So you want to Meditate?

b9de37eb06c1b03c78b4e66cd090395cWith courtesy of Yogeshi. 

Indian do it better lol.

Bringing all your attention to the present moment is meditation. It is a process to achieve a higher level of alertness and awareness. There are numerous methods of meditation. The goal of meditation is to Read more… The post What Is Meditation : Simplest Method For Meditation For Beginners And Effects appeared first on Get…

 

 

via What Is Meditation : Simplest Method For Meditation For Beginners And Effects — Get Well Forever

The Pursuit of Happiness vs Search of Meaning.

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When I started to look for my purpose, I was recovering from occupational burn out, and PTSD ( except I didn’t understand it ). My doctor played a mentor’s role in the story and he pushed me to my life questioning. Before that, I was completely unaware and in so-called hamster wheel.

In february 2016, I lost a camerade, at work, for a stroke, at 7 am. He was, apparently, quarelling with his manager when he fell down on the ground.  They brought him to the hospital by a first aid helicopter, but it was too late. A stroke requires fast help, and perhaps, unhappily, it was not the case. When I arrived in the morning, I passed by the direction office, and heard the executive director preparing his speech for the team talk.

He was calling, on the phone, for all the team staff and occupational doctor, in order to announce that R. my brit camerade, aged 43, was lying in a hospital bed, waiting to cut his hoxygene off. They were just waiting for his parents to come from the UK. He left 4 children and a wife. Sure, you first wonder how it would be like if you were at his place. The fact is that in the early morning, at wake up, 6h45 am, I did my routine mindfulness meditation, and I remember addressing my Self to “above” to submit my service into something bigger than my ego, and my own will. If you see what I mean. We often ask and beg for what we want for us and we never put our selves in a humbling position.

Don’t ask what your Life can do for you, but what you can do for your Life“.

As soon as I stepped into the corridor of the management office, I had the gut feeling that I got my answer or, at least, for just that day. No more excuses, I needed to talk.

So, for the very first time, fearless, I crossed over the door of my executive director, in order to speak out loud and we finally had a powerful, understanding, conversation.  He was in dispair, it was his third loss in a few months, and right after the november attacks, which had such an impact on our workplace, and our spirit. To minimize, my manager tried to tell me that all of us have personal situations which put our health in danger. Work issues wasn’t concerned. Invisible wounds and stress disorders cannot be taken seriously – at a work environement – as a proof of stroke, heart attack or any other health disease, because if you survive, there is a clause of confidentiality. They keep it as a secret. You’d better not talk about. That’s how people get depressive and suicidal, what the hell.

“They say that your purpose is what you struggle with.”

So, the promise I have made to my Self, in that dark upsetting morning, was precisely to take responsability for Me and My own Life. To be honest, from 2015 to 2017, I’ve been writing a memoir in my mother language, that I have tried to get published, but no one showed up unless ahaha! some editing publisher from Rome who complimented me and, as offer, asked me 1500 euros to get my work published. Never mind. What’s the main purpose of all this writing, I wondered, if not healing and sharing? 

***

 

In her book “The Power of Meaning,” Emily Esfahani Smith rounds up the latest research — and the stories of fascinating people she interviewed — to argue that the search for meaning is far more fulfilling than the pursuit of personal happiness.

 

Our culture is obsessed with happiness. Even though we devote vast amounts of time and resources trying to be happier, many of us feel aimless and alienated nonetheless. With depression and loneliness trending upward for decades and the suicide rate rising around the world — recently reaching a 30-year high in the United States — it’s clear that something is wrong. In recent years, social scientists have been trying to understand what exactly the problem is. What they’ve found is striking. What predicts the rising tide of despair sweeping across society is not a lack of happiness. It’s a lack of something else — a lack of having meaning in life. In fact, chasing and valuing happiness, the way our culture encourages us to do, can actually make people unhappy.

This set Smith on a journey to understand what constitutes a meaningful life. After extensive research and reporting, she came to see that there are four pillars of a meaningful life — and she lays them out in her TED Talk. Ultimately, she discovered that the search for meaning is far more fulfilling than the pursuit of personal happiness — and we all have the power to build more meaning in our lives.

