Ramblings about a live

I just watched an IGTV – 40 minute video on instagram, and I’ve so so much to say…. that I’m going to try and put some of it into words. It’s definitely worth watching….

I’m not actually sure where to start, because almost every 5 minutes of it brought up something to write about, which would mean I should be writing 8 different blog posts… anyways. This is really for myself. To out it down.

Her first point was that choosing to have children is an act of courage. About 3 years ago I recall discussing this with my rabbi, and telling him I didn’t want to have children. It’s the first time I’ve heard anyone validate that. I don’t want to bring children into the world. The thought of bringing a child into the world is absolutely terrifying. I’m not saying I never will. I’m still a kid. I’m 26. I don’t know what will happen if I date, or ever decide to marry. Will I want to have children? I don’t know. I really appreciated the validation, the understanding. I don’t want to bring children into the world.

Okay so I’m going to miss out a whole lot of points.

Choosing to love takes courage.

It does. In real life I find it incredibly difficult to reach out to people. Well, online too. I don’t reach out in the way of making myself vulnerable. I share, definitely. I email or DM people, definitely. I don’t message anyone and tell them I’m struggling. I might write a post or story, which says that I am. But because it’s going public, it’s sharing, and isn’t requiring the same vulnerability.

There is someone absolutely gorgeous who lives not far from me. This person has given me the opportunity to be in touch with her a lot. A really lot! I’ve told her how much I appreciate her messages. It’s too scary to build that relationship. There’s also a big part that whenever I have reached out she hasn’t actually followed through with her offer. There’s my part to play. Building such relationships are scary. Terrifying. More than terrifying. I’m not saying I don’t have that honesty with anyone, for I do. My friend M who lives in Israel (I miss her… lockdown means that I haven’t seen her in a year. Haven’t been to israel in a year. I guess she hasn’t had to make that day trip from the north to central – 4 hours each way – in a year).

Choosing to connect takes courage. In any way. Whether through parenting, or teaching, or building any relationships.

I really appreciated those words – not a quote! I teach. My students are the most incredible humans on earth. Most of the students I’ve taught are learning disabled, special needs, or somewhere thereabouts. Teaching is draining. It requires 100% of my focus (which I don’t always have available, which of course brings guilt for they are not getting my all. I do know that my not all often gives more than someone else’s all. And I do give more to my students than most).

Choosing to build relationships is scary. It’s only during the last year that I’ve built a relationship with one of my sisters. A truly honest, vulnerable, relationship with. No, she doesn’t know most of what’s been going on. I’m grateful I’ve spared her the fear she’d have been living with.

Safety. I don’t consider myself to have PTSD, because I haven’t been through trauma. Although I can’t say nothing has been traumatic in my life. The more you talk about something, the more okay it is to talk about. Going off on a tangent here.

Today I was talking to a couple of people on a group call. We were sharing, they did first, what we were ashamed of. The first thing that came to my mind was that when I was 14 I didn’t have good hygiene, which meant I didn’t have friends, and no friends meant no learning what normal hygiene is. That’s something I’ve been ashamed of my entire life. Well, not my entire life. When I was 16 I went to seminary – Jewish girls college – and for the first time I learnt what people do. That hey, you’re meant to shower regularly etc. (My family didn’t practice good hygiene…). I’ve never spoken about it before because it was one of my most shameful secrets. I wrote about this on a private blogpost recently. And today I shared it. And as I was saying it i found it funny. Because. There’s nothing for me to be ashamed of. I wasn’t shown what to do. I didn’t know better. I was the cause of a lack of friends through no fault of my own. I’m going to have to go back to see what I was trying to say, but the point I’m saying here is that the more you talk about something, the more okay it becomes, the more you – I – accept and make sense of it.

Oh. So trauma. There are some things in my life that really impacted me. One of them being my special needs sister whom I was brought up to belief was normal. Who when I was 9 would say she wanted to end her life and it was our fault. I knew I was guilty for living. I knew she was going to due and it was my fault. My sister is a topic that recently is the first time I’m really okay talking about it. I’ve joked about it with my friends. Things like I’ve been sent to hell enough times that hell doesn’t scare me (by my sister and mother).

I’ve come to understand some of my life. Even as I say I haven’t been through trauma, I’ve come to understand that some things in my life traumatised me. And that’s the first time I’m saying that. Yes, writing IS saying. Interestingly enough, on the phone today, one of the people said that writing isn’t as real. I thought, hey, for me writing is real. Is more real.

Trauma brings a lack of safety. Teaches you the world isn’t safe. Why has no one ever put it so clearly into words before? She put it into words in a way that really spoke to me. For I’ve never heard it framed that way. One of the things I’ve said about my world is that there is no safety. I appreciated hearing the why. Why there’s no safety. The world’s definitely not as unsafe as it used to be. I don’t feel unsafe all the time. I don’t feel safe. Ever.

