Thursday, October 21, 2010

Meditating again

An old friend called recently. We chatted a bit, catching up on kids and lives. Then after this chit chat, she told me I probably wouldn't recognize her now. I asked, "why?" I wasn't expecting her answer. She told me her hair is falling out, a lot of it, well she doesn't really have any left. I braced myself expecting her to tell me she was in chemo for cancer or something. I am over 40 and this stuff starts happening eventually. She said, no, it seems it is all due to stress. Her father died in February and it seems her body is in mourning even if her mind says she is ok. She assured me that her health is fine, her labs are fine; it is just stress. The difficult part is that though she knows she is sad about her father dying, somehow her body is feeling a great deal of stress and has no outlet. So all her hair has fallen out. All that stress is getting out along with all of her hair. She went on to report that there is some new growth coming in so she is hopeful it will come back. She has had to get a wig in the meantime.

I dearly love my friend and wondered if I were her, what would I want my friends to say to me. This train of thought was only momentary. I found myself urging her to meditate. I had a strong sense that she needs to get in touch with her stress. All that stress is in you, you have to find it and meditation is an excellent way to get inside of your body and see what is there.

She confided she wasn't sure how to meditate. I made a few suggestions- just sit on a pillow in a quiet place for ten minutes everyday. Set an alarm. Do it everyday. Your mind will wander. It will come up with a lot of stuff to do, but just sit with it and let the thoughts come and go. I begged her to try it. Honestly, I am not sure she will, but I really, really want her to do it because I am most certain it will make her feel better even if she doesn't know she has any trouble, her body is saying otherwise. She was also uncertain if she could find ten minutes to herself everyday; she is a mother of young children. I get that; it is difficult to find the time for most everything that is good for you.

I got off the phone and realized that for as much as I was urging her to meditate, it has been some time since I put my own bum on a pillow to meditate. Considering the stress I have been feeling of late, I am surprised I had not thought of doing it myself. I always seem to have trouble doing things that are good for me- like going to bed at 10pm every night, exercising daily, saying no to bake goods, and so forth. So in honor of my friend, I started again. It was much harder than I remember because it was harder to get into the grove- it has been some time. It did make me feel better. I hope it makes her feel better too. At the end of our conversation, I told her I would always recognize her heart. She has a good heart even if her head is missing some hair.