The day I rediscovered my inner zen
I’ve been trying to find my inner calm lately as I attempt to recover from my latest bout of depression and anxiety. As you probably already know, I am not naturally calm or relaxed. My mind is always racing, thinking about what I need to do next, what I need to get ready for the kids, what I need to prepare for work. It’s an exhausting existence and I’m sick and tired of never resting or enjoying or really living.
On Wednesday I took a day off work to take Matilda to an Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment. I figured there wasn’t much point then racing back to work or getting Matilda back to school so I had planned for some free time with her afterwards. I can’t honestly remember the last time we had some real one-on-one time together.
On our way to the appointment, I received a call from the OT service saying the therapist was sick and asking to reschedule. My first reaction was annoyance – that meant another day off work, more time away from school for my daughter, more hassle. I was looking forward to our day together but I didn’t relish the thought of going back to work to ask for more time away.
I started thinking through my options. It was still early, I had time to head back to work and swing by the house to get Matilda ready for school. Yes, I could do that.
My inner zen, the inner calm that I have not been able to find for many years, finally returned. It came to the fore and told me to keep driving. To still go ahead with our day. To not worry about work until I had to go back there. To just have a nice, easy, relaxed day, with no plans and no expectations.
And so we did. It was lovely. We had morning tea together and went shopping for clothes (BTW my girl is not so little anymore – she’s growing up more and more every single day!) We then headed to an indoor play centre where she ran around with lots of other kids, rode on the tea cup ride, slid down slippery slides, bounced on the jumping castle and spun around until she was dizzy with excitement. While she is definitely growing up, it’s lovely to see proof that she is still a sweet little girl at heart!
We enjoyed lunch together and played a game of air hockey too – it was fun and free and just what I needed. I have been run down and full of worries for so long. I’ve had a cold this week and have been at the end of my tether with the kids at home. So, to just sit back, live in the moment and really enjoy some rare one-on-one time with my daughter, that was just fabulous.
It’s fitting I’ve finally made this discovery. I’m currently working on relaxation techniques with my psychologist. Because I am a bad patient it’s taken me nearly 2 weeks to actually listen to the CD she gave me at our first appointment!
It all seemed too hard to take a breath, step back and just relax for a moment. Why would I stop to have a break when that would mean I would be left even further behind than I am now? Why breathe slower when that would mean I would have to rush back in order to catch up again?
But now I’ve seen just how refreshing it can be to take that step back from the rush of life, even for just a little while. I can see, belatedly, that taking that step (even if it feels like a backwards one) is really the best thing I can do.
Let’s hope I can retain my inner zen now that I have finally rediscovered it once again!
What tips do you have for reclaiming/rediscovering/retaining your inner zen?
P.S. BTW, apparently this is post number 400 for My Home Truths – yay for me!