Toilet bowl spiral of yuck

With all these stupid migraines I've been getting, I've found my mind frequently gets into a yuck spiral. (yuck=Why is this happening to me? Seriously, another migraine? Is this really a migraine? Should I have taken medicine? Oh my goodness, it's costing a fortune. I would so die if I had to live in a refrigerator box. I must be close to a world records with the number I'm having. It would be fun to be in the Guiness World Records book. I sure did love to get them when the book bus came to school. Is my life always going to be like this? This is awful! How does my hubby put up with me. I'm losing my mind! Why is this happening to me?) Around and around I go. I pick up speed and my mind races through the spiral over and over and over and over. 

I have long had the goal of being more sane. This might be an unattainable, but get off my back! A girl has to have a dream. In my recent efforts to be more sane I've added some new bells and whistles to my practice. As some of you know, I'm a Buddhist. As a Buddhist, I try to practice daily. This includes meditation for half an hour, and I practice mindfulness throughout the day. For the last few months, I have been focusing on Equanimity practice.

In "Equanimity: Our Greatest Friend"Shaila Catherine defines equanimity as "complete openness to experience, without being lost in reactions of love and hate." Wow that sounds nifty. This is definitely a quality I could do with more of! Being chronically ill has tested my patience to put it mildly. I get caught up in anger at my body's failings. I blame myself for the migraines thinking if only I ate better, exercised, and was less of a nut, that I would have less migraines. Of course, such self-blame only makes matters worse and inevitably contributes to me having more migraines. Ugh! Like most migraineurs, I get more migraines when I'm stressed. I do equanimity practice with the hope that I will more more accepting of my situation and stop fighting against reality. 

Equanimity practice consists of me silently repeating phrases to myself. I have adapted these phrases to focus on particular aspects that I find helpful. 

The phrases I use:
  • May my heart and mind be in balance.
  • Things are as they are regardless of my wishes.
  • Things are impermanent.
  • Joy and sorrow arise and pass away.
  • May I be at peace in the face of it all.

In addition to repeating these phrases over and over during meditation, I'm trying to catch myself when I feel fed up, annoyed, and downright angry. When I do catch myself, I repeat the phrases slowly. I'm not sure how much it's helping--but I do find repeating them slowly pulls me out of that fast spiral of yuck. Let's hope some of today I can get out of the toilet bowl spiral of yuck. 


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