I have noticed as my own practice deepens, the ‘interference patterns’ appear ‘louder’/more prevalent. It feels as if habituated patterns are so rooted in the brain as ‘go to’ networks, that attempting to ‘re-wire the system’ can cause … a whole bunch of not fun feelings and results.
I suppose this is why we are encouraged to be gentle with ourselves throughout this process; although ultimately, the result is indeed a more centered and balanced state of being, it is not an easy undertaking.
In my experience, the silence of meditation can be deafeningly loud sometimes. All the ‘mind spin’, ‘reasons why it’s a waste of time’, and the lingering habituated cycles of thinking about ‘what else we should be doing’ and ‘how we should be’, has often caused me to have to ‘come out’ because if I didn’t, I would have thrown up or passed out. I think this speaks to the healing process; a purging, in a sense, of all which rises to be acknowledged and addressed and perhaps let go, if it no longer serves us.
Breathing deeply helps. Deep belly breathing I’ve learned hits the Vagus nerve, which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn, invokes a sense of calm. ‘Rest and digest’ mode. Allowing the emotions that might come up to be released through crying helps as well.
What it feels like to me is ‘sitting with woundedness’ and attempting to be there as a loving caretaker, even as the woundedness seems to ‘fight to stay wounded’, and not because it really wishes to stay wounded, but because it is familiar with that. It feels almost like Stockholm syndrome: Like I/we actually developed a loving bond with patterns and habits which have ‘been with us for so long’, even as they damage us.
And when the habitual patterns rise – naming the thoughts, things and perhaps people attached to these ‘wounds’ – it feels as if the wounds become raw again. Like layers coming to the surface.
‘Why am I doing this to myself?!’ I often ask.
‘Because you value yourself that much. You’re the powerful caretaker. You’re the only one who can. You’re the expert on you’, I hear.
And even as it feels like attempting to build a bridge between the ‘no! you can’t change!’ subconscious design, and the ‘yes! you can!’ conscious one, over wounds that roil and boil like hot lava underneath the surface of our conditioning, we are called to breathe through the pain and discomfort knowing that this too shall pass. And once it does, a new neural thread is formed as part of that bridge.
Like a new little bud of hope opens up in the heart on a once neglected tree of we.
I’ve noticed that ‘re-wiring’ my thinking/behavior/tendencies is working.
I have noticed a change in my habits – simple things like always making my bed so I have it to come home to, being more mindful in my communications, in doing dishes, more intrigued by the nature of what is possible, false idea forms and limiting belief systems slowly removed and replaced by true knowing and belief in Self, smiling at people even when I don’t feel like it and having smiles returned, and not minding the ‘small stuff’ so much.
I encourage everyone reading to watch this TED talk, “Why we all need to practice emotional first aid”.
In short, meditation is sometimes transcendent; like I notice an immediate and lasting sense of calm in it. Power in observing what comes up, and not reacting as I have done in the past. But sometimes, it’s not. Sometimes, it feels like doing hours of dirty work only to find more mess the next time. Like, it’s not working. But it does work. It just takes practice and time.
I hope this resonates and/or helps.
Please be gentle with your selves.
Love, light, and luck to you all.
Photo is pixabay creative commons