I practice being mindful often, and have done for years. It is something that you are encouraged to do during counselling after a breakdown, to not focus on the past, and to be present in the moment. It does take a lot of practice and I am not perfect at it, in fact most of the time I suck at it.
Everyday I try to take a few moments to close my eyes, and breathe. It is the only thing I think about for those few moments, breathing.
I breath in deeply, expanding my belly,
I feel my lungs inflate fully, and I count to five.
In, two, three, four, five.
Then I pause, holding my breath;
hold, two, three,
before breathing out slowly.
Out, two, three, four, five, six, seven.
I repeat this a few times and it does help. I mean it does calm my mind a little but it doesn’t solve the problem and worries that run wild in my mind.
Honestly, I don’t think mindfulness solves any problems. I believe some personalities are prone to burn out, I definitely am. People pleasers, like myself, struggle to say no, we say yes. We overbook our time, offer to help others, and do not look after ourselves. Eventually we burn out.
Being mindful, present in the moment, not looking forward or back, is relaxing, calming but it doesn’t stop the cause of the stress. It is a bandaid over a bullet hole – completely useless unless you fix the bullet hole.
Mindfulness is all well and good, but eventually you have to address why you feel overwhelmed in the first place. You have to work out what it is that makes you feel stressed. It has taken me many years to work out some of the things that stress me out. Being mindful was not useful in that process, because to work out what caused the problem required some reflection and introspection.
I know I try to do too much, too fast and I set unattainable standards for myself. During my childhood the only praise I remember getting was to do with academic achievement, and even then I did not achieve the greatness that my younger brother did. I have burned myself out far too many times trying to be perfect; the thing is, I don’t actually know what this ‘perfect’ I am trying to achieve looks like. I am just filled with self doubt.
When we introduced D/s to our relationship and Mr H took over the majority of decision making I found I was able to relax more. The more the dynamic progressed the more I relaxed and allowed him to lead the better things got at home. I wasn’t worried about having to manage everything because Mr H had the responsibility for it. When he told me I had done a good job, I got the validation I finally needed.
Work was another matter. I took a step up the ladder into a managerial role for a busy, growing business, and it was a job I could do. What I couldn’t manage was the personalities and tempers of the directors, well one director in particular. I don’t work there anymore. I have a part time job at the moment, although I am not sure how long I will have that, not with the present situation.
In the meantime I know only one thing, I will get through it, Mr H will get me through it. Being mindful will help me relax a little each day, but it is nowhere near as effective as a cane session.
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