When mindful walks turn to just brief mindful moments

Day 1. Mindful walk. Determined! Waaaaahhhh my back hurts. Spine hurts. Leg hurts. This so isn’t working. Now I’ve gone too far. Road is too bumpy. Hurting my arms. This sucks. I should have never left the house. Pause. Beautiful flowers. Will just sit here and smell them. Going down this person’s driveway. Must take a moment and smell the flowers…literally.



I just went way too far. It will be a mile home down this road that I NEVER go down. I will never go down this road again. Causing pain. Now causing anxiety over the pain that will come later. AHHHHHHH mindful broken alert people. Mindful broken.

So this kid is coming towards me and he makes me uncomfortable. So I turn on my video camera on my ipad. He has made me uncomfortable before. Call it a wiring issue in my brain? Intuition? No clue. All of a sudden a car appears going very very fast. My brain slows. I can’t cross the road, not enough time.  Plus the kid is on that side and what if he crosses. Panic. Car almost hits me. 

It wooooshes next to me. I drop my ipad. Thankfully I did not break. My ipad did not break. I didn’t fall. I almost cry. Mindful walk so ruined. I get home and say, ” must find something good. Must find something good.” And right there on the door was a tree frog. The biggest one I have ever seen. And he just gave me a moment. A moment of mindfulness that was ahhhhhhhhh. Here he is. Longest legs ever.


Ok. No mindful actually happened but I had a MOMENT. That counts right? Every moment counts.

Day 2. I find this butterfly that when her wings are closed are totally white but when they are open they have hidden color. I am so excited. The fox den is empty so I explore it for a moment and take a picture and also a picture of the yellow flowers that have surrounded it. Ok. This is feeling like a good start to m mindful walk.


I leave in my wheelchair (which still has not had the tire replace) and I find a blue feather. Oh my gosh. How is this possible. I have looked for 3 months for a blue feather and FINALLY!!!!


Then a lizard crosses my path. He runs out and stares at me in the middle of the road. I felt like he had something very important to convey but I don’t speak lizard. So I sat for minutes staring at him while he stared at me. Then I shuffled him off to the side of the road and carried on.


I then saw a flower that I know is so common. People think of it as a weed but a friend of mine said that the bees NEED them to survive and how the sun hit this flower made it seem not so common but special in some way.


And then poof the mindful left. Smells started bothering me. I have no idea why. My mind started thinking and churning and turning about anything and everything and I just wanted to get home. I felt my walk was not a success. But then I realized I had moments. So I may not have a full walk of mindfulness. A moment is a moment. Any moment not full of anxiety, dread, depression, is a good moment.

Day 3. I found another blue feather! How is this possible. I have looked, scoured for feathers that were blue. Here one finally was.  And now another.  And this little tiny feather with a tip of yellow. How beautiful.


I should have taken my moment and gone home. But I stayed out.  And my mind was incapable of mindful anything. I saw two flowers that were blooming that never bloom this time of year, an azalea, and a wisteria. I smelled the wisteria and had a split second of a moment. 

Then my mind went to mush. It is amazing how quicklyI can go from being completely numb to being completely manic in my brain. It scares me actually how quickly PTSD can take over and I feel I lose myself and have to figh to come back. I zipped home as fast as I could and just held on to that one moment. I sat on the deck with my daughter and we had another nice tree frog experience.


I can be mindful for a moment when I look at a treefrog. I have no idea why. I can stare at them for quite some time and clear my mind which is exactly what I did.

Then the pain set in my body. My spine has been really hurting, my shoulder, you name it, it hurts. I know I overdid while my husband was gone. Him being gone in and of itself caused a great deal of stress that I could feel in my body.  I just didn’t feel enough safety nets were in place. The “what -if’s” were very out of control. And I know very well the lack of control sets off the PTSD and then I just swirl into a mess of a mind.

3 days of mindfulness kaput! But I did learn something. Sometimes, you have to take a moment. If a moment is all you get, that may have to be enough.

I saved a spider aka rescue and release since we don’t kill anything in the house (except the occasional roach that may get flushed but don’t tell my daughter). So here is the spider release. It was the end of the day and I needed to end the day on a good note. Setting something free, even if just a spider, was good enough for me.

 

14 thoughts on “When mindful walks turn to just brief mindful moments

  1. I am keeping you and Riley in mind, Bethany. You are strong. I am so glad you are still posting – I look forward each night to reading your adventures and Imagining myself coming across the flowers, the critters, the feathers. Frank came to see Betsy with me yesterday. He is sending you a hug and an especially serious Hoo. TS

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    • Thank you for the hug. Hug frank for me! Give him a pat.
      I have just left comments in moderation I think it is called so I can approve them from now on or just trash them if they are upsetting. It is a good boundary and I feel good about it. I am always grateful to hear from you!

