The Path of Peace

There are thoughts flying in and out and music playing in the background. There are people talking, but no understanding. There is superficial kindness and broken promises. There are letdowns and re-evaluations. Four months later and a change must be made.

When I was in New York and going to counseling once a week, I was, in a way, forcing myself to think about my issues, my thoughts, my problems, my conversations, my fears, my sadness, my happiness, and my future. During those weekly sessions, and sometimes between them, I found myself becoming more… me. I became more confident. I was able to state how I felt and pinpoint what was creating that feeling. I became more aware of myself.

But now that I’m back in Texas, working full-time and living on a very tight budget, I find myself slipping. I rush through my day. My mind is constantly racing with my list of things that MUST BE DONE IMMEDIATELY! or my mind is blank because I am exhausted and cannot fathom thinking for one more minute. And when I become stuck in that trap, I feel a bit distanced from myself. I feel like I’m not connecting, with myself or with anyone. And then I begin to feel fake, which has to be one of my least favorite feelings in the world.

When I noticed this feeling beginning to creep it’s way back into my life, I stopped myself. I observed. I noticed that I was graduating. I was moving across the country. I was back in the house I grew up in. I was searching for a job. I was offered a job. I was buying my my first car. I was moving to a new town. I was moving into a new apartment. I was beginning a new job. I was adjusting to my new life.

So yeah, I let it slide.

But it’s November, not August, and the feeling is still there. I’ve had a bit of time to settle into my new routine, my new job, car, and apartment. I’m feeling more secure with the direction I’m heading. Which means that now is a good time to make the change. To refocus.

I can’t afford to go back into counseling right now, so I’m investing in some personal reflection. I’m ordering daily quiet times for myself. I am avoiding certain situations and I am embracing others. I am challenging myself by making new friends, but not pushing myself to the point where I feel, well, pushy. I am talking to friends about their lives, their thoughts, their ambitions, and their mistakes. I am dreaming up new ideas. I am listening to my thoughts. I am focusing on me.

I hope that these few changes will lead me back to the path I was following before. The path of awareness, the path of peace.

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10 responses to “The Path of Peace

  1. Great post. I need to work on this as well. I am trying to meditate at least once or twice a day but I think even the act of sitting down and journaling, or just shutting your eyes and thinking without being go-go-go is helpful.

    Definitely some things that I need to work on!

  2. I am so glad that you are taking time to reflect and think about how you’re feelings. Its so important to take a little bit of time each day for yourself. Good for you for knowing what you need to do. This is a lovely post, Ashley.

  3. Excellent post. It is so important to make time to reflect. Rushing through the day and neglecting time for your thoughts will pile up and stress you out. It’s good that you recognize that and know what is best for you.

  4. This is a wonderful post! Thank you for reminding me that it’s ok to stop and take time for me!

  5. It really is so hard to stay on track, mentally and emotionally, when so many external things are flying by around us. I go in phases with this. Sometimes I’m taking excellent care of myself and sometimes I’m just not. I can’t afford counseling right now either and need to have daily quiet time. Moreover, I need to learn HOW to just be quiet.

  6. It’s easy to slip back into old patterns, but it’s great that you’re more aware of your feelings. That’s what counseling/therapy teaches, not only how to get over or process what issues you have now, but how to handle them in the future.

    Seems like you got your money’s worth! “D

  7. It sounds like you’re tackling this in the perfect way, little bit by little bit, steadying yourself as you go. It’s really hard to break into new habits, especially new habits of thinking, but the glimpses of new habits you get can be so encouraging!

    A good trick that I’ve found is keeping a paper journal and going back to re-read it after a couple weeks have passed. It seems to put just enough distance in my mind that I can actually go in and make some sense of what I’ve been going through.

    Good luck!

  8. I think acknowledging the issue and taking small steps to address it, instead of setting insurmountable goals and then beating yourself up for not reaching them, is so important. Good luck!

  9. Once you master this, can you run seminars on how we can achieve it too? I also find myself running in circles around my to-do list, trying frantically to get it done before the day is over.

    Truly beautiful post and also? I thank you for being one of my new friends =)

  10. Your blog is such a breath of fresh air, so delightful and joyous! A real source of inspiration, thank you for your many morsels of goodness.

    If you have a moment or two, please amuse yourself with my new creation. I would greatly appreciate the brief moment of adoration and any suggestions.

    http://itapetingabella.blogspot.com/

    Thank You.

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