Exercise, Anxiety, and getting my mind right.

I reached a breaking point.

This happened for a number of reasons. The main on being I haven’t taken care of myself lately.

I stopped working out, I’m not sure why. I wasn’t burnt out. My muscles weren’t sore or my joints, I just stopped.

Exercise, mostly weight training, has always been in my life.

My biological father did bodybuilding when I was younger and when I turned 14 he got me in the weight room.

Initially I didn’t care for it, spending most of my gym time in the pool instead of the weight room. I’ve always loved the water. It’s a Pisces thing.

As long grew older I fell in love with being in the gym. I enjoyed the feeling of the weights, the pump in my muscles and attended the Olympia on a couple of occasions.

Until recently I never associated the gym with my mental wellbeing. It was just something I did.

Then I looked at where my life was when I spent the most time in the gym or my muscles grew the most.

Those were emotional times.

In high school I used my weight training class to deal with my teenage anxiety. Never understanding then what I was doing.

In my early twenties I used it to deal with loneliness and that I was an awkward shy person.

I found comfort in the weight room. It was something I could do where my effort determined the results.

In my late twenties I used it to deal with our first miscarriage. Then in my early thirties to deal with my daughter’s early birth and first month in the NICU.

As I moved up on age I never noticed this, until now.

Most recently, I used it to deal with the death of my big brother.

When I struggle most I return to the weight room. That’s what I’m beginning again.

It’s another way to deal with anxiety, my writing frustrations, and just with every day life issues.

It has never failed in getting my mind right. It never failed in adjusting my attitude or my mindset.

TM keeps my mind in good shape, but with the combination of TM and exercise everything fires on all cylinders.

I’m back in the gym because I realized it keeps my mind more focused when I do it.

I may not thank my biological father for much, but a love of the weight room will always be one of them.

Have a good weekend.

Get shit done, have some fun, and keep going.

When we chase the light…

Sometimes we hit a rough patch.

And like all rough patches, they feel longer than they are.

We find ourselves traveling roads no one’s been. It feels harder, the terrain more difficult.

With each passing spray of dirt, we right ourselves. The correction may be difficult but it’s worth the effort.

Then we’re out off the rough patch, onto the main road and following until we reach our destination.

Sometimes the destination feels farther away than we first realized. We can see the light illuminating its top and we want to quit. We want to give up.

But when we’re traveling and hitting rough spots we’re still moving forward. We’re still traveling towards the light.

When we get stuck in the mud our faith in ourselves and our journey falters.

The mud covers our tires, buries them and then we’re only spinning.

Those are the times we look for someone who can help.

We have to find those people to get out of the mud. We’ll stand on the side of the road, hope they’re around the curve, wish for them to come around and sometimes they will.

Other times, we need to get a stick, place it under the tires or wrap a rope around a tree and pull ourselves out.

When we pull ourselves out its more difficult but the reward of doing ourselves feels better.

We won’t always have that person to pull us out of the mud. Finding a way out without needing someone to help us gives us hope. Hope that next time, we’ll do it again.

Living with constant depression is a battle each day.

There are moments where we get out of the mud, pull onto the main road, hit the gas and get closer.

Those days seem like their far apart some days, weeks, months but they are there.

We must reach the light on the hill.

Transcendental Meditation after 3 years.

I posted this on Medium last month and somehow forgot to post it here.

Three years ago I stood on the ledge of the parking garage where I used to work.

I’d been fighting depression since I saw my father at my grandfather’s funeral. He walked past me as if I weren’t there.

The day I stood on the ledge, a co-worker told me, “No one really cares about you or your bullshit.”

That was my end point. I got through with work, set my things in my car and walked to the ledge.

I saw the back of the hotel, the marquee for the hotel and the rooftop of the casino. A slight wind blew my hair and I remember putting my hands out at as if I could catch it.

I don’t remember how long I stood up there, it could have been five minutes, ten, or two, but I stepped off the ledge and sat in my car and cried for a long time.

