MBSR (4) – Todays zoom class 3/8

Mindfulness attitudes – Beginner’s Mind or Curiosity, Patience, Non-judging, Non-striving, Kindness and Compassion towards ourselves and others, Trust, Acceptance or Allowing, Letting Go 

Today was a mixture.

At the beginning we were told that one of the participants of the group wouldn’t be coming back. I found that jarring and we weren’t given time to process that. Yes I know most people don’t need time. I found it jarring because, because she had said last week that as soon as she was present she was sad. I could relate to that. It’s not what this course is giving to me. I’m not overwhelmed by emotions being mindful. Being mindful, for me, means what I said in my last post – grounded and present. So although what she shared isn’t my reality, it could be. I’m destroying myself. She wasn’t. I’ve been destroying myself long before this course and if anything being mindful will stop it – it won’t, it’s not about that for me – but yeah. I found it jarring. And sad. That was the first sentence.

We then started off with a mindfulness of body and breath which I actually focused on quite a bit. Then we went into breakout rooms to discuss the last weeks experience with practice. Last week the breakout room was 3 of us. This week was 4, which was too much for me. No space to be. Or speak. Afterwards everyone shared their thoughts with the group. I didn’t. I had what to say. My thoughts were/are pretty much all I’ve written. That I’ve been tuning into my body awareness in space and time a lot. Being very physically aware of myself. Tuning into breathing. And mainly just where exactly I am. That includes the sounds around me – which they for some reason have never yet brought up. Not always. Not at all always. But more. More and more. Even if it’s just twice a day that is awesome.

I’ve been less distracted during the body scans. Well, sometimes. I think that doing the practices no matter how distracted I am throughout is practicing focusing. And being aware. Being aware if how distracted I am is great, too. And once I tried doing the body and breath twice in a row. What I had found was that it took until the end until I finally focused a bit. So I relistened, and was a lot more focused the second time around.

That took until ten past. I’m trying to remember what was next. I can’t actually remember.

We then did mindfulness movement which made me feel like I was going to sleep. I discovered that very minor movements actually hurt me. Was interesting to see. Especially because the same movement – lifting my arm to shoulder height – sometimes hurt and sometimes didn’t. I could lift my left arm higher than my right. I was trying to experiment with slightly different movements. Sometimes it hurt other times not, I couldn’t figure out what caused it to hurt though… I was trying to see what I was doing differently but couldn’t see. I wonder if ED has a part to play in how the movements hurt. I think just exacerbated for I’ve always been extremely sensitive. What I also found interesting was when we were bringing our index fingers together with our eyes closed. I missed. I was shocked I missed! Definitely didn’t expect that… it was putting me to sleep.

I thought of sharing my experience but the facilitators asked the people who shared about what they were saying. I wouldn’t handle the questions. So didn’t.

They were then talking about how feel the edge of the comfort zone, you can do that physically and emotionally. Stay with the edge or retreat intentionally. For me staying with the edge emotionally mostly means it won’t exist, but if I’d do it sometimes it does. Sometimes I can stay with that edge.

Had a break then.

After the break spoke about non striving. I don’t really agree. They were saying to accept your reality. But I think the point is that we weren’t really disagreeing. Just they were being a little extreme. Because sometimes you have to strive. And that’s not a contradiction to accepting where you’re at. For example in order for me to live the life I want to I have to accept where I’m at and I have to strive. If I don’t accept where I’m at I’m living in denial. If I don’t strive I’ll end up dead.

Then they showed an image of what not accepting and accepting and put a bridge and asked us how we’d bridge it. How do we get from the negative and judgement from where we are to the mindfulness and non judgement. For the first time I tried to share. Because it would just be giving a word. I said curiosity. I wasn’t heard. I tried again to say acceptance after a couple other suggestions but again wasn’t heard. And then they went and said you bridge it with curiosity. And I freaked out. And I stayed with the freaking out.

The last few minutes was a short breathing space practice – I wasn’t able to focus at all on it as was freaking out. What it is: sit in whatever position. Be aware of your body in the position you’re in. Focus on your breathing in your stomach. Maybe count breaths a few times to help focus. Focus on breathing in your body. Time into your body. Tune into the world.

Was still freaking. They gave the homework. And I journalled a tad. Wrote a really short letter to myself that you matter. And wrote that out to myself – you matter/exist/are important.

