Tag Archives: mental clarity

The power of a sound bath

14 Sep

10:19 pm

I think I mentioned in my last post that I recently spent a week on the west coast of Costa Rica, mainly to do yoga, but also to be alone to process the fact that there are changes and evolutions going on in my life, and there is grief, and I am having a hard time dealing with all that AND keeping everything else in place.  I only spent four days there–two were traveling to get there, and then, the final two days were spent getting home (and, stressing:  I was booked through Miami on the way home, and Hurricane Dorian was just picking up speed that week and it looked like it was going to blow through Florida).  Anyway, my time there was short and I only had four days, but four days was enough to see a transformation.

WhirrWhirrWhirrrrrrrring.  This was the sound of my mind–the sound of my incessant thinking–during the first two days (well, all the time).  I filled those days taking yoga, walking along the beaches (gosh, the Pacific is immense and amazing–and warm!?–down there), eating fish and rice and fruit (my perfect diet, I must say), and going to bed.  Yet, my mind!  Would.  Not.  Stop.  Thinking.  JESUS.  I mean, I could literally hear the whirring sound…like a swarm of mosquitoes, filling my skull to the brim, spinning in one huge loud circle of BUZZ, WHIRR, WHIRRRRRRRRING.

On the evening of the second day, I decided to take a sound bath.  The instructor was fantastic–the resort where I took my classes had some of the best teachers I’ve ever had, actually–and the sound bath was really cool.  I mean, I’ve participated in sound “healing” ceremonies before; and yeah, afterward I do feel calmer and I can remember at least a few interesting visuals that came up during the ceremony; but, I have never felt anything beyond that.  I enjoy them, that’s true, but I’m not sure I would consider them to be healing, per se.

Until I woke up on the third day feeling…quiet.  QUIETED.  Happy.  Calm, clear, optimistic.  Like, the sense of clarity was unmistakably uplifting!  The whirring had stopped.  What the…?  I walked along the beach that morning, noticing that all my confusing, conflicted thoughts and thought tendencies and thought patterns–this mental weight that had been bogging me down for the past two days–had just gone away.  The whirring was gone.  Now, I don’t know if I should credit the sound bath, but…

The following night, my last, I went to my second sound bath–and this time, I listened a bit more closely to what the teacher was saying before he started in on his instruments (I have to admit, during the first class, I was just like, yeah, uh huh, right).  And what he said was:  by utilizing sound waves, sound baths ultimately allow your higher mind to distance itself from your lower mind (the thinking, the judging, the ego mind)–which helps to quiet the lower mind.  I was like, what?  That is literally exactly how I felt; that I had this newfound sense of clarity because the whirring just seemed to have ceased, and my higher mind was now fully present–quiet, not as judgmental, open.  This, in turn, made me feel happier, friendlier to self and others, more willing to have conversations with strangers, more able to take in and enjoy the scenery…

At home now, what this clearer, quieter state of mind has allowed me to do is be more positive, in general, and resist negativity (from my own mind, from others).  I don’t feel like judging people or situations or getting angry; I just want to let it go and continue to vibrate, as it were, at my higher, quieter level.  It’s helped me feel and be more positive toward my relationships, my job, my coworkers; it’s helped me let things roll off my back and maintain a sense of calm happiness.

This feeling was really strong during the first week after I got back; I’m on my second week now, and while I don’t feel as happy and/or quieted, I find myself going back to that place of quiet clarity in my mind.  I mean, even if I no longer presently own that sense of clarity, I can remember I once did and what it felt like–which goes a long way toward cultivating (I guess you could say) that state of mind.

It was definitely worth suspending my disbelief!  Now, I feel like there is hope, there is a place to go, there IS clarity and quiet to be had–it’s just a matter of finding the tools to get there and developing those tools to keep you there.

Is it me, or is sobriety actually making me a better writer?

6 Sep

5:18 pm

First of all, thanks to everyone who commented on my post the other day about getting hammered as a reward for, um, not getting hammered. I truly appreciate each and every piece of advice, insight, experience, and warning. It’s helped me to see that yes, this is a form of denial, and no, I sure don’t know much about sobriety or what might be in store for me at day 90. All I know is right now, I don’t want to get drunk, black out, and have a crippling hangover. And, that’s all I need to know for now.

Anyway, I’ve got two things going on, both of which I don’t think would be happening — honestly — if I hadn’t quit drinkin’…going on 21 days ago this Friday (well, it would have been 90 this coming Monday if I hadn’t messed up three weeks ago!). Like I mentioned briefly in another post, I finally pulled the trigger and gave notice on my studio apartment. YES. I am in the process of selling my furniture as we speak in preparation for my move OUT OF HERE at the end of the month.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be moving on; and while I still catch my breath sometimes when I think, Wow, I’m actually leaving, nostalgia for what was and what may be can only take you so far. This place fucked me up once — I was literally driving around in circles; I began to drink heavily and smash things HERE, in [cold west coast city] — and it did it to me again, even worse, a second time when I moved back. (YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN, no, sir. If anything has ever been bored into someone’s skull, it’s that lesson, in mine, here, and about my time here — coming of age in my late 20s during the dot-com boom in [cold west coast city].) I had never drunk all night and into the next day. I did that here, during the past couple of years. I had never drunk all night and into the next day, and then on the train to work and throughout the day at work. I did that here. I had never drunk and then thrown up and continued drinking, until it hurt; and then kept drinking until I wasn’t conscious. I did that here. I had never OPENED a bottle of wine at 3:30 am and consumed it before getting out of bed and going to work. I did that here. I had never blacked out drunk at work. I did that here. More than once. It gets uglier, but I’ll stop now before I go too far down. It’s done, over with. I choose light, not dark, right?

