I got up just before 2 am because I was desperately hot. I went pee and as soon as my mind recognized that I was not sleeping, thoughts started to rain down inside my head on so many issues that are present in my life right now. There was nothing that I immediately had to do, although there are several things I need to say/advocate for once the weekend is over. My brain wants to remember them and it seems like this repetition happens until I write down what I must not forget later.
I’m trying not to judge this as it happens but honestly, I’m trying to replace these thoughts with ANYTHING and it just doesn’t work. I spent some time between 2-3 am to get into my body – to feel the sensations of my body and the environment around me in hopes of just spending less time/energy in my thoughts. I tried to focus my thoughts on my breathing. I prayed, I cried, I put my thoughts on what I was grateful for. I finally got to sleep sometime after three and woke up at 8. I am telling myself that I’m getting enough sleep for someone going through so many lifestyle changes. But honestly, the past couple/few weeks/months, my body is pretty exhausted. My brain at night in the middle of the night is pretty awake and alert and I’m finding myself begging my own brain to stop being so active because my body is not keeping up at times during the day. I desperately need a break and I just don’t see it happening until this semester is over. I am HOPEFUL that I can have even a few days all to myself. I thought about it. I haven’t had time to myself since November when I took a weekend to go to NJ to see the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Anyway, the gratitude thing worked. I also put my thoughts into thinking/imagining generosity and compassion and empathy coming to me. I imagined people calling me and doing the job that they are assigned to do for me. I imagined the possibility of having a friend or two where I live here who aren’t seeking anything from me other than friendship, who have my back and actually want to and are able to spend some time with me. I’m imagining myself having some time and space to heal these wounds so that I can begin to have new things to look forward to. I want to see the light at the end of this tunnel and I guess I do to some extent. I started to really feel nice inside my body when I started to think about having time and space to imagine something sweet to do in my life and with the kids and the ability to do that without a fight or some big push/pull in order to make it happen. That’s when I could really feel the rest of my body, my belly, my feet, my legs and could relax into myself enough to drift back to sleep.
I woke up hearing sounds downstairs at 8 am. My brain went right back into the mode of thinking-thinking-thinking. To wake up and immediately feel exhausted is not a great feeling. I scanned down into my body and concentrated on the breathing. From all the books we’ve read in these past 5+ weeks of school, I appreciate the simplicity of Kornfield the most. I believe that establishing this simple meditation ability of getting back to the breath and getting back to the body is something that takes time and is essential to do before moving forward with more complex ideas and practices. The meditation class is good to give an overview but by comparison, it takes monks/nuns YEARS to get to this place from meditating for hours a day on those basics first. I think it could be easily experienced as overwhelming to try to process, assimilate and practice all these new things that we are learning each week. So I am processing enough to understand the lessons each week and it is kind of fun to try on some new technique but I find that in these middle of the night thought-fests, I have so many tools in my toolbelt that it is almost as if I had none. I don’t know which tool is going to be the best. This morning, I went back to my original commitment to sitting and doing the simple Kornfield practices. That feels like a relief to me. Keep it simple.
Meditation this morning was not the best I’ve experienced thus far, but at least I am continuing to do it. I suppose that is a judgment to say that it’s not the best thus far. I suppose it’s successful to see how incessant this thinking-thinking-thinking is. I can also observe my attachment to the exhaustion I feel. I’ve been up three hours and I’m wishing I had more sleep. It’s a beautiful day out and maybe it’s time to take a nap outside. It’s so difficult because I want to spend the day with my daughter but right now, I feel truly a loss of energy right in this very moment…