Monday, 2 June 2014

Inner Peace

It's time for a change. It's time for something new. it's time... for a new challenge!

The last couple of days I've been hanging about on street corners, asking people for ideas. On sunday I stood on a crate at speakers corners and challenged people to challenge me. I shouted from the highest mountain. I... I... I...

I did none of those things. I did the next best thing. I asked Facebook.

Lots of ideas came flooding in. Most of them quite doable. All of them interesting in their own way. I might list them all in another blog. Right now, however, whilst I need only one, I'm going to make a challenge out of two of them.

First of all, from the other side of the world, Suzanne MacNish suggested...
"I also noted a theme in your blog about some of these challenges making you feel better- so from a sleep deprived mother I have the sleep challenge for you (oh how a good nights sleep would make me feel better!). It may be too tough for a London summer so may be best to hold off to later in the year. But the challenge is to set yourself a reasonably early time that you need to be in bed by every night (eg 10pm). You don't necessarily have to be asleep- you can read a book or get up to other bed activities- but no TV or ipads. This includes Friday and Saturday nights- where the challenge gets tough!"
Then, from much closer to home, Martin Barry suggested...
"Meditate for 30 minutes each day.Or just find 30 minutes where you just sit down and shut yourself off from the world and try and empty your mind."
I like them both, so I'm going to combine them into one. The challenge will be to spend 30 minutes each day meditating or sitting peacefully, clearing my mind, switching off from the world. BUT, if I have failed to do that by 10.00pm, then it's off to bed with me!

I recently had a preliminary diagnosis of potential Hypertension. AKA Extremely High Blood Pressure. How high? Well, on successive readings, it tends to be 150 /110 on average. High enough that my Hernia operation was cancelled until it got below 140/100... but since the op it's gone back up again.

Now, this is related to a number of things, but one of them is lack of sleep and another is stress at work, so this combo challenge is an opportunity to positively affect my health in an area that really needs it.

I started yesterday. I managed to lie down in a quiet environment for 30 minutes in the middle of the day, thinking of nothing. I played some really mellow ambient music in the background and I think... I'm not actually sure... that I drifted off into a weird semi dream like state. Afterwards, I felt strangely serene and a bit floaty. Not the same as if I'd just had an afternoon nap. different some how. Perhaps as the challenge goes on I'll have better words to describe it.

Today I wasn't so successful. I went to a small park at lunch time with the intention of sitting peacefully in the sun, but ended up on the phone to my sister for the entire time. Later, at when I got home, I tried to lie down quietly but failed again: there were just too many distractions. Everything from fighting cats in the back garden, to an ice-cream van out front. So it's off to bed early with me, as soon as I finish typing this.

I can see this isn't going to be a walk in the park...