I knew I was broken at that point and I had no idea how to put my pieces back together.

I called my wife, the emotion clearly audible as she asked, “what’s the matter?”

I told her, “I need help. I think I’m going to look into that Transcendental Meditation(TM) I’ve been reading about.”

“Whatever you need to do, I’m here.” She said and I drove home, but I don’t remember the drive, I don’t remember the next week. I only remember calling the TM teacher in Las Vegas and scheduling to come in for my introduction.

A week later, I started my practice.

It’s been three years since I started TM and here’s a list of things that have happened that I know wouldn’t have without TM:

  1. I quit a good paying job to write full time.
  2. We moved our kids out an environment that wouldn’t help them grow.
  3. I started writing full time.

I never would’ve had the courage or mental strength to leave my job had I not learned TM. I was a weak person, most of the people around me would attest to that.

I didn’t know what I wanted and I hated not seeing my kids.

Today, I write full time and I’m working on a book that I’ll be submitting in June. I bartend a few times a week, I see my kids more often and I’m able to spend time with my wife.

I know without TM I wouldn’t be alive today.

I still get bouts of depression. I don’t think about suicide as often as I once did and I’m less angry than I was three years ago.

If you’re having trouble, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1–800–273–8255.

If you’re interested in learning more about Transcendental Meditation try TM.org.

Today, my wife and I are both practicing TM and we’re planning on getting our kids taught as well.

Have a great rest of your week.

Transcendental Meditation two years in.

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My anniversary for my first transcendental meditation session has come and gone and I realized, I haven’t done an update.

Here’s what’s happened in the past two years.

  • My wife started doing TM and it’s greatly improved her bipolar disorder.
  • I quit my job in Las Vegas to pursue my writing. This is something I’d never have had the courage to do otherwise.
  • I write full-time and though there have been challenges along the way, I’d never change anything I’ve done in the last two years.
  • I’ve had numerous people reach out to me on Facebook who had read my articles about TM from TM.org. This one thing has meant more to me than anything else.

I still have depression issues, but they are less than they’ve ever been.

One thing I’ve started doing in my daily routine is exercise. The combination of settling my mind and exercising my body has made a complete difference in my life.

I’m more focused in my life than I’ve ever been, I’m not saying things have been perfect, life isn’t perfect for anyone, I know that I’m a better human for doing my TM twice a day for 20 minutes each.

If you’d like more information about TM, follow the link in the article. If you’d like more information about me, connect with my on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter or Anchor.

 

How Transcendental Meditation Gave Me Quietude and Courage.

Courage

There’s this place, it hides behind the trees, bushes and cobwebs of the last forgotten piece of your mind.

It comes into play at certain times in your life. It’s the cornerstone of who you are, but you’ve probably never met, made friends with or celebrated it.

It’s called “Stillness”.

Your stillness, it wants to meet you, but your relationships, jobs and life burden you with attention.

Their attention means more to you than stillness and quietude. Quietude, that’s a word I saw recently and didn’t actually know its meaning.

When I researched the word, I found its meaning was something I’d been embracing in my life for the last year and half.

I’ve done this a few ways:

  • Daily Meditation
  • Removing obstacles that impeded my dreams
  • Removing negativity as much as possible
  • Writing as much as humanly possible
  • Leaving a job that sapped my energy

After doing all of the things I listed above, and some I continue to do, I’ve seen the Quietude fill my life and those I hold dear.

I meditate twice a day for 20 minutes using the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique of meditation.

I hadn’t done any of these things prior to beginning TM and I feel it is the reason I’ve been able to accomplish these things.

It has centered me, stripped away who I used to be and has given me the courage to not care what people think about me, nor care whether they care at all.

I’ve begun to live the life I’ve always wanted and because of it I’m happier, feel more fulfilled and understand the meaning of the words clarity and quietude.

I have clarity of mind, spirit and soul and quietude gives me the opportunity to see who I could be in the future.

Without TM I never would have had the courage to do any of these things.

Bri