Posted by: innerpilgrimage | January 18, 2011

Meditation: Not Just Sittin’ on the Floor Any More

      I’m a big fan of meditation, but I’m one of those people who falls asleep when I sit and close my eyes seated. Or worse, my mind begins to wander all over the place, and I end up somewhere else entirely. Clearing my mind? That just ain’t gonna happen in this head.

      Part of the process of doing stepwork and getting real recovery is that constant working of Steps 1, 2, and 3 through Step 11. For me, the prayer of powerlessness is one of those paradoxes which is the core of my recovery. I find relief when I recognize I am trying to control something clearly out of my control. Considering everything is out of my control save for my footwork and my appeal to my Higher Power for guidance? That puts me into a position to petition my Higher Power for guidance and intuitive messages.
      Currently, it seems my prayer is very simple: “I am powerless over this; HP, help me?” Sometimes I ask what I am supposed to do, to receive an intuited message so I can understand. That’s where my problem begins–only in stillness or openness to the intuitive (something I am loath to do because of the fear I will be left to my addicted mind’s racing thoughts) can get me to a place where I can be still or wide open enough to get those messages. I am so used to using external stimulation to keep the addicted racing thoughts suppressed by something louder than the thoughts in my head.
      My solution? Ambulatory meditation or use of a focal point.
      Ambulatory meditation is doing something theoretically mindless with my hands which allows me to focus on something which has little input. My primary ambulatory meditations are beading and crochet. With beading, I prepare a design then string it. The stringing process withdraws my mind from the creation process, and I am focused on the physical feel of the beads, the sight of the colors. I get lost in it, and that’s where I find my Higher Power.
      I’m not yet a strong crocheter, so my patterns are very easy. Right now I have a ribbed hat and a scarf pattern which, once I’ve done my chain row and the crocheted row above it, I can release my mind to the process. Hook through, loop, hook through, loop. The repetition allows me to clear my mind of anything but the physical action. And then, my mind is open to my Higher Power.
      I also used focused meditation which I found a long time ago–focused meditation. My primary focal point is candle flame, and it’s going to be the primary quiet meditation I am going to practice for the rest of the week and in through the next week as I seek answers and work toward keeping the principles of recovery to heart in a potentially triggered situation. The dancing flame of a candle brings me home. I can find internal peace, breathing slowly and being transported from the ever-present stimulii to a place of calm. That light has spiritual meaning as well. Candle flame has always been connected with higher ritual and celebrations for me. If my recovery isn’t worth celebrating, then why walk in the door at all? I have been pulled from a life of pure addiction and no options to one of growth and personal potential in the physical, mental, and spiritual realms. Honoring it by lighting a candle and sitting with it as I consider my hard-won connection to my Higher Power is worthy of putting flame to wick to listen.
      I also find writing honestly until there’s nothing left often opens me up to revelations.
      My name is Jess, and I am a binge eater and anorexic, approval addict and social anorexic. I am in the process of progress, and that is good, since it keeps me firmly grounded as a human being.


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