“365 Days of Mindfulness” [Day 73] Catastrophes, Crashing, Naps & Mindfulness……

Last night I wrote about an agoraphobic nightmare. This morning, not on the firmest footing to begin with after the night before, I walked into my kitchen to find it raining in there. Water was dripping everywhere from the ceiling.

It was not my finest hour.

Let me put this more succinctly…. I LOST IT!

If you read the post about the week of frozen pipes, etc, that was only the beginning of the story, unbeknownst to me. The first time pipes cracked and I went days with no hot water and then we had an unbelievable winter snow storm so that the whole city was literally shut down for most of a week, well, I wrote about all of that, but the thing is that since the man couldn’t get back to finish the job he’d started last Saturday and planned to finish last Wednesday because of the weather, said weather with below freezing temps and ice and snow that lasted for four days really did a number on my pipes. Things were so frozen that it didn’t start to get back until everything started to thaw yesterday. I noticed a spot on the ceiling yesterday afternoon but felt it was a result of what happened before, but when I got up to water dripping everywhere and looked up at my soggy ceiling my knees kind of buckled and my legs almost went out from under me.

It’s one of those times where one thing is going wrong after the next for a solid week and it just doesn’t let up and then you have an agoraphobic melt down in your car in a fast food parking lot and have to meet AAA through the window (Because of course you are not only not able to get out of the car you are so frightened out of your wits to be out somewhere anyway, but you are also not really dressed properly.) and come home just flattened, and after finally being able to go to sleep wake up to it raining in your kitchen. Well that was it.

When the man arrived about 10:15 to work on the pipes I was sobbing so uncontrollably he could hardly understand me and then when he saw my kitchen ceiling I thought he might start. He used a few words I won’t write down here but you can just imagine. I was getting dogs out, walking around the yard shaking with sobs, crying while I fed them, and the nice man had to leave to go to the hardware store for a whole lot more than he had imagined he would need so he shut off all water so everything wouldn’t flood and I thanked God and all the saints that I have a large Britta water filter tank in my refrigerator so I could make my latte because really, I think I might have blown up the house without the latte.

I finally got in here to my chair with all of the animals cared for, clutching my latte in a death grip, but every time I started thinking about my kitchen ceiling I started crying again. I pretty much cried uncontrollably off and on all morning. Finally I was cried out and just sat here numb.

The man came back, said “there, there” a lot and assured me that it would all be alright but my dishwasher probably wouldn’t work anymore and went on about his work. I felt like a shell of a person and as though I might just fall in a heap.

When he left mid afternoon saying that it was fixed but would take a week for the ceiling to dry out before it could be fixed I was so emotionally exhausted I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t work, I couldn’t even cry anymore, I was trying to be mindful but something in me kept saying “Surely you jest,” and then I knew there was only one thing for it. I had to take a nap. I needed a nap, badly. All of my systems were shutting down, I couldn’t make sense of anything anymore, I was as if moving in a fog. I took the dogs out and said, “We are taking a nap.” They know exactly what that means and we all headed into the couch and I snuggled up with them and we literally slept for 2 1/2 hours. It was 7:30 when I got up, and, somewhat tentatively crept around and peeked in the kitchen. Nothing was leaking.

As I walked outside with the dogs I took a long deep breath in and I relaxed. What had happened, happened. It was getting fixed. Things were a mess but me being one too wasn’t going to change anything. I got the dogs their dinner. I got mine. I sat down here and I knew I just had to write about this because —

Mindfulness is all well and good, it’s wonderful, but when all of your circuits have flipped and so have you and everything is going wrong unless you are a superhero plunging right into mindfulness just isn’t going to cut it. It might, sometimes it does, but you need to do something so that you can flip those circuit breakers back in the right direction and the best thing I know to do is to take a nap. Lay down in a dark room, close your eyes, go to sleep.

Sleep is the great restorative. When you go to sleep, even a short nap, everything in your body shuts down so your body can begin to repair itself. It has been battered by the stress in every direction. SHUT IT DOWN. I could not come back to my breath and mindfulness until I got myself out of the grip of tension that held onto me like a vise. I went to sleep, and woke up ready to face my life again. I fell into my breathing and my practice, even if only for a few moments, and the tides turned.

My well meaning dear friend Jeff suggested that I NOT write about all of these things. What he was too polite to says was that I really need to get my business going and who in God’s name wants to sign up with a woman who is just, well, you’re read the post, you know.

But the thing is, it is just exactly BECAUSE I write all of this that makes me who I am. I will continue to go through life and face what needs facing even if sometimes I fall apart at a time like this but I will tell you the truth because there’s nothing worse than some teacher that stands up there like some guru on high and makes you feel that you will never live up to whatever the heck she is espousing. Yes I have all kinds of training and experience out the wazzoo but the main thing is I live what I teach, I walk my talk, I fall down and I get up over and over and over again and I’m going to keep on doing so.

I have a wonderful life with some hard days in it and that’s a whole lot more than some people have. And the point is not to have a perfect life because that is just not possible and we all know it. The point is to get through the hard stuff and to have the best days you can. And I will tell the truth even when it’s not pretty because frankly most of the time it is just fine. I have made it through the fast food/AAA debacle, I have made it through raining in the kitchen, I am here tonight smiling and feeling grateful for all of the wonderful things and people in my life, and the world has righted itself once again because of the practices I have in place. They don’t keep bad things from happening but they do mean I am not down for weeks like I used to be. I surface sooner, and just get on with it.

