Sometimes when I am talking to my best friend / soul twin, or with my daughter, I feel like the Mormon at the door wanting to talk about my Lord and Savior - but in my case I am not talking about Jesus Christ, I am talking about Ram Dass.
It isn't about religion though - it's about hearing someone speak who in a time of darkness had words that resonated with me and changed my world view. So I love to talk about him. A LOT.
So This post is going to be about my experiences during Ram Dass's summer solstice mindfulness and meditation renewal that I took part in this past June/July. (It was free btw)
Ram Dass offered a lot of ways to meditate. My depression and ADD cause conflict with my concentration. He offered great advice beyond the typical 'concentrate on your breathing'.
He used the example of watching a river... we see leaves floating down stream but we can't hold on to them. You have to let them float by. Our thoughts during meditation are those leaves.
It was a very cool way to think about it. And unlike a lot of other teachers of meditation, he doesn't make you feel bad for not getting it right.
Honestly he doesn't make you feel bad for anything. He just makes you feel... loved and like you want to pass along that vibe to the entire world.
I appear to be transitioning to a buddhist lifestyle and this is causing conflict in other areas of life because I can't be bothered to fight with people about "stuff" ...
I love it and it is a strange feeling at the same time ... as if I am watching things unfold from above myself, and also within myself aware of the feelings...
I keep having the same thought...
"why can't you put this down? That seems painful, why do you want to choose that?"
And then I have to remember that they are not on my journey (and resist the urge to drag them along).
When I first started reading his words and listening to his podcasts, I felt a bit guilty for my thoughts. My anger, my pain... my potty mouth. I felt guilty for being who I was as a person.
Through this journey of self love and just love for life... dare I say it 'BE HERE NOW'. Living now. Not in the past, or the future. Right now.
People don't seem to grasp that six months ago I was dying. I didn't want to get out of bed. I didn't want to talk to Tavo or the kids. I didn't want to see my friends. I wanted nothing and no one.
Taking power and control of my own life and actions. I decided to turn my father's passing into a time of deepening compassion and love for all beings that are grieving and suffering. And I knew I could not do it surround by people and things who brought me so much pain.
I packed up what we could fit in 9 boxes and left 12 years of my life behind in Pennsylvania. I refuse to fall into the dark tunnel of morbid reflection again.
Meditation is truly my medication.
I do...I fall off track.... I get stuck in my old thought process. I don't want to do anything when I get lost in my deep depression.
I text and cry to my soul twin. I go on long walks with my family.
And if I am going to be really honest - I had a deep fall recently, and I think this moon is messing a bit with my head. As such I hadn't really practiced this week and felt very off center and falling into old habits.
But as Ram Dass says:
“This really isn’t “falling off the path,” it’s just another part of the path. My guidance in regards to practice is to go slow. Try not to get too, ‘gung-ho,’ don’t figure you’re gonna get enlightened today. Relax into it and just start to tune in.”
So I did a little 5 - 10 minute meditation practice today and already feeling a little bit more grounded. I’m going to start from week one tomorrow. This is just a little reminder to anyone in the same position that sometimes life does get in the way, but it’s all part of the path set out for us in this lifetime. Our heart cave is always there, we need just breathe to find it.
Thank you, Ram Dass, for your advice - 'So it turns out there’s no rule book to take with you in life that says, “When I get into this condition, do this.” My rule is actually really simple, I continually work to quiet my mind, to stay mindful'.
I am still in therapy. 🤗 I do not believe that any of this is a magic cure to my depression, or that I don't need therapy. It's an important part of my healing.
I am also still very active in my grief groups and do peer to peer talk therapy.
It's a personal journey. What works for me may not work for you. But if you are dealing with depression... please please please seek help. Talk to someone.
Inbox me. I have some ways to help you find a therapist in the privacy of your own home.
Or if you want more information on meditation or Ram Dass, I'd love to talk about it.
"All that you seek is already in you" - Ram Dass #beherenow
This time of year is always very hard for me. My grief is in constant waves. But June will always be the hardest. As memories pop up here on facebook, or people comment old posts (with the purest of intentions)... I have to remind myself that thinking about what I could or could not have done differently.... living in constant regret is only killing my soul slowly. It's not what my father would have wanted for his daughter. It isn't what I want for myself.
I am working on redefining what June means to *me*. It will always be sad... but maybe it doesn't have to be so difficult.
I sent a love and light package to my dear friend back home in Carlisle. Her and I both lost a loved one on the same day and I wanted to help her get through it even though I couldn't be there in person. Such a terrible thing to have in common with someone, but it created an amazing bond.
I talked my best friend into doing my baba Ram Dass's Summer Solstice Meditation Renewal. He has an open mind... but is probably like lol what am I getting myself into!
Finding hope.... looking forward to little things. It's what gets me by.
Remember Siddhartha, his journey, and the amount of time he spent in the garden of pleasure with a woman who had much to teach? She always had a new thing to teach--she will always have a new thing to teach--always.
Can anyone imagine that a woman as full and seductive as that is not going to teach something?
Is not going to continue to teach something?
"Our whole spiritual transformation brings us to the point where we realize that in our own being, we are enough." - Ram Dass
Self-care is so much deeper than bubble baths and manicures. It's spiritual, it's mental. Sure those things help, but getting deep into your core... deep inside your soul is where your care needs to begin.
As hinted in my other post, I have started the book "Be Here Now" by the amazing man of love and light himself Baba Ram Dass
As I learn more about myself and my longing for a deeper connection into my soul and spirit, the teachings of Ram Dass just called to me. Taking care of my heart, mind, and soul are top priority in my self-care routine.
This week I picked up some lavender essential oil to help with sleep. I also got some raw amethyst crystals for anxiety.
We have lost part of ourselves previously and we will again someday. Ultimately, we are spiritual beings in physical bodies on Earth. We are here to learn. It’s okay to lose ourselves more than once. Because when we find ourselves again, life is going to be so amazing. It’s going to be worth it living through it as you have known what it’s like to be lost. They always say, “It’s better to have love and lost than never to have loved at all.” I hope that this message reminds you of why you’re still living and contributing to the positivity of humanity today.
I get a little tired of people who assume that just because you have kids, you are automatically completely uncool, and that all your time is spent wiping babies from head to toe, giving spit baths, criticizing their every move, volunteering for PTA, blogging in your spare time, clipping coupons before crock potting a pot roast, ironing the clothes, bleaching the whites, mopping the floors, harvesting your eggs, sewing for your etsy shop, scrapbooking the little things, taking pictures of everything they do, saving for college, reading Dr. Suess, socializing at the bus stop, sweeping the floor, laughing over coffee with your jogging stroller, wearing your birkenstocks and listening to Baby Einstein.
Just because I DO THESE THINGS OCCASIONALLY.
Does not mean for one second that sometimes I don’t just want to be a kick ass girl with streaks in her hair, a ring in her nose, a tattoo on her arm, concert tickets in her purse, vodka in her fridge, a leather mini-skirt in her closet, her best single friends and a standing reservation for Las Vegas once a year with a don’t ask don’t tell policy, and the desire to just once be seen as more than the mother of 5 kids. Sometimes I just want to be seen as a “Maggie”. A “Maggie” with an extremely adorable set of children… (I joke, but sometimes it's hard to over come labels. )