Meditation & lunch in a Koreantown church

Today I started a new job with Aids Project Los Angeles, located in the heart of Koreatown. I had been in a weird head space for a full 24-hours due to a recent breakup with an old love I tried making a relationship with. Even after meditating, I still felt weird. So I hadn’t really been eating and it was lunch time and I couldn’t imagine putting food into my body, so I kinda just sat there with my feelings, in a business courtyard right alongside Wilshire Boulevard. I looked around, debated calling my best friend, but decided to just sit down and feel what I was feeling. I started thinking about food and eating natural.

I just couldn’t imagine putting heavy food into my body like carbs because I knew that if I ate carbs, they would make my pain go away and I might miss this feeling that I have and not learn anything from it. Food has always been something that has helped ease my pain. Growing up I ate because I was sad. I dated because I was sad, but yesterday I decided that I wasn’t going to use food to feel better after my breakup. I was going to feel exactly what I was feeling and if I got hungry, I was going to eat something healthy and nourishing to my body. I had dinner with my best friend yesterday at our favorite Korean restaurant, but I only ate the vegetables, light broth, and tofu. It was so funny. He almost spoon-fed me because I couldn’t bring myself to eat, but eventually I was able to and I felt better.

So today at the APLA office, I began thinking about my late uncle Paul, who had HIV and kept himself alive for so long because he ate healthy and meditated. I knew that the universe was speaking to me, saying, that this was a way to deal with my pain and trauma. So after a while, I snapped out of it and began thinking of what I could eat that would be healthy. That’s when I saw a lady selling fresh fruit. Perfect. I got in line and began rehearsing in my head what I would order in Spanish. My Spanish isn’t so great but everyone thinks I speak Spanish because I look Hispanic (And I am), but I’m very Americanized.

So I managed to order a large plate of fresh fruit, topped with lime, chili, and a little salt. It was perfect, all I needed. I thought about where I wanted to eat this and saw a Catholic church across the street. I sat on the steps in the shade and slowly savored the fresh fruit, thinking about what nutrients each piece had and how I was actually getting protein from the coconut. After I got full, I decided to go into the church. I sat down in the back and closed my eyes, and began to meditate. I began to say to myself, “Heal. Release. I am loved. I am guided. I am safe.”

Since I’ve been meditating, I’ve become more in tune with my deep rooted pain from childhood, you know, the kind of pain that we all carry our whole lives and may not really realize affects us still, but does. I can almost see my pain and trauma and it’s rooted in my stomach, deep in my gut and lower back. Every day I grow closer to healing that pain. Meditating is like the lifeline to God, and I know and feel that the more I meditate, the more I can trust myself and be true to what I’m meant to do here. All I know is that it has something to do with giving back to the community, to being intuitive and empathetic, connected, because that’s who I am. That’s what I have to give.

I must feel what I feel right now to break through and create some real shifts in my life. I give myself permission to feel and know that I am safe.

Advertisements

Meditation and the present moment

Okay, so I’ve been meditating every day for the past five days. Things have already improved, mostly in my awareness of my present moment. I have this Lulu Lemon bag that has all these uplifting statements on it and I am reminded of the one that says, ‘creativity is maximized when you are living in the present.”

I find that things haven’t bothered me as much as they usually do. I just connect to myself and my breath and whenever I close my eyes and breathe in, it’s like I’m connecting with something that always says “thank you. Just be here. Stay here. Everything is happening as it should.” When I close my eyes, I feel this. When I hear people’s problems now, I am not affected as much.

I am the kind of person who can find the positive in most things. That’s how I get through some pretty atrocious experiences and go about my business. I’ve heard people’s problems lately and just let them talk, listen, and offer up the best possible understanding I can come up with that might help them think of an alternative way of experiencing their distress.

Meditation has helped me prioritize my responsibilities as well. For some reason, I feel like I can do everything that’s on my plate. There’s a switch that has been flicked on that keeps telling me, you can do all your projects. You just have to devote a little bit of time to all of them every day, even if it’s just thinking of them. It’s because I’m thinking in the present moment, feeling my priorities and dreams as if they were already living outside of my mind and heart, knowing that getting them out into the world is something that is happening, essential.