Another thing she put really well was how using something brings along its own set of problems. Yah. Don’t I know that. Her example was a kid choosing to avoid the problem of going to school will create the problems that staying home brings.

Destroying my life, which avoids all the causes for self destruction (to anyone who knows what I’ve been doing, I want to apologise. I don’t think it’s okay for me to have ever written on here what I’ve been doing. For my GP to know is okay – and of course the tight thing. For the psych I met to know, is of course the right thing. They have to know the risks. Which of course there is the risk. Which is why I’ve been living with it. For anyone here to know isn’t okay. I never should have shared. That’s the reason I’ve passworded the posts I’m aware spoke about it. I’m sorry.

Destroying my life takes away the pain of dealing with the world. It gives me an illusion of safety. It gives and control. It brings along self destruction. It brings along the battle of life vs death which is exhausting, and so hard to fight.

Self harm has helped. Side track again. I’m calling it self harm. The past few months I’ve finally named self harm, as exactly that. Self harm. It’s hard for me to say it. Why? Because then I’m saying that’s what it is. Self harm helped. It helps. It helps one problem. It causes others. Such as wrecking clothes I don’t want to wreck.

So yeah. This live brought up a lot. Hang on, I want to check how long I’ve been writing for. Okay. It’s been nearly 40 minutes.

I’m grateful for this space to process my thoughts. I’m grateful for writing, which helps me process my thoughts.

Oh. I wanted to share something positive I posted on instagram. I know I’ve said the same thing before, but, or AND, I’m saying the same thing again now.

If you’ve read this far there’s 2 points I want to say.

The most important point is – thank you for listening. Thank you for being here. Thank you for taking the time to read.

And I forgot the second.

Second point – I’m thinking of you all even as I’m not reading your posts. You all mean so much to me. Your support and encouragement, and belief, and hope, from some relative strangers, means a really lot to me. I’ve read every comment you’ve left even if I haven’t responded. I’m not around much as I haven’t had the headspace (on Instagram I’m reading the stories, not keeping up with posts directly, unless they show up in stories – on the days I check the stories that is). I do think of you all a lot. And thank you for being here.

MBSR (7)

I don’t know how much sense this is going to make since there’s so much flying around my head and I’m writing this just to get it down and give me some space. Funny, usually I’d give myself time to absorb things.

I didn’t write out the rest of week 4 – I had 3 or 4 posts on it. Or anything for week 5. And now we just finished week 6. I didn’t actually think I’d go on to the call today.

A couple days ago when I was trying to do a practice I found it very untethering so I stopped. I did a short practice the next morning but nothing more that day. Knowing how much of a mess my head has been the past week I knew that if I found it destabilising I just wouldn’t do it.

Mindfulness. So I’m really careful to call it mindfulness practice not meditation for mindfulness and meditation are 2 different things.

I’d still like to share last weeks overview. Either I will or I won’t. Today was week 6. Only 2 more weeks.

I told my friends to sign up. I’ve 2 good friends here. Both signed up. Depends on timings if they can do it. If they can I’d love to do it again with them.

I spoke today! Week 6 and the second time I spoke. This time right away I prefaced what I said with – please don’t ask anything on what I say. I did freak out afterwards, but nowhere near to the same extent as in week 4. Week 4 I spoke, and was freaking the rest of the time. Today I was able to calm myself down much faster. My heart rate was seriously amped up (courtesy of my smart watch I bought for running when I can’t run…. my heart rate is way higher than it used to be. I’m eating now. It’ll be interesting to see if it goes down. Also less dizzy so wondering if I’ll be able to take up running again).

Today the focus was on self compassion. I’m such a mixture. As I said in my last post (not an MBSR one) I’ve stopped saying I hate myself.

Something I’ve been doing a lot and have found really helpful is holding my hand to my neck. There’s definitely a term for it. If I ever google it (just after writing this?) I’ll write more.

The first discussion was on what you’d say to a friend having it rough, and what you’d say to yourself. I thought about my friend whose life is chaotic. All my friends lives are at the moment. It’s a bit draining. So yesterday I told M I’m here for her and love her. This is when I shared my thoughts. That I’d say that to someone else. That with myself there is the gap between where I am – self hatred and guilt, and where I want to be. That I write to myself (all the Letters to myself – a few are up here. Some day I’ll copy out some more) and I tell myself the same thing. That I’m here for myself no matter what. No matter what I do I’ll always love myself. And that I’m finding that sometimes in life or journaling I’m saying it to myself. Am more gentle with myself. I think I said less words than that. And I freaked. The next people sharing referenced what I said but I have no clue what I said because as soon as they said E, it was too much and I couldn’t focus. Just don’t talk about me!

We did a loving kindness practice next which really also was a bit much. The practice is 3 parts which is cool. First bring to mind someone you love and who you feel only good things towards. Could be a person or animal. Imagine yourself wishing them well. May you be at peace for example. A few wishes. Then put yourself with the person. May we be at peace. Then at bye to the person and may I be at peace.

I imagined NN. He is heaven and charming. That part was easy (I feel myself slowing down now which I’m grateful for). I imagined my wishes for his peace, joy and happiness to be blankets I was wrapping around him. I’m not visual but it worked. R, the person talking, suggested we imagine our wishes as pebbles in water rippling but wrapping blankets gives more protection. During every pause I added my own wishes.

Then we were told to add ourselves into it. That was much harder. I put NN on my lap and wrapped both of us in blankets of safety, love, compassion.

Then take away NN. Found that last part really hard. I first did it imagining me wrapping it around someone else who’s me but then wrapped it around myself sitting as I was there. By that time I put both my hands on my neck in almost a circle. When the practice finished I was shaking away. So when we had a break I did a 3 space grounding and did the hoop for a few minutes. To ground myself. That’s also why I’m writing this now. Though I’m not thinking about anything I’m saying. I’m slowing down.

WordPress is being glitchy and deleting my words a lot. I hope it’s not added back any it has deleted or deleted too much as then this really won’t make sense.

After the break he wanted us to write down what we would wish ourselves. I’d been doing that throughout the spaces in the practice as else I’d he everywhere but there. I know what I’d wish myself. Safety. Self love. Self compassion. Self acceptance. Connection. Peace. Serenity. Okayness. Notice I’m not saying a lack of self destruction for that will automatically change.

I didn’t engage much for I knew it was too much. Nor with the practice after because it was the third part of the self compassion and I was already shaky. Not going to do anything to make it worse (makes me laugh as I write this. How I live with such self destruction AND such self acceptance and compassion. I definitely accept my freaking about speaking. A few times I had what to say and didn’t. And this acceptance is natural because I didn’t expect myself to be unable to speak…

The last thing was asking us how we practice self care. I realised that I more practice self soothing then self care. I’ve plenty of distractions that wire me down – like writing this, but much less that are looking after myself how do I look after myself? Maybe through my gratitude journal – I’m up nearly 1500 (different gratitudes). Writing to myself – I use it more to access the part of me that loves myself more than to calm down. When I’m freaking out I tune out as soon as I engage with it so writing doesn’t work. Distraction does. I feel like my entire world at the moment is a distraction rather than prevention. Through journaling and practicing mindfulness every morning which is what I’m aiming to do.

Anyways. That was week 6. The practice this week is to do the 3 stage breathing space 3 times a day. If I’m keeping Judaism I can’t but on Monday to Wednesday I can. And the loving kindness practice once. Again I can on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

I’d love to do the course again.

With Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish new year – tomorrow night, I’m not sure what the next few days will be. I haven’t been sleeping much. The days have been a mixture between up and down constantly. I’m glad to have the weekend now and no school for a few days.

I’ve written in the first or second post the biggest thing this course is giving to me. That is that I’m tuning in much more to where I am and grounding myself a lot more. It could be less self destruction has to do with that, I wouldn’t know. It’s also interesting to see that I still hate the body scan practice. I tried it nearly every day for 5 weeks. I like mindfulness of breath practices – find them grounding. Body and breath, or thought, I have found to be awesome or untethering depending on where my headspace was. I’ve been getting up earlier to do it for a few minutes. I want to get up earlier still to have time to journal and do half hour mindfulness practice if I want to after that. (Definitely better after journaling).

Signing off for real this time.

I’d love to hear how you’re all doing… if you don’t mind to drop a note and tell me…

Kesiva vechatima tovah – may your year be rolled with blessings and goodness.

MBSR (5) Striving vs Accepting. Where both are true.

Striving. Aiming for somewhere. Accepting. Accepting yourself and where you’re at.

This has been playing around in my head today since they said a day ago that mindfulness means non striving. I began writing about it in my previous post about the class. If I could have actually said it then, I would’ve.

Mindfulness means being present. Accepting your reality. And that can include planning where you want to be and aiming for that place. The AND.

Being that this is an MBSR post, a current example for me during the last 3 MBSR zoom classes is: I accept my social anxiety. Who knew I had social anxiety? I didn’t! Well, I did to an extent. I accept that I find it really hard to share despite every other person in the group sharing. I thought I would share. AND I hope that one day I will share. (As I wrote I actually tried to and wasnt heard – yay me for trying). I would really like to share, just to be able to and I hope that during the next 5 weeks I will. Both striving and accepting. The AND and the BOTH. For both are true. I can strive. I can aim for somewhere. At the same time I can fully accept where I’m at.

I can look at my life at the moment as another example. If I didn’t aim anywhere I wouldn’t be doing this mindfulness course, and I’d probably be dead rather than writing this. Does that mean I don’t accept myself? Well, I don’t accept where I’m at but that’s besides the point. I’m trying to accept where I’m at. I’m trying to love myself no matter what destruction I’m living with. And I’m striving – to use the words in the course. I’m aiming for a life without destruction. They are both true.

I love this gals posts on the topic.

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MBSR zoom class 3

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