21 Days Makes a Habit

A metaphor for my life is an adorable little squirrel gathering nuts into a precise pile just to have something scatter all those nuts. Inevitably, the squirrel restarts gathering nuts and attempting to figure out what to do with the nuts, and I’ve said nuts a lot now…

In January 2017, psychosis allowed me to see what it is like to actually go nuts. For the last year, I’ve been so fucked up, I forgot I was a squirrel. Or maybe, I am a human who should stop thinking of herself as a squirrel. (note to self)

Not a day goes by that I am not haunted by questions or memories. How exactly does one go back to their day job when they see something and question if anyone else actually sees it too? That’s me, or maybe that was me. I don’t know. Weirdly enough, “I don’t know” is the gift of psychosis. I don’t know what happened to me, I don’t know if it will happen again, I don’t know why I heard demons on the radio, and I don’t know what is wrong with me.  As a type A control freak, those are a lot of identified variables to keep me up at night. For most of the last year, that’s what I focused on. It was eating me alive – mentally, emotionally, and physically. I was paralyzed by fear, sadness, shame, and pain.

quote-no-one-is-more-dangerously-insane-than-one-who-is-sane-all-the-time-he-is-like-a-steel-alan-watts-47-80-69Deep down, I know I have the answers. I fought through this by not fighting. For once in my life, I accepted everything. After my mind and everything that seemed real shattered in a month-long grip of psychosis, I accepted it all. When my car got totalled by yet another shitty dude in a long list of shitty dudes, I accepted it. When I decided I needed to move back in with my ex-husband because I was incapable of caring for myself, let alone my three kids, I accepted it. Most recently, when I was let go from the job I had for over 10 years due to not being able to come back to work, I accepted it. When I couldn’t write, practice yoga, or meditate, I accepted it. I was terrified I was going to become some sort of lazy slob, but deep down I felt that I was supposed to be still, be quiet, and be patient. Every day, I fought a really weird war of laziness. To do something or not to do something, that is the argument. I was going from Type A Control Freak to learning what it means to go with the flow.

It was not until I started focusing on what I did – actually did every day, as opposed to what I did NOT do every day. I realized if I wanted to start rebuilding, I had to start at the beginning. I thought creating this blog would help, but every time I tried to write it was like starting a car with a dead battery. I had no inspiration because I don’t even know who I am anymore, let alone what I want, and so forth.

“I” wasn’t there. Or, I guess the truth is, “I” was there, the real me wasn’t. I – my ego – is completely concerned with success, results, accolades, etc. The real me is concerned with smiling, breathing, and being grateful. The real me sees beauty in every moment, “I” want results.

images (21)

Yoga taught me to see my ego results in little ways – instead of seeking instant gratification or pushing myself beyond my limits. Yoga shows incremental growth and impermanence. Every day, something is new and every day, it changes. One day, I might balance really well. The next day, I might fall, but I did a plank really well. It doesn’t matter because really, I’m overjoyed to simply be on my mat. A few months ago, I would wander around my house aimlessly and depressed, and I’m on my mat. So, literally, everything I do on the mat is growth. If I were to practice yoga from my ego, I’d quit right away, because I “suck”, I can’t do this and I can’t do that, and I am fat. Yoga doesn’t let me do that, though. Now my ego can shut up – cause look who’s writing now too?

All of this was not possible until I joined Shanteel Yoga Sanctuary. I joined on January 26th. 1 year prior, I was standing in a mental hospital trying to kill myself convinced I had ruined everything in my life. I went to my first class on the 29th. I was shaking and having a mild panic attack on the way. Worst case scenarios, farting, mooning a studio full of yoga experts, and so forth charged through my head in a 10-minute drive. When I checked out the studio, I had chills and all I could hear in my brain was “home”. I reminded myself of that as I drove, and I jumped in and did my class. I didn’t fart or moon anyone, and at the end, I was a sweaty happy mess. Since that class, I’ve gone pretty much daily. Some days, I do multiple classes.

