I haven't been able to re-establish a daily routine of yoga practice. I can't find my inner disclipline to exercise regularly. I can't dig into my strength reserves to follow through on the commitments I make to myself on a daily basis (I no longer have strength left), which results in a feeling of failure and the first step toward The Downward Spiral (no, this is not the NIN album). I can't depend on my resilience because it is lost somewhere in the same place as my inner strength. I have lost the map inward that leads to both. My resilience, strength, dedication, power, discipline, are all so diminished they barely exist.
I started this MBSR course a few years ago, as one way of trying to work through the multiple traumas I experienced while living in ATX from Oct. 2014 - February 2018. The combination of PTSD, extreme anxiety, and a nearly life-ending bout of depression, makes it impossible to stay present and be mindful; the pain is too extreme, the present is too awful, and the mind is too muddled to focus (neuroplasticity at play here). Unless you have experienced these first hand, you really have no clue what a person suffers, so it is also rare to receive much needed empathy and understanding. But returning to the present of 2019, I have started the course again, because everything else I am doing is not working, because I can't find my follow-through, and I can't find an accountability partner to hold me to my self-care commitments. Plus, I am at the end of my rope! I can't stand how I feel nor how I act. I am truly miserable at work and at home and the suffering is a direct result of thought-patterns I cannot end and negative coping mechanisms which are killing me.
Without going into too much detail, Mindfulness-based Stress Relief (MBSR) is an 8-week mindfulness meditation course that will lead me back to being able to cope in the present moment and bring awareness back into my life, so that I don't follow my thoughts down the rabbit hole and I can build resilience and strength. I want to uncover the part of me that recalls my connection to others; the inner self that gives me the self-compassion to relate to others with compassion; the mind that remembers not to take anything personally and does not make assumptions, but rather, asks for clarity; the one who does not react from her lizard brain, but who is able to pause, breathe, and remember with love that we are all just doing the best we can... and of course, so much more...
There are meditations, readings, videos to watch, and journaling to complete. I've already set up a realistic schedule for each of the daily practices. It seems that now is the time to accept that I am not going to do a long morning yoga practice. I need to accept that I will sit down and write in the morning, and not stop writing until I am about to be late to work. I need to accept this as part of my current lifestyle and a habit, rather than fighting it on a daily basis and feeling guilty, lazy, and awful because I am not carrying out my morning practice. I can continue fighting myself and feeling like a failure, or I can accept that this is where I am now: I want to focus on writing -- and I enjoy it damnit! -- so where can I place the yoga practice in my daily routine so that it actually gets done without struggle or guilt? It's easier to change my current nightly routine (AKA: Detrimental Coping Strategy) of tuning out with a film and wine or sugar, so I will complete the requisite reading in the morning or during the day, then watch the videos and perform the mindufulness practices in the evening prior to bedtime.
Other teachers who present paths to awareness and presence, Byron Katie, Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle - Although I am a follower of Tolle's works and message, the people that have taken over his "message" have turned it into a greedy business empire. I believe that Awakening and access to helpful mental health tools shouldn't be for solely for profit. His teaching used to be free, but are now controlled by his "new teachers". I recommend his books but will not promote his website because you have to pay high membership fees to access any material. Sad. Of course I agree that people should make a living from their work - I have and I will - but to make teachings about consciousness and higher self so expensive that it causes financial hardship for many to access the info is ridiculous... why should only wealthy have access to enlightment tools and awakening information.