Fear of Lonliness

Feeling Alone and IsolatedI hear from people regularly about how lonely they feel on their spiritual path, “I wish I had more like minded people to talk to” or “I would love to be surrounded by people who are deeply spiritual.” Sometimes, they have lost friends and loved ones because they believe differently now. There are even times when you can feel totally alone in your beliefs while being completely surrounded by people. Sound familiar?

But here’s the thing: You can be alone, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel lonely. Be careful not to interpret alone as lonely. I learned that there are tremendous benefits to alone time. I believe these moments of alone time are given to us to explore our inner side. I came to value and love my alone time and I try to use it well by meditating, journaling, and reflecting. I also believe that so much of the aloneness that people are feeling right now is part of the plan to push humanity into figuring out and truly feeling that we are all one.

Just remember, the lonely and not-fitting-in times never last too long. And you can learn many things about yourself and other during those times.

Advertisements

The Three Minute Meditation

balancing rocksWhy is meditation so important?

Meditation gets us out of our brain, it helps us to realize there is more to life than our preoccupation with the past or our fear of the future. It keeps us in the very present moment which is all we really have. When you meditate you free yourself from your mind that holds you in the past or the future or both, causing you to miss so much of your life.

Statements that indicate you might not be present? “Wow the kids grew up so fast”, “I can’t believe I am 40”, “I always wanted to go back to school, where did the time go?” Mediation gives you back that time and gives you clarity, awareness, and brings a lot of joy to your life.

The Three Minute Meditation

I like to start my students of mediation with one my mother taught me when I was very young.

Start by putting your finger on the right side of your nose and inhaling to the count of five, then hold to the count of five and then release to the count of five. Place your finger on the left side to repeat the process. Do this three times.

This is a great beginning meditation and it helps with stress. It is a quick way to center and focus. Most of all it is easy. I am not fussy about position or correct breathing, that can come in time.

Once you have gotten the hang of that you can find yourself some nice spa or Zen music to help create a quiet place in or around your home to sit quietly and breathe. You can also get a guided meditation CD if that helps.

Mediation takes practice. It isn’t easy at first and that is why so many people give up, but keep practicing and you’ll eventually get the hang of it.

I hope you try meditating. It feels wonderful and life seems to go much better when I am focused, aware and happy.

Taming the (Monkey) Mind

Meditating MonkeyHave you ever suffered a panic attack or experienced very high anxiety? If so, these are signs that you’re taking care of everyone but yourself.

It’s easy to do – especially if we are constantly “plugged in” to everyone else via phone, email, chat, and social media. While being connected is a good thing, it can also become harmful when you begin to worry about things over which you have very little control. It also contributes to the constant chatter and non-stop thoughts in your head, AKA Monkey Mind.

I have a friend who runs around and helps everyone else but her. Most of these people don’t need to be taken care of, but she floods them with unwanted info and help anyway. If I happen to mention that I have a sore throat, my email box will be inundated for a week with remedies, medical articles, information about the cycle of the moon – basically anything she thinks will help cure my sore throat – when all I was sharing was that my throat was sore, most likely from allergies.

The information can become so overwhelming that her friends start avoiding her for fear that they’ll be unnecessarily taken care of since she allows her Monkey Mind to take over. Then she can’t figure out why she is depressed, tired, lonely, and unhappy.

She also hasn’t figured out the person that needs the most attention is her, and that she creates these situations to avoid taking care of herself.

If this type of behavior sounds familiar then slow down, take a look at your life and ask yourself when was the last time you took care of you?

It’s okay to  pamper yourself. Take a bath, enjoy a glass of wine, get a massage.

It’s okay to be nice to you. Go for a walk, make a nice dinner, relax for an afternoon.

It’s okay to sleep in late or sit and read a book all day.

Of course you have to keep Monkey Mind quiet. It isn’t easy but it can be done. It takes time and patience – something we so rarely give ourselves – but with a little practice, you can send the monkey back to the jungle where it belongs.

It’s Okay to Take a Break

Rock cairns, meditation, oak creekFor many of you, school is now in full swing which reminded of how much more hectic my schedule became when my two kids went back to school. Suddenly our less-structured summer time gave way to swimming practice, band practice, after school plays, trips to the mall, and homework.

But it’s important to pay attention to your child at this time to make sure you’re not overwhelming them with too much stimulus and too many activities. Kid’s brains need downtime, and I was reminded of this the other morning.

I was sitting on my deck, enjoying the sunrise and drinking a cup of coffee. I started out by thinking of all the things I needed to get done that day, but was soon distracted by my cat, Dover. He had noticed a bird taking a bath in one of my water basins in the yard and was quietly stalking it. (He’s much slower now, so I don’t worry about him actually being able to catch the bird.)

I ended up spending about fifteen minutes watching the whole scene play out – the bird obliviously playing in the water, Dover crouching low, doing his best tiger imitation. I took great joy in this scene until I realized that what I was supposed to be doing was setting my intention for the day and working on my to-do list.

But then spirit reminded me that I don’t always have to be planning, doing, producing, or accomplishing anything. Sometimes it’s just okay to laugh at a bird and my cat doing their thing. But it also got me thinking that we spend so much of our time worrying about getting to the next activity or making sure we, (and by extension, our children,) are stimulated, engaged, and moving towards a goal that we forget to take a break.

But here’s the thing: sometimes it’s okay to just be. Sometimes what you really need most is to enjoy the sunrise, a cup of coffee and a cat playing tiger with a bird.

So don’t push your kids too hard. Give them some downtime. Encourage them to just go outside and sit, watch, and listen. Allow them to spend time alone in their room, playing with their toys, reading or listening to music. Their evolving brains need just as much downtime as ours do – maybe even more.

Be gentle, be kind, and be understanding. It’s the the best gift you can ever give your kids.

Stillness Speaks

fairey house 017“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” – Ram Dass

A long time ago when I was a Girl Scout, we played a game called Listening Post. The object of the game was to stand with your back against a post, close your eyes, and make no noise for one minute, listening to the sounds around you. When the minute was up, we each shared what we heard and the results were very interesting. We could hear the wind rustle the leaves in the trees above, birds chirping near the creek, the roar of the waterfall a mile away and even insects digging in the logs we used as benches around the campfire. Every now and then, I still play this game and I always feel so much calmer and connected to The Universe when my minute is up.

The single most important thing you can do for yourself and your personal growth is to sit quietly for a few minutes each day and just listen.

Don’t think.

Don’t worry about “doing it right”.

Don’t compare your experience from day to day.

Don’t get caught up in the dogma of the practice.

Just Be.

Just Breathe

dandelion

When was the last time you got lost in the beauty of a sunset or an amazing sight in nature? Can you just sit there and breathe in the beauty and the peace? The sense of stillness and relaxation? Or do you pick up your phone, take a picture, pass it on to your Facebook friends and move on to the next thing?

Try sitting there and just being in the moment. Take a deep breath and do your best to clear your mind, focusing only on the sunset, flower or whatever has caught your eye. (I bet you can’t last more than a few minutes before you start to feel uncomfortable.)

But however long it takes before your mind starts telling you to get up and move on – you have things to do – try going beyond that feeling. Take a few breaths to see if you can go totally into the moment to relax and just be silent. Ask your mind to be quiet.

Give yourself this moment in time. Relax, enjoy. This is your gift to you.