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This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Monday, 23 January 2012

12 Days of Mindfulness: Day 4

It's been a hard day today.  An e-mail and subsequent communication at work have left me stressed and paralysed by fear, work-wise, not physically.  My heart is racing and I'm having a hard time calming down.  I'm also finding it very hard to stay positive and upbeat, especially after yesterday evening.  Anyway.

Shower Task:
This is the image I refer to.  I tried to think like she's doing
when having my shower.  It kind of worked, even if I
thought of myself as a woman doing it.  Somehow the male
images I've discovered, with their toned bodies and really
short hair, don't really work.  I'm not manly-hairy and I have
a beard, hardly the sporty type one sees in most 'shower'
Before: Actually not so bad.  I'd had some odd dreams, mainly positive I think but I can't grasp any of them now, and had got up reasonably late, but with time to get things done.  I wore my heels to wash the pots, feed the chinchilla and otherwise sort out.  Then I went up to get showered, found my daughter awake, and so spoke to her and then set about getting showered.  So, if not an actual emotion in sight I was at least not negative or stressed.

During: I had in mind the image I used previously with the woman really enjoying the shower.  I can't do that exactly in mine as it runs from the taps and so there's this rigmarole of getting the temperature right before you step in, but the image helped.  I concentrated on the sounds and the feelings and was able to banish the looming 'to-do' list that kept trying to but in for short periods of time.  In all, I managed to focus more than previous attempts but there was no particular emotion, just an absence of self-critical narrative.  Is that progress?  Probably.

After: I actually felt like I could get things done at work.  I drove without the radio or the Pet Shop Boys on in the car and managed to sort myself out.  Then the e-mail hit and all positivity went out of the window.  Replying to the e-mail took about ten-fifteen minutes (to avoid anger) and then I had to try and get back to my mood.  It didn't work.  I was very stressed and all the fantasies I had about getting plenty of work done proved to be just that, fantasies.  Like this evening, which I am now wasting.

Visiting the Safe Place
My place felt like this man looks.
Like I'd killed it by trying to come in too
hard and not letting it flow.  I forced it
and, like with a butterfly, killed it by so
doing.  Now I feel guilty.
Before: That would be now.  I am still a little panicky over the work thing, still stressed at the work I'm not doing as a consequence and beset by ideas for other things I want to record, separately to this bunch of stuff, and story ideas and planning for work and the backlog of tasks for work and meetings after work and ... you get the idea.  Inasmuch as I can identify emotions within me I am negative, worried and feeling like most things are entirely my own fault.  In fairness, they probably are!

During: I shall be accompanying this visit with an attempt at relaxing breathing, which seems appropriate.

It's a bit harder to do this tonight than previous attempts.  The last few times I've almost entered into another life in this place, that I simply narrate.  It's like I sleep here and am awake there, not quite that immersive, but I know what's going on and I know where I've been and what I've been doing.  This time is quite disorienting by comparison.  I have no sense of place or season or even what I'm wearing.  There's no smells or feelings this time, just snatched senses of walking, sitting, dressing, water collecting, brushing grass, looking at the bare branches - but whether it is spring, autumn or winter I don't know.  I feel... directionless, lacking a sense of... anything.  It's empty here.  No animals, no insects, no sign of God, no trace of anything, even me.  There was no fire in the ring, no embers either, no sign I'd been there at any point.  It's like it's not my place at all and never was, I feel... outside.  Excluded. Sad.  For the first time I'm not sad to be leaving, I'm almost happier not being there.

After: Still feeling stressed, but that's in the back seat now.  Mainly I feel drained and empty.  I feel alone and, well, a bit unloved really.  The anger's gone, I'm just left feeling a bit of a failure.  My typing has slowed, I'm not going to get any work done tonight and I need to get the chinchilla out.  I feel like I just ruined my place, like I just killed it.  I feel guilt, sadness and shame.

And that'll have to do for now.

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All comments are welcome, I have a thicker skin virtually than I do in real life!