Day 16 – Not Reacting to Reacting

Meditate. ✅
Driving meditation. I drove for 13 minutes with nothing on the stereo. My mind kept grasping to different thoughts so I tried using the car in front of me as an anchor. I’d repeat the license plate number or just try to focus on its movements. Then I listened to a podcast by Dr. Rick Hansen on Compassion and Equanimity. I almost exclusively listen to podcasts while I’m driving. It not only helps to relieve the pain of traffic, but it helps me practice mindfulness. I really try to pay attention to everything that’s being said and when I find that somehow I got lost in some train of thought, the act of rewinding to the last place I was paying attention helps refocus me.

Exercise. ✅
20 minute walk.
I’ve been trying to do a Daily Burn workout for the last 2 days, but it keeps freezing on me. Yesterday, I went to the gym during my lunch break so it was fine, but today all I did was take a short walk before therapy. Usually, I’d get so frustrated and just wind myself up into a spell of almost misery. But, instead, I just took it as a sign that I should just eat and relax. I sent an email off to Daily Burn and then made dinner.

Write. ✅
I’ve really been surprising myself with how mindful I’ve been. I’m usually so reactive and quick to emote, but for the past two days or so, I’ve been watching my reactions flare up as if they were a fire on the other side of a river. It’s happening, but it’s over there. It can’t harm me on this side. I believe this is what they call equanimity. On the podcast, Dr. Hanson said that “calm” is not reacting, “equanimity” is not reacting to the reaction. It’s funny cause all around me, people are freaking out and I’m the one calming them down.

A friend of mine is pregnant and got a call from the Doctor saying they found something abnormal in her blood. She told me she’s been freaking out and even did the unthinkable Google search. When a friend of hers tried to console her by telling her not to think about it, she responded, “How can I not think about it?!” For the first time, I thought to myself, “You actually can.” That knee jerk spiraling into worst case scenarios, what ifs and regrets…I know it all too well and I honestly didn’t think it was a choice. That was just how my brain worked. It is only years of practice later, along with the miraculous grace of the universe, that I can now say with personal knowledge that we do get to choose. There are a plethora of different thoughts that we can choose to focus on when we get uncertain news like this, but the fact is that we almost always choose the negative ones. Our brains are just wired like this (this episode of The One You Feed with Dr. Rick Hansen (yes, the same aforementioned Dr. Rick Hansen) was so enlightening and rather life changing. I know my work is far from done, but I also know that I can keep it going. No hopes here…just hard fuckin’ work.

Do not go out to drink. ✅
Had a glass of wine with dinner.

Do not eat garbage food. ✅
Banana
Cereal
Pasta with Chicken Sausage, Salad
Mini Twix
Turkey Sandwich
Pop Chips

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