One of the casualties of my accident (fell and had a concussion) seems to be my mindfulness practice and my general ability to not get caught up or activated by situations that do not go my way.
Shortly after my surgery I stopped meditating because getting out of bed and sitting upright for fifteen minutes was just not going to happen. I also noticed that I was doing it mainly to satisfy an egoic standard (I had meditated regularly for about a decade and it was a matter of pride) and I was really forcing myself to do it now; it was not done with ease but with grim determination.
After not being able to listen to disks in the car for the past several months – too much going on in my mind and too consumed with not crashing the vehicle – I finally began “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, the book that first allowed me a glimpse at what one could call awakening.
The first chapter of that book is one of my all-time favorites and while it was a challenge to follow it – it reminded me of why was so taken by Eckhart’s ideas. He has a cosmological perspective that extends beyond the human species and sees our continued evolution as necessary but not inevitable.
Today I heard him speak about how when you encounter a challenging episode in your life you can resist or surrender. I know that at the outset after my concussion I tried like hell to act in denial, exhausting myself and confronting frustration after frustration.
With the choice to have surgery the truth became much more matter of fact – I was going to be tired and depressed for a while – and I tried to approach it without judgment but I did many of the things Eckhart described – I felt sorry for myself and wondered why did this happen to “me.”
I was definitely resisting “the flow of life” and not accepting “what happened.” I fervently wished life to be other than what it was…
I thought I was in acceptance. I talked a good game to myself and a few others but those who knew me best saw that I was in massive resistance.
I saw myself keep looking for answers and fixes to accelerate my recovery through diet. Whenever new “solution” popped up online I jumped on it wanting to leave no stone unturned but the biggest stone was the one I was pushing up the hill representing my own impatience.
I thought that my level of awareness of my resistance would be enough. It wasn’t and isn’t – while I can’t stop my resistant thoughts and awareness of them is good – I need to be in acceptance within my body and surrender for real, not just in my imagination.
I hope that listening to this book and practicing acceptance to the greatest possible degree will allow me to see myself through the best potential recovery.
I have seen from an online group devoted to those with Traumatic Brain Injuries that I was in fact rather fortunate in comparison with many others, and that the key to recovery seems to be fully accepting the new challenges that are now a inescapable part of my life when they impede me – the low energy and highly charged emotional reactions will be there for foreseeable future – the more I surrender to this reality the easier it will go for me.
I need to keep my mind relaxed so I have cut back on TV and Internet which means I rest a lot. I do try to use the mind as effectively as possible to manage the limited energy I do have.
It is getting better but the day to day increments are very subtle and there are setbacks as well – but having found myself able to tolerate the CD voice in my head along with my own I see real potential for my recovery. This time I really will be Tom 2.0. Very different properties and methods.