I had a few weeks on my own during the snow and this gave a chance for my mind to settle. I was also listening to Johann Hari’s book Lost Connections (click here) and was practicing the on duty off duty practice from the insight training (click here) each morning. I felt open and my heart felt tender. I felt OK to be alone. Each time I listened to the Chapter on disconnection from childhood trauma, I would cry but didn’t know why.
I had been to the doctors and my blood pressure was a bit high and so they sent me home with a blood pressure monitor and it remained high. Frankly I was annoyed about this, as I have been a vegan for two and a half years and my smug expectation was that my blood pressure would be low. I walked the dogs most days so I wasn’t as sedentary as many and I had recently started more exercise after my bout of flu in January. I was 50 in December and so keen to not go downhill physically. So I did my research, reduced salt further, had coffee only first thing in the morning, started drinking hibiscus tea and taking a couple of tablespoons of ground flax seeds each day. I didn’t see much change. I don’t want to go on blood pressure medication.
I’ve talked before in this blog about a fear I carry around with me, that I am not good enough. But I can refine that fear now, or at least one aspect of it. It is a fear of being humiliated and it drives me to perfect and to make sure I don’t fail. There was also shame. This fear manifested as a physical bracing against life, a constant but subtle clenching of fists and teeth, on guard against the next attack. I can see clearly now how this has damaged my relationships with those from whom I expect criticism, how I have shut these people out and down. Of course, I am seeing this in hindsight and so have some reparations to make.
Anyway, when my husband got home from Australia I felt safer and the insights arose thick and fast. I experienced a series of memories from my childhood, which manifested together and a new understanding about them emerged. I shared them with my husband and was met with unconditional acceptance and understanding. There were more tears.
Something lifted. I was and still am filled with joy, I feel lighter and the physical bracing is gone – at least for now. I feel beyond right and wrong.
Then a couple of days later I took my blood pressure and it was healthy – just what you would expect for an exercising vegan. I was delighted! The stress I had been carrying was gone. This is the power of compassion- based mindfulness practice – it leads to psychological insight that frees us from the habits that cause us to suffer!
I don’t get a big insight like this every day, it is more like every couple of years – I can see that this one has been brewing for a while. I am happier for now – until the next difficulty arises and there is another possibility for personal growth.
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