Lately, I’ve been spinning a lot of plates, looking high and low for those elusive answers to mental health and spirituality.
I was raised Catholic and quite involved with church during high school. As is the trend for this religion, I fell off at age 18 when I started college. [Supposedly, I’m going to return around the age of 35 because I will need a structured way to teach my kids some morals and will be too lazy to formulate a new system.] Throughout college, I attended mass a handful of times–always with friends. It was another way for us to bond and share an experience together. This Fall, I’m starting grad school at a Catholic university. Go figure. The church will already be there so I guess I’ll go. The school also hosts events like “Theology on Tap,” during which students and faculty discuss issues through a somewhat religion/spiritual lens. And there is free food and beer. This makes it sound like the institution is trying to be a “cool mom,” but okay, I’ll check that out too and see what happens.
In the another vein of mindfulness and spirituality, I’ve been using Headspace to train my brain and meditate. I used to pay $12.95 monthly, but I checked my email at the right moment when they offered an annual plan for something like $65. WORTH IT. There are a ton of free videos, apps, and other tools that can help you develop your meditation practice. I’m personally the type to take something seriously if I have a little skin (read: money) in the game. It’s the same reason I pay $150/month for Orangetheory Fitness and absolutely love it. I realize it is a privilege to be able to pay for these types of services, which have a preliminary purpose of bettering myself. But there are definitely amazing free resources out there to achieve the same end.
I’ve also been looking for other ways to reconcile the relationship between our physical bodies and world, our mental well-being, and the spiritual realm. Learning about chakras has been helping me do just that. I wear a beautiful chakra bracelet (purchased from the Visitor’s Center at Balboa Park) daily and spend a few minutes meditating on each stone–the part of the body and the type of energy each is associated with. This is all new to me and I couldn’t even begin to take you to school on the topic, but one thing is for sure… I am loving learning about the flow of energy, balancing my chakras, and understanding “the body as a vehicle of consciousness.” My current learning consists of taking my time reading Wheels of Life and witnessing the chakra system in practice in the world around me.
Last, but certainly not least, I’ve finally pushed myself to seek therapy. This is both scary and liberating at the same time. After the inital intake session, I went home with 5 different follow-up appointments/groups and 2 prescriptions. This is overwhelming, but I do take comfort in the fact that I have a team in place and help is available. I’m also hyperaware of how much support I get because I have a pretty stellar insurance plan. Even then, I still have a $15 co-pay per visit… meaning I already have to cough up $90 for these appointments!
Having never pursued counseling services before, I asked if my appointment would be with a woman, as I’d be more comfortable this way. I hung up the phone and felt sick–I had to talk myself out of skipping the appointment the next day. On my way there, I had a burning desire to ask the therapist if she is a 45 supporter. I don’t feel like someone with the inclination to vote for that Orange Cheeto is in the right state of mind to help me work through my ish. And diagnose me! My second concern was about how “woke” this person is. I have my issues with different types of social justice/progressive folks, but damn… I can’t spend time explaining my basic beliefs and their origins. [*cue scene from Insecure S2E1 when Molly describes all the therapists she’s been through*]
As you can see, I’m all over the place. This is a consequence of my Renaissance Soul. I’m wondering if coming at my mental health at all different angles is helping or hindering my search for balance. Time will tell. Sending y’all some love and light (Lord of Light, anyone?) on your own journeys.