I Started a Mindfulness Class

Last week I started a mindfulness class via InsightLA. I think ExMo alum Elizabeth Aquino was kind enough to recommend it to me.

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After a week of getting my 3 and 4 year-old adjusted to their new pre-school I was ready for some CTFO time. That’s Chill The Fudge Out Time.

I am also doing this to combat my anxiety which I have been sharing.

I strolled into my new place and snapped a picture of the Buddhist sign that said, welcome all and “Are you overwhelmed, try Mindfulness?” I smiled at the monks sitting on the porch.

Then I realized the door was locked and a nice man explained there was no class like that there at that time.

So immediately I’m all “Fudge, fudge, fudge,” running and sweating back to my car trying to look up where I’m really supposed to go and reminded myself just because a sign I drive past that says mediation here doesn’t mean that’s where I take mediation.

Psychology Today defines Mindfulness as:

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.

In today’s world I desperately want more times where I feel present. I grew up in a small summer cabin where we didn’t even have TV. On purpose people. No computer. We just said, sometimes in akward silence and once we got past that we talked or played cards.

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I arrived at the correct spot and another frazzled mom was having a similar experience, she giggled and said “I’m already messing this up.”

We got there and a group of about 20 was sitting in chairs in a circle.

A beautiful woman, who’s clothes I wanted sat on some cushions and was clearly our guide.

She immediately said let me show you how simple this can be and guided us through some relaxation stuff for 10 minutes and I felt good.

She explained things to us, then we talked to our neighbor and then introduced ourselves to everyone. There were two other moms from my kids’ school there.

The second time she guided us through something I couldn’t get comfortable. I squirmed.

Our homework was to listen to her meditations for 15 minutes every day this week. I did it on Saturday as my kids screamed up and down the hallway.

I couldn’t get it in on Sunday and today I did it at noon and laid down and fell asleep 3 minutes into it.

I do know a few times when I’m feeling anxious lately I try to remind myself of things she said, such as you are breathing and that’s enough.

Turns out my son is taking Mindfulness at school. He’s in 2nd grade.

I asked him on the way home, what do you do?

“I close my eyes and sit quietly for 20 minutes,” he said,

What do you think about? I asked.

“I’m just thankful it’s free time and I’m not doing any work,” honest answer.

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Made me laugh.

Honestly, I’m happy when I do it because I’m not doing any work and that’s a good thing.

I’m enjoying it and looking forward to incorporating it into my life.

 

 

Suddenly a Quiet House

This week a big shift happened in our family.

All three kids started school.

For 8 years I have had a child at home and suddenly for quite a few hours I don’t.

I was incredibly nervous Sunday night, setting my alarm for the first time in years.

I woke up as often as one does when they have an early AM plane flight. Finally I got up at 5:30AM made myself breakfast and got the kids up. It felt so wrong waking them up.

Good grief, they just started sleeping in one month ago, I’m not joking.

I got them all dressed and ready by 6:30AM. We were out the door and on our way.

This week has been filled with transitioning my two littlest into pre-school. The moms all sit around, have bagels and coffee and wait to see who gets called back in. I never got called back in.

But I hung a chatted for a few days. I enjoy bonding with the moms, but I was exhausted.

I’m not used to having such a routine. Most of our routines for the last lots of years have involved playing. And yes, watching too much TV over this Summer in particular.

My kids will still play at school.

The fierceness with which I fought to stake out my creative need when I had my first was intense. I threw so much of myself into Expressing Motherhood.

Now I feel another shift. I still have ExMo(yeah, so happy for that) but I’m also starting a Mediation class tomorrow and a writing class in two weeks after that.

I know my days will still be thrown off by sick kids and that’s fine.

Today as I went to Target I saw a mom shopping with her young baby, talking to her. I wondered if I should feel longing. But I didn’t.

I remember schlepping my oldest to the Grove and sweating in the tiny Nordstrom bathroom trying to nurse him, then I was so paranoid about sleep schedule I’d rush us back home. The Grove now has a huge family bathroom so go there if you are a mom with a young baby.

