Unexpected Moments- A Meditation

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So many things in life come to us unexpected – sickness, heartache, disappointments. Many good things come as well like surprises, laughter, and joy. In each unexpected moment lies the essence of life. These are the moments that cannot be planned or constructed in any way. These moments are gifted to us by the sheer forward propulsion of living, of being alive.

When entrapped in the snare of mental illness, we are still within an unexpected moment of life – a moment of sickness. We are still in the forward propulsion of living because mental illness is not static. It is a dynamic phenomenon that must be ridden out like a surfer on an ocean wave. With treatment and time, a solution may be but a moment away.

In those unanticipated moments of darkness and despair, I will keep an open mind so that I may hear an unexpected message of hope and I will know peace.

Now – A Meditation

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Sometimes I find myself thinking about the past; regretting mistakes I’ve made or missing the “way things used to be.” Other times I find myself worrying about the future; trying to predict outcomes and plan for scenarios yet to unfold.

When will I realize the futility of such mental activities and the toll they take on my emotional well-being?

Unlike the past and future, the present moment – what is happening right NOW – is the only true reality. The things of the past are no longer real. They were real when they were happening but those moments have passed and have now become memories. The things of the future are not real because they have not yet happened. When they happen they will be real at that moment but not a minute sooner.

To live in the past or future is like being asleep or unconscious because you are missing so much of what is actually going on in the now. To live in the present moment is to be awake, fully conscious and alive!

Today, to the best of my ability, I will try to notice the things in my present moments. I will try to stay in the “now” and I will know peace.

Balance – A Meditation

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There’s a lot of pressure from all around us to work, be productive, be healthy, be great, be creative, be fantastic, and to do, do, do! It’s no wonder we end up feeling stressed out, depressed, exhausted, and irritable.

What if we were to look at life as a series of choices? For example, when working we make a conscious choice to stop for a while to play. Likewise, when being productive we make a conscious choice to take time to rest. Furthermore, while we eat our fruits and vegetables, we also have a piece of cake every once in a while.

Balance is the key, but you have to choose to pick up the key and use it. Otherwise the door to a joyous and fulfilling life may remain closed to you.

Today I will pick up the key of balance and I will know peace.

Acceptance – A Meditation

There are many things we have no control over: people, places, things, events, the weather and time passing. This can be frustrating, depressing, and even scary.

There are many things we do have control over: how healthy we eat, how much we exercise, how we respond to life events, to people, places and things, and how well we take care of our health – physically, mentally and spiritually – by going to the doctor, taking our meds, meditating and/or praying.

The key is to accept the things we cannot change and to change the things we can. Acceptance does not mean we have to like them. It simply means we need to acknowledge they are reality and we do not have control over them.

Acceptance does not mean we accept unacceptable behavior from others. We have the right to defend ourselves. We are not meant to be doormats, but we must realize that ultimately, we have no control over the behavior of others, only our own.

Acceptance means letting go of tension, worry, and fear. Acceptance is the relaxing of our shoulders, the unclenching of our fists, the releasing of our jaw, the softening of our eyes, and the slowing of our breath. Today, I will accept the things I cannot change and I will know peace.

Routine – a Meditation

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Mental illness can leave us wandering about through our day, unfocused and aimless. Sleeping too much, watching too much television, and other forms of inertia, caused by depression and anxiety, are all too common.

Sometimes routine is a solution to our inactivity problem. Showering and making the bed everyday, doing one small chore every two hours, and eating meals at the same time are all examples of keeping a routine. Writing down our routine or a small list of things to do each day can help us achieve our goals.

I will state my intentions for today by creating a list of one to three things I would like to accomplish, and whether I accomplish them or not, I will know peace.

Taking a Break Meditation

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There are going to be times during the course of our illness when we need to take a break from our daily routine. Like it or not, our minds are different from those who do not have mental illnesses. Sure, everyone experiences anxiety, low moods, and irritability. However, those of us with mental health disorders do so at greater intensities. Our threshold for such mood states is much lower. Therefore, we need more downtime, more alone time, more time to process, more time to recuperate, more time to rest.

I will take the time I need to rest when I feel myself becoming overwhelmed with daily life, and I will know peace.

How to Stay Happy When Others are Fighting

When the conflict of others does not directly involve me, am I able to stay out of it? At times, it is difficult to let the adults in my life fight their own battles. Also, it is harder to distance myself emotionally than physically.

Physically, I can go for a walk or a ride, sit outside, visit a neighbor, put on head phones and listen to relaxing music, or take a break from my surroundings in some way.

Emotionally, however, my thoughts obsess over the conflict, causing anxiety, depression and fear to overwhelm me.

If I am able to expel these thoughts from my mind in a constructive way, like talking about them with a trusted person who is a neutral party, the negative feelings leave me. Then I am able to detach with love from those waging amongst themselves.

I have the choice to try a different action; to walk a different path. Today, I can choose to know peace.