Last year was a difficult time for me with the death of one of my uncles and a suicide attempt from another. These events took place within a month of each other from my two closest uncles, on my dad’s and mom’s side of the family.
It was a sad and tragic time which resulting in a lot of family drama and divide instead of community and support. Since 2018 I have been experiencing bouts of anxiety with panic attacks that impacted my ability to work and travel for fear of that dreaded attack. Then came 2019 with all its challenges as my mind took more hits then it could seem to cope with. My mind was preoccupied with death and ruminated daily on all things negative filling me with despair and anxiety.
Eventually I decided that I needed help and began to incorporate yoga and meditation into my routine, which was my aim at the start of the year so the idea was not far off and was thus easier to implement. Yoga became a daily practice. A time for me to tune into my body and settle the mind. I also started seeing a counselor who recommended many practices that really helped. Gratitude, affirmations and journalling were my main strategies I began to utilize.
It was of course a struggle at first and my mind wondered and strayed off the part that I wanted it to follow but I had to persist. In that time I beginning reading more self help books, articles and listening to podcasts and watching videos that would help cultivate a mindset of change, acceptance and self-care. It helped my mind feel more like a garden of beautiful flowers and flowing fountains of water filled with sunlight warm the earth with patches of Shadows in the corners and crevices instead of one overcast with thunderclouds, withering plants and trinkling water.
However that did not mean it was not a daily struggle to find the path of stillness and peace. Reading this article just really reminded me of the beauty of finding stillness and doing things that you enjoy on a daily basis. For a time I forgot how much I enjoyed music and how it can uplift the spirit and center the mind. I even forgot about connecting to that inner voice, intuition, God or whatever you want to call it within me. Meditation is still a challenge and not a regular practice unless I feel I really need it but I’m trying to take quiet moments to pause and smell the roses of life. I love walking and being out in nature which makes me feel connected to the world and a part of life. These practices rejuvenate my soul and ground my mind and I really try incorporating that into my routine as much as possible.
This post turn out a lot longer and revealing that I expected but freeing in writing and putting that out there.
Hope you read and gain some insight from my post along with Digital Nomad’s Mindfulness post entitled: What is Wellness of the Mind? Her post reminded me of a book that’s on my reading list: Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday. Maybe check out his other books and podcast: The Daily Stoic for concise and inspiration messages that’s 5mins or less that can be part of a daily morning or evening practice for insights passed down by great philosophers of the past.