Archive for the ‘Meditation’ Category

Day 29 – Drained

See that little old lady in the picture, yeah, well, that’s how I feel right now … stooped, old, and almost home – or in this case asleep 🙂

I have been going non-stop since early this morning with work, my entire lunch hour spent cleaning out, vacuuming, and washing my car – yes, it took a full hour … it was THAT bad – then to a PMP training course, and finally home.

Time for a little meditation, and then … sleep.

Enjoy the picture, and check out some of the other awesome works on



Photo credits – Baba Yaga’s House by e-mendoza. Available on deviantart:

Day 27 – Find the Light Reflecting from Within


It’s a struggle for me to think happy thoughts … to feel confident, secure, at ease. I know that I’m not alone with this, but it’s not something people walk around admitting to each other on a regular basis either.

One of the things that causes me to struggle is the detail with which I rehash conversations in my head. I go over and over and over conversations, replaying what I said to assure myself that it could not be misconstrued, reliving bad situations while trying to determine how best to conduct damage control, and generally driving myself crazy and making myself miserable and anxious.

So how do I combat this? Well, I still work through the negative things that happen, which generally just takes time and a lot of work to try to see things from the other person’s perspective. I have frequently returned to a person to apologize for something that I said, only to discover that they have no recollection, or thought nothing of whatever it was that I said. Reminding myself of these times is one tool that I use to help speed my return to the non-obsessive semi-normalcy of general discomfort as opposed to the extreme discomfort caused by conflict, debate, or other negative interaction. Reminding myself of times when what I did amounted to apologizing for nothing helps me convince myself that this is also true of the current situation to at least some degree.

Next tool – do something … ANYTHING physical, easy, and constructive that will require you to focus on a small, short, orderly task. Clean out a drawer – rearrange a cabinet – organize a stack of papers on your desk – hose down the whiteboard in the conference room and wipe it down – fill the central copier with paper – clean out your keyboard with compressed air – if you’re in IT, make coffee regardless of the hour because it will NOT go to waste – put books on your shelves in some sort of order – sort through older binders/files and walk the paper to the recycle bin – organize stuff in the supply closet … seriously …anything but get on your phone, computer, sit, talk, or walk.

I know, I know – what I’m telling you flies in the face of the conventional wisdom of taking a walk or meditating, but here’s why I do these things instead. If I walk, then I obsess on the issue and relive it over and over and over and over … and over. Same with meditation. I have frequently tried to meditate when I am in this agitated state, but it’s a no go until after I complete the above activity. Why? Because without fail, when I clean or rearrange or organize or recycle or provide coffee or paper refills, my mood rises just enough for me to move onto the next step. Looking at a clean, organized desk, drawer, or shelf is satisfying. The physical act of moving things into pleasing places and disposing of garbage mimics the mental process that occurs in my unconscious mind, and leaves me a with a feeling of accomplishment, and more at peace with my situation.

It is at this point when I take a walk and/or meditate (yes you CAN meditate while walking 🙂 ), or sit down to create a to-do list, or call a friend, or respond to pending emails … but not until I’ve used the physical act of refreshing my environment or contributing to the welfare of the group. These acts are what provide me with the ability to focus on what’s important while I meditate – to be mindful of everything and everyone around me, and to reestablish my connection with what is real instead of what I’ve created as a crisis in my head.

Another benefit to my method of un-madness is that I frequently find something that makes me smile … something that makes me genuinely happy while I am doing my straightening up thing. Just last week, while cleaning out the cabinet above my desk I found 4 mechanical pencils that I had completely forgotten about. I thought that I was out, and ordered 12 more, but just knowing that I hadn’t lost all of the original 12 made me smile. I was also happy because they reminded me of my friend who recently passed away, and that she had ordered them for me originally, and how she always seem to know exactly the right thing to say, and remembering what a wonderful person she was makes me smile.

I also found my Montmorillonite clay that I lost track of after returning from 6 weeks of recovery after surgery, and now I have that to take again daily, as well as enough 0.9 mm mechanical pencils to last for three or four years 😀

So, you may be asking yourself what the point of all of this. One reason that I am sharing my tools for recovering from anxiety, anger, distress, panic, feelings of low self-worth or self-esteem or similar states is to help you learn, right along with me, how to cope. You deserve to be happy – to have happy thoughts and things to smile about just as much as the next person … just as much as I do! I also read a lot of articles and studies on stress, anxiety, depression, ADHD and women in the workplace, and related topics because I am always looking for ways to improve and to recover from anxiety attacks faster.

While going for a walk may help some people, it just gives me idle time alone to stew about whatever is bothering me, and the same is true for meditation … I find it extremely difficult to meditate when I am beyond a certain emotionally charged threshold until I move myself into a better frame of mind in advance.

