I’m beginning to understand this “two steps forward, one step back” concept that some people have written about.
While Saturday brought a wonderfully focused, calm, nearly revelatory practice, the days since then haven’t been so easy. I find myself struggling with my focus on the task at hand (sending out all those “good vibes” I wrote about) and, perhaps most aggravating of all, constantly feel as if I’m about to fall asleep. The constant head jerk or fear of face-planting forward isn’t exactly comforting, nor does it seem to be very conducive to my practice. I try opening my eyes, all I want to do is close them. I try drinking some cold water, I have to pee.
This morning as I sat, I simply could not seem to click into the practice. I’ve been sticking with the general practice of lovingkindness these past days, as I haven’t felt the need to move on to the other modifications, but today it just wasn’t happening. Even in starting with myself, I felt a disconnect between what I was saying and who exactly was supposed to be the recipient of all my well wishes. I could picture myself, but the picture quickly became hazy and imperceptible. I stayed with this, then moved on to a benefactor. I can’t really say I’ve grasped the concept yet of who exactly a “benefactor” should be, nor could I think of one this morning. I finally settled on someone, though I wouldn’t necessarily give them that specific title, but I could barely wrap my mind around the first “May you be safe.” “May you be happy?” No. “May you be…?” No. It just wouldn’t come.
After a few moments, I realized I wasn’t breathing so I came back to the breath. After a bit, I tried again. Nothing. Mind static.
I finally had to abandon the lovingkindness practice in favor of just focusing on the breath. I tried to be compassionate towards myself about this, but I can’t say I succeeded in that endeavor.
I’ve also been getting rather regular, painful headaches lately, something that is a rare occurrence for me. I have no idea if this is linked to the practice at all, but few other factors in my life have changed as of late, so I don’t know.
I also find myself recalling songs, ones that I haven’t heard or thought about in years. This morning it was the Spice Girls.
There’s some food for thought…