So I practice at least a simple meditation technique every day.
Or at least, I try to. It can be anything from a 20-30 minute Guided Journey, down to one single minute of focused mindful breathing.
A lot of the work I do, both personally spiritual and professional, is about Guided Meditation, or rather, Guided Journeys. If you’re not familiar, meditation is an umbrella term for any number of techniques or mental/physical exercises which you might engage in (like concentration on your breathing or repeating an affirmation, or a mantra).
We do this for so many reasons, from the quest to achieve a heightened level of spiritual awareness, to calming anxiety and stress, to a desire for awareness and self regulation. A guided meditation is when someone takes you through a meditation with the sound of their voice and the ‘script’ they have prepared. Not all meditations are guided.
A Guided Journey is all of the above, but specifically the guide is bringing you to a certain time or place in the spiritual realms, or your own interior landscape, usually for a particular purpose, and then bringing you back again safely. That last one is the bit most Guided Journeys fail on, by the by.
I have a multitude of guided meditations and guided journeys that I have recorded – you can check some of that out at www.Guided-Meditation-Journeys.com. I’m in the process of setting up a whole system of Guided Meditation and Journeying in the Irish Otherworld there, in fact, through 3 different levels… but you know what’s weird? Listening to the sound of your own voice.
Yeah. So even though I have exactly what’s best for me right at my fingertips, I can’t really use my own stuff, except on specific ritual occasions sometimes.
Now, the other problem that comes along with this is, I’ve been Journeying for over 20 years, and I know what’s safe, what’s good practice, and what is shit and scary and no way stay the fuck out of my mental brainspace with that nonsense please and thank you.
That last category is the biggest by far.
So. Many. Scammers. Cashing. In.
The upshot of all this is that I have literally 2 things I can use for my own meditation practice. I mean, there might be more, but these 2 work for me so I’m sticking with them.
Firstly, for long form healing Journeys, my friend Izzy Swanson is amazing, and her work is particularly suited to my trauma healing. You can find her, and her Guided Journeys, on Patreon here – https://www.patreon.com/izzyswanson. I know her work is safe.
I do those Journeys as often as I can (they run deep, and I’m in a somewhat changing place with my own healing right now, so I have to be a bit careful about cracking myself open).
But for the everyday, I use an app on my phone called Calm. There’s a daily guided meditation that takes about 5 minutes, as well as a whole range of other stuff like topical meditations, sleep stories, and even wellness classes.
Your woman’s voice that does the dailies is quite pleasant, and there’s a different little inspirational bit included at the end which is sometimes – yeah whatever cool story – but sometimes strikes me quite deeply and leaves me thoughtful for the day.
And they show a little calendar at the end of your session to track how many times you use it, and your current ‘streak’, ie how many days in a row you’ve done the daily meditation.
So. That’s all grand.
I’d a good little streak going, like, 8 days? I mentioned that I struggle with self care and consistently doing the things I know are good for me, right? And then for some reason yesterday, I didn’t.
Then last night, I had TERRIBLE anxiety dreams, a really broken sleep, and woke up at 6am freaking out and cortisol spiked through the roof.
A little background – I lived for a very long time in a ‘fight, flight, freeze’ state, and my system got very used to that over the years. A lot of my current work is trying to unpack that and figure out a new baseline ‘normal’ for myself. We’ll get more into all this as we go I’m sure. I’m nothing if not an over-sharer.
I suffered for a long time both from an inability to get to sleep, but even more so (because sheer exhaustion often took over and knocked me out) from that whole shit show of waking from severe anxiety dreams at 2 or 3am and being unable to get back to sleep coz your brain and body think you’re in imminent life threatening danger.
I take a strong dose anti-anxiety medication every night to try and stop this, and it usually works out fine. I’m sleeping better than I ever did, but… how much of that is due to the meditation?
Like, a lot goes into this healing lark. There’s a lot of strands to unpick here, and reweave into something that has brighter colours and a less blurry pattern. It’s a constant process, and probably no one thing is ever going to be a magic bullet cure for it all and suddenly I’m ‘better’.
It’s interesting though, that there’s a correlation between stopping the daily calm practice, and getting a dose of decidedly not calm that very night. Right?
One to watch anyway.
Be well, and we’ll chat more next time.
I don’t know exactly where to start with this, so I guess I’ll start here. Welcome!