After the first class, I lost the fear of being in a class. I was surrounded by amazing people in a community. Every class is focused in spirituality. I’ve been chanting to Ganesha (remover of obstacles!) with beautiful people on Sundays in Meditation. I can get into hour long convos after class about Moon signs and astrology. It’s not to say the past year had me doing nothing because I was studying a lot. My obsession with Jung deepened as did my love of Buddha as did a newfound fascination with all things astrology. My circle of people I could talk about this to, though, was non-existent. I think the hardest part of the last year was how lonely I felt. Finding Shanteel eradicated that for me. My biggest fear became that I would do what I usually do: really get into something and give up on it, or have something happen and lose it. I know I’m always my own worst enemy. I found myself afraid I would once again rob myself of the things that bring me joy.

Thanks to the Buddha, I re-trained my brain. Today is all I need to be in. Did I practice yoga today? What am I carrying off the mat with me today? If I didn’t physically unroll my mat today, what lesson am I practicing? Am I breathing? Am I present? Am I moving my body?

All of this is possible by finding a home and a community.  I said today, I did not find a yoga studio. I found a home and a family. I had thought to practice at home was the answer, but I see now that the community and the teachers are what keep you coming to the mat.

Yesterday, it dawned on me that I have been practicing yoga consistently for 21 days. 21 days creates a habit. 21 days creates a routine. For the first time since my psychosis, I created a habit and routine. I created my foundation. I started crying last night at the realization, especially when my brain echoed, “Imagine what you can do in the next 21 days…”

21 days in the face of 365 days of pain. 21 days and I’m just getting started. I can’t wait to write this journey with you all.

What can you do in 21 days? My next post will have tips 🙂 Comments, likes, shares are always appreciated and thank you for reading!!!

 

 

13 thoughts on “21 Days Makes a Habit

  1. I couldn’t imagine what you’ve been through, I wish you better luck in the future!
    I actually trying to alter some habits and most of them are failing, I’ll definitely try this 21 days formula!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😊 it’s been a tough road, but it just makes the good days feel better!

      Yay!!! Please let me know how you make out. I know how tough change is. Just remember acceptance is always step one. You’re perfect in every moment because you are here and breathing. We get lost in success vs failure and both are illusions. Failure is “not achieving an expected outcome” in truth, our only expected outcome in life is death. Every time you breathe, you confirm you are alive and therefore have not achieved the expected outcome of death. You win 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly, nowadays I just let things happen, it feel easier but super slow progress, maybe I’ll just take one step at a time and focus on it, I’ll let you know if I can build a good habit ❤️😊

        Like

  2. Absolutely brilliant insight! You have overcome the hardest obstacle of all I believe in mental disorder and I know if you keep centring yourself you will only elevate. Sometimes I am triggered too, but it only takes a moment to place myself in the present and I see what is real and true.
    Such a great story of the power of consciousness the power of YOU!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so so so much. I’m so humbled by your feedback – and I am smiling at knowing you are absolutely right!! I have found that I have stopped and started many times. I’ve fallen many times too, but it gets easier to get back up seeing how much I’ve overcome.

      It’s true – our minds are so much more powerful than we can realize – I think for many, it’s seeing the destruction first then you can build.

      Isn’t it incredible what a moment can do? You stop and breathe and suddenly there is a shift. I am so glad to hear you can do this too. It’s a gift – awareness – at first it’s challenging seeing it all, but then you realize by seeing, you can change. Its so empowering really!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. You’ve given me so much joy and encouragement!!! Thank you!

      Like

  3. Such a wonderful and inspiring tale beautiful. You are full of determination and you speak the truth, it is a community and a family that keeps you coming back. I love it when someone takes the “t” off of can’t and goes on with their life. 21 days makes a habit and anything after that becomes a routine. Good luck on your journey.❤️

    Like

    1. 😊😊😊 thank you!!! Admittedly, I was nervous writing this. Felt like oh who cares about my dumb crap. But then I thought maybe expressing how much can happen in a short time would make someone else inspired or even just happy!

      And totally. I’m so so so blessed to have found Shanteel. It’s everything I could
      Have asked for!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂🙂. Never be nervous about what you write and never care what people think, it’s what matters to you. And you’ll be surprised at how your stories can inspire others, words are powerful lovely.❤️

        All it takes is one person to change your life sometimes🌹😊

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s