Living in Colour!

I am taking a meditation class. We meet weekly and meditate for 60-90 minutes. It is guided and in a group of 12.
Last night I almost didn’t go. I have been sick with strep throat since last week. I was tired and cranky. But I went anyway.
We did a chakra clearing meditation last night. I loved it. When we were done I felt brighter and lighter. And I feel better than I have all week. Powerful.
The instructor is giving a reiki training course in a few weeks and I signed up for that too. Reiki, meditation, yoga. All new things for me. Exploring another side of my logical, engineering self.

I see this as a side effect of recovery. Not only am I more open minded, but I am confident enough to try new things that others might scoff at (or that I may have at one time scoffed at). I have always been interested in these more “woo woo” things, but fear and conformity kept me from ever following through with actually doing anything with that interest. That, and lethargy from drinking. I had lots of thoughts back then, but I never took the time to follow through with them. I was just too tired all the time.

Taking a hour once a week to meditate in a group is a gift to myself. Most days I also do an hour of yoga, as well. Yes, I have a job, a family, responsibilities and commitments. But my first commitment is to myself. Recognizing that has moved me out of the rut I had been in for many years.
In that old rut I felt that it was my duty to sacrifice any and all interests I had for the good of my children and family. It suffocated me. I lived in a very small box. And drinking helped keep me prisoner there. Just writing that sounds insane now. How did I ever expect my children to grow up to be strong, independent and conscientious people if their mother didn’t model that behavior???

Quitting drinking helped me see this negative behavior and end it. So many things were wrapped together – depression, drinking, self loathing, apathy. It was not an easy ball to unwind, but I am doing it. I stopped biding my time, waiting on the couch to die. Watching life go by me in black and white.

As part of that unwinding I try to embrace open mindedness and curiosity. Life is in full colour, like the chakra rainbow of my meditation. If something interests me – I do it. Being open minded has led me to making new friends, learning new skills (I never, ever expected to teach yoga), blogging. And I expect it will bring many more challenges and delights.

Have a great sober day!

Stillness and peace

Anne

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20 thoughts on “Living in Colour!

  1. I had to look up the meaning of woo woo :-). I like it. Seeing that my high bloodpressure dropped when I stopped taking my bloodpressure medication I am all for looking at woo woo solutions first :-). Wonderful to hear that you are enjoying the freedom of your new life and the courses :-). The freedom to choose is for me, one of the important things that come back with being AF. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hi Anne
    I am going to write what I always write : YOU ARE AMAZING and want to be like you. You have been and continue to be an inspiration to me from my Day 1.
    Thank you and I am so glad you are blossoming even more
    Lisa
    ps. what a lucky family you have

    1. Thank you so much Lisa.
      I truly believe every day is an opportunity. That is such a mind blowing reality when I remember just how frozen, fearful and sad I used to be.

      I think we all get so caught up in the details some days.

      You inspire me as well. Sharing our truth is the most powerful thing any of us can do.

      Anne

  3. Dear Anne,
    I love doing “woo woo” things! LOL
    I love the idea of color!
    I think that’s a good motto. Would this add color to my boring life?
    (My world is WHITE because it never stops snowing! GRR.)
    Thank you!
    Wendy

  4. Love this. I have been going to a weekly meditation class for a while, too – it also includes some teaching and discussion about Buddhism – and it has opened me up to a new way of being. It is totally amazing and I keep meaning to blog about it, but still haven’t got round to it! Like you, I used to spend a lot of time occupying the sofa with my glass of wine feeling that I never “did anything for me” and that I had given everything up to look after everyone else and feeling all sulky and resentful because of it. Yet somehow I was a willing prisoner in that very small box, as you put it. I have been trying to build a more regular meditation practice, yet there is something different about meditating in a group, and to be able to talk about it with them over a cup of lemon and ginger tea ๐Ÿ™‚
    I really related to this bit: “So many things were wrapped together โ€“ depression, drinking, self loathing, apathy. It was not an easy ball to unwind, but I am doing it.”
    Meditation is part of that unwinding for me tooโ€ฆ thanks for the post ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

    1. Have you read Pema Chodron? Her books really opened my eyes to Buddhism. To connection.

      I know mindfulness has become s buzzword, but it is how we appreciate those small wonders in life.