With courtesy of Ted Talk’s Ideas worth spreading

Yoga warriors.

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Tonight, I found this wonderful project by US Army Veteran, Jeffrey Sargent, Warriors at Ease, which promotes yoga and meditation as tools to recover from PTSD and anxiety disorders. Of course, this is meant to support the health and well-being of Veterans, Service Members and their families, but his example confirms my theory on how much relevant have been these practices, also in my case, since I am struggling with stress disorders and recovering from trauma. Actually, I am getting on pretty much better. My nervous system is releasing “fight and flight” process, slowly but surely. Thank’s to regular hatha yoga practice, mindfulness, healthy diet and sleep habits. And definitely no pills. This is huge. With much love.

Stress as Self Defense. Burn out vs Stroke.

“There’s a lot of stress out there, and to handle it, you just need to believe in yourself; always go back to the person that you know you are, and don’t let anybody tell you any different, because everyone’s special and everyone’s awesome.” – McKayla Maroney

Sleep deprivation, anxiety, overthinking, anger and frustration, can lead to over producing the hormone called Cortisol. These factors elevate stress hormones and can have negative impacts on the brain, including the hippocampus. When I slept 3-4 hours per night, due to chronic stress and trauma, my nervous system short-circuited. In bed, before falling asleep, my legs used to shimmer, not like normally would when you are shy, or cold, for example, but more like convulsions. Until 1 am.

The same, at work, once a guest lost his bag from airport, and asked for help, in tears, getting angry cos I didn’t show very proactive or empathic ( airports procedures can be very slow and frustrating on the phone ), but real fact is that I was so fed up that I had my hands shimmering without any control. Simply, I couldn’t stand complaining about minor matters than a terrorist attack any more. That means I was overreacting to any stressful situation. I couldn’t put any distance at all. Anytime I felt in danger, my body started shaking. It could be an unhappy guest, or a couple quarrelling on the street, or police cars with blue lights … my body put me in fight or flight protection’s system.

Adrenalin and cortisol, when produced in overdose, stimulate your body so much that the memory of the traumatic event keeps this process of shaking. Then your body is releasing the massive energy slowly anytime it is possible, in order to calm down and relax. So trauma manifests him self by this loop of neurobiological response that keeps you blocked in a physical and mental prison. Until the signal of « danger is over » comes to your body. And your plus energy flows away, naturally.

It’s like we have to say to our body : « Ok, now you can let go, danger is over! »

Imagine a gazelle escaping from a lion, that is so-called « fight or flight » scheme, when adrenaline and cortisol are at theur top production. Now, can you figure out the same gazelle after one year and more holding on escaping ?

It scents blood.

It has long been established that stress-related illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) trigger changes in brain structure, including differences in the volume of gray matter versus white matter, as well as the and size and connectivity of the amygdala,” says endurance athlete, coach and author, Christopher Bergland.

Theferore, if you are interested in taking care of your brain, I invite you to learn more about chronic stress effects on your amigdala.

https://www.powerofpositivity.com/how-stress-changes-brain/

Of course, I am a caffein addicted. And sometimes I try to change my habit into a healthier one, like green tea or chai, ginger and so on. But it’s really heavy for me that I am Italian. Bad habits, bad heritage.

Stress can kill you, you have to be aware of it. If you have a chance, it might as well save your life. It depends if you have the chance to recognize it, and say STOP. Or someone else will do it for you.

That’s fine. Except it might be quite late for your brain’s damage. Neurons gone; and you lost. Preferably, left alone. Nobody holding your hand. Can you figure it out?

Burn out is called “strong disease”. I am a case study. And following are real facts.

In 2016, at work, right after november 2015 Paris attacks, in four months, I lost three camerades. Age 27, 38, and 43. The last one had four children, and had an argument with the manager, at 7 am. He fell for a stroke. They waited for help, and he was brought to hospital by helicopter. When you have a stroke timing is essential. You get 4 hours time before it’s too late. Also brain functions damages can be relevant. While director called all teams in a room, to announce us that our english colleague was lying in be at hospital, his parents were on their way to decide to unplug his machine. They said it was not related to work, or stress disease, nobody could prove it, anyway. In three days afer his unlucky accident, we were collecting money to burn his body. Three days and your own truth is blowing in the wind.

