Day 6: Addressing Unkind Thoughts; I have an inner critic. I'd like to think she means well, but she definitely goes about trying to keep me safe in a pretty backwards manner. I can say with confidence that she's caused more harm than good and she used to be in the driver's seat until I found a way to make friends with her. Now, whenever she pops up and starts judging me harshly, criticizing me, creating disaster scenarios, or just filling my mind with negativity, I just pause and tell her "thank you, next" and suggest she take a rest.
Day 5: Name a Feeling; Today while meditating I noticed feelings of excitement mixed with worry, anxiety, and anticipation of things going wrong with regard to an upcoming event. My mind kept coming up with different scenarios of "what ifs" and planning for failures or "disasters." Once I noticed these thoughts, I smiled and came right back to my breath. Afterward I reflected a bit and realized I had a choice. I could believe the negative thoughts and hold onto them tightly. Or I could choose to stay present, trust and believe in myself and my ability to handle problems, should they arise, and let the thoughts go. I went with the latter.
Day 4: A Message in One Word; My message to myself today in *technically* two words (but if you hyphenate it's one word) is self-love. I often catch myself trying to control my outer circumstances to make up for some perceived shortcomings. Today when I saw myself doing this, I stopped, took some breaths, and reminded myself that attempting to control the uncontrollable will only lead to more suffering. It doesn't matter what happens on the outside; all that matters is what's on the inside. When I practice self-love, I can let go of the habitual impulse to control things outside of my control in an attempt to feel better and instead tend to my inner garden and trust that no matter what happens outside of me, I will be okay.
Day 3: Respond to Your Day; I picked this prompt for today because I realized I spent much of the day feeling frustrated, annoyed, and resentful of my job and then on top of that resisting those feelings. Once I had some time to myself to reflect, I reminded myself that I'm allowed to feel all of those feelings without pushing them away. I'm allowed to feel like I need a break and I'm allowed to give myself those breaks when I need them. I'm allowed to not be perfect and to complete things at my own pace. I'm allowed to say NO when I know I've reached my limit for the day. I can slow down. I'm allowed to be a human BEING rather than a human DOING! My worth is not contingent upon being the "best employee." It felt really good to just give myself permission.
Day 2: Cheer Yourself On; I picked this prompt because I was inspired today by a good conversation I had with a friend. This is a person who I can be vulnerable around without fear of judgement. It felt really good to be able to speak openly and honestly to her, and she gave me some really nice feedback that made me realize I have worth, as hard as that is to acknowledge at times. The notion that I am not worthy of love, peace, & happiness is just wrong. I am worthy. We all are.
Day 1: Allowing your own experience; I chose this prompt for the first day because it seemed most fitting for the kind of day I had today. Moments of anxiety, fear, vulnerability, and insecurity left me feeling very drained. After a good cry, a good talk with my therapist, and some time on the meditation cushion, the message "it's okay to not be okay" came to me and it made me smile. When I remember that it's perfectly normal to not have it all together, to feel uncomfortable feelings, and to feel inadequate from time to time, it helps me to stop resisting the discomfort and to embrace it instead. I remember that I don't have to struggle against the feelings. That I can coexist with them and allow them to move through me unencumbered. I don't have to "keep it together"; I can let my walls down and just be.