      1. I’ve read “Taking the Leap: freeing yourself from old habits and fears”. I started that after stumbling across Chodron in a newspaper column that I blogged about back in April last yearโ€ฆ I read that, and then Tara Brach’s “Radical Acceptance” โ€ฆ and then I figured I had to work out more about this meditation and Buddhist business, because whilst the books spoke to me, there was much that I didn’t really “get”. I guess that’s because meditation and Buddhism don’t really work at an intellectual, reading a book level. You have to do it to get it. (A bit like sobriety!) Anyway โ€ฆ that was what led me to my local Buddhist Centre, and it has been an amazing experience. Apologies for the long rambling reply, but I just love that I can look back over my blog and see how those steps happened! xxx

  5. I know just what you mean about being too embarrassed, conformist, whatever to investigate what you so perfectly describe as “woo woo” things. Yoga was OK, because I counted it as exercise, but anything like reiki, meditation, etc. I dismissed without even trying. In fact, it’s only recently that I’ve started focusing on the mental aspects of yoga, rather than just the physical.

    I’ll be interested to hear what you think of reiki. My yoga teacher did an intro reiki workshop about a month ago – really fascinating stuff. I can’t for the life of me figure out how it could work, but I know that’s just my rational brain talking!

    1. One big take away from therapy has been to stop trying to understand why. Stop reading the books and just do.
      It is hard for me. I ended up an engineer because of that logical, impersonal streak.

      But it is exciting and refreshing to just let intuition run wild!

      Yoga is so much the mental. Definitely do explore that side. Powerful beyond words.

  6. “Interested in woo woo things”- haha! I totally get it ๐Ÿ™‚

    I could really relate to your living in a small box, thats precisely how I felt.

    I’d love to give something more formal like this a go so thank you for opening my mind to it x

  7. This is exactly how I feel about trying therapy, and, to be honest, there is a part of my brain that is stubbornly holding on to the old mindset. But the fact that I went at all, and that I have continued to go back, tells wonders!

    Someday I’m going to be you, Anne, and become a meditating yogi (because, since I don’t know you personally, I assume you are ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). You are such an inspiration, and I do think of you every time I sit down and ATTEMPT to meditate!

    1. I love that. A meditating yogi. Yes….

      It warms my heart to realize that because it is just so different. Truly, the drinking me was a judgemental, superior close minded bitch (ok, might be a tad harsh, but there’s a lot of truth there).
      My shield of conformity and self protection was pretty thick and my mind was anxiety ridden and consumed with thoughts of self loathing and criticism.

      The expansive peace that yoga and meditation (plus sobriety, therapy and a huge helping of letting go)) is a wondrous thing.

      Open mindedness! It’s all we need!

  8. Thanks for this post. You described how I felt about myself and how I acted while drinking to a “T”. Life is so much better without alcohol in so many ways when it becomes possible to truly live again. I had signed up for a meditation class that starts next week and was a bit nervous about it but I’m just going to do it and give it a chance.

  9. Exploring new things about yourself is an excellent side-effect of recovery ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you are feeling better! xx

  10. Beautiful post Anne, I feel the same way…. like drinking was keeping me stuck! And, by the way, I totally dig all that woo woo stuff and wish there was more of it in my area to experience. Thanks for your inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I am so glad you are pursuing all of these peaceful and beautiful that bring you joy and serenity. It is so true that you are setting the most powerful and positive example for your children. You go, girl!

  12. I’ve been looking for a guided meditation class here too. I hope that it brings you lots of peace and joy!
    Isn’t it nice to do something just for yourself? I never used to do anything for myself either and I’m learning that I just have to get out there and go for it. I deserve it and so do you!

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