Meditation, however, is the final key to the recovery for me, and so it has become important – almost imperative – to me to get to an emotional level where I can meditate as quickly as possible after distressing incidents. Meditation has enabled me to decrease the time required for me to move on and accept things as they are or to accept that I was blowing something out of proportion and get on with my life.

It has been this lifelong struggle to combat these issues, to find peace within, to learn how to combat feelings of anxiety and depression that have brought me to where I am right now … writing this blog post, working on a PhD in Performance Psychology, and working to become the best person I can be while sharing the means, methods, and madness with you 🙂

I wrote a short guided meditation that I will share tomorrow, and if I get some good feedback, then maybe I’ll record it and post that as well. Guided meditation is one of the focuses of my dissertation, and I would love for you to help me work on developing them for my research!

Until then …

Wallpaper can be found at

From: Eileen A. McAllister @ Google+
September 16, 2014 at 08:12AM

Good morning, +Friends 🙂

Ready for a great day?  What are your plans?

Wanna try a quick guided meditation?  You can do it anytime today, and I’d love to hear if you tried it and if it helped you relax and/or focus better afterward.  I personally spent about 10 minutes experiencing the journey that I describe below as I wrote it out, and spending 5 – 10 minutes would be my recommendation.  When you reach the part where you close your eyes, spend a few minutes in the relaxed state that you have achieved, and then open your eyes to continue at the word, “Finally”.

The first step is to make this image fullscreen, and let your eyes and imagination wander through this beautiful scene.  Imagine walking along the path … pick whatever direction you like, but be sure to hop across the rocks 🙂  Now imagine yourself continuing to walk along the path out of view.  What do you see?  Paint the picture as vividly as you can in your mind … include animals, birds, bright sunlight as you move into a clearing …  Now imagine what you can hear … the water gurgling over the rocks in the stream, bird song coming from the trees, the chattering of squirrels, the sound of the wind as it blows softly through the trees …  Next, imagine what you feel.  How does the breeze feel on your skin?  Are you wearing a flowing shirt that allows the breeze to lift the hem and flutter against you?  Is the sunlight warm after emerging from the coolness beneath the trees?  Did the water get into your shoes as you crossed the stream?  If so, remove them and your squishy socks if you had those on as well, and walk barefoot along the dirt path … feel the cool soil against the soles of your feet as you stroll casually along the path – relaxed and at peace. Close your eyes and continue along the path for several minutes while continuing to add detail to what you see, hear, and feel along the way.

Finally, open your eyes and imagine that the path leads you slowly back toward your current location.  Continue walking along the path as you transition the path you have been walking in your mind back into your current setting.  Visualize how this path connects to the driveway or parking lot or sidewalk outside.  Slowly take in your surroundings, and then take three slow, deep breaths to prepare you to return to your regular activities while maintaining the sense of calm and peace from your walk by the stream …

#goodmorning #riseandshine #stretch #coffee #treetuesday #greencircle #meditation #mindfulness

Photog Fun at a Jewelry Party!
I was invited to a Premiere Jewelry party by a friend, and the party was given by yet another friend.  Yet ANOTHER friend came with her young daughter, and we had wine, snacks, and tried on lots of jewelry.  It was a nice casual gathering, and I got to snap some photos for almost a straight hour while we all chatted.  It was nice to just completely be myself among people who accept me – including all my quirks.  I got some gorgeous shots of the jewelry, but the one below was my favorite.
As I’ve mentioned before, and will reiterate regularly, one of the main purposes of this blog is to document my personal journey toward a doctorate in performance psychology, along with my own personal journey toward a better me.  One thing that I feel is important for me to convey is the fact that, even though the extent of your activities may be curtailed by your pursuit of a PhD, your entire life doesn’t have to go on hold, you will still have your friends, and you can STILL let your hair down now and then!
I think that it’s also important to point out that for me at least – I enjoy learning. So while others may think that I’m nuts for wanting to work through several more years of research papers, I kind of enjoy research, I’m good at writing, and the rewards that I will reap from my efforts are incomparable to anything that I could achieve otherwise.  Maybe that’s not the case for other PhD students, but I think that I can’t be alone in these feelings and traits.  Research and writing are anathema to many, and so I embrace articles that mention that it takes a special kind of person to pursue a doctoral degree.  It does, and I am one of those special persons, and I like that about me.  I don’t think that it makes me better than anyone – just like it takes a special kind of person to become a lawyer, a logistics specialist, an intelligence analyst, a software developer, or really you could just fill in the blank with any profession – this is just my niche … I fit here, and my doctoral pursuit, photography, friends, wine, my kids, my job, my computers, and most other aspects of my life combine to help me feel more and more fulfilled 🙂

from Instagram:   #photography #jewelry #friends #wine #premiere #party #sparkle #shine

from Instagram: