Home Sweet Home

I’m finally home and done with college till next fall. I am taking a summer class but it is only a month-long. Now that I have some free time from studying, I’m going to take some time to myself. I’m going to read, go back to the gym, meditate, and look into finding a second job for the summer. I’m going to take care of myself and put some time aside to really focus on meditating and being gentle with myself. This past semester was really hard for me when it came to accepting who I was in that moment. I was constantly getting frustrated and bashing myself when I wasn’t able to do something that I used to. These next couple months I want to be able to be ok with accepting myself even though I may not be meeting my own expectations. This summer I’ll start again on becoming comfortable with letting go and accepting things that occur in my life, no matter what they may be.

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Excuses

While I sit here not knowing what to do next since I have all this free time (I only have two more finals to take and they aren’t particularly hard ones), I keep asking what I should do. I’m so accustomed to always having work, always having something to do or go to, and now that I’m basically free from school work… it feels foreign. I looked up things to do with your free time and the same thing kept coming up “meditate”. I’ve been having such rushed sessions and been blaming this on my school work, but now that I have time to, I feel like I should be doing something else. I have another class I’m taking over the summer and already started to look for what I need for the class, I also started to job search even though I already have one full-time job over the summer.

For some reason I can’t just take time to myself and meditate. I know I should and that it would make me feel so much better, but Mara keeps getting the best of me and I go and find another excuse not to. I keep telling myself “I’m not in the mood to” or “I don’t have the time because I need to work or study”. It’s really discouraging and I honestly want to just give up and not be bothered, but at the same time I know that I can do this and I just have to be gentle with myself and not get too frustrated. I’ve slacked off a lot with trying to develop compassion for myself. I keep telling myself to be stronger in certain situations and to just get over it, even though I know better than that. I started this blog to keep my motivation high while I have these moments of doubts. I feel like it is a personal struggle but at the same time I want to ask for help, but I’m not sure who to ask. Who exactly do I go to and ask “Why can’t I stay motivated, how do I fix this?”.

Even just acknowledging that I’m making excuses and not putting everything I’ve got into meditating makes me so infuriated. I know that I’m better than this and I’m just taking the lazy way out. At the same time though, I keep reminding myself to not be frustrated with myself. The only way I can describe it is like a war inside my head that I just keep pushing to the side because I don’t want to deal with it. I have “other” things to worry about when in reality these are just more excuses.

Busy Busy

This week leading up to finals has kept me from posting, let alone find time to meditate. I know that it will be worth it though and I’ll have the whole summer to focus and work on my practice. Every now and then I do a little bit of mindful breathing in between study breaks so I don’t go crazy trying to learn all the terms for my psychology class and which philosopher came up with the categorical imperative, (Its Kant by the way). Just one more week and I’ll be in the comfort of my own bed and my stress level will go down somewhat. I’m taking summer classes to get some courses out-of-the-way but those will not be nearly as hard as the ones I’ll be taking next semester.

Till then I’m just going to continue to be gentle with myself and put away time to take some breaks and get up and walk. All of this hard work will be worth it when I’m a nurse with a minor in psychology and I can begin to help others who need it. I’ll be able to spread that compassion to other beings and help them awaken their own bodhichitta hopefully. I wish the best to you all and hope you have a wonderful day and find the compassion inside you and every single person.

Traveling

With the semester coming to an end all I can think about it working over the summer so I can afford to study abroad in Ireland for a couple of weeks. I really want to travel the world and meet new people and have new experiences. Even though I am quite shy and introverted, it excites me to see how other lives can be so much different from my own in so many different areas.

Hopefully while I am in Ireland I can find a place to really sit down and meditate. When I do travel the world one day I want to meditate each place that I visit and just try to connect with the people who live there. This feeling I have to be with others is what drives me to study nursing and travel the world and get to know people. It just boggles my mind that I have this flip side to me that is completely content with staying inside under the covers and hiding. Through meditation I hope that soon I will be able to accept change easier so that when I am in a new country I am not upset with anxiety because the land is unfamiliar and the place I call home is hundreds of miles away.

I also wonder if this need to be with others is coming from my need to show compassion to others. If it is, I’m going to follow through with it because that’s what I truly think I am supposed to do with my life right now. Just experience everything I can and talk to all different types of people and hear their stories and what they have learned in their life. It almost makes me think of the teachings by Hume and his whole ideology of fellow-feeling and how we are all interconnected. Just like it is preached in Buddhism that we are all connected and have the same feelings, Hume is almost saying this same thing.

Relaxation Day

I decided yesterday to take a day to myself from everything. With finals coming up it has been extremely hard to find time to even catch my breath for a second, let alone try to meditate for at least 10 minutes. I spent the day with my boyfriend and put my phone and laptop away so there was no interference.

After a day of relaxing, I feel refreshed and ready to tackle this last week of school before finals start this Friday. Tonight I will try to meditate and focus on simple mindful breathing to just really relax my body and mind in preparation for this week to come. Please remember to be kind to yourself and do what you need to in order to take care of your mental and physical health.

Take Back The Night

Unfortunately I was unable to try and be kind to that individual since they decided not to come on the trip. I was happy yet sad since I genuinely wanted to try to show some sort of loving and kindness towards them, but I decided to try again next time I see them in class.

Take Back The Night was such an amazing experience and I urge everyone to attend an event. It raises awareness about sexual assault and allows survivors and victims to speak their story. While people got on stage one by one and spoke out about what their perpetrators did, I couldn’t help but feel the love and compassion in the air. As each brave person stepped up on stage I focused on sending them compassion and strength through tonglen. It takes a lot to stand in front of everyone and retell what happened to you. As a group, we were there to support them, believe them, and help them in any way that we could.

Before the speak out section of the event, we went on a march with signs and chanted different sayings. We were all told to grab a sign even if it didn’t pertain to you and repeat after the leaders. At first I thought it was strange since I had never been a part of something of this nature, let alone hold a sign that had nothing to do with me, but as we paraded through the city of Scranton I could feel our strength in numbers overwhelm those who were giving us looks or making rude gestures. It was truly an experience and I hope that one day you can attend one and feel the compassion such as I did that night.

I don’t want readers to think that this was a male-shaming event. There were multiple victims that spoke before us that were males. As a group we support all victims and survivors not matter their gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or economic background.