It’s around my mid year review, in 2018, and I’m looking back over my quarterly goals, some of which I’ve ticked off and some I didn’t even begin. Hey ho, that’s how it goes.
Looking back a little further to my annual goals, I think I’m doing ok with those too, and at least there’s a little more wiggle room. I still have half a year yet, right?
As we move forward here, I’ll share more specifics of stuff like that, but for now I just want to set the scene.
I am a non-binary but mostly female presenting, grey asexual panromantic who usually identifies as Bi (coz bi erasure is a thing), 40 year old white Irish mother of 3 teenagers in a wonderful and fulfilling life partnership with a straight cis storyteller guy. I’m a journalist, author, heritage professional, tour guide, educator and self-sustaining entrepreneur, legally sanctioned life rites celebrant, Pagan Reverend and Priest of a demanding Irish deity, informally diagnosed with C-PTSD and underlying general anxiety disorder.
Wow. Even writing it all out like that, it’s a lot. And I’m looking at it right now wondering what I’ve forgotten off it and who I’ll offend by leaving out references to things that relate to them.
Shush Brain. We’re good, I got instant edit capabilities, like, right here.
I have, let’s just say, a lot of balls in the air.
Some of it is because I’m currently the primary earner in the family, while my partner gets his feet under him in his new business. Some of it is because I’m really fucking creative, like, painfully so with all the ideas I have that spark off in my brain… usually around problem solving for other people or situations. That’s the other thing – I have this WORK I have to do in the world as part of my spiritual beliefs. In my way of seeing things, community leaders, priests, people in positions of power or influence in religious and/or social settings, we all have a responsibility to make the world a better place. So some of the stuff I have to get done is along those lines, and I guess that’s partly where this project is coming from too.
There’s also my mental health problems, difficulties, issues, whatever you want to call them. They go back a long way, and they run deep, and I’m in a constant process of trying to find balance between surviving in the day to day, taking care of myself adequately in order to basically function, and the desire to heal and grow, to untangle all my shit, figure it out, and get ‘better’.
Whatever that might look like.
On my Facebook and Instagram, I often post snippets of the system I use to get all of this straight and sorted in my head. I mean, I think of it as my survive and thrive system, but other folk seem to get a lot out of it too. It’s largely based around my version of a bullet journal, with a few other tools I use to supplement that, or expand on it.
I began wondering if I did a daily-ish blog describing my self care, bullet journal, trauma management/healing, business planning and execution, generally getting shit done ‘system’… would folk be interested in that? Would it be useful beyond my friends?
I asked my friends, and they seemed to think it was a good idea. I guess now I’m sort of asking you too. Time will tell!
To be honest, this isn’t an entirely altruistic idea either. I think it would help me too – keep it like a sort of journal to dump my daily brain stuff into. Plus I want to get back to daily article writing/blogging as it has a positive knock on effect for so much of the business and writing work I do. And, I actually get so excited about, and so full up of, and so obsessive around, and so much craving for understanding of, all my STUFF. Maybe this will serve as an outlet so I don’t have to keep waving my bujo (bullet journal) in the faces of my nearest and dearest. Bless their patience like.
This would have to make me a little income, at least cover costs and my time, but definitely won’t be a primary or even secondary income – I have a LOT of different income streams, which you’ll hear all about if you plan on following along – but because it’s me, I would have to make it worth my while, as I honestly can’t afford the time otherwise. So I’m going to be straight up front honest about that side of things too.
The next thing to settle was, what to call it?
I’m going to cover a lot of different topics, and I think there’s a bit of an overwhelm in the general planning communities when it comes to seeing the Insta-perfect lifestyles of the top influencers, and this will NOT be that. I’ve already used many sweary words, and frightened off most of the huge christian segment of the planning community, and probably done a million other things that knock me out of every niche in this self-development – business – planning – healing – personal growth market.
And we’re only on the first post. #oops #soznotsoz
I pulled out my bujo for a brain dump, because let’s be real here, it was half eleven of a work night and I needed to get all this outta my brain so I could try and get some sleep. And suddenly it was clear, and from there it flowed.
Do the Work.
This is my dose of reality, this is my healing journey, this is my entrepreneurial empire building, this is my personal ‘survive and try to thrive’ system.
Welcome – Fáilte!