And that was today’s. 3 out of 8.

MBSR – mindfulness course, thoughts (1)

Mindfulness attitudes - Beginner’s Mind or Curiosity, Patience, Non-judging, Non-striving, Kindness and Compassion towards ourselves and others, Trust, Acceptance or Allowing, Letting Go 

Just noticed that my upper arms were tense. But coz I noticed it they aren’t so much (often when I tune into something it’s too much so isn’t there) . I’m definitely more aware of my body. Ive been writing out some of my last letters to myself, in them I was often grounding myself in them. Describing where my body is in space and time. Was interesting kinda to read and rewrite. Like now I feel my body pressing into the bed. My neck is turned. I hear music playing. The room is a bit hot. The cover is on my arm.

I’m doing that – noticing my body a lot the last couple weeks. I’m thinking it’s coz of this MBSR course. I think that’s partially why but not only. I think it’s because of the one I did a year, or was it 2 years ago, too. I’m grateful I’m doing it again. Even if and though I can’t share during it. When they email us the homework I hope to reply to ask if they can offer us to share our thoughts both by jumping in like it has been, or through the chat feature.

I did talk. Near the beginning they split us into breakout rooms to discuss last weeks homework. And they put me with a girl who looks to be around my age. Well anywhere between 20 and 30. And a guy. And they both weren’t talking so I started it. After the breakout rooms, in the group, every person shared with everyone what they thought. Well, almost everyone :). Thankfully I was the last person they asked. So it was a non issue that I didn’t. I couldn’t. Which is why it was only almost everyone. One of the guys didn’t realise I had been on last week. Probably coz of that. That everyone else who was on spoke. There were 2 or 3 new people. I like a lot of them.

I’m liking the course. Because just the fact of doing it helps. Because I’m remembering more to just see where I am now. Because part of the homework is to choose a daily task to be mindful during I hadn’t chosen an activity. So often during the day I thought I hadn’t, so just tuned in to where exactly I am and what’s going on. Like this moment I feel the phone in my hands, the air, breathing.

And they take away all pressure. They’re very much there is no right and wrong. It’s in the scripts. Everything is do this if it’s good, if it’s not don’t. Interesting to hear the people giving the course completely reading off the scripts. I know it’s scripted because there are recordings by others on the MIND site and they’re using the exact same words the entire time. The focus is acceptance, awareness, compassion, curiosity.

Someone said that the last one made her sad. As soon as she was tuning in to her body she was just so sad. Rich, one of the instructors (there’s 3, one who has trained, 2 training to be instructors), said how mindfulness is always about tune in when it’s good for you, and don’t when it’s not. Don’t do what’s not comfortable or too much. Step back. Open your eyes.

They asked what would feel physically, what would think, what would think. Someone asked what the difference between body and feeling was. They were what a great question… I liked that they were making everything valid, that people could consider stupid.

I didn’t like how when someone shared anything they’d question it. When anyone shared anything they’d ask them what that meant to them, what that was like for them, or whatever. Actually if I ever talk on there – 6 more weeks, I hope I do (!) – I’d have to tell them not to. That if I share I need no questions after. I can’t handle people questioning what I’ve said, or asking me to explain it. Freaks me out. Makes me feel unheard. Hmm. Not just that. Dunno. Whatever.

This week meant to do body scan 3 days and body and breath 3 days. The body scan puts me to sleep. However, doing it is good. Because I think maybe doing it often enough may make me automatically be aware of where my body is in space and time more.

Body and breath is a nice one I think. Though when he did it during the course it was really hard to focus. There were so many pauses, so I was only focusing when he was talking. And at least half the time he was talking about I dunno what. About being aware of whatever comes up and giving it space or something or another but it wasn’t directed enough for me to actually focus on it. So it was putting me to sleep. And made me feel very untethered.

Going to put on the body scans now I think. Worst/best is they send me to sleep. I’m more than happy if they send me to sleep. And if they don’t, it’s good for me to practice. The body/breath if I remember it, and I remember that I really liked it (not sure what doing it in real was so different to what I remember from last time and what I think the recording is), is really good to do first thing in the morning.

I’d really like to eventually train with them. To be a teacher. If I do 2 courses in a row – which I’m hoping to. This via zoom, then whenever they do it in real life. Then it’ll be 4 months of structured practice. Regardless if I keep a time for structured practice or not it’s good. Will be good.