At the Now Project we want to build a mindful community and thanks to some of the amazing guests that have attended our retreats and classes and the team, this is happening. Some of our guests set up a closed Facebook group, The Mindful Bunch, for people who've been on our retreats to give people a safe space to share their experiences and offer each other some essential support. Members of the Now Project team drop in regularly to see if we can help at all… although the Mindful Bunch regulars seem to have it covered! It was a recent exchange on this group that is featured in this post as the group felt it could really help others. So here it is…
Our good friend Les posted this in the hope that it would help others who might be struggling…
We tend to share things here when we are already on “the other side of the mirror” ;back on the top of the wave. I thought I would share perspective from down below, maybe right now, you are a struggling soul who can relate to this and it you will know that you are not alone in it.
I know that this journey is a roller-coaster ride with ups and downs but on average we are getting higher and higher. Tell you what… it doesn't feel like that for me at the moment! I have had the longest period of the low so far. Obviously there are better days, some spikes of good mood or mindful moments, highly energetic states induced by some new mediation or by chats with Paul (which helps a lot!) but these are are short lived. My mind is very busy, my meditation practice is almost non-existent. I feel that most of my days are lived on autopilot. I feel like I don’t even have control over what I do; some behaviours are against any logic, they are destructive, making me feel even worse. The only thing that I'm conscious about is my thinking. A lot of that thinking is “perceived” by my head as being mindful as it is about trying to understand my monkey mind, or trying to help by equipping myself with mindful/spiritual wisdom.
Through all of this my logic is almost completely gone and that goes in most areas of my logical thinking. Making decisions is getting harder as my head will find 5 ways of doing something and will just get stuck in creating pros and cons for every scenario and will not ever finish.
I cannot hear my heart - my real self as l did not listen to it for years and my head is way too loud. All the messages of self love, self compassion and acceptance are understood...but they just don’t compute at the moment.
I do recognise everything above from the years of depression. My head tells me now: “F*** it! All that mindfulness mumbo-jumbo does not help me anyway! I'm back in the same place where I started!” But the thing is... I'm not! This time there is a light in the tunnel and I don’t feel as bad as I used to. And it is not even my trust that through the path of mindfulness I will get better/cured or whatever; I actually feel distance between the monkeys in my head and me. There are moments (sometimes very short) where I can see this in perspective and notice that it is only my head and not my true self. And I can feel that on the inside. On the logical level it can be defeated, misinterpreted but it does not matter as it is now planted deeper inside and I try to use that as a source of energy and positive thinking. This is a seed of mindfulness. We all have it inside.
I think in the hard moments the great help is to just review ourselves. Ask some questions. What is different than before? Find that change in us even the smallest little thing and find the source of it. Feel it!
There were lots of helpful responses on the thread but I also want to include a follow up post by Amanda…
As Les' post intimated earlier, this journey is most certainly a spiral and can feel like we're going round in circles... because we sort of are! But the important detail is that the circles become wider: we revisit lessons so that the learning - or rather the unlearning - can go deeper. Letting go of old patterns can be seriously hard and sometimes the universe decides that tough love is what is called for, pulling away deeper layers at the root. Man that can hurt! But, fundamentally we are changed as a result, becoming more and more of the person (soul in human form) that we truly are.
A few years ago because of the way l came into Mindfulness I thought my journey was one of overcoming physical pain... being healed so that l never had to experience it again....turns out l was wrong! Not that l wasn't healed because l most certainly was; but my healing was emotional and in letting go of that suppressed, heavy, destructive emotion, my body was set free from that chronic pain.
I am currently experiencing agonising physical pain again - not the same pain as has been because we never experience the same pain twice - BUT the difference is that right now, l am okay with it; l know it will pass and l know l have everything l need within me to allow it to be, to accept it; not fight it or turn from it. Facing these things head on - be they fear, loneliness, depression, anxiety, whatever - takes away their perceived power. It's not the physical pain that causes me suffering but the mental attachment to it - the anxiety, worry and fear - none of which is real.
Everyone has difficult times no matter how long they have been on this journey and l feel very grateful to be part of a forum where sharing with authenticity and vulnerability is acknowledged, embraced and accepted. One love ❤
If you've attended our classes or retreats and you're interested in joining The Mindful Bunch then please message us on Facebook and we can ask you to be added. We must stress this is a closed group where people feel comfortable sharing their experiences knowing people reading them are friendly faces who are only there to support, share and NEVER to judge.