. You often react defensive or with fear to a situation that looks dangerous to a survivor but is not dangerous at all.

Like being asked to do something you do not want to do. It is uncomfortable but not dangerous to do so but to a survivor, the brain suggests a major danger and it makes the survivor appear to overreact. The truth is though you have no chance.

Difficulties to deal with stress

It seems to be much harder for survivors of abuse to deal with stresses of all sorts. As the brain is wired to see dangers everywhere you cannot allow yourself to relax which in turn increases the stress.

 

 

It doesn’s mean you can’t do anything against it

I still have trouble with both. Even though it is nowhere near as bad as it used to be it still has an impact on my life. But I understand now that it is not me clinging onto old emotions, but my brain reacting in a way that it has learned.

EMDR has already started to make my brain re-learn healthier wiring. However, a wiring that has started about 30 years ago won’t be changed within 2 years. I suspect that is an ongoing process.

Mindfulness is one good therapy

To cope with these difficulties it has proved very helpful for me to pay close attention to how I react in certain situations. To pay close attention to how I feel and in the process to figure out what caused my emotions and reactions. The “paying attention” part is what Mindfulness means. You pay attention to yourself in a certain way and respect and accept the reality that you are in.

It only gets difficult for me when I get slack with the attention and when I think:”Oh things are sorted now I am fine!” Healing from abuse is a process, not a linear cause -> give medication = healed reaction. I come back to similar experiences but will react to them differently and in a more healed way every time I deal with them.

A song often helps

Very often songs help me to learn a new lesson but mostly to keep me motivated. In my actual learning phase it is Jess Glynne’s song: Don’t be so hard on yourself!

Don’t be so hard on yourself, no
Learn to forgive, learn to let go
Everyone trips, everyone falls
So don’t be so hard on yourself, no

Read more: Jess Glynne – Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself Lyrics | MetroLyrics

I believe we often expect much too much of ourselves. If we do we get stressed out that we cannot own up our expectations which in turn makes us lose confidence. And the vicious circle starts.

The song reminds me of not being so hard on myself. That stumbling and falling are part of life and that the important part is getting up and trying it again.  And again and again and again if need be.

No matter what you want to achieve in your life ~ healing from trauma, writing your novel or just being happy with yourself ~ allow yourself to be gentle with yourself and get up again because you can do it!

 

Mindful Sunday ~ Grounded

I posted this first in May 2015

When I wrote my post last week I wondered about the double meaning of the word “grounded”. I believe it means on the one hand “connected with oneself and with mother Earth” but also not being allowed to go anywhere except school when having done something wrong.

This double meaning always seems to come into my mind when I write about the first meaning. My yearly cards (I do angel card readings for the year for myself) made it clear that my grounding in myself is not very good and therefore I was looking to improve this. Being grounded mainly has to do with your base chakra. Any physical activity, gardening, dancing, singing …. has a good effect on your base chakra and grounds you into the moment, your body and connects you with mother Earth.

At the beginning of the year, I also found a great video with a guided meditation for chakra healing and balancing. I have used it a few times and have to say that it does have a healing effect on me. For a while, I have done it practically every day but I started to know what would come so I stopped taking attention and it lost its worth.

On the whole, though it helps me to connect with myself, be mindful of the moment and stay connected with this physical reality. One way of surviving my childhood was to disconnect from my body. It felt a little like I was watching myself acting but I wasn’t really there.

That has a lot of implications though for yourself. It is hard to experience your emotions fully. Of course, that is the reason why it happens to you in the first place because you cannot bear the pain but it also means you are not able to fully enjoy the good things. When I was able to do EMDR therapy for PTSD that changed. It was like my body and my mind connected back together and for the first time in 25 years or so I could really experience joy, sensuality and security too.

That is another thing that has changed and that video has helped too: Feeling secure. Not to expect an attack around every corner. I was not aware that I lived my life like that until I did that guided meditation for a while. If you remember a moment where you were really scared and how it felt and what effects it had on you then you know how I felt all the time.

It’s a tough call to survive like this. It is no wonder that I still have to fight with a lot of exhaustion. But with time I have learned to trust that feeling of security. That might be the main factor for being grounded.

Mindfulness Nurtures ~ ABC of Love ~ Love Is In Da Blog 2018

The only reason I am blogging like a maniac right now is that my anxiety is playing up enormously. It has become so bad at work that I can’t go and even going out with the dog or shopping starts to be a nightmare. My heart races, I see enemies everywhere and most certainly something really bad is going to happen. That about sums my state of mind up at the moment.

