I’ve had six sessions of mindfulness CBT. We’ve stopped for a couple of weeks to allow me some time to put lessons into practice. My counsellor is leaving at the end of the month so we have one more session to decide whether to recommend me to someone else to carry on for another half dozen sessions or wrap it up.
It’s been really helpful talking to someone about all these changes. She’s given me encouragement, useful suggestions and gone through the basics. But I think her real value has been purely in saying that I’m on the right track and need to do more rather than think about it.
So what have I learned?
- Meditation is good;
- Letting thoughts or events go is good;
- Getting up off my arse is positive;
- Hearing my thoughts slide downward and stopping them early is positive;
- Dwelling on the past is counter-productive (once understanding has been reached);
- Putting myself first is needful;
- Not worrying about not doing all these things perfectly is essential;
- Physical activity is necessary for sanity;
So what am I doing?
- a short meditation most mornings; occasionally more;
- Joining Meditation Society of Australia to get their meditations past week 15;
- finished reading The Mindful Way Through Depression and have other relevant books to read;
- used the CD that goes with the above book for meditation practices;
- tried to be mindful about what I’m doing from time to time; this can be almost like heightened sensory perception;
- focusing on what I’m doing now rather than what I will do when I finish my current task;
- pausing between tasks: taking time out to finish thinking about one before starting on the next;
- taking time out to do nothing very much; watching TV or other relaxing pleasures;
- stopped listening to the news for so long in the morning: this winds me up and makes me angry first thing so I listen to it for long enough to catch up and then turn it off;
- changed my evenings to spend more time reading books or watching films downstairs rather than going to bed early and to sleep late;
- exercising more: this week I’ve managed two half hours a day and realise how much fitness I’ve lost;
- chopped about five inches off my hair and started painting my nails.
It’s taken me quite a while to really acknowledge how big these changes are. They don’t seem big but what we are talking about here is a total change in the way I think and the way we are taught to think and behave. It’s about taking time out to smell the roses and not be quite as goal focused. I’m less frustrated about not “achieving” mindfulness and more aware of being mindful, here and now.
2son and I visited a school last week that offers 52 weeks residential, can cope with his emotional needs and offer him excellent education as well as activities that we both drooled over. Funding is not yet assured and that’s the next battle but it’s progress.