And so can you. And if I didn’t believe that for both of us I wouldn’t be teaching what I teach. So I’ll keep telling the truth, and you take a nap when you need to, and now, at 2 a.m. I am going to go to bed with my posse of pugs. I feel happy, actually happy, and I am looking forward to tomorrow. It will be a wonderful day, I just know it.

I am sending you so much love…


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  1. I am so so sorry for all you have had to endure the past week! I admire your courage in telling it like it is. It’s something I sometimes grapple with myself..wondering how much is ok to share as I always worry other people will be depressed if they read a post full of struggles when I am supposed to be the uplifter and inspirer. You are so right though- life is a series of surviving all of the ups and downs. None of us are exempt from them. When we choose joy and perseverance over and over again each time we falter it is more inspiring than if others think life is just easy for us all the time. Your posts brought this home for me, so thank you :).

    Thank God you got the leak stopped! Naps are wonderful! Truly- sometimes there is nothing to do but have one. I really feel for you with the AAA thing and all that has transpired after. It’s always like a worst fear to get stuck when one likes having the feeling you can escape quickly if need be when you are dealing with panic. I don’t even want to imagine the addition of not being properly dressed to that mix. Oy! Honoring you for making it through these past few days here. Love and many blessings to you <3.

  2. I am so sorry that you have had to go through all of this. But you need to know how much it has helped me to witness in you, again and again, something I am working very hard on this year and that is Resilience! To be able to go through difficulties, acknowledge it, be sad or angry about it, retreat and regroup, and then to be able to mindfully center yourself and even feel joy again…..well that is resilience…..and that is the kind of person I look up to and am proud to call my mentor. Thank you for showing me it’s OK to “lose it” once in a while, and not have it take over you. You show me by example how to take care of myself when things fall apart, and they do, and how to keep coming back to center and get on with this messy, beautiful, miraculous life! Sending you lots of love, gratitude and many blessings…<3

  3. Of all the books I read, it’s the ones where the writers write about their hard times and how they got through them that inspire me the most. (I’m thinking of “Broken Open” by Elizabeth Lesser.) Your writing helps too. I’ve been having a rough time as well, and naps are wonderful to repair the mind when it appears the outside world is going kablooey. Your practice of self-care is precisely what you need. It’s a great example to show others as well.

  4. I do hope that you will sort out everything soon. Words are never really enough .. so my thoughts are with you.

  5. The sun is peeking out from behind the dark clouds that clamped down around you, and it is, in no small part, because of your candor that the sun is returning. I’ve never been convinced by spiritual leaders who always speak from on high. Give me someone who’s down in the same muck I am but who keeps putting one foot in front of the other, keeps rallying after the fall. That I can believe in. And I definitely believe in you!

  6. Oh My Darling Sweethearts! Thank you all so much!

    Today I had this funny thought that came from who knows where and I just burst out laughing. My friend Jeff, a SAINT, make no mistake about it, came over, took all of the dishes out of the dishwasher and washed them plus a mountain of other things. He said, “You just stay there and work, GET THAT SCHOOL OPENED!” And that’s what I am working on right now.

    Tomorrow I have to call the insurance company, It is all so much worse than I had imagined. I have never called an insurance company to ask for anything in my life even though I pay out the wazzoo for insurance including house, car, and health. I’m almost 60 years old and yes I’m scared but By God tomorrow morning I will be calling the insurance company! And you know what? The joke is that it’s nearly 60 degrees here today, the windows are open with fresh air coming in, Wilmington weather has returned, but not before leaving a mess at Dragonfly Cottage. And do you know what else? I am on my knees thanking God because I know problems are all relative and mine are nothing compared with what some people are dealing with and while I am a firm believer in not comparing your pain or problems to anyone else’s because when they’re yours they’re just as big to YOU, I also think since I live alone I have to BUCK UP and do the things that need to be done. (Except those dishes that thank God Saint Jeffrey did!).

    So I just shouted, with his encouragement OH FRUIT LOOPS, I’MA GONNA CALL. And so I shall.

    I wish I could tell you all how much I love and appreciate you, I really do. I have fallen behind with comments here and I am so sorry. The past 8 or 9 days I have been in sheer survival mode but survive I have. Please know that I am sending each of you a huge warm hug and a sweet kiss on the cheek. You are my sweethearts, you really are.

    I wish we could all have a group hug, but at least know that the one I am sending you is just so full of love you can squeeze out the love juices for WEEKS. And it’s all SPARKLY too!!!

    I love you, I thank you, I appreciate you. Namaste dear ones…

    Maitri (with wee Delilah in my lap…) 🙂

  7. You have had Quite the Week, haven’t you?
    First of all, you’re not the only one. My messy was spread out over the entire month: exhausted to start January, low back locking up mid-month, and a head cold to end the month. sheesh! That’s why I declared a Do-Over at the New Moon a few nights ago.
    Second, this is the New Reality. We don’t have to pretend to be Ms. Perfect so that everyone will follow us and do everything we suggest. Now Authenticity is what is being sought – and if nothing else, you are Completely Authentic in your journey. 🙂
    Finally, a teeny suggestion? Next time you’re having a Moment, get out your cellphone and snap a pic. Just a random pic. I bet you’ll see at least one Pink Orb in it. This will be a signal that your High Heart Posse is with you and yes, all really and truly shall be well.
    To better days ahead on our sturdy steeds in this Year of the Horse!

    Blessed Be,
    Victoria oxo

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