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      • And I just read your post about forgetting … Bethany – I’ve read a lot of the good books on PTSD and I know what helps me the most now is reading blogs at night. I had such a tough weekend with a special Sunday session in which my brain stopped working several times … and then my regular Monday session … so many little little dissociated parts coming out I can barely walk (not as with your muscle issues, sweet girl, but an overwhelmed brain losing control). Last night I slept long and well, dreaming all night about taking care of a whole host of lovely children .. today I have done not one thing – dishes still in the sink (well, at least I ate … I often forget!) I wish I could recommend a book for you now … I think you do wonderful things for your self-care (and pleasure! oh, pleasure!) by taking your mindful walks – and do you know how many of our tribe you revive with those pictures?!!! I sent a special wet kiss to your frog tonight!!! He/she has a distant cousin I met briefly in the Catskill Mountains of NYS. TS

        PS I worry a little that YOU get to read any nasty comments that come in. Just Slash and Bash them. OK? xo TS

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      • I will let him know that his cousin says hello from far away. You made me laugh!!!
        Yep from now on I delete immediately and don’t read the nasties.
        So I am not the only one who forgets and who walks around with her brain not attached to her body or so it seems. Thanks for sharing that with me. I am so so sorry that you have had a struggle lately. Things are so hard lately. What on earth is going on that so many are struggling so much these last few weeks! At least we have each other. This is good. I’m so glad you slept and let those dishes sit. Someone else just recommended a book and I bought it.
        My daughter just called me and said a little frog (when she was little she called them little ribbits so we still do) was in the shower! So that slimy little sucker had to be rescued at 1 in the morning.
        Sending good thoughts your way. I hope you sleep well again tonight.

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  2. I love this. This is beautiful. I love these pictures. They are beautiful. I wish I had been there when that person made you uncomfortable. I would have told them to leave you alone and I would have said something to that person in the car to learn how to drive.

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    • Oh my number one place is the beach. If I could go every day I would. The first time I went was about a year ago. I had not been since my muscle disease diagnosis in 12 years and I sat there and thought “oh my gosh not one thought is going through my mind” and i started to cry at the victory moment of my brain being able to finally be calm. We have been a few times since. We went about 2 months ago when I first got my hair all cut off. It is literally the only place on earth that I have no fear, no stress, no anxiety, just calm.
      The closest other places are on my walks when I look for a different flower every day or a feather, or when I visit the animals on the prairie and just immerse myself in the love of them.

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      • Oh .. yes i love it here 🙂 We moved here nearly 4 years ago I think it is. I knew that I knew it would be good for Me. By the time we got out here I was a whimpering mess and couldn’t even get out the front door. But I’d sit out the back of our house and I could hear the waves crashing. It’s slowly but surely done the trick for Me.
        In my culture (i am tangata whenua (indigenous) to Aotearoa, otherwise known as New Zealand), the salt water is used to cleanse us; spirit, mind and body. They say it’s why, when we’re not well, we’re drawn to the salt air and water. The other group of people particular drawn to it, is the elderly 🙂
        I go for walks now and take a tonne of photos of the ocean, and the flowers too. I’ve never appreciated nature as much as I do now, so I completely understand where you’re coming from there 🙂

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      • The first time back after 12 years I had just left the Mayo clinic which is this big wig hospital that is supposed to help everyone with rare diseases like mine. They did not help me. We realized we were miles from the beach and decided to go there. I have never felt more healed and free than when I am there. I can stand longer than I can at home. I can walk further. I feel like I can actually breathe! I believe in exactly what your culture says. I would love to see the photos. Do you post them on your blog?

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      • What you describe makes perfect sense to Me; and we’re not alone; I have friends that aren’t well, that say the same thing, and friends that come out here just to listen and touch the water then they come home to my place and have a nap lol … sleep seems to be the other thing that the ocean induces 🙂
        And yes I do post them on my blog. They’re usually captioned My Backyard and are under the category ‘kpm artivst’. I think my blog is a little difficult to manoeuvre, but the links are at the bottom of the static front page.
        Btw: I’ve been going through your blog, just to catch up and find the owls, so if you get a tonne of notifications stating ‘Me likes such and such’ … its just Me … I’m not stalking yah lol 😉

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  3. There are yellow bushes that grow around here that are always covered in bees. I have no idea what they are really called, but my daughter and I call them “buzzy trees”

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