I was neurotic with all of my babies, I liked schedules, they kept me sane.

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So in a way this new schedule is nice.

Today felt really good.

We’ve turned a corner.

When I came home my husband asked if he wanted me to make our crib, now no longer needed, into a desk for the kids. Sure, I said.

I look at them asleep, all in one room. Our youngest prefers to sleep with her brothers and I marvel at them. I do wish they would stop growing right now.

I’m really enjoying right now.

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“Last Weekend” Screening Hosted by Elizabeth Jayne Liu

ExMo alum Elizabeth Janye Liu will host a screening of “Last Weekend” tomorrow and after the film she will do a Q&A with the director Tom Dolby. The night is presented by our friend Felicity Huffman and her great team over at What The Flicka?

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WTF Screening Flyer

This is open to all on a first come first serve basis.

If you are in LA and you can make it please email whattheflicka(at)gmail.com to RSVP. Seating is limited.

 

Running Barefoot in My Driveway

I keep starting and stopping this post.

I’m filtering myself.

Didn't filter myself on Instagram when I posted this picture of myself having a panic attack.
Didn’t filter myself on Instagram when I posted this picture of myself having a panic attack.

I will filter myself.

But I wanted to share with you that this Summer I thought I was losing my sanity.

Just a mom getting balloons for my daughter's birthday, going crazy. Totally normal.
Just a mom getting balloons for my daughter’s birthday, going crazy. Totally normal.

And to gain it back I have, at times, taken off, barefoot in my driveway, running around, sometimes, dancing and jumping because lately the only time I don’t feel anxious is when my body is moving.

Yes, I have shoes on for this driveway run.
Yes, I have shoes on for this driveway run.

Anxiety has crumpled me up like a wad of paper and left me trashed.

About three weeks ago my good friend since junior high called me and was frank with me.

Said some things I needed to hear.

That and also just knowing. Knowing I was staring into a hole I never thought I’d ever be close to going down. Staring at it with fear, incredible fear.  And also empathy. Empathy for those with mental illness and addictions.

This is the morning I couldn't get out of bed, I felt so consumed with anxiety.
This is the morning I couldn’t get out of bed, I felt so consumed with anxiety.

I’ve been worried about my sanity.

I come from genetics that lend itself to losing yours.

I come from genetics that lend itself to addiction.

But three weeks ago I knew, I wanted away from that hole.

I also knew I wanted, had to, feel better.

The diagnosis of an SVT has made me feel paranoid about my health. I’ve been drinking too much wine, every night to combat my fear. I take Xanax during the day to combat my fear.

Yet, the fear was trickling in despite my self-medicating. Leaving me miserable.

Leaving me curled in a ball, afraid to get out of bed. Unable to respond to my kids.

So in the last month I have taken action.

I’ve given up caffeine, seen(seeing) a therapist, a psychiatrist, talking to friends, stopped drinking wine every night, I get a beer or two a week now and I’m moving. I’m moving so much that I’m sweating.

I saw my cardiologist and she held my icy, clammy hand and said, “Lindsay, you are OK. Your heart is doing great.” It helped to hear that.

I was waiting for her and posted this to Instagram. I overshare on Instagram, clearly.
I was waiting for her and posted this to Instagram. I overshare on Instagram, clearly.

I have also stopped reading the news.

It’s overwhelming.

I’m going to adhere to the motto think globally, act locally.

I know so many people who are anxious.

If I continue feeling this way I will go on medication but I’m feeling so much better.

I have been weening myself off the Xanax.

Despite days of thinking I couldn’t. That if I could crawl out of my skin and mind that would be best.

That I was losing my mind.

It’s not to say that Xanax and meds aren’t good and OK, they are fine. But drinking so much, reading news that was overwhelming me and not exercising were not OK.

I went to my acupuncture guy whom I haven’t seen in nearly a year and he said, “Summer is hard for you Lindsay. You were anxious last summer as well.”

I thought about that.

Again, something I made for Instargram.
Again, something I made for Instargram.

I know I’m lonely in the Summer, my close friends often travel and we haven’t yet due to three little ones.  I’ve been in my mind too much.

I have been sharing with people and immediately felt better.

I almost called of the next ExMo but I know it will make me feel good.

I’m feeling so much better in these three short weeks I’m hopeful.

Me trying to be artsy and capture my mental state a month ago while at Kid Space.
Me trying to be artsy and capture my mental state a month ago while at Kid Space.

But God, I was miserable for awhile.

I would walk the grocery store and think, here I am this privileged blonde in my workout clothes and if I start to freak out I can just go home but what about someone else, what if the bagger has anxiety. What does she do? Just pack your bags and suck it up?

I am worrying too much and about the wrong things.

This week a woman, a very cute, smart woman, admitted to me her anxiety has been so bad that one night at midnight she woke up and had to run around her block a few times.

As we stood sharing our intimate feelings I felt better. Better that I wasn’t alone.

Better that meds are an OK option if I can’t control this.

Thankful she was cool enough to share with me.

I also felt overwhelmingly sad for those who have fallen down the hole I was teetering over. The hole of self-medicating.

This person needs me. And I want to be my best for him. My oldest.
This person needs me. And I want to be my best for him. My oldest.

So I reached out to someone I know in that hole. I cried for that person. I prayed for that person. I prayed for myself.

Life is incredibly challenging.

Perhaps this is my early mid-life crisis combined with periomenopause. Perhaps I’m scared I’m not as bleepable as I was when I was 22.

All I know is I’m hot as hell most of the time so now I’m drinking lots of ice cold water and running the air conditioning.

Coming off the wine and the Xanax scared the hell out of me.

I could barely sleep.

I’m sleeping so much better now and down to very little Xanax and even if I took it forever it would be OK.

I’m starting to filter.

You know how you remember certain things?

I remember a boy told me I was glowing one Fourth of July in Okoboji, Iowa. We were stone cold sober, I literally just was bronzed as the Iowa sunset sat. He turned out to be a photographer.

I remember also, that in 3rd grade my art teacher told me I had wonderful balance.

She referred to a pencil sketch I drew. I remember the table cloth and the pitcher. I was incredibly proud of the sketch and her compliment.

I have always prided myself on my balance.

To be tipped, tossed and shaken like that unnerved the hell out of me.

We did have a series of earthquakes at the beginning of Summer which scared me.

But I can’t live every moment scared.

It’s unbearable.

I’m getting better, feeling so much better.

It’s still a struggle but I’m trying to tell myself I’m doing great.

And if you see a braless mom running barefoot in her driveway just know that she’s doing the best she can not to come un-hinged.

Out of bed and dressed, feeling good.
Out of bed and dressed, feeling good.

Thank you to all of the incredible, smart, great moms who have talked to me and admitted your own anxiety and told me about what meds you use to help you. Thank you to those of you who aren’t moms who have reached out to me and shared. I greatly appreciate it and my soul and sanity thank you and reach out in a big hug even if we aren’t physically close enough for me to be able to do it.

 

 

Ali Landry’s Red CARpet Safety Event

I will be at the upcoming Red CARpet Safety Awareness Event on September 28th. I’ll have a booth for Fix The Toaster and of course promoting submissions and the upcoming ExMo show.

 

Ali Landry is passionate about car seat safety installation after a tragic event happened to her good friend’s baby.

 

The Red CARpet Safety Awareness Event will take place on Sunday, September 28th at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles.  The event is hosted by Ali Landry, her company Favored.by.  

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The RedCARpet event is where celebrities, bloggers, media and moms learn and help to increase awareness forchild passenger safety, as well as general safety for baby, toddler, and kids.  It is the event to learn about the best car seat for your child, as well as safety on the go, at home, water safety, baby-wearing safety, body care safety, food safety, and more.

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Tickets for the event are available HERE.

Look for me there and please say hello!