A Happy Place?

I’ll be honest.  My life has been characterized lately by an endless, and unfortunately negative, track playing over and over in my head.  I am not at liberty to share the track,  just know, that regardless of my attempts to shut the cerebral turntable off, it seems to just keep spinning, and spinning, and spinning, and…

I also refer to this tireless lyrical mish-mash as a horde of rotten marbles rolling around in my it-feels-like-its-actually-empty skull.

I want control of my brain back!

As I am feeling like this invasion is practically Bubonic in nature, I have to remind myself that I have every ability to control it. I do.  And, I’ve been terribly successful in the past.  I’m not even talking about the remote past. I am even referring to the recent past.  Just days ago.  Hours perhaps.  I am even turning down the volume a little right now as I type this, focusing on my next words and not my obsessive thinking patterns.

I’ve mentioned Shavasana (corpse pose) here before as yoga used to be a passion of mine.  After a good workout, in which you have stretched and contorted your body and breathed ever so deeply into the tight spaces, you earn a good few moments of complete physical and mental release and relaxation.  In this pose, you lay on your back in any variety of comfortable position (sometimes with lavender eye pillows!) and are guided to breathe deeply and watch any thought that enters your mind float away as if on a cloud.  I was terribly good at this meditation. That may sound laughable, but , as simple as it may seem, clearing one’s  mind is not always an easy task. At the end of our Shavasanistic time, I often had to stir myself from an almost dream-like space in which I had let the riff-raff go and was completely present and inside my body and one with a force greater than myself.

It was beautiful.

(I would obviously benefit from more than the 20 minutes of yoga I’ve been adding to my mornings willy-nilly.)

Still, lately, here I am, slave to my own unhealthy fixations.

That is not to say that I haven’t been living by the positives addressed in my earlier posts.  I have been doing right by myself.  While finding a little gift to give myself everyday has been challenging, I have still soaked in baths, taken the time to write or contact now seemingly-distant friends, and have bought myself an inexpensive bouquet of flowers that just will not wilt.  I’m also figuring out how to pillage the money to get a special tattoo!  I have started a gratitude journal that is extremely uplifting and have written out a map of the characteristics of my dreams.  (Career change to come in the next three or four years…)  And, I have done some really big things for myself like starting big creative projects, participating in a writer’s workshop, taking up swing dancing, and getting ready for a 5K.

Okay, so with all of this, there are still those damn marbles.  Really?!? Really?!?

I remind myself that I am human.  Humans tend to focus on unhealthy thoughts and behaviors whether they think they do or not. I am not out of touch with my human nature.  I have, honestly, been focusing on a myriad of thoughts that trigger feelings that trigger more thoughts that trigger more feelings that are serving little purpose in my life.  (After typing that last sentence, I do wonder whether or not they actually do serve a purpose, even for the greater good, but that may be for another time…)

So, what to do???

Recently, in a therapy session, I had an experience in which I actually went to my “happy place.”  While I generally tend to believe that happy places are beaches or mountain peaks at sunset, mine was a cave.  A cave with wet walls and the sound of dripping water and this beautiful blue-green crystalline lake in the middle of it.  And although I sometimes get claustrophobic in caves and crevices in real life, this cave was nothing but calm and cool and almost blissful.  When I imagine the cave, I am not just the only one in it, but it is also something powerful within me.  And, it is so utterly safe.

Maybe this sounds all weird and frou frou and New Agey, but it means something to me.  It takes me back to my words in an earlier post that referred to me being in a chrysalis stage, in a major transition in my life.  This cave, enveloped in wetness and darkness  and containing a crystalline pool in the middle, must be a vision of that strength and beauty within me that is enveloped in some heavy darkness right now but nonetheless exists.  The cave is my safety-zone, my cocoon.  I am the lake.

One thing that I have named as being grateful for is the difficult experiences that I am facing right now as an opportunity to grow and change. I am serious about this.  I am thankful.

I am the lake.

When I use that happiest-of-places resource, when I look inside myself for the pure and the beautiful and the Godly and I see it, the dreadful one-track stops and I can see more clearly.  While in the past I may have had to look into the eyes of another to see the God in me reflected back, now I have the power to look only into myself, look into myself and see my reflection in that internal lake.  It is then that I can reflect back the God in others through my eyes.

So, stopping the psychological chorus line?  I have only to take a deep breath and imagine my cave.  Imagine my perfect self in it.  Imagine my reflection and the smile and gratitude and reflection that I can give others.  I have the power to be whomever I wish.  I wish to be me.  To be the best parts of me.  To love and to be loved in return.

I know that this is something I can do.  I need only remind myself.

For those of you who may be suffering from a repetitive mental tune and even those of you who are not, may you find your cave.  May you be your lake.




  1. Kim Gerwitz said,

    May 26, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Brava! This is your best writing yet. Your best you yet!

    • Emily said,

      May 26, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      Wow! Thanks, Kim! Not only for your words, but you’ve been such a help along the way!

  2. Melisa said,

    May 27, 2013 at 8:07 am

    The cave and the reflecting process are such beautiful pieces of imagery! I love the power in this post. And I can totally feel you on the obsessive thought loop. Maybe I do need to find my cave.

  3. Heather said,

    May 27, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Good girl! You know how I feel about it! I’ve been there and found my cave. I’m on the other side without the loop and it’s amazing!

  4. Erica said,

    May 27, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Beautifully written, poignant, and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your wonderful writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: