Archive | July, 2011


26 Jul

I have migraines. A lot. It’s sort a grab bag of both stress and genetics, but none the less it’s something I’ve had since I was four years’ old. It can vary between a month without any to three in one week.. I think that’s probably the worst of it all, is that most of the time they show up without warning. But this year, I decided to try meditation. And with my recent bought with unemployment, I’m trying to keep a lid on my stress for fear migraines will sprout up like uncontrolled weeds. I really believe that it has helped. So I thought I would share some pointers that I thought might be of use. Please note that meditation is a very personal thing. What works for me may not for you and that’s fine. But the key is persistence. Trust me, it took me a long time to get into it (and I’m still a beginner!)  :)

Be calm. I know this sounds like a bit of a catch-22. I’m meditating to be calm! Why would I meditate if I’m already calm? Yes. This is all well and true, however I found it nearly impossible to concentrate if I didn’t at least try to relax a few minutes before sitting down to meditate. It’s really all about breathing. I had no idea I was breathing wrong for 23 years, but here we are-nearly a quarter century old and I’m finally doing it right. I tend to breathe short, shallow breath (like most of us) that raises our shoulders up. Turns out, that’s not deep enough breath. I was taught to inhale deeply with one hand on my chest and another on my belly. When I inhale and exhale it should be my belly that moves- not my shoulders.

We normally see meditation classes where everyone is sitting cross-legged like a bendy pretzel. Unfortunately, that wasn’t for me. I much prefer lying flat or sitting against a wall with my legs stretched in front. I find thats the easiest pose for me to focus on breathing.

I’m not one for visualization. But some people swear by it. It can look anywhere from this:


A lovely mountain view



A gorgeous sunset



Or even a delicious snack :)


But I think that’s the beauty of meditation. It’s just me rattling up there in my own brain. And while it may seem sometimes like nothing is up there, you’d be surprised at all the information you have to wade through to get to the juicy, meaningful stuff. So I find it best to be patient. If you remember you need to buy milk, or the cat screams for food at the exact moment you are about to reach Nirvana, let it go. Acknowledge your stress. But be sure to let go or it will weigh you down.

The New Guy

23 Jul

Sorry to have abandoned you for just a bit, but it turns out that things have gotten a little more crazy than I had anticipated in my last post.  I had a birthday, have to find new work and just in general being a busy little bee. So, now things are finally getting back on track.

Seeing as my department was downsized, I now join the ranks of millions of others in the unemployed boat. I am trying to see it as an opportunity, but it its remarkably hard.

I was thinking about the whole situation earlier in movie terms. Bear with me here…It’s a pretty apt scenario. Everyone of course wants to think of themselves a main character in their own lives, but how do you really know? And then a scene from Galaxy Quest popped into my head. (It’s a fun movie!)  One of the characters has a constant fear of impending doom because he is “the new guy”. And everyone knows, something bad always happens to the new guy.

GalaxyQuest– photo courtesy of Google

But everyone has to be the new guy sooner or later in order to gain the confidence and knowledge the main character has.  And I keep being told that my moment is coming, just be patient. And while this is all good advice-it’s hard. Then I got this sweet message in my inbox this morning from this fun site.

 It’s kind of strange, Grace, but first you have to know what you want, defined in terms of the end result. And then you have to physically move towards it, without defining the hows. 

At which point, the thing you want actually starts coming to you, on its own terms, from a direction completely unexpected. 

Not unlike a cat, 
    The Universe

I guess you can hear something a million times, and then one day it just clicks. I may be the new guy right now, but my prized role may be right around the corner :)

Happy Place

8 Jul

Stress is a terrible thing.

I really hate that feeling and I’ve noticed that inner monologue of things that need to be done, and making back up plans for my  back up plan. And as annoying as that is, it’s inevitable. So it is what it is.


So on a day when your brain feels like this:

It’s important to remember the best antidote to stress is fun, but truly the best kind is when you look like an idiot.

Like this:

It’s also a great idea to get your friends involved.

But when even that won’t do, try to find a happy place.

It can be a moment in nature,

to a hike with a friend,

a peaceful spiritual moment,

or a special break

Or when all else fails, I find a good chuckle is the best way to beat stress at its own game.