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Day 24 The benefits of TMS

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Cara, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Cara

    Cara Peer Supporter

    I have not yet seen the fruits of TMS, but when I first discovered it--and then again yesterday--I saw it as something that could potentially be something to be grateful for. I have seen advertisements for things like fitbits that are for mood instead of steps, and I thought, "Wow! My body has its own built-in mood tracker!" But then I forgot to think about it that way when it seemed like nothing was affecting my pain. Maybe I'm just not calm yet.

    No, I am not yet a more peaceful, calm, centered person. I haven't yet figured out the logistics (where and when) of starting a meditation practice. But the good thing about TMS could be that it inspires me to remember what my real goals are and what kind of person I really want to be. I've been distracted by the hustle and bustle of my current life. I don't see a way out of that mayhem just now, but without TMS, I would probably stop trying and just let myself get more and more overwhelmed and tense. That isn't who I want to be.

    I want this TMS thing to be a real thing. I hope I have it. I hope I can learn to be the sort of person who can first learn to tame it and then learn to use it and eventually see it as the thing that made me the person I want to be.

    Yesterday on my walk (yes, I did it in spite of all of the other things I should have been doing,) I thought about my hyped-up, tense, perfectionistic, worry-prone self and thought, "Well, damn, this is just who God made me to be." But then I realized that that might be who I have become, not who I was intended to be. Yes, I have always been intense and gone after challenges and been something of a worrier, but also I've been told so many times "fear not" and "Do not worry about your life." There is a hymn that says
    When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie,
    My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply.
    The flame shall not harm thee, my only design
    Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

    It hasn't yet, but I'm going to hope that TMS will be the thing that helps me burn my dross and refine my gold.
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  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I could have written this myself at so many points over the last few years. I feel I have spent so much time trying to defy the messy, frustrating elements of my life that it weirdly became a form of mindfulness in itself. Caroline Myss once said something along the lines that it is easy to meditate in serene and beautiful places because they do the meditating for us. The challenge, she offered, was to meditate in the midst of the mayhem and imperfection.

    This idea continually revisits me, especially at times when my ability to tame my life baffles me. Many times I ask myself if this is a manifestation of perfectionism or is it that I am hopelessly untidy and disorganised in ways that transcend this ideal. When we were little my brothers and I forever created other worlds out of Lego or Star Wars figures or toys piled on magic carpets and mum let us and left them alone until our imaginations determined their time was past. This memory perhaps betrays my belief that as maddening as mess and hustle and bustle are they are just the stuff of life. Most of the time I'm at peace with this. Sometimes it drives me nuts. I have noticed a correlation between being annoyed by it and pain. There is a balance nestled somewhere there. And oodles of insight.

    TMS is a gift. A maddeningly stupid and hilariously brilliant gift.
    Lily Rose and Cara like this.
  3. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    I'm not sure I can ever be grateful for the years of pain before I discovered TMS and the SEP. But I am grateful for the new perspective I have--most days!--and for the flexibility I have when dealing with the kids at school. I'm a much better teacher than I was 10 years ago, and I really appreciate the unexpected moments of grace that I can recognize when they occur. Life is indeed good.
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  4. Cara

    Cara Peer Supporter

    I am also a teacher. I am not yet grateful for the pain either--I am still pretty angry about it--but I hope that being forced to take care of myself better will ultimately make me a better role model and teacher too.

    Here's what I did (and wrote about) today:

    By the end of third hour today, I was already tired and drained. It was not yet 10am.

    By 5pm, I had jumped through the new evaluation hoops, taught (listened to the political views of, comforted, helped, laughed with, waved to, remember the names and personalities of, challenged, supported) 100+ juniors, corresponded with and counselled more in the hallway, attended two meetings, and I'm not sure what all else. My back hurt. A lot. It could be a drop to the floor in agony sort of hurt, but it can't be that anymore. I have a life to live. It's a breathe deep, slow down, and deal with the life you're living sort of pain instead. So I went for a nice long, slow walk. Because that is the once/future me.

    While I was walking, I saw a monarch butterfly. I saw a hawk. I saw a pair of heron. I heard rain on pavement and rain on water. I watched the pattern that new rain drops make when interspersed with the spreading circles of former drops. I heard an airplane. I heard cicadas. I felt the thickness of the 91 degree 91 percent humidity air and the sparseness of a few cool raindrops. I tried to smell a rose, but it didn't smell. I walked and walked. I breathed. I blinked. I lived.

    I decided that if what is making me feel badly about my body is my outdated and too-small clothes that fit me ten years and ten pounds ago, I should get rid of my clothes.

    I asked myself, "If I could be an athlete or a poet, but only one, which would I choose?" I chose poet before my next breath could leave my body.

    It is time to be a new me and to get back to the real me at the same time.

    I live in a body that is shocked with indescribable pain dozens of time a day: when I stand from a chair, when I pick up my bag, when I'm getting something out of my trunk, when I'm getting into or out of my car, when step on uneven ground, when I climb stairs, when I bend to look at a student's writing, when I lie down, when I wake up.... But the important part of that sentence is not the pain but the living. I live. And the pain is now part of that.

    Can I be a poet in pain? Yes, I think I can.

    Can I be an athlete? Probably not.

    Can I be beautiful and in pain? Yes, I think I can.

    Can I be a size two? Probably not.

    Can I love myself while in pain? Yes, I think I can. With some practice.

    Can I wait for my body to be what it once was before I get back to the business of living and loving and being beautiful? Certainly not
    plum likes this.
  5. Cara

    Cara Peer Supporter

    I don't yet see it as hilarious, but I'll work toward that mindset.
  6. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    I LOVE your attitude!tiphata
    plum likes this.
  7. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    I too often catch myself seeing the negative in the kids. But then I choose to see them as caring persons with wonderful talents--and my day improves dramatically.
    I love your nature walk. I have to take those on the weekends, because I usually can't leave my library without shutting it down, and I choose to eat lunch in there and keep it open. But I love to birdwatching, hike, and bask in the beautiful.
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  8. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    When you've been round the TMS sun a few times (which hand on heart I pray you don't), and you have massively improved some episodes from the past just seem ridiculous. It's a bit like looking back at your teenage self and affectionately chuckling at the stuff you thought mattered so much.

    I love the way that the passing of time lends perspective. I've found that hilarity is not unlike forgiveness in that it has this visceral component. I have a very dry, gallows type of humour these days Cara. I've found it helps to see the funny side when pain strikes; typically a flare-up will for me emotionally progress through anger before seguing into sorrow. I don't like experiencing these feelings but this is the raison d'ĂȘtre of TMS (dammit). And then my sense of humour prevails. Usually :)
    Cara likes this.
  9. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    You are most decidedly a poet. And a lovely one at that.
    Cara likes this.
  10. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's always good to see the funny side of any worry, problem, pain. Hilarious may be asking for too much, but why not try for it?
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