The Experiment: Day 123 ~ Stop, Sit Down A Minute, Take A Deep Breath…

Classical Music For Relaxing…

It is what I am wont to do. To get ahead of myself. To get excited about a thing and rush headlong into it. I was headed there again. I am referring to Patreon, I spoke about it yesterday. I am very much planning on doing Patreon, but I have to move slower getting there. So much has happened to me in such a short amount of time that I have to sit with it, learn from it, learn about it, see what it all means. And doing this blog post each day is not only very important to me but this experiment is taking me somewhere and I can’t possibly know where yet. Last September when I started a 30 day blog challenge with Effy Wild I not only had no idea I would go further but I was also dealing with a lot of depression, sometimes debilitating. But something changed toward the end of September. Writing each day had put me in touch with something and it led me into this experiment, this 365 day search for happiness. I had no idea that it would take me as far as it has and in only a few short months. I began to search for even little moments of happiness each day and it changed my life.

Next I went on the ketogenic diet. As I’ve written while I knew there would be many health benefits, and I would probably lose weight, I went on the diet to heal my brain, to work toward coming off a decades long journey on psych meds which truly had saved my life but I had been on them for so long and they weren’t good for me anymore. I had gained a lot of weight, I was lost in brain fog and numbness of brain and it affected my writing, my creativity, and my ability to experience life in a positive way. I read a lot about how the ketogenic diet was being used for mental health issues, and I went on the diet with hope in my heart, but really unsure. I thought if it “worked,” if I really could come of my meds, it would maybe be a year or two before I would begin to see a difference. I could not possibly have known or believed that I would be off my meds 3 months in! And I was and am feeling so good I wanted to rush into working with others in the world, helping them, inspiring and encouraging them. It’s very exciting and I will get there one day but I have a lot of work to do and I’ve got to slow down and do it. And there’s more.

I wrote about it from a different angle the other day, how my brain is changing and I’m not certain what it all means. But the further along I go I am realizing that it all means so much more than I could have ever imagined. Inotherwords what does it mean when you have 4 mental health diagnoses which are managed by 4 different medications and one day you feel so good that, with the help of your health care practitioner, you are able to finally go off all the meds? What does that really mean? Does it mean you are no longer “mentally ill?” After a lifetime that hardly seems possible? Are you “in remission?”And what or how do you separate a mental health condition from who you inherently are? Do you, when coming to the point of being off medication, stop being “odd” or different because you are somehow “better” now?

What I’ve found out, or what I’m finding out, is that no, you are who you are without the dark clouds and the shades of grey. I am still agoraphobic or somewhere on the agoraphobia spectrum. I don’t like to leave my house, I am more comfortable here, I prefer to be here. I am less afraid and panicky about going out when I absolutely have to, but I still am more at ease being here. Just because I am off meds has not changed my ability to be comfortable going out. I may go out a little more than before, may, but I will never be a big “goer outter.” And as my dear friend Bekah said last night one of the reasons she was drawn to me a few years back is that I was “quirky” and she assured me I still am! And the work that she finds most fitting for me has to do with the work I started with “The Outsider’s Institute.” If you join my mailing list you get my free eBook, “Embracing Fitting Out When You Never Really Fit In.” And that is still true of me today. I will forever, I think, be the little girl with her nosed pressed to the window looking at the happy family inside but not being part of the scene. But the thing is that it doesn’t make me sad anymore, it just is what it is. I am on the outside looking in on life and it’s where I am most comfortable. I love people, I love the world, and I want to be of service, but it will have to be from right here in my safe haven with my animals in my solitude. This is who I am. This is what my life is all about, and I’m not unhappy about it, in fact I appreciate it and understand it all more deeply than I ever have. I may not be “like other people,” nor is there anything wrong with who and how I am. I am me, as you are you.

So what did the medication do for me? It helped regulate my distorted self. Damage was done by longterm sexual and emotional abuse, there was more, but I am no longer attached to that, I have let all of that go. Forgiveness and letting go were possible when I started to see more clearly on the ketogenic diet which also did more than I will ever be able to understand and comprehend. And I don’t need to know. I am not a scientist or a medical doctor, nor do I believe it is all about science and medicine. I believe it is a spiritual transformation as well. There has been a lot more at work than just the food I eat. I am different now but I am still figuring out what that really means and how it has changed who I am. I believe that the distortions have gone away and I am my real and true self, and as such I have all the idiosyncracies that every other human being has. We are each unique individuals, and like there are no two snowflakes alike there are no two people alike, and thank God. Our differences are our gifts in the world. I am just learning about mine and what that all means and how it shapes the work I can and will do in the world, how I might best be of service. This is a brave new world and I need to take time to understand it and feel my way into it. I cannot rush this. It was a realization that I had last night, and it changed everything.