Meditation challenge: at the beach, off the phone

So today I decided to turn my phone off completely for hours. I got a text early in the morning during my drive to my friend’s house and ignored it because I didn’t feel like responding. I was thinking, driving, just being in my present moment.

I got to my friend’s house and we took off to go hiking in Malibu to see some waterfalls (something I’ve been wanting to do for years). Once I got to my friend’s house I decided to turn off my phone as more text messages flooded in. I only turned it on to take some pictures once we reached our destination, then turned it back off again.

We spontaneously decided to go to the beach and I wore my pink underwear and her tank top because I didn’t have a bathing suit! It was this little hole in the wall location totally away from most people. We had to climb through a hole in a fence and down some cliffs to get there but it was totally worth the danger and spontaneity. I laid down after enjoying the water and closed my eyes. I remembered how I am doing a meditation challenge and decided that I wasn’t going to let my location stop me.

I remember my late uncle, Paul, meditating any place he could. He would do it while riding in the back seat of cars, just anywhere he could. So I closed my eyes and started my deep breathing in and out and began counting. Any time thoughts came into my head, I decided to say to myself that I am loved, that I’m here. I love myself, I kept saying. I’m taking care of myself, I kept saying. I let myself take in the warm sun and the soothing sounds of the ocean, and was grateful for the spontaneous day, for my lively girl friend, and for the opportunity to be where I was. I took care of myself today. I kept my phone off. I did what my heart wanted and it felt so great.

image

Meditation Challenge: Body Insights and being present

So I think I know why I don’t like meditating. It activates the core and my core isn’t that strong. I mean, my back is strong, but the front half, nope. I ain’t even gonna lie.

I learned a technique over the weekend that really worked for me. We were guided in a meditation to breathe in for four counts and breathe out for six counts. Focusing on the counting helped me to block out all other thoughts for a bit, but they still came through. I would just go back to my counting and breathing, getting more and more into my present moment. Yea, and my present moment brought up uncomfortable sensations like tension on the right side of my back and neck. I guess I hold tension more so on that side? I became aware of that, as well as thoughts about relationships and work. They were things that were really bothering me though.

So I began to ask for guidance. I kept hearing a voice say, “you are here.”

Yesterday I experienced so much worry because I wasn’t being present. I was thinking about things that weren’t affecting my present moment, mostly things from the past that had bothered me. Today, it was the same thing, but the difference is that I became aware of just how much I was letting my past influence my present and it literally hurt.

So, just being here, with what I have right now is how I must face the rest of the day. Anything that is bothersome to the mind comes from memory and it can ruin the day to continue living there. I ask myself these questions: What can I learn from my present moment? How can I serve in my present moment? How can I strengthen my core in my present moment?

Meditation Challenge

I like regimented things because I’m anything but. I’m a total free spirit, messy, spur of the moment kind of girl, but when I actually make a commitment, I’ll follow through to the end.

Over the weekend I attended a yoga teacher training and as part of the training, we of course did yoga and meditated. I am a regular yoga practitioner, but not a regular meditator. I’ll meditate when I get really stressed out and have no choice but to close my eyes and attempt to shut my mind up.

Meditating this weekend felt absolutely magical. It’s like real medicine. I’ve often heard that some of the brightest minds meditate, like one of my favorite comic writers/storytellers, Grant Morrison. I admire his work so much and I think that it’s probably meditation that has allowed all those crazy, out-of-the box ideas to flourish and become raw, new, thoughtful stories.

When I write I try to organize my thoughts before I even start writing, and sometimes I get really caught up in the outline, so much so that the story isn’t allowed to breathe or have a mind of its own. I think with meditation, a project is given the freedom to be what the universe wants it to be, not what I want it to be, or what some editor thinks it should be.

So my new challenge to myself is this, to meditate for ten minutes every day, for oh, maybe a month? Think that’s enough time? Yea. A month.

I meditated this morning for ten minutes and asked myself these questions that I’ve heard from the Course in Miracles: Where will you have me go? What will you have me do? What will you have me say and to whom?

I know the meditation is working already. I feel a bit more directed in my day.