I have been introduced to Mindfulness before

Through therapy I have been introduced to Mindfulness a couple of years ago and I have made it my goal to stay in the moment as much as I can. I experience this attitude as nurturing as it gives me a feeling of peace and safety: I am not my feelings and thoughts. I “just” experience them. However, there are moments when I just can’t reach that point anymore. I feel so overwhelmed with a feeling of dread, despair and hopelessness that nothing seems to get me out. These moments seemingly come out of nowhere. They used to have a trigger but now they just seem to come no matter what I do to care for myself and nurture my Wellbeing.

As I mentioned before in “Joy ~ ABC of Love 11 ~ Love Is In Da Blog 2018” my new doctor is a rather forward thinking person. So instead of ushering me into using anti-anxiety medication he let me borough the book “Mindfulness a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world”.

My doctor gave me a book about Mindfulness

It is written by Mark Williams who used to be a professor of clinical psychology and Danny Penman a meditation teacher and journalist. In my doctors opinion this is the best book on Mindfulness. It gives a detailed introduction about what Mindfulness is and the scientific research that is gone into it. Then it gives you a 8-week course on how to integrate Mindfulness into your life.

I started reading it directly when I got it last week, however, much of the introduction was already known to me so I decided to skip these bits and directly go to the course bit. So today I start the tasks given me by the chapter: “Mindfulness Week One: Waking up to the autopilot”.

Mindfulness Week One: Waking up to the autopilot and me

At first I was introduced to the fact that a lot of our life runs on autopilot. You get up, clean your teeth, get dressed, have breakfast, go to work, come back, eat and go to bed without often realising what you are eating, how your coffee tastes and where you are sitting. You mind is so scattered and is running amok that you cannot experience what is directly around you. The funny thing is that I feel exactly like that at the moment (and I thought I had developed a mindful lifestyle a while ago 🙂 ).

It then introduces you to the “Raisin Meditation” and gives examples on how different people experienced this meditation. I had seen, felt and tasted the raisin in a meditation already when I was invited to a course by the Wellbeing Service. I love raisins and it is really difficult for me not to gorge them down so I am not quite sure if it really worked 😉 but I can’t really remember how it was anyway. So maybe I have to do that one again in a quiet moment.

Maybe I fare better with the Body and Breath meditation? I have only tried it once so far. I am supposed to do it twice a day but failed miserably already. Firstly I fell asleep last night when I tried it and then forgot this morning. But the good thing about Mindfulness is that there is no goal as such that you “need” to achieve. If you could not do it just start again and focus on what you experience rather than blaming yourself for not doing what you are asked to do.

Changing autopilot actions with Mindfulness

Another point the authors make for the first week is to do one of your autopilot actions differently. So, if you sit in the same place at home all the time sit somewhere else and focus your attention on how you feel, what you think, all in all what is going on in and around you. So this morning I asked the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world if he would mind to sit on the other side of the sofa for this week. So he did. I would love to tell you what an extremely interesting experience it was, however, it just made my anxiety bigger. Wish I could tell you its much better but it still feels rather strange. However, Mindfulness is a process. There is much to discover I think until next week.

So what are my mindful experiences for this week?

  • do the Raisin Meditation
  • do one “autopilot” action with full attention: I chose drinking my tea with full awareness
  • do the Body and Breath Meditation twice a day
  • Habit Breaker: I sit somewhere else

One more thing that just happened is that I somehow bring my attention back to the here and now with whatever I do. I walked the dog this morning (yes I managed but with some difficulty 🙂 ) and my mind just jumped around between how it will be to go back to work, blogging, connecting with my spiritual guides, anxiety….. You get the gist. But in between these attention jumps I brought my attention back to the sun and the wind on my face, to the way my boots slipped on the muddy path, to the smell of burning wood further down….

Mindfulness for Life with Mark Williams

I can give you a glimpse on how I experience Mindfulness and how I get on with this course. However, it is good to either read the book for yourself (its not only great if you suffer from a mental health problem) or find out more about what Mindfulness means from other resources. I found a lecture by Mark Williams one of the authors of “Mindfulness a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world”. Here it is for you to make up your own mind about mindfulness:

 

Resources:

Oxfordmindfullness.org

Franticworld.com

Greater Good in Action

 


This post is part of “Love Is In Da Blog 20182 and answers to the prompt “Nurturing


 

Fellow Bloggers blogging about Mindfulness:

 

MePTSDandallthatfuckedupShitinbetween: that ‘mindfulness’ thing

Campari and Sofa: Cultivating mindfulness (when you have no choice)

 

 

 

photo of sun over North Sea and goyne with shadow of a man

Mindful Monday ~ Colours

August 2020

A short and lovely text from 2015 about being mindful of the colours around us. How true it still is… I re-publish it at its old date.

June 2015

Are you aware of the abundance of colour around you?

So often we go about our day, walk along the same streets, drive along the same villages and are not aware anymore how beautiful everything is around us.

There is that deep red rose in the front garden. The sun comes up in a bright orange sky. That child wears a beautiful yellow skirt. That meadow along the road is more than fresh and green. You might be able to see the light blue line of the ocean along the horizon. There is also a funny purple car.

Wouldn’t that make you happy if you only would be mindful of it?

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This post takes part in Colleens wonderful Mindful Monday!

Title Pic for "Mindful Monday" with "The Bee Writes" Logo

Mindful Monday ~ Not mindful at all

August 2020

It’s strange that I still seem to struggle with the same problems.

June 2015

You might see it in my latest Mindful Monday posts that not all is well in Bee land. Not quite sure how to put it. Not quite sure what it is. I manage work a lot better than before, I write the things I want to write, I play and draw and be with my wonderful family, and still, there is this nagging feeling inside of me. Something is not quite right.

A little panic-attack here and there. Well, not really a panic attack but that feeling I get just before I get one. I breathe deep and tell myself all the positive affirmations that get me through, and it does, but I can’t figure out why I have them. Usually, after a while, I can figure out why I feel the way I feel. Lately, I can’t, though. It is unsettling. It is scary.

But I suspect being mindful means to accept this part of myself as well. To accept that I went through a lot, and it’s consequences do not just vanish because I meditate, be mindful and write morning pages. They are part of me. They come and go. And as I wrote a few weeks ago: Sometimes you just have to let everything, even the things you love to do, go and experience the full force of it.

I know now they won’t last forever. I know there’ll be better times. And even though I would love to live without it, it’s part of me, and I better find a way to enjoy that part too. Being mindful does not mean to be happy all the time. Being mindful means to be aware of the cycles of life which go up and down but maybe also up in a spiral.

This post takes part in Colleens wonderful Mindful Monday!

photo of rainbow over stormy Norh Sea

Mindful Monday ~ An Advice?

Hello out there, all you lovely people. I hope you are well and don’t mind reading an old post of mine. I am re-posting it on the date I originally published it but I know that WordPress gives you a message on the reader anyway. So please don’t wonder, why I post a Monday post on a Saturday ;-). Here we go:

Last week I read an article in The Telegraph about the views of Theodore Zeldin, an Oxford University professor about Mindfulness. The journalist Sarah Knapton called the piece “Mindfulness is stopping the world from thinking” and explains Professor Zeldin’s views: Meditation and clearing your mind from thought seems to him a waste of time. He believes it makes people stop thinking. His advice: Go out there and meet the people around you and forget about yourself.

My thought: Old-fashioned ivory tower academic

I immediately thought: Old-fashioned ivory tower academic who has never tried a bit of meditation in his life. Well, don’t get me wrong I believe he is an excellent academic, and the questions he tries to answer according to Wikipedia seem more than liable and vital:

– Where can a person look to find more inspiring ways of spending each day and each year?

– What ambitions remain unexplored, beyond happiness, prosperity, faith, love, technology or therapy?

– What role could there be for individuals with independent minds, or who feel isolated or different, or misfits?

I bet he has brilliant ideas and make you think in different ways than before and I appreciate these things a lot.

Asians practice Mindfulness since millennia.

However, there is a tradition of meditation of millennia in Asia and considering the achievements of ancient China and India do not seem to me like a waste of time. These people followed the practice of Mindfulness, and it looks like they have been very much in this world, went out to meet other people and lived their life to the fullest.

My experience with Mindfulness

Besides my experience with being mindful is the exact opposite of what he describes: It has made me much more aware of what is going on in this world and made me also act. I believe that is what Mindfulness is all about. It is not fleeing from the world; it is being in this world fully present.

How can you think clearly when your mind is full of clutter?

His view of people doing meditation and practising Mindfulness seems to be that of brainless idiots. However, if you look at those who are in the “thinking” business, e.g. academics: you will find that they often need to go for a walk or do other activities to clear their minds to have a profound thought process again. After all, how can you think clearly if your mind is full of clutter as there is so much more information thrown at us today than in earlier days?

I agree with Professor Zeldin on one point though

At the Hay Festival, he suggested going out and make relationships with those who have different views. Not an easy task, in my opinion. I am not sure I can be very successful in building a relationship with him, to be honest. Still, I agree it is essential to do so.

Does he do though what he preaches?

I wonder though if he does what he preaches. Has he been out there to speak with practitioners of Mindfulness? Has he made relationships with those who supposedly are only interested in themselves? I don’t know, and the feeling I get from the article is that he rather is looking for some attention in the media as he offers an opinion that goes right against the grain of time.

What do you think?

I wonder what you think about Mindfulness and professor Zeldin’s point of view. Please let me know.

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This post takes part in Colleens wonderful Mindful Monday meme. Please head over to find more brilliantly mindful posts.