It’s not that I blame the city per se, but it has had a hand in contributing to life circumstances that yes, I chose, but that also ended up driving me to drink, literally. As a friend just emailed me (and I paraphrase): That city has left you with jobs you’ve hated and people who have hurt you. It’s time to cut your ties, emotionally and tangibly, and start over. YES, YES, YES.

I’m glad, though, I quit drinking so that I could come back here and be sober. I am living in [cold west coast city], sober. It is not the city that is causing me to drink, is what I needed to see for my own sanity. I can be and stay sober anywhere, even here.

But, I digress. The second thing is I’ve got some paid editing work on a project about global warming for a science magazine, which is a nice baby step back into science journalism.

Like I said, I believe both have been made possible not by my tenacity and general obsessive nature, but by my SOBRIETY. Who would’ve thought, when 6 years ago the defining shared characteristic of my circle of friends at journalism school was how close we could make happy hour to the actual length of our school day?

I’m gaining a much improved focus, coupled with a subtle-yet-meaningfully improved mood. I feel braver and more willing to commit to things. In a word, accountable, and unafraid of making and keeping appointments, deadlines, and commitments. Not that I missed them regularly before, but some I did and the ones I did were big ones, like, Make your life happen by the end of the month. It feels immensely empowering, but in a subtle way. Strange, how these things work…

doctorgettingsober

A psychiatrist blogging about her own demons and trying to deal with them sober

Storm in a Wine Glass

I used to drink and now I don't

Off-Dry

Sobriety, Lipstick, & the Occasional Muppet Sound from Author Kristi Coulter

Laura Parrott Perry

We've all got a story to tell.

Finding a Sober Miracle

A woman's quest for one year of sobriety

Dorothy Recovers

An evolving tale of a new life in recovery

Lose 'da Booze

MY Journey towards Losing 'da Booze Voice within and regaining self-control

Laurie Works

MA., NCC, RYT, Somatic Witch

Drunky Drunk Girl

A blog about getting sober

The Soberist Blog

a life in progress ... sans alcohol

soberjessie

Getting sober to be a better mother, wife, and friend

mentalrollercoaster

the musings and reflections of one person's mental amusement park

TRUDGING THROUGH THE FIRE

-Postcards from The Cauldron

Guitars and Life

Blog about life by a music obsessed middle aged recovering alcoholic from South East England

changingcoursenow

A woman's journey to happiness and health

Sober Identity

#Life Coach #50+ Years #Striving #Thriving #Emerge: Growing From Addiction-Starter's Guide" #AfterRehabCoaching

WELL CALL ME CRAZY

This WordPress.com site is about hope, trauma, hypocrisy, and transformation.

A Canvas Of The Minds

A unique collaboration of different perspectives on mental health and life

married to an alcoholic

life with an alcoholic husband

Life Unbuzzed

Rowing my sober boat gently down the stream

ChardonNo!

Original Goal: 100 Days of Sobriety - New Goal: 200 Days

Sober Grace

Finding and practicing grace in recovery

Mended Musings

Healing, Feeling, Thriving

Stinkin' Thinkin'

muckraking the 12-step industry

Sober Politico

Young and Sober, Surrounded by Egos and Alcohol

Carrie On Sober

A blog to help keep me on the right track...

My Healing Recovery

Healing from the inside

The Sober Journalist

A blog about quietly getting sober

mysterygirlunknown

My Desire for a New and Better Life

Arash Recovery

My journey to get back on my feet

Mished-up

Mixed-up, Mashed-up, Mished-up.

The Party Doesn't Leave the Girl

a memoir of sobriety...today.

Good2begone

I'm not really here.

themiracleisaroundthecorner

There are no coincidences.

The Red Sox Saved My Life

A peek into the recovery of another drunk.

1800ukillme

Just another WordPress.com site

The Existential Addict

One choice at a time...

Al K Hall-ic Anonymous

Get With The Program.

thinkingaboutgratitude

How gratitude has helped me stay sober, "one day at a time."

Living Life In Control

A journey into taking control of life and seeing what's on the other side of the mountain

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

unpickled.wordpress.com/

How I Secretly Quit My Secret Habit of Secretly Drinking

Out of the Bottle

I Dream of Beaming

Wandering American

Advice and tips on how to travel the world.

%d bloggers like this: