Handling Uncomfortable Feelings

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I sat down to write this blog and had no idea what I wanted to share. I waited for an idea or inspiration, and I noticed that my mind was completely silent. Nothing was coming to me. Then I realized that is what I am always hoping for when I meditate. I’d found the secret to silencing my thoughts!

Since I started meditating, silencing my thoughts has been a challenge for me. I know when it comes to meditation you aren't supposed to have a goal to silence your thoughts, they say just to allow them to flow through. But I have to admit, when I hear people talk about how amazing and incredible the silence is, I get a little envious. I sooooo want to experience that. I've experienced moments of it, but of course I want more. It is blissful.

My family and I meditate at a Buddhist temple every once in a while and I love it. There is such a peaceful energy in the temple, and meditating in a group is powerful. We do a forty-five minute sitting meditation, and a half hour walking meditation. During the walking meditation, we slowly walk together in a circle, while remaining silent and focusing our awareness on each step.

Once during the sitting meditation, my mind was racing like Mario Andretti, around and around it went. Our monk says if you notice thoughts just say to yourself: “thinking, thinking, thinking,” and be aware of your thoughts without judging them.

I tried just being aware, but then I started to feel like a caged animal that wanted to break free and run like a wild horse galloping into the sunset! I had all of this nervous energy in my body and didn't know what to do. I kept opening my eyes and looking at the monk, praying he was about to ring the bell signaling the end of the sitting meditation.

Thoughts of how to escape started running through my head. At one point I wanted to get up, throw open the doors, and run out. Then I thought about silently walking over to him, tapping him on the shoulder and saying, “Please ring the bell.” Thank goodness my sanity stayed long enough for me not to do either of those things.

He eventually rang the bell, and we did the walking meditation. I survived! It was a powerful lesson for me because I realized that sometimes rather than being alone with my feelings, I want to run. This experience taught me to take time to process my feelings and allow them to pass through me. I can then deal with the situation from a clear space. Of course this doesn't mean you shouldn't react if something or someone is going to cause you harm, if that’s the case, run like a wild horse!

I still love meditating, and I have days I’m able to sit quietly and days I’m challenged, but having a consistent practice has made a huge difference for me. Meditation has supported me in honoring my feelings, and knowing that they are all okay. It has also helped me learn to process my feelings before reacting, especially if I’m feeling upset. When we react from an upset or angry space, we usually end up saying or doing things we later regret.

I would encourage you to start a daily practice, even if you just stop and focus on your breath for a minute several times a day. That is a great start, and you can work towards sitting for 10-15 minutes.

Are there times you notice yourself wanting to run from uncomfortable feelings? How do you handle it when you feel like that?

Please share your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

Peace & Happiness,

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