Meditation Notes: Stop The Insanity
Life gets busy. Life gets fast so you step it up a notch to warp speed and almost instinctively believe going even faster is the next logical step. After all, you don’t want to be “dial-up” in a high-speed Wi-Fi world.
This week was busy! I had 4 meetings with web designers to make this website full of great stuff for my visitors and customers. I had kids’ dentist appointments, my own appointment and some extra work-ups done after a health scare that didn’t turn out to be a big deal (thank goodness). We also have a severely flooded yard (I heart WA) that prompted us to spend way too much money on landscaping to fix it once and for all. A trip up to Seattle. Busy. You get the idea.
I feel like I’m just coming down from one of those super-fast roller coaster rides. At least it’s completely acceptable to scream at the top of your lungs on roller coasters. I’m not sure the same thing would go over too well in a dentist’s office.
Through this busy week, I still found time to meditate and completely appreciate my meditation routine, which is right up there in priorities like brushing my teeth, getting my kids to school, and showering.
Meditation doesn’t make your life go perfectly. In other words, you will still experience busy weeks. You’ll still get bombarded by things (and people) that test your limits…and your patience. Meditation makes it possible to not get caught up in your internal chaos. You CAN stop the insanity by recognizing and ultimately breaking the thought patterns that add unnecessary stress and anxiety to your life.
(Racing thoughts are fast, repetitive thoughts that are a common feature of stress and anxiety. They are replays of the past and worries about the future. They are strings of thoughts that have a pattern, consume time, and are often not rational.)
A client of mine emailed me this week to tell me she finally caught onto how meditation could help her break away from her go-to thought patterns. The types of patterns that could drive someone near insanity. She reported most of her “misery” was repetitive thought cycles or patterns she wished she didn’t have, but just seemed to partake in them without knowingly giving her permission.
Meditation helped her observe her thought patterns rather than jump into the deep end with them. She said the patterns were less irritating now and more comforting because they were predictable, easier for her to expect and mindfully switch to observation-mode if only for a few seconds- anything to break the pattern of those racing thoughts.
Our discussion inspired me to purposefully apply some of that to my busy week. It was just what I needed.
When we’re busy we don’t have the time to notice these patterns we partake in. It can feel like we’re not in the driver’s seat in our own life.
For the most part, the role of “Observer of Thoughts” that I’ve learned in meditation has been very helpful.
That and gardening/stopping to smell the roses, keeps me sane.
Without meditation, I’d never be mindful enough to review or pause my internal dialogues, responses, and personal story lines. I think this meditation skill in particular is crucial for achieving beneficial change.
The best way to approach it sometimes is to see the voice of your thought patterns as a much younger you, a little kid. This makes sense because everything seems like a big deal when you’re little- some of our maladaptive thought patterns can keep us figuratively little in our lives.
One small irritation to a kid can amount to fluster and flailing arms, but as adults we react like this too except in the form of our internal voice and thoughts, and heck, sometimes we act on it too.
Now how would you approach that little kid? You’re likely going to be the voice of reason and find common sense in the situation, slow things down, not escalate them. This is how we can also curb those thought patterns that steal our sanity.
Hope you’ve had a great week!
Peace and Be Well