Well, I have had a lot of big life events this week. Relationship issues, deaths, getting sick, and having people leave my life. It’s been a rocky road this week, but I’m coming out of it stronger than I was before.

The greatest challenges this week were just keeping my mind right. There would be times when my mind would want to explore negative ideas. This is nothing new. However, this time, I exercised strategies to stop my mind from continuing down unproductive pathways of thinking.

Firstly, I would ask myself, “What is the current moment?” 100% of the time, the current moment had nothing to do with the negative trails my mind was taking. That helped me to immediately break out of the negativity momentarily.

Other times, I’d ask myself, “Have I eaten?” And if the answer was no, I would make eating something an immediate priority. I’d stop whatever I was doing and feed myself. Every time, I immediately felt better because I stopped my mind’s current activity to get food and then gave myself nutrition to make my body feel better and stabilize my mind.

My last strategy to stop negative thinking patterns in my mind is to physically move my body and to sing about what is happening in that current moment. For instance, the other day, I was folding my clean laundry and my mind was going into a bunch of negative directions about my relationships with people. The thoughts weren’t coming from a productive place, they were just there, rambling, making my body feel waves of uncomfortable dread. I think these waves, over time, are what chips away at my immune system, eventually making me sick. So, I just started dancing and singing about what I was doing: “♫ woo hoo, i’m folding my socks. This sock goes with that one. Wow, these jeans are warm af ♫” Just having fun, making myself laugh – it took me out of the negative moment and allowed me time to adjust myself.

The point is, that with all the heartache and pain and negative thinking our minds would love to do all day, this too, shall pass. That’s the mantra this week. Whatever’s feeling like garbage, I can make it go away for awhile with a little conscious effort. Whatever’s feeling amazing, well, I can hold on to that and make it last longer, knowing how fleeting those feelings can be.

I thought my goals with my meditation book would be easy. Just fill out one activity every day. However, my life just isn’t stable like that. Last week, I called out sick. Another day, I was 30 minutes late to work. Sometimes, life just gets out of your control. So, my participation with my book has been lacking for the last several weeks. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that book.

So, what I’m doing instead is taking every thing day by day and adding activities which I think are going to help me. I’ve decided I want to read one book a month, just to keep my mind learning and busy and to slow things down a little bit.

I’m also trying to dedicate a minimum of 30 minutes a day to making music and singing. Making music and singing helps calm my mind and keep my spirit feeling balanced and whole. It’s a large component of my self-care. While easy to forget, I am reminded when I am not feeling okay that singing will bring me out of that.

I’m making more decisions for my own future to help ground my confidence and happiness. I bought a ticket to the CDBaby DIY Musician’s Conference and because I got it early, I’ll get a spotlight in the showcase. This all happens in Austin in August this year. It’s a small step, but I know I will be taking myself into a new, fun future. It gives me something to focus on positively, and think about across the future this year.

Essentially, I’m hanging in there! Life keeps me busy with full-time work as a cook, full-time learning as a college student, and full-time art as a songwriter. I don’t need much else, do I? Well, I need love, but I’ve already got it. I just have to know where to look within myself.