Having only a weekend to write my review for the previous week and my aim for the coming week is proving to be a challenge in itself! It is now Tuesday and I am only just planning for this week – and have two reviews still to write!
This week I am adding meditation. 20 minutes, in fact. This will be challenging, but I don’t want to merely snatch a few minutes here and there, I want to really try to take a proper chunk out of my free time and devote it to calming myself and freeing myself from worries, distractions and pressures. I have not been feeling on top of my game in the past few weeks and I think some bigger changes to my routine is in order.
This week I am going to try to drop thinking how and what I should be.
If this sounds vague and inarticulate to you, it is because it is coming from my emotions rather than my brain. I have been pondering for the past 20 minutes (oh, that’s right, I was going to meditate then…) what to drop this week, because it is Tuesday night and I still had not thought of anything. There were many ideas that would suit me another week, but this week I am searching for something more visceral and basic. I need strategies to help me deal with the negative feelings that have been weighing on me recently.
I considered several very positive things I would like to adopt, but rejected each one. I just didn’t feel them.
I remember that when I was first reading about Buddhism, the biggest thing that struck me was the concept that our suffering comes from our desire to have things different from the way they are, to be other than what we are. Nothing unsually bad has happened recently, but I have felt a black cloud over me and a weight on my chest. Some bad habits have been creeping back as a result and I’ve been pained by the stress and sadness I’ve been feeling.
But a lot of that pain is coming from my straining to be happy. In the Year of Sunshine, Birdies Singing and Skipping Through Daisies, it should also be alright to sometimes sit under the grey clouds and let my tears fall onto the wildflowers.
I don’t know why I’ve been unhappy and anxious recently, except perhaps that I’ve been a little busier. This has meant that I’ve felt that I shouldn’t be unhappy or anxious. I have spent the past few weeks striving to be Miss Sunshine, struggling against the junk piling up in my house and the chores left undone, straining against the feeling of being trapped in my own depression. I have felt unable to appreciate the good things happening and the positive things I am doing, except to see them as more reason that I should be feeling proud and optimistic.
You see? Should, should, should! Even writing this blog, which is usually a pleasure, became a should.
So, I will try to stop having expectations for how I should feel, how much energy I should have and all the other shoulds that crowd into my head and hollow out my heart. If I feel sad, or tired, or productive, or lazy, or creative, or communicative, or tired, or organised, or scattered, or anxious, or silly, then this is alright. I don’t have to be, have to do or have to feel anything different.