Mindfulness in Madness

Stay. In. The. Now.


   The human mind is powerful beyond the conscious understanding that we hold in our awareness.  The power that we have in our minds can manifest in any way you can imagine, saldy with the power to consume you and take you down into a dark place, making you stuck in your own head, feeling like your thoughts are controlling you. 

      The mind can be a very miserable place, it can get to the point of your thoughts being in control of your entire fucking life. I was stuck for a long time, so caught up in my own thoughts. All the labels I had been given controlled me so much that I gave them the power to justify this place of being stuck and miserable. 

I am not my anxiety, my depression, my OCD, my ADHD, that doesn’t mean the emotions that I feel are any less valid nor real, but they do not define me. I feel my anxiety, depression, ocd and adhd and I observe them in my mind and the effects on my emotions, but I am not them and they don’t define me. I let them define me for so long up until very recently. I am not my thoughts, I am the observer of my thoughts. 

I repeat that outloud to myself countless times throughout the day every single day, that truth and realization has shifted so much in a positive light of how I deal with my mental health and my mind. It’s not that I struggle with my mental health anymore, I deal and I go through and I learn and I grow. I experience it. I am a human and I feel emotions and deal with dark ones as we all do, it is a part in all of our minds and part of the human experience and I do not let it define me any longer.  

There’s always been this anxiety that I felt of the WHY regarding the power that my thoughts and emotions had over me, so stuck in that place that all I was giving out was negativity and negative energy, and of course that was what my reality was. I don’t feel that way anymore and I don’t let myself put out negative energy anymore. I stop those negative thoughts in the moment and I don’t give power any longer to those negative feelings/thoughts. It is remarkable how much you can shift in your life, your mindset, your perspective, your reality, your EVERYTHING once you take hold the power of your mind and realize that YOU are the one in power of attracting and receiving everything you truly desire. 

There is a beauty to the unknown, a beauty to the power of our minds, there is nothing wrong with not knowing. Finding peace within the chaos of your mind and finding peace within your worries/anxieties, negative self talk, feelings of depression and darkness will be one of the most important things that you can do as a way to truly open yourself up to the universe, and how you can start seeing things with a positive outlook versus constantly worrying about the past or the future. You truly do get what you give, however that resonates with you is up to every individual. I can speak for myself to say that when all I was giving out was negativity and darkness in my thoughts, actions, words, emotions, my life was a very dark place in that time. When I saw the negative things in my life as “this is happening TO me” it was a dark time, versus seeing them as “this is happening FOR me” brings so much more of a sense of peace. 

It’s a scary thing to come to terms with when you realize that you truly feel that you aren’t in control of your thoughts and the places your mind takes you to. I still struggle SO much I am not in the place to say I am completely okay whatsoever, but internally realizing that we are not our thoughts, has made me find more peace within my bad days and thoughts, and continue to grow from them. None of our thoughts exist outside of our mind, our awareness.


Let yourself feel. Don’t push it away, don’t deny it, feel. Growth is never linear… Bad and dark shit will always happen, the difference between letting all that control and consume you, shadow over you, versus having the self strength to feel and deal and grow from the dark is what has shifted in my personal perspective in such a positive and enlightening way. 


 I’ve heard many times before that “if you are depressed you’re living in the past, if you’re anxious you’re living in the future, and if you are at peace you are living in the present”. (Lao Tzu) That quote has changed my outlook on so much and I think about it all of the time. Stay in the now, feel in the now, be present. When we consume our mind with thoughts of the past or the future we are wasting the moments of peace in the present and we are letting the present moment slip away and become our past just like that. 


I used to spend so much of my time caught up in my head. For example, with my anxiety I was always worrying about what others thought of me, what they could possibly be saying about me or thinking about me, which all reflects back to how I viewed myself and my inner insecurity and areas where I needed to work on healing unhealed parts of me. I would just nonstop obsess and worry, and convince myself of a truth that was only an idealization of my fears and worries combined. That truth most likely isn’t real and it was never real, but I let it take the power and control over me as if it has been real. 


Something that I think is very important to mention is even if others were thinking or saying those things that I had feared, that isn’t on me and it doesn’t make them true, others judgements and negative thoughts of you or towards you only reflect inner insecurity or projection in some sense of what they need to work on/ what they are denying in themselves. It is not on you. 


The truth of the matter is that those thoughts that I had were not hurting anybody but me. No one else knows my thoughts, my worries, what goes on in my brain, and when I have these thoughts no one is aware. For example, when I am worrying about somebody and what they said about me or thought about me, they have no clue whatsoever that I am feeling that way, that I am having those thoughts about them. These thoughts that I have, are only present in my awareness, no one else’s. 


This is where meditation and mindfulness comes into the picture for me. Utter peace and relaxation. It has always been difficult for me to get into the state of meditation, for me to stop my racing thoughts, and to just be.  The fact that I struggled so much to get into meditation caused me extreme anxiety for so long, it felt like one thing on top of another that my mind was holding me back from. 


Breathing techniques are where I have been able to find my peace and my state of meditation. In the beginning when I do my breathing exercises, I still notice I am thinking so much and my thoughts are racing about so much at the same time. After a little while I notice that my thoughts become solely focused on my breath and the counting of breathing in, holding it, and then exhaling. 


I use the pyramid breathing technique about 3-4 times a day and sometimes more if I am super stressed or overstimulated. 7 has always been my lucky number so I incorporated that into my use of this technique with how long I do each step of the breathing. I breathe in through my nose for 7 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, and then exhale through my mouth for 7 seconds. I notice that I forget to breathe all the time, so often I forget to focus on my breath and when I notice that I try to take 10 of my pyramid breaths. Breathe it in, hold it, breathe it out and release/ let go of whatever you are needing to let go of at that moment. 


Pyramid breathing has guided me to be able to get out of panic attacks in the moment and calm down by focusing on my breath and then releasing any negative energy or emotions that I am feeling in the moment. It is so freeing to release and let go of anything holding you back in the present moment and to observe yourself physically get calmer. That is how I found my uttermost peace and relaxation. 


I can meditate after I focus on my breathing for at least 5 minutes and once I have calmed my thoughts, but I can’t just go straight into a meditation and that is okay because I’ve found what works for me. No one’s ways to achieve mindfulness or being in a state of peace is going to be the same, and what works for others might or may not work for you. There is no strict definition of mindfulness, meditation, peace, or relaxation, how you define that is in your individual perspective of what works for you and what gets you to that calm mental state. 

Remember, you are the one in power. It is your life, your journey, your human experience. STAY IN THE NOW. BE IN THE NOW. be.