Music and Meditation

By 8am this morning I had cleaned the kitchen, searched out some knitting patterns, researched three potential new career ideas, and made breakfast. My brain was like scrambled egg. I don’t know if it’s new extra self-awareness, or the menopause, or a lack of exercise, but these days I feel like a toad in a blender (Cubs song lyric).

I try to meditate. It’s hard. Deep breathing exercises make me panic and forget how to breathe at all. I used to hyperventilate during antenatal classes when they did breathing exercises, even though I found concentrating on my breathing really powerful during labour. Similarly if I approach anything like an out of body sensation, which does occasionally happen when I meditate, it completely freaks me out. But meditation is meant to be good for things like ADHD so I persist. I guess you have to develop your own style.

I had a mini breakthrough today. I really like metaphors to help me grasp concepts. This morning I imagined my brain was a pond that I was chucking stone after stone into, until it was muddy and turbulent. That helped me imagine that I needed to let the pond water become still, so I could throw in one pebble at a time and actually see the effect of the ripples. As an image it really worked, especially because I find water very relaxing. I used to sit up to my chin in my mum’s pool and let the water go mirror smooth before swimming slowly through.

I’ve missed the pool this year, after it was damaged in a garage fire. Being in water allows me to be restless in a restful way. In the summer, I spent an hour every morning in the hot tub, just feeling the water on my skin and letting my brain wander. With no dogs chucking tennis balls at me, which was an added bonus. If only it wasn’t so expensive to run, I’d have it up all year round.

Having the right music to meditate to is important for me as well. A lot of tracks that are called ‘calming’ on streaming sites like Spotify actually make me very agitated. I need music that is not too tinkly or repetitive. I also need to make sure the music is completely familiar, to the point where I don’t actually hear it but it is still filling up the gaps in my brain.

In fact, I use Spotify playlists a lot to help me structure my day. I have a playlist for doing physio exercises (when I actually do them) and a playlist for cleaning the kitchen. I also have a playlist that I have on constantly, especially at night, which acts like white noise. The only time I enjoy silence is when out walking. I guess all the sensations of weather and nature keep me distracted.

I saw a meme once that said fidget toys keep the cat in the mind busy so it doesn’t push your executive functioning off the table. Music and water stop my cat lashing out and scratching everyone.

Most of the time.

One thought on “Music and Meditation

  1. On the topic of fidget things, I tend to carry a polished stone of some kind, usually something flat and pocket sized. I get it out and fiddle with it when I’m getting too weird, or can’t shut up or any of the other odd stuff I do. Although I had to go to casualty a month ago and it fell out of my pocket while they were examining my stomach and I forgot to pick it up. I’m definitely feeling its absence keenly. Also, if it helps, I’ve had shocking brain fog for the last … I dunno … seven years so I feel your pain on that one. I started HRT two years ago and it’s finally lifted, although to be honest, I still feel like a concussed spider struggling through a hoover bag some days, and especially this time of year. Glad the water and the ripples imaging is helping.

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