When life throws you lemons, thank it for the snack

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Meditative Thoughts in Search of Motivation

I spent most of this week in a malaise. The only thing I felt I really accomplished was writing the weekly spelling story for my daughter. The main reason I could muster up that motivation was that I didn't want to disappoint her. I said I would use her words every week to write a story in order to help her remember them, so I feel obligated to continue it even when my motivation for everything else goes away. I still haven't posted my psychology blog for this week, either. I'm not kicking myself about that anyway. I'm not really a "blogger," whatever that term is supposed to mean. I don't make any money by posting weekly (or by any other schedule) thoughts. I don't have advertisements on my blog that bring in cash for every click. I'm not even well-known beyond my private circle of friends and family. Shoot, I'm pretty sure the "counts" that Blogger shows me are inflated by my own clicks when I preview a post before I publish it. ::Shrug:: That's okay, I'm not a blogger.

"Um, what does all this have to do with meditation? It sounds more like lack of motivation."

You know, you're right about that. I am experiencing a bit of writer's block at the moment. The truth is I'm upset with myself because I've been childishly craving attention. I guess I feel lonely having to spend my unemployed days at home in between the times I pick up and drop off my daughter from/to school. She's the only person with whom I interact on a daily basis--social media does not cut it completely for human contact. I'm too ashamed of my unemployed status to reach out and join a social group, even one at my church. I tell myself it's because I don't want to commit to anything because I can find a job at any minute and then I'd have to quit. I know it's a lame excuse, so I stopped telling myself that. I know it's because I'm ashamed of having 2 masters degrees and not even being able to get a job at Wal-Mart or Target (yeah, I got a rejection from both). I, the super introvert, am feeling lonely.

At times like these, I need to revert completely into my shell until I've purged the loneliness. It's not easy for my daughter to understand, especially now that it's just the two of us. And on the surface of things it doesn't make sense: I'm lonely so I need to isolate myself? But think of it like a transformative cycle. In order for me to be more social, I have to sink to the depths of complete aloneness, recharging my introverted battery all the way. Maybe I've been only charging up to 90% each time and the battery is waiting for a complete charge. Sleep doesn't cut it, either.

This is where the meditation comes into play. Over the years I've tried many methods of meditation, some even before I knew what meditation was. The most important thing I learned: THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY TO MEDITATE. I know some people make a living on teaching people how to meditate. I know the purpose of whole religions is to meditate to achieve enlightenment and find the "right" pathway. Meditation can involve any of the five senses, not just sound. I've actually used all but taste in my meditative practices. Tai chi is a form of gustatory meditation that uses your movements to feel different forms. Yeah, I've tried tai chi and I'll pick it up again when I find my living room (at least, that's the excuse I keep telling myself). I frequently use incense, so I think I've got smell covered. My earliest experiences with mediation were when I was a kid staring at a speck of sunlight, watching the dust motes fly around. The longer I stared, the more the light levels would dim and brighten and my mind would wander freely. That's using sight. I also frequently stare off into space, though it may appear that I am staring at something in particular. Of course, sound is usually my go-to method. I have so many "meditation" albums, but I also use instrumental pieces from various movie soundtracks. Listening to the hum of the air conditioner works just as well.

The primary point of mediation is to provide some kind of focus. Any stimulus will work, so long as it allows you to unclutter you mind, relieve the emotional burdens that you carry. Once the mind is sufficiently clear, leaving the meditative state is very smooth and natural. If done correctly (for you, not in any "official" sense), then you will feel refreshed and at peace, at least for a moment. I think tonight I will meditate by listening to some soothing music and playing simple games on mute. Hopefully this will provide enough of a reset to my currently overactive mental and emotional state and I can experience a reset. I know my daughter needs me. I don't want to snap at her or appear to abandon her. I feel I'm getting to the point where it's hard to hold my tongue because I haven't had a real person to whom I can vent lately. So, meditative me time is good for my daughter as much as it is for me. Blogging helps, too, as it allows me to release some of my thoughts instead of keeping them bottled up, bouncing around my brain until they reach an obsessive point.

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