Well, it changed my timeline, it will take longer than I had imagined, but my work will be all the better for it. And while there have already been a great many changes I know there will be more but I don’t know what they will be. This 365 day experiment is causing amazing growth and change, one day at a time, and I can’t, I’m not meant to, see the whole picture yet. I am just supposed to take it one day at a time, learn what I’m supposed to learn in increments so that I can really deeply take in what I’m supposed to and make it part of me.

This is a mysterious journey, because I can’t foresee where I will be in 2 days or 2 months or 2 years, but that makes it all the more exciting because when I slow down enough to savor each day as it comes I am able to experience and receive so many gifts that I could not if I rushed along blindly ignoring the precious moments of each day. So I ask you this, as I ask myself, How slow can you go? I made the little graphic below years ago, it’s something I must return to again and again, and when I do, magic happens.

So here I am, with all of you. Each day I open my heart and offer what I can. I am here to answer you, to be with you, to celebrate you as you go forth on your journey, as I go forth on mine. We are fellow travelers, pilgrims heading toward the promised land, and the promised land is the place where we fully accept and embrace who we are, celebrate it, and discover our true purpose here, and go on to use the gifts that we were meant to use on this earthly plain. That is what I am still discovering, and why I need to slow down. I am getting to know who Maitri really is, and I am enjoying this journey. May you, too, be blessed as you find your way…

The Experiment ~A 365 Day Search For Truth, Beauty &
Happiness: Day 1 ~ Introduction To The Project
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
Yoda

If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…

Comments

  1. i’m happy to read this blog, maitri, cuz i was worried you were rushing too fast, pell mell, and “the contemplative way” (going slow in a modern world) still makes the most sense, doesn’t it!? i too am allowing myself to slow down, re the intense promotion/distribution of prison wisdom. i had so many irons in the fire of what i wanted to do, and after six months i realized i had to slow down, re-assess, and wait for the next steps to grow clear. this is essential to all long-range dreams, so i did some self-talk and came up with just about what you were telling yourself (of course). it’s about balance, and trust, and being receptive to opportunities, but not grasping or pushing or measuring one’s impact on the universe!

    you are doing a great service JUST by writing your blog every day. tuning in, sharing, giving of yourself to all of us. i say just with tongue in cheek, because it’s a major gift, maitri

    xo
    ka

    • Thank you so much dear Ka and yes, I WAS rushing too fast because I was SO excited! And I so want to be of service. But to everything there is a season, and this is my season for getting healthy and learning what my life is supposed to be all about and I believe that will only come with DOING this blog experiment to the end. Every day I learn something or receive some teaching or gift that is essential for me to learn and know before I move forward. And yes, The Comtemplative Way is THE Way as we all wrote about on that marvelous journey.

      I love you sweet Ka and good for you for finding a slower journey for yourself with Prison Wisdom too. Now, in the spirit of “slower” I’m going to go take a nap with the pugs! 🙂

      M. xoxox

  2. I am also slowing down in a way to start this year as well. Although I no longer make a list of New Year Resolutions or goals, what I have gotten caught up with in recent years is all the ‘free’ online summits that are available to educate us about so many things. I’ve been attracted to health, wellness, nutrition, mindfulness/meditation as examples of the ones I would sign up for. And, don’t get me wrong, I have learned SO MUCH from these. But, in the last while I have found that after listening I often feel I am not doing enough for my health and well being.

    So, last week I gave myself permission to stop signing up for every blinking summit that shows up in my inbox! I’m going to be much more selective this year and really cut back. I already have a LOT of tools in the form of books I own and various downloads on my computer. I want this to be the year that I learn to trust more in MYSELF and the resources I already have to find answers to my questions. And, I want to just enjoy living more instead of always feeling like a student who has to do better!

    This does not mean I’m just going to laze around. I’m very disciplined and have many routines and practices that I follow on a daily basis, but they are things that make me feel good. That’s what I want more of this year, feeling good about myself and within myself.

    So yes, I agree that slowing down can be very beneficial in seeing and appreciating who we really are.

    • Oh Joan, you are SO spot on! You know over the years I have accumulated so many downloads which I still have from free things I signed up for and classes I paid for AND I RARELY DID ANY OF THEM! I MEANT well, and the material was inspiring and fun to get, but I just couldn’t keep up with them. At our age we have a MOUNTAIN of things we’ve accrued and shelves full of books we haven’t even read (If you’re anything like me!) I am at the same place realizing the same things. So many classes online and they are like those “shiny objects” everyone talks about now that I would LOVE to take and likely wouldn’t do them either. Of course I save them for “some day” but I’ve begun to realize that I have so much STUFF I’m just not going to ever do most or ALL of it. And it’s nice to just take a deep breath and relax and enjoy what’s here, now, isn’t it? You are so right about this. Best to you with your new plan for 2018! 🙂

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