Visualization, Meditation and Healing for the Journey

So many times we are asked to give, then expected to keep going though we’ve grown weary and worn.  As a caregiver and mom there were times the weight of carrying that kind of load seemed so heavy.  Yet what do you do, you must keep going.

Many times I found myself trying to juggle being an only parent with running errands for my parents and falling short of getting everything done.   Many times I’d go to bed and lie awake thinking of all the things I didn’t get done, couldn’t do and couldn’t afford.

You can wear yourself out taking care of others and everything that you know needs to get taken care of, but if you don’t take time to rest and take care of yourself, then you will suffer emotionally, physically, even mentally.

So it became that it was in the darkest moments that I sought solitude.  Alone, I could meditate and pray for strength, sit under the moonlight, feel the cool night air.  Meditation has been my saving grace in so many ways.  I was taught to meditate by an Indian woman when I was 10 years old.

She noticed right away I was a very visual person.  She taught me that when life becomes too heavy, you meditate, focus and see the darkness like liquid smoke, surrounding you, then let it begin to turn to liquid running down and seeping into the earth at your feet until you no longer feel the burden.

I also learned to meditate by walking and when I had Nacona – my malamute – we would walk about 12 miles a night.  Exercise and especially walking is a terrific way to relieve stress and do some mobile meditation.  I learned to see my troubles left like wet foot prints on the pavement behind me as I walked.  I don’t claim to be an expert, I’m just stating a few things that have worked for me.

Now days I look back and see how much I missed by trying to be so many things to so many people.  I should have been taking more time for myself, it would have benefited both me and my kids.  They say hindsight is 20/20, I am not sure about that, but I will try to help my children not to make the same mistakes. 

Caregivers, mentors, and parents are the heart of the world, trying hard to hold the balance, keep the peace and make sure nothing is forgotten.  Yet the one thing we seem to forget is ourselves, then later when the job is finally done there are regrets in some ways and a lot of ground to make up in others.  There is a period of feeling lost, like you’re coming out of a dark tunnel into the daylight and suddenly you have to adjust your eyes and try to figure out where you are.

I have learned to tell myself that I did the best I could with the information and resources I had at the time.  I didn’t always succeed, I wasn’t always right, I’m not the perfect parent, I did fail now and then, I missed out a lot, but still, I did my best as far as it goes.  I’m good with that.  Now on to the next phase of the journey, but where do I start?  Ah, yes….meditation.

Cherry Coley ©

 

I Have A Purpose, I Do

I have read many books in the past about living with a purpose, finding your purpose, discovering your purpose, and on and on. 

They are the soul-searching books that suggest you do steps much like these: 

  1. Identify what you want
  2. Identify what you’re willing to do to get there
  3. Figure out the obstacles in your way and how to deal with them.
  4. Set definite goals.
  5. Set forth a plan of action to get you where you want to be.
  6. Achieve success

 It all sounds like good solid advice and it obviously works because people buy and read the books, right?

It’s just not all so cut and dry like that.  It’s easy to type out what you “should” do, but the actual getting down to the nitty-gritty and “doing” these things is not so easy.

 I used to get really frustrated with the self-help type books because they would make lists like the one above and being a somewhat literal person, I would stop in my tracks right there, especially if the book had assignments or exercises you were supposed to do in each chapter. 

 I would stop reading the book until I had time to really devote myself to doing what was suggested in the chapter.  Usually I would make it through about three chapters then get distracted or my time would be required to work on some other project and it could be days, weeks, months, even years before I’d make it back to the book again.  By that time I’d have to start over because things change over time.

 One of my problems has always been that being a really creative person and one that is interested in, well, everything, I get distracted easily and try to do too many things all at once.  When I was a teenager my grandmother used to shake her head and say, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”  It took me a long time to really grasp what she meant.

 After making some disastrous and not so pretty decisions with my life, not really concentrating on any one single thing long enough to “master” it and just bumping along life’s road trying this, working with that, and falling down enough times, I can say that there are three skills I have found that I needed above all others. 

 The skills I needed to fine tune, had I worked on them sooner in my life, would have allowed me to be in a far different place than I am now after learning 20 years later.

  1. Self-Discipline
  2. Focus
  3. The art of meditation

 These skills go hand in hand, and though I THOUGHT I was utilizing them throughout my life, I really wasn’t.  I was giving half-hearted efforts as needed along the way instead of really applying these skills and making them a part of my daily life.

If you truly want to live a life with purpose, then while you are doing your soul-searching, finding out who you are, your limits, your needs and what you really want to do; take the time to develop self-discipline, focus and learn a meditation technique that will work for you.  Fine tuning these things as you go will make a world of difference and when you finally do discover your focus you will be in an excellent position to focus your attention, have the self-discipline to go after what you want, and know when things get stressful you can seek meditation to clear your mind and gain perspective, then you will find you know how to deal with the obstacles and keep going.

 Cherry Coley ©