Mindful Practices Can Help Create a Positive Mindset - written 9/2020

I’m currently working through a Mindfulness Masterclass Certification course. Today’s mindful practice is self-care-one,  this is one I have yet to perfect or even somewhat perfectly master! I’m trying to practice some more self-care but of course I can’t find the time! 😂

Self Care Mindful practice is one that I find very challenging. I rarely put myself first.  It’s usually my kids, scouting & other community volunteering activities, my crafting business, advocacy and being a confidant for my friends. In addition, I have a list of other community projects, blogs and other articles (that) I wish to write. Trying to find that time for myself has been quite challenging.

Yet, the other day as I stared at the white “ceiling” of an MRI tunnel while trying to control my responses to this excruciatingly painful experience .... I had 90 minutes to (for) myself to think without interruption from children, social media, friends or anything on my very lengthy To-Do list. 

First off,(above all? Or first of all) To be undoubtedly clear, I would  never recommend using those 90 minutes of an excruciating painful experience as the time for self reflection. It can be and is unquestionably very distracting! That, and well .... very wet from all the crying. (I had tears pouring from my eyes throughout the MRI.) 

In all seriousn

ess, my pain was so severe that my best meditation efforts were barely enough to get me through the MRI. I did manage to finish it, though, I will say by the end I was only left numb in so many places in my body. I actually welcomed the numbness in my legs and other extremities even if it meant the inability to move at that very moment.  That being said, this too led me down the rabbit hole of “What If’s”.

This very long MRI left me with way too much time to think of so many other things like... if I would ever need

a surgery, how will I help my kiddos with school or who will be able to visit me in the hospital, leading to wandering thoughts of how will my pain be managed and moreover is the new pain and physical limitations my “new norm“ or is it reversible. 

This was a one way ticket to the derailing train of FRUSTRATION! Frustration for not being listened to when I first started having problems all the way up until six months ago when I demanded to have a first MRI for this particular issue. But, only after my current neurologist saw my reduced motor skills, he realized I needed another MRI. (On a side note,  this particular neurologist is pretty amazing. He listens and he evaluates me as a whole. He respects me as a person and as an advocate within the rare disease community. It was INCREDIBLY empowering to be recognized by a doctor as an equal or if not equal at least a peer. Something that often does not occur.  In fact I have only seen three doctors over the past 30 years, so, taking that into notice, I can undeniably say that they truly respect me in such a manner. Those doctors are the only ones to try to do all they can to keep me as functioning as humanly possible and one of which tried his best to help me be able to complete my la

w school program. (Truly a shame that Thomas Jefferson refuses to let me complete the last five units of my law program.). )

Fine, now that I took you off a completely different tangent let me bring you back to what I was originally discussing… Self-care, self-love and meditation!

As I lay there looking at the white tunnel all around me and in agonizing pain, I knew the best method for management of the pain was to reach a meditative state. This of course can be challenging for some and extremely challenging with pain levels in the red zone.

9.5 on the 1-10 scale. Seriously, I never really cry from pain yet this evening tears were just pouring out of me and at one point I was whimpering while trying to minimize movement, to ensure that they do not

interfere with the MRI itself. 

Nevertheless after all the wandering my brain was doing I was eventually able to get into a meditative state. I tried really hard for a while to think of different things I can imagine to help ease me into the meditative state.  My normal go to images were not working for me. Thinking of my kids, especially the joy my younger son still has doing activities with me to the amazing maturity I have been seeing in my older son to the adorable little face and my cute service dog and then of my husband. Though these images did not help me reach a meditative state, it did remind me of how I am loved and blessed by my family and friends. Thinking of them made me realize just how much I am loved.  

Eventually, I found my meditative focus. In my mind's eye, I traveled back to Mexico where my husband and I had our belated honeymoon. It was on this trip that we had the most spectacular experience swimming with these large majestic see turtles.