Mindfulness is a really crucial aspect of how we heal. PTSDers have such a tendency to not be mindful (we dissociate and thereby escape the horrible pain of being mindful) that it's a sort of foreign and non-instinctive issue for us. Well, it's time for that to change.
When we become more mindful we begin to heal. Mike H made a great comment on Thursday's post. Among other things, he wrote,
...there's a lot that can be done via meditation such as zazen and mindfulness - which is basically learning to listen to your body and not take your thoughts so seriously. But in the context of trauma this can be tough work because it allows the truth to arise and for our mistaken beliefs to fall away. It's not going to be pleasant. It can make the PTSD feel worse before it gets better.
Surely, in my own experience when I began to heal things got MUCH worse before they got better. But that's the way it has to be. We spend so much time avoiding thoughts about our trauma; it's impossible to think we'll have an easy time when we deliberately analyze it. Also, we spend so much time deliberately constructing our misbeliefs that it's like stripping off a costume when we begin allowing them to fall away: We feel naked and raw and exposed. Welcome to the wonderful world of healing PTSD. If you don't feel uncomfortable you're not healing. If you don't have moments that looking at the truth makes you want to crawl under a rock, then you're not looking closely enough.
A defense to keep us grounded through the healing process is to develop better control and adeptness at mindfulness. Meditation is a great tool for this. Recently, I asked a colleague, Kevin Boon, if he knew of some good resources for learning about meditation. His mission is "to teach the art of bringing balance into our lives within our careers, family, relationships, health, well being and activities that reflect our life passions". A pretty comprehensive (and healing-supportive) list, so I thought he'd have an interesting perspective. He replied with the links below, which offer a veritable Sunday brunch buffet of great tips for learning:
Basic Principles of Meidtation, including a walking meditation exercise
Do you have tips, tricks and favorite acts that develop mindfulness and balance? Leave a comment or shoot me an email.
(Photo: Mr Kiki)