The Haunted House

“my thoughts inside my head, get lost inside the haunted house”      Ryan Adams

The road of personal growth is fraught with challenges = it’s hard work with lot’s of pitfalls and ways to get knocked down. My mind is by far the most dangerous space I can go into; a personal cocktail mix of self-pity, frustration and fear.  When I find myself slipping down into the rabbit hole, I stop and disconnect myself from this built in messaging and projection system.  Slip to far and it could take me hours or days to regain what I’ve lost.

The way I self-correct is to practice deep breathing; feeling the different parts of the body react to the inhalation and exhalation of the breath. I stay there for 5 – 10 minutes. No thinking, just being aware of what’s going on inside. I slowly bring myself to a state of evenness and calm.  After this practice, I find myself with more awareness to what got me thinking in the first place.  This practice is necessary; an act of self-love.

You’ll be amazed how much clarity comes back to you when you stop the “naughty neighbor upstairs” (Arianne Huffington).  The key is to catch yourself before the mind takes over. Don’t give up or grow frustrated if you slip and fall. We all do.

That’s the other thing. The struggle with our minds is life itself. No one is above it or has complete control over it (mind).  Just notice and breath. There are no days off when dealing with the “haunted house”.

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How drugged are we?

I am on my second day of no caffeine.  Let’s just say, I’m not exactly a spark plug in the morning.  I started this process to help my gut heal; a short-term step to improve my health.  But this experiment has me looking deeper into why I like coffee and the impact it has on my life.

We are a culture of addiction with most of us are under the influence of some form of drug, i.e., caffeine, drugs, alcohol, and/or sugar.  Think about this for yourself.  Like me, do you wake up daily to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee or a heavenly sweet danish?  Caffeine and sugar; what better way to start your day.

This minor break from caffeine for me has me observing all kinds of behavioral and emotional shifts.  For example, I have no bounce in the morning the first couple of hours at work.  Flat, no energy.  I’m foggy and lack the clarity I’ve experienced in the past.  Coffee was my propellant.

And of course there are the minor withdrawals – a headache in the morning.  A longing for coffee (aka. caffeine) around 2:00 pm.  I’m thinking about an espresso as I write.

So what’s your drug?  Literally?  What gets you through the day or night? If you remove that attachment from your life, how would your life be different?  What would it take to make you give up your attachment?  My encouragement to you is to look at your attachments and addictions and look to make a change…even if it’s only a small step like giving up coffee or sugar for one week.

I don’t know how long my experiment will last, but if what I read earlier today is true –

” If we stay present to our discomfort, we will also feel something else arising, something more real, capable, sensitive, and exquisitely aware of ourselves and our surroundings.”

It just might be worth the effort.