eight is great.

So much for me posting every day or two. Anyways. Here I am. I’m on day 8 of the 100 day challenge, and it is challenging. I think it’s difficult because I’m not working right now so I have a lot of free time on my hands. I’ve been working and been doing a master’s degree for the last 2.5 years so I haven’t had this much down time in a long time, and its kind of freaking me out. I go to yoga or for a big walk or hike every day, I read, I clean and organize, and I visit with girlfriends- lunch, tea, brunch, walks… I hang with my partner (who also isn’t working right now. We are not slackers. He works in the film industry so has on and off periods, and I am starting a new job, post-grad, in two weeks). We watch shows and movies and cook together. My mom was visiting this past weekend. I am going to see my brother and his young family for 4 days later this week, so I am trying to fill up the time, but inevitably I find myself a bit bored come late afternoon and evening. The weather has been bad- snow and rain. Anyways, for pete’s sake I shouldn’t be complaining about having time off!

So my mom was here and we went to this lecture together. The guy is Rick Hanson (not the athlete) and he is a neuropsychologist and meditation teacher from California. He wrote a book called Buddha’s Brain and it’s all about neuroplasticity and increasing positive experiences and feelings through changing the brain.

I haven’t read his whole book yet but I think that what he teaches is valuable for sobriety. He gave the First Nations analogy of the “two wolves in your heart” story- It’s about which wolf you feed (which is pretty spot on if you follow Belle and her stuff about wolfie). Do we feed (ruminate, focus on, repeat, fester in) the negative wolf, or do we feed the positive- and how do we actually feed the positive? His thing is about meditation and mindfulness to cultivate the positive experiences and feelings we already have and really imbed them into our brain. He said that the longer you spend engaged with the positive feelings, the more it will re-wire your neurones and your brain to feel positive more often. You actually have to spend time “installing” the positive experience/feeling for it to change.
So for sobriety, it would look something like taking a moment or time when you felt really strong and happy being sober, imagining that time and how it felt, closing your eyes, feeling it throughout your body, “marinating” (that was his word) in that feeling and letting it envelope you for at least 20-30 seconds (the more the better). There’s more to it than that, but that’s the gist of it. Pretty interesting stuff. I have to try to remember to do this.

 

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