Meditation Exercise 2 – The Ocean and the Rock

IMG_2807The cactus fruit greets me first. The warbler whistles its song at tune with the murmur of the ocean. Breeze against brushes rustles softly in my ears. The staff hits the rock as my boots lift the dust of the dirt road underneath. Shush, shush go my thighs against each other in their rhythmical dance. Continue reading

Walking Meditation / Meditación en Movimiento

Pass the door of the Peace Awareness Laberynth Garden in Los Angeles, one steps into an urban oasis that invites to reflection.  This small park provides plenty of opportunities to contemplate nature. The sound of water and the songs of birds visiting the garden complete a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere where to relax and find a connection with one’s soul.

At the center of that space, there is a laberyth, a circle of interconnecting paths with only one way in and one way out. On a sunny sunday afternoon, I took the challenge to practice walking meditation. The following reflection is the result of that exercise.

Meditation Exercise 1.

Each step we take moves the universe foward. My feet are instruments that lead my soul in the search of light and universal truths, like those writers reveal. The path branches or intersects others, or runs parallel to others, for a moment, or for a long, sometimes for a lifetime.

My steps are not of those that accompany me on the path. On the contrary, each one of us walks his/her own search of light and universal truths. My partners on the path share the joy of finding light, o hold my hand in the dark streches. But they have their own pace.

I shouldn’t judge those walking in the opposite direction. They are either on their way back, or they are just giving their first steps. Some will step off the path, and I shouldn’t judge those either. Maybe their search is over, or they are not ready to find their truth. At any event, I should not try to stop them; do not become their obstacle. Don’t change direction for the direction of other either. Continue on my path, and offer my hand only when they walk by my side in the same direction. Then, walk slowly, for they carry a heavier load.

Spanish version follows

Spanish version follows

Al pasar las puertas del Peace Awareness Laberynth Garden en Los Angeles, uno entra en un oasis urbano que invita a la reflexión. Este pequeño parque provee muchas oportunidades para contemplar la naturaleza. El sonido de agua y el canto de los pájaros que visitan el jardín completan una atmósfera pacífica y tranquila donde relajarse y encontrar connexión con el alma.

Al centro de ese espacio, hay un laberinto, un cículo de caminos que se bifurcan con una sola entrada y una sola salida. En la tarde soleada de un domingo, tomé el reto de practicar meditación en movimiento. La siguiente reflexión es el resultado de ese ejercicio.

Ejercicio de Meditación 1.

Cada paso que damos mueve el universo hacia delante. Mis pies son los instrumentos que conducen mi alma a la búsqueda de la luz y las verdades universales, como aquellas reveladas por los escritores. El camino se bifurca o se intersecta con otros, o corre paralelamente, de momento, o por largo rato, a veces por toda una vida.

Mis pasos no son los de aquellos que me acompañan en el camino. Por el contrario, cada uno de nosotros anda en su propia búsqueda de luz o de verdades universales. Los compañeros del sendero sirven para compartir la alegría al encontrar la luz, o para llevarme de la mano en los trechos oscuros. Pero ellos llevan su propio paso.

No debo juzgar a los que van en dirección contraria. Ellos o van de regreso, o apenas comienzan a dar sus primeros pasos. Algunos se saldrán del camino, y tampoco debo juzgarlos, porque a lo mejor su búsqueda ha culminado, o no están preparados para encontrar sus verdades. De cualquier manera, no debo tratar de detenerlos, ni debo convertirme en su obstáculo. Pero tampoco debo cambiar mi rumbo por el rumbo de otro. Continuo en mi camino y ofrezco la mano sólo cuando ellos caminen a mi lado y en la misma dirección. Entonces camino lentamente, porque ellos llevan mayor carga.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy / Terapia de conducta dialéctica

Rock in the Pine Wind Garden in Torrance, CA

Rock in the Pine Wind Garden in Torrance, CA – Photo By Constantino Badra

People who grow up in an abusive environment where their emotions are invalidated never learn to control their emotions. Simply, we don’t know how to calm down. For the most part, I can live a pretty normal life, but when stress takes the best of me, my emotional mind takes control and I harm myself in a cruel way.

I go to therapy once a week at the Harbor UCLA Adult Outpatient Clinic. There I learn the skills to regulate my emotions and to improve my interpersonal relationships. I trust that this therapy will help me control the impulses that make me harm myself and contemplate suicide as a solution.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy intends to teach the patient to accept the existence of opposite, but not exclusive behaviors; for instance, the idea that we can radically accept the present moment, and at the same time wish intensely for something different. A great part of this therapy is devoted to the development of wise mind as a balance between the emotional and rational minds. Continue reading

Overcoming Depression With My Nails / Superando la depresión con mis uñas

IMG_2712

I have been paying a lot of attention to my nails lately.

Twice a month, I head to the nail salon where petit women of few words trim, file, and polish my nails in bright trendy colors. They take care of my feet too, which they soak in warm water, massage and whose toenails they also polish in the same tone. My choice is usually a bright red. After grueling hours standing on concrete floor, working the cash register several times a week, both my feet and hands need care. Continue reading

In Celebration of Motherhood – Listen to Your Mother Show / En Celebración de la Maternidad

When my first son was born, I knew I had to develop my own brand of motherhood if I wanted to offer him a loving and healthy home. Without guidance or a model to follow, I used whatever life threw at me as a tool on the journey of raising my children. Creativity guided me to approach motherhood as an artist, shaping a vision with my own colors, values and dreams.

Continue reading

Relapse / Recaída

Relapse:

  1. To fall or slide back into a former state.
  2. To regress after partial recovery from illness.

A falling back into a former state, especially after improvement.

Slip back.

Relapse

A couple of months ago, I lost my toolbox. Major stress contributed to that. Life changing events like relocating, experiencing a near fatal car accident, becoming empty nester, losing a job, acquiring debt, and dealing with marital problems can all have significant effects in the already troubled mind, but when they all happened at once, or close to each other, the results can be devastating. I relapsed and was unable to use the skills I had learned in years of therapy and through insight to pull myself together. Continue reading

Prevention of Chidhood Trauma / Prevención de Trauma Infantil

Adverse Childhood Experiences

In my last months in therapy, it has become evident that my unresolved issues dragged from early age continue to be a determining factor and cause of my feeling of hopelessness and even suicide ideas. Continue reading