 

The others two, stroke again ( bad feeding habits, obesity realated? ), and infarctus, this one, after a ride on a bycicle, early in the morning. He was 27, and worked in the restaurant’s kitchen. He also had an argument, with managament, before going home. I could notice, the higher rate of casualties happen in food&beverage environments, where the talk and hierarchy are much alike army.

A few other colleagues from reception had health issues during summer 2015. The time of my panic attack. « It is personal ». « She is anorexic. » « She takes heavy treatments for breast cancer. » « She is just tired. » And me, I was – obviously – too sensitive.

Researchers who conducted a study on the effects of stress and stroke measured chronic stress in 5 major areas:

  • Personal health problems
  • Health problems in others close to the patient
  • Job or ability to work
  • Relationships
  • Finances

Use this list to assess where your chronic stress is coming from.

https://www.flintrehab.com/2015/can-stress-cause-a-stroke/

Nobody could mesure Stress Conditions, because there is no way to put a code for stress. Stress is defined a personal and individual response to danger conditions. We are unique individuals with different responses.You can’t put responsability to bad behaviour of someone or bad management. That’s also why it is so much important that you take responsability for Your Self. And Self Love starts with learning to say “NO”, or “ENOUGH”. Didn’t you have enough yet? Did you learn to put your borders?

Start now.

HSP, are you?

Depression-Quotes-I-Dont-Think-I-Feel-Quote-Picture-Sad-Sayings-e1432303759660When you overreact to events, like crying before other people, and can’t avoid sadness overwhelm you after catching up with media news, then you are probably a so-called « highly sensitive person ». The earlier you get it, the better. Before my burn out and fake alert trauma, I knew that I was a sensitive person, and sometimes acting like a « little girl », but I wasn’t aware of it like a gift. Being sensitive more than 80 per cent of world population? What a present, I was thinking. Acceptation came actually like thunder’s lighting, after a long time of struggling and fighting against my own personality. When, finally, I met this penpal whose story was much stronger than mine, since he is serving a sentence in a californian jail, for 16 years now, and 7 are left. My penfriend was HSP him self and he had the chance to get a good lady doctor as psychotherapist.

If you allow me, I’ll share this article with you, it is from the magazine « Shambala : The Sacred Path of Warrior » :

« Basic goodness is very closely connected to the idea of bodhicitta in the Buddhist tradition. Bodhi means « awake » or « wakeful » and citta means « heart », so bodhicitta is « awakend heart ». Such awakened heart comes from being willing to face your state of mind. That may seem like a great demand, but it is necessary. You should examine yourself and ask how many times you have tried to connect with your heart, fully and truely. How often have you turned away, because you feared you might discover something terrible about yourself ? How often have you be willing to look at your face in the mirror without being embarrassed ? How many times have you tried to shield yourself by reading the newspaper, watching television, or just spacing out ? That is the sixty-four-thousand dollar question : How much have you connecteted with yourself at all in your whole life ? » The sitting practice of meditation … is the means to rediscover basic goodness, and, beyond that, it is the means to awaken this genuine heart within yourself. When you sit in the posture of meditation, you are exactly the naked man or woman that we describerd earlier, sitting between heaven and earth. When you slouch, you are trying to hide your heart, trying to protect it by slumping over. But when you sit upright but relaxed in the posture of meditation, your heart is naked. Your entire being is exposed – to yourself, first of all, but to others as well. So, through practice of sitting still and following your breath as it goes out and dissolves, you are connecting with your heart. By simply letting yourself be as you are, you develop genuine sympathy toward yourself.  Conventionally, being fearless means that you are not afraid or that, if someone hits, you will hit him back. However, we are not talking about that street-fighter level of fearlessness. Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world. You are willing to share your heart with others. »

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In order to better understand if you are an HSP I’ll put this article from this blogger, who seems very HSP like. You’ll see that feeling weird, quiet and out of place is absolutely normal and a good sign that you are being your true Self.

https://introvertdear.com/news/highly-sensitive-person-small-signs/

You also find a podcast from Alanis Morissette with Elaine Aron, author of « Highly Sensitive Person : How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You”.

