For me every year, the minute Chistmas Day is over, I want to clean and tidy and sort. My house, my life, my desk, my work; I want everything to be tidy and organised by New Year. I also get a sudden craving for all things fresh and clean: celery, carrots, raspberries, clementines. My Christmas decorations rarely see New Year.
Every year I get to this point and decide that the New Year will see a new me. I feel a very strong desire to make massive, life-altering changes.
Added to this, I am at the moment in the middle of learning primordial sound meditation. Although when you meditate the whole point is not to think any thoughts, I'm finding that I'm thinking a lot during meditation and afterwards. I feel like I'm spring cleaning 32 years of cobwebs out of my mind. At the same time, I've been reading a few books that I'd been meaning to get around to for a while. All seem to be saying the same thing to me as the information I've been given on meditation; or perhaps it's just that I'm noticing it all at the same time. Either way, I feel like this is an opportunity for me to change and grow. Eventually I will do a proper post about the meditation, explaining why I'm doing it, what the studies say, what you actually do and so on.
A while back, a friend asked me, "what actually caused your breakdown?" I started my answer several times, each time getting half way through my first sentence before realising I needed to start on an earlier event than the one I'd picked. I think eventually I started the story when I was 9 and my parents divorced. Not because the divorce was particularly traumatic; my parents never screamed or shouted, and as far as I knew it was more or less amicable (if definitively passive aggressive) throughout. But I think that was the point where things started to go a bit wrong for me, and unfortunately my family has a very rich and strong tradition of sweeping everything (especially feelings) under the carpet whilst humming with fingers in ears. Nothing is ever discussed, and so I suppose from that point things just started building up.
I'm probably still recovering from my breakdown if I'm honest. It's a long slow process with lots of backward steps along the way. But I'm learning a lot, and I think the meditation etc are helping with that.
"It's like a mother, when the baby is crying, she picks up the baby and she holds the baby tenderly in her arms. Your pain, your anxiety is your baby. You have to take care of it. You have to go back to yourself, recognize the suffering in you, embrace the suffering, and you get a relief." - Thich Nhat Hanh
A couple of weeks ago, many of you may have noticed that I had a bit of a meltdown regarding my confidence. Or lack thereof. I've realised that now is really the time that I need to either shit or get off the pot, as it were. I cannot possibly continue with these thought patterns and expect to be at all successful in any area of my life. Weirdly, just the act of writing it all down has helped me to sort myself out a little; and I've been reading some books. Always with the books!
The end of this year sees me deciding to make big changes in my life, not necessarily with the day to day running, but with the basics of how I think, how I react, how I behave. I intend to be a lot happier, and a lot more comfortable in my own skin for 2014.