Lessons I’ve Learned: Be Open-minded

Lessons I’ve Learned: Be Open-minded

I’ve learned a lot of different lessons over the years. I thought I might share what I have learned with you one lesson at a time; hopefully you don’t have to learn these things the hard way like I did. One of the more recent lessons I’ve learned is to be open-minded. I have always wanted to do things when they were my ideas. I would listen to other people and allow them to explain why they believe I should try something their way, but then I wouldn’t act upon it. A few of these examples include writing, meditation, and doing research.

My AA sponsor used to tell me all of the time that writing would help me work through some issues. I always told her that writing wasn’t for me, even though I never spent much time trying. This went on for years. Writing was also suggested to me by others, and I continued to ignore the suggestion. Finally, my aunt told me that she thought I would be good at blogging and that I could get something out of it. She suggested that I simply look over the idea and see if it’s right for me. After a few weeks, I finally took her suggestion. I now blog every day, usually multiple times a day, and I find it to be extremely helpful. I generally can write my way through issues that I’m struggling with; by the end of a post, I have come up with a solution for the problem I started writing about. Imagine how much easier my life would have been if I had simply been more open to the idea about a decade ago.

Multiple people have suggested to me that meditation could help me. My mom, aunt, sponsor, and several others would bring up the idea of meditation. For some time, they tried to talk me into doing it, but I was against the idea. I had an experience with meditation when I first got sober, and it wasn’t a good one. I had a hard time sitting still, and I was forced to work on meditating. Personally, I don’t like to do anything I’m forced to do. I’m extremely stubborn and I would prefer choose to do an activity on my own terms than have someone else strongly suggest I try it. It has been twelve years since my negative experience with meditation and I was unwilling to let go of that until just a week ago. I finally decided, based on my aunt’s suggestion, to try guided imagery meditation to hopefully help improve my painful bladder disorder. Maybe I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I was willing to try meditation years ago.

It has also been suggested that I do research regarding any suggestion from my doctors. Research is something that I like to do, but I generally only do it when it’s about something I’m already interested in. What I should do is research every option so I know the truth about my choices instead of just researching what I think is a good idea. There’s a lot of information available to help make decisions regarding our health. I struggle when it’s time to decide how to move forward with my physical or mental health. The research that I do is a great way to help me make educated decisions.

I have come to realize that my life could have been easier if I had been more open-minded. What I have learned from all of this is to work hard at being open-minded. The willingness to consider new options and ideas is a wonderful quality that a person can have to help make their life easier to manage. I don’t have to keep looking back at my past when I wasn’t open-minded; all I need to do now is look to the future with an open mind.

Why Is Meditating So Difficult?

Why Is Meditating So Difficult?

I’ve been meditating every day for the past week using the guided imagery for women with interstitial cystitis CD. I’ve really been trying to meditate, but it’s really difficult for me. I have made sure to at least try to meditate using the CDs each day. Some days are harder than others, but pretty much every day is difficult. The second I’m supposed to sit down and relax my mind starts to run even faster than normal (which I didn’t know was possible). I start to fidget and get itchy. I try to ignore these things, but the more I ignore them the more obvious they become. I don’t know why meditating is so much work for me. I’m told that it will get easier with practice.

Meditation is supposed to be relaxing, so why do I get anxious when attempting to meditate? The difficulties that I’m having with it are the reasons why I never liked meditating. Despite the difficulties I’m having with meditation, I keep trying because of the benefits that it has. The guided meditation I’m using is supposed to help with my bladder disorder. I’ve been having so many problems with my bladder that I’m willing to try anything in order to see some improvement. There was one time that I was meditating using the CD and I ended up falling asleep. I don’t know if that counts as meditating since I fell asleep in the middle of it, but it does show that I’m getting better because I had to be relaxed in order fall asleep. I can say for certain that I have been giving 100% effort into meditation every day and I will continue to do so for at least one month.

Meditation Can Help Physical and Emotional Pain

Meditation Can Help Physical and Emotional Pain

I’ve never been a person that likes meditation. Over the years, I’ve been told by many people that meditation will help me in many ways, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I was still against it for a few reasons, but the biggest reason is because it’s too difficult for me. My mind is always running a million miles an hour. How am I supposed to actually slow my brain down and think/focus on one thing? Also, I can never sit still for longer than a couple of minutes. Once I’m told to sit still, I start getting all fidgety. When I was in rehab, in 2004, we had to go to yoga class a couple of times a week. At the end of the class, there was a short meditation time that we were required to participate in. I always had such a hard time with it; plus, I never like to do something I’m told I have to do.

Last week, I received a package from my aunt containing a few CDs. Two of them were guided imagery to enhance healing for women with interstitial cystitis (a painful bladder disorder) and the other CD was called healing trauma, a guided imagery for PTSD. My first thought was that I didn’t want to use these CDs, but then I thought I would do some research. I found out that using guided meditation can actually help with the physical pain for interstitial cystitis. Suddenly, I became excited; there was a possibility to reduce my physical pain from the interstitial cystitis. I couldn’t believe that my aunt found these for me. She sent them to me with no pressure to use them. All she wanted was for me to have them in case I decided to try it.

I ended up trying the guided meditation CDs for interstitial cystitis the same day I received them. I decided to use the CDs every day for at least a month. I told my doctor about it and she agreed that it is very likely to be beneficial for my physical pain and for my emotional health. The guided meditation is getting a little easier every time. Even if I can slow my mind for just a few minutes, it would be better than nothing. At some point, I’ll try the CDs for PTSD, but right now, my bigger issue is my bladder disorder.

I have gone from being completely against meditation, to trying it every day for a month. I will let everyone know how effective it is for me. This has taught me to try to remain open to any possibilities in regards to improving my health. I’m grateful that my aunt is always looking out for me.