Self love and yoga.

a3525591-7e0a-45f6-a3d0-3e09f94a7dca_1.fbe55d51e48006605c03034c99694ffaToday I was reading this blog page, talking about suicidal survivor, and I found my self wondering what kept me safe from going down, in last two years. I mean, I’ve been depressive, and bipolar, when younger, and at age of 43, I admit that I am, proudly, NO MORE. During my journey, I’ve been told that bipolar was for life, that you can’t sort it out without medical treatments, or psychological support.

Of course, I have been in psychothearapy, and self discovery. Talking to someone neutral and stranger to you is a good key. Not judgemental. Not involved. That’s a perfect therapy. While you’re talking about your issues, and thoughts, to someone who is listening is magical. Psychotherapy is just THIS. The person in front of you acts like a mirror, she or he allows you to listen to your own words. You finally have a witness to your suffering and that is a good start for healing. Or, at least, understanding. Therefore, UNDERSTANDING, is the beginning of healing. When you become conscious of your triggers, perhaps, you also realize that overthinking leads to paranoia. Ollalla’. Not easy to recognize at which point you became a « paranoid ». But it all starts from you. Forget that a stranger will tell you what’s wrong with you. Or your childhood. You do the job. Most often you just need a guide, a coach or a good listener.

Yes, I’ve been paranoid, especially when working at night shift. I simply hated not sleeping on a daily bases, and going to bed at 9 in the morning, when most of other people started their day. Or not falling asleep until exhausted. Or waking up after 21 hours, and checking news, just to make sure that you didn’t miss anything important. I was so tuned on negative thinking that I felt like there was a conspiracy against me. Like if all my colleagues disliked me and everybody else ignored me. If I existed or not, it didn’t make any difference. Paranoia, you said it.

When I was 23 I’ve started with Yoga for getting a nicer silhouette, but I already felt like this discipline was more than just physical excercise. Since then, I’ve been keeping practicing once a week. That was pretty fine for me, one hour now and then. Not much effort. Beginner classes suited me well. Until I went though my last peak of stress, last year.

When I started cutting my hair shorter, yes, darling. And decided to do my yoga every single day, once back home from work. Sometimes at 22 pm, now 19 pm. Depends on my time management.

So, I’ve tried a few channels, until I finally found my fave one. Not only my body became slimmer, and stronger, but my mind was more focus and could concentrate on my class in breathing and out breathing. Sometimes 30 minutes, or one hour in my weekend days. Leaving time for rest, at least one day per week. It became a wonderful way to distress my frustration and felt like I wanted more. When I read that yoga helps with depression issues I didn’t catch it. What’s the matter ? How can physical practice be related with being anxious or depressed ? ( mental issues )

Body, and mind, are definitely strictly connected.

Often you feel depressed because you have fear, you are not well in your situation and you knoe that you need a change, but you don’t take risk to move out of your (un)comfort zone. Victim status might also be cosy. It’s not your fault.

Practice in yoga means getting used to unbalance. You can fall, you are allowed, and you can laugh at your falling. And try again. Until you do better.

When you work your balance and breathing, with yoga, your subconscious keep focused and you empty your mind. That’s the useful meditative work done.

Tonight a friend told me, that my fear is the fear of existence of other. Oh my, really ? And I happily realized this, if you are reading this article, you shall consider how much you love your Self. Me too, I had this idea that I hated my Self …

It’s not true. You lost your confidence. Or other people made you loose your precious confidence. Often it’s parents or peers. Sometimes strangers. Most often is self sabotage and your worse enemy lies inside.

Until you meet your dragon, and stare at his fiery eyes. And his face is not a mirror, but it helps you to build up your Ego.

Body, emotion, and mind, align again. You become a whole.

Paranoid ? Yes, so what ?