Nostrils…Breathing…Focus

Sometimes I can’t believe that I have to live in my brain. One day, it’s like being on a beautiful little island, warm breeze blowing, swinging in a hammock with steel drums playing in the background. Other days, it is a crazy, wild, mixed-up, whirlwind of a place. Kind of like being in the middle of a hurricane, in the desert, while trying to study for a physics final using only your teeth, crying and laughing at the same time. Makes no sense right? I know.  My friends from University have a name for that side of my brain… “Maple Anne” (that one is for you Ian!)
Now, in the past few years, the “Maple Anne” side of my brain has become a little more manageable (thanks to friends, family, counseling and some medication). When I feel the whirlwind coming, I’m aware that my brain is acting irrationally but I have a difficult time trying to control it. This often leads to random outbursts of happiness, sadness, anxiety, stress and/or over thinking. The happiness I can handle and even the sadness I can handle. Those are all parts of life.
Stress and Anxiety. These are two emotions/states of mind that I’ve ALWAYS had difficulty with. It probably started full throttle when I was in grade 5 and took 2 months off school when I had stomach pains. After numerous tests, it came out that it was just anxiety. To this day, I struggle with it on a daily basis.
This all being said, it affects me the most when I’m trying to go to sleep and I can’t shut off my mind. I’m either thinking about what happened in the day, what is going to happen tomorrow or just general over thinking. This is usually the time feels like being in the middle of a hurricane, in the desert, while trying to study for a physics final using only your teeth, crying and laughing at the same time. One thought flies in my head, starts another, continues to build on another and the next thing I know, I’ve made myself believe I’ve been fired, living in a dump, running from the police… OK, OK that isn’t EVERY night, but I’ve been there.
This led me recently to try out some Meditation and Yoga. I’ve done Yoga before and quite enjoyed it. HOWEVER, a big part of Yoga is quieting the brain. Yea, that’s never happened. So I thought, lets not try to do TWO things at once. Let’s just SIT and try and quiet my brain! So, last week I bought a meditation video. Set out my Yoga mat and said “OK Brain, prepare to be quieted”
“Yea, OK” it said.
Now, I had NO false hopes that I would be perfect at this on my first try but DAAAAMN, Meditation is NOT easy! I was instructed to focus my thoughts on my nostrils and feel my breath go through them. I thought, alright, breathing, nostrils, GOT IT!
But then my eyes started hurting and I realized I was actually LOOKING at my nostrils (eyes closed) and making myself go crossed eyed. So I started giggling about that. As if she knew, the meditation lady said “Stop Giggling and focus!” (well, not exactly, but close enough).
Fine…Nostrils…breathing…focus…
OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW (Insert Cat attack here)
Pause Video
Put cat in guest room
Un-pause…nostrils, breathing, focus
“Stupid Cat, he’s a psycho, need to get him fixed, so damn expensive, money suchs, wedding coming up, what do I have left to do, OO so excited for my dress, can’t believe I’ll be a WIFE soon, that reminds me, have to book transportation, OH CRAP what about hair, oh well, still time, TIME, what time is it? Still have to make lunches for tomorrow, Jon starts his new Job tomorrow! That was lucky he got that job so quickly”…ETC ETC ETC.
Video Lady –> FOCUS ON YOUR DAMN NOSTRILS
Sigh. Nostrils, breathing, focus
FRIG, sitting this straight makes my back hurt. Maybe I can slouch just a little, Video lady will never know. Ahhhh, so much better, but now I’m probably not aligning my shockras and my third eye or whatever. *adjust* CRAP, I’m thinking again! Stop thinking! 
Sit up straight, Nostrils, breathing, focus

Video Over

“PFFFT I totally SUCKED at that. So much for focusing. Frigging Nostrils. Ah well, maybe next time.”

I finished making lunches, folded some laundry, let the cat out of the guest room (he was NOT impressed with me and threw a swipe at me for good measure) and went to bed.

Can I just say, I had an AMAZING sleep. I woke up still tired, but I did feel ALMOST refreshed and not totally sluggish. Imagine what kind of sleep I’ll get when I am actually focused on my damn nostrils!
I’m looking forward to trying again tonight though, maybe I can convince Jon to join me?
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