Breathe in deeply. Hold it. Exhale. Repeat, filling your chest deeper with each inhalation. Repeat. The practitioner recites. And I listen, trying to follow his/her instructions. Trying to find peace in an uncertain world of chasmic divisions. Trying to find wisdom in the myriad of mistakes and false steps that have tripped my life.
What set me on this path? Didn’t teaching full time give my life purpose? Wasn’t I already writing poetry, books, and blog posts to quench that creative thirst? Shouldn’t I have been satiated with the successes of my career?
Nope. Because while I was elevating my professional life, I was ignoring my personal one. Going off to do my “important shit” while leaving my boyfriend behind. Every morning and most weekend days I’d wave him away saying no to every invitation for breakfast, beach walk, or football game. While I wrote he’d go off by himself often texting me with his complaints. “Come on, meet me. I’m lonely, damnit.” Or “Dating you makes me feel like the loneliest man in town.”
Did any of that change my behaviors? No. I kept typing in a desperate attempt to become a “great writer” like Thoreau, Hyde, Atwood, and Koontz. I didn’t leave any space for him, ignoring his every plea and sad text until, over time he stopped asking. When he became disillusioned, and told me he was moving out, I was shocked. And heartbroken.
I begged him to stay. Told him what he wanted to hear. I’ll change. Get counseling. Meditate. Spend more time with you. Don’t go!
Although I did all of those things, none of them worked. It was too late. Another failed relationship. Feeling like a total shit, I started to wonder if I’d learned friggin’ anything since my divorce.
The old tapes started playing in my head, telling me what a selfish failure I was. Still I kept practicing my daily meditations. Sometimes I’d sit there with tears rolling down my cheeks as I listened to positive affirmations saying, “I know who I am. I am love. I am kind. I am beautiful. I am fun and funny.”
I’d always been taught to be humble and at first it felt strange to repeat those words. But over time I noticed a difference in how I felt. Yes, I was sad to lose my best friend. Yes, I had ignored him a lot of the time. But that didn’t make me a horrible person. Or evil. Or a failure. It just made me single.
And that was okay.
While I tried many podcasts and videos, Rising Higher Meditation was the most healing I found. It showed me that no matter what, I was full of love and kindness. Perhaps it can help you too.
The world continues to be uncertain and relationships still have their ups and downs but in the two years since I began this practice, I have learned to calmly accept these truths. My new mantra is “Love, peace, health.”
Try it, you just might be surprised.
About Laurie: The author of the recently released Finding Joy as well as The Pharaoh’s Cry, Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky of the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, and Forests Secrets. Laurie Woodward is also a screenwriter who co-authored Dean and JoJo: The Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet, and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at Author Laurie Woodward — Next Chapteria.net