The last two nights I stuck with my intention to meditate just as the children were down for the night. It’s amazing how much resistance I show to it, despite my resolve to just go and do it. The first night, I was very “yes, but after this tv show” and last night it was all “just one more article” – and that kept going too! Even after I’d asked G. to give me the room for space, I spent another 10 minutes faffing before I got down to the 15 minutes I’d scheduled for myself.

I’ve been asking Siri to schedule reminders for me. I think it’s a little helpful as I definitely have forgotten my commitment by the time 8:30 or so rolls around.

Anyway, the actual meditation itself: The first night was very anxiety and panic filled. I was worrying a lot about the health symptoms (which, given that my anti-biotic seems to be having an effect, were probably the kidney infection I suspected), and I couldn’t seem to quell the panic in my brain. So I took a leaf out of Tara Brach‘s book and stopped trying to quell it, but rather accept it. I found that really hard to do. I’d cycle through saying to myself “Yes. I am panicking. That’s okay. I accept that feeling.” but not really meaning it. Behind all of my “reassuring” internal words there was a thinly veiled “Hell no! I want to stop feeling like this now!“.

Maybe the thing to do would have been to turn some accepting attention to that feeling. Isn’t that the Radical Acceptance way? But that didn’t occur to me in the moment of my experience. It’s a new practice, this attempting to accept negative things in me (or maybe rather unwanted things in me) without attempting to “solve” or change them.

Do I sound like some kind of cultist, I wonder? I’ve been saying for these past months (since April!) that my path to growth lies through developing my awareness, but it’s taken me this long to really feel committed to developing that habit. I am feeling a change. I know, it’s just been two days of practice, and it could easily slip away again, but I feel a difference in intent, I feel like it’s no longer enough for me to say “The path is thataway, and at some point in the future I’ll walk it”, I feel like I’m finally ready to try this remedy.

I remain confused as to why it’s been so difficult for me to put this into practice. Is it because I don’t really believe that something like breathing and staying with yourself can work? Do I hear terms like “Radical Acceptance” and think it’s a bit New-Age culty? Do I maybe feel a little embarrassed to embrace it?

Is it because of what I’m scared I’ll find in there? Is it because I’m scared I’ll find nothing wrong, no reason for being the way I am, and then where will I go? Having a valid solution that I could put into place in the nebulous “future” is kind of reassuring, but if I’ve already tried everything and I’m still this mess, still this me… what then?

Does it even matter why it’s been so difficult? Is it maybe enough that I’m ready to try this path now?

I’m a ball of questions and uncertainty. But I feel like there’s a harmonic vibration of “true pathness” in some of my recent actions. (Well, if I felt embarrassed to lay my claim to Radical Acceptance, that surely pales in the face of invented phrases like “true pathness”, doesn’t it?!)

Sometimes I make a decision, or choose a direction from my life, and it feels like a deep bell chiming in my chest, resonating with my very self. There’s nothing else to say except that I know that I’ve made the right decision for me in that moment. Well, I say “moment”, but it’s not always immediate; sometimes it unfolds over a slightly longer period of time. It’s a calm feeling of rightness, not a rush of heady excitement, which can give the fake impression of being the right direction.

I’ve been lucky enough to experience a few such moments in my life. Choosing to study Maths not Medicine. Deciding to be with my husband. Most recently, the decision to leave alcohol in my past – which has been reaffirmed when out and about by that same “gong” in my heart.

I honestly feel like I can physically feel it resonating in my chest.

So, lots of questions remain, but I think I’m starting to take the next right step.