Being mindful at a concert

Last night my fiance and I went to see Green Day live at the Royal Kilmainham Hospital in Dublin. If you don’t already know, they’re my favourite band in the whole world.

There are a couple of things that impact my behaviour at concerts. The first is that I can’t be too deep in the crowd (anymore) because I panic. My brother thinks I might have claustrophobia, yet it seems to only occur at gigs. I remember seeing Green Day back in 2008 and I missed a few songs because I got a mild panic attack and had to move to the back away from everybody.19534897_105365613385501_3619840008057257984_n

The second is that I’m always aware of people around me, especially if they’re drunk and rowdy. I know it sounds stupid and uptight, but I wish people didn’t drink at gigs. This was made worse by the fact that the concert last night was outdoors. I spent a silly amount of time being weary of these drunk guys behind me who kept hitting into me and waving their drinks a bit too close to me. For me that just ruins a gig.

Even though I’m learning to be mindful as much as I can, it wasn’t until the lead singer – Billie Joe – told everyone to put their phones away and to be here in the now, that I remembered. And so I put my phone away, even though I’d only taken a couple of [bad] pictures and filmed a few videos. Normally I snap, snap, snap throughout a gig. And I did my best. After all, how often do I get to see this band live? Aside from the fact that I saw them in Berlin back in January, they haven’t performed in Ireland in SEVEN years. So I put myself in the moment and tried to ignore the drunkards behind me and it worked for the most part.

Even though they played for two and a half hours, it wasn’t long enough, but I feel I enjoyed it a bit better than I would if I kept letting my mind focus too much on the anxiety of people crashing into me or spilling their drinks on me (it has happened). I just hope they play here again soon and don’t make me wait another seven years.

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“Why don’t you write a book?”

A girl I work with introduced me to a book entitled Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. Her roommate is apparently friends with the author, who sold the book for half a million euro. Immediately I was bitter but then I decided to take a step back and remind myself that I haven’t written in so long. This girl obviously went to a lot of trouble and it paid off for her, so I should be happy for her. I decided to prove this to myself by going out and buying the book. I haven’t read it yet, but I plan to start it once I finish reading my current book.51KAGMZ0wwL

When I told my sister about it, the first thing she said to me was “why do you write a book?”. Obviously that’s been my dream, but I was honest with her about my lack of motivation for writing anymore. She encouraged me nonetheless and her words have stuck with me. I have an idea, but I can’t bring myself to write it in fear of losing interest like I always do, even if I follow the mantra I mentioned in a previous entry:

Get it done now, get it right later

I’ve fixed my laptop so there’s no longer the excuse of that being the issue. I’d love to bring my laptop somewhere and write, not just at home. I don’t drink coffee so unfortunately that’s not an option. Would they let me stay there if I just drank milk or water? I couldn’t even imagine having one of their snacks because of my selective eating habits.

If I can push myself to do yoga, to go for a walk every other lunchtime, to meditate each morning, why can’t I push myself to write?

Checking in

I haven’t been on WordPress in a while because once again my lack of motivation has overtaken me. I just get these periods when I avoid certain things I usually enjoy doing, including blogging. I’m not saying I’m back 100% but I will make the effort to update more and fight against my own procrastination.

Quite a few changes have been made in my day-to-day life and I’d like to share them to you in bullet point format:

  • As I mentioned before I’ve started a bullet journal (hence the bullet points!), and I think it’s helped me keep myself motivated in at least some aspects of my life.
  • I’ve started doing yoga again (did I already mention that?). At first I was doing a beginner class on Thursdays and I found the instructor very tough. Another instructor covered for her last Thursday whom I found to be much better so now I’m attending her classes on Mondays. I also hope to practice on my own 1-2 days per week. Anyone know of any good Vinyasa Yoga tutorials on YouTube?
  • I’ve stopped doing the Instagram challenge. You could look at this as a negative but in reality I was finding it a chore and mostly I just scanned through old pictures to try and match the day’s tag. It’s hard to find anything new to photograph when you go to the same places every day.
  • In spite of my rant about having to pay for meditation apps, I gave in and subscribed to Headspace when they offered me a really generous discount. But I love it, and I do it twice a day without feeling like I have to.  But I did get some great advice from a fellow blogger so I thank you!
  • I’m reading more. There was a time when you couldn’t find me without a book in my hands, and even though I’m ahead in my Goodreads reading challenge, I don’t feel like I’m reading enough. So what’s my problem? It could be my addiction to YouTube when I come home in the evenings. I’m not the type of person who can read and listen to stuff at the same time. Or maybe I’m reading books that aren’t that exciting. But that’s changed, I’m reading more enjoyable books now and seem to be flying through them, even if I still choose YouTube over them!
  • I have a story idea. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times again, but it’s there and I’ve done a little bit of writing with it, but it’s not easy. I should just run with it before I lose interest, that’s the challenge!
  • Probably the greatest achievement I’ve made recently is going to the dentist. I’m not going to tell you how long it’s been, but just know that it’s LONG. Considering my parents paid thousands for periodontal and orthodontic treatment for me, I owe it to them to keep my teeth in good shape. So I went and… it was bad. I had to get a cleaning which I hate, and not only that, I have to get MORE cleaning next week! (It was supposed to be this week but my dentist had to reschedule – secretly delighted!). He also wants to put a retaining bar around the back of my bottom teeth (I have one around the back of my top teeth from my braces) because I have so much bone loss in my bottom jaw and my teeth will eventually come loose. I’m more worried how much it will cost – €70 just for a cleaning! But I’m more thorough now with my teeth cleaning: twice a day I brush, floss, use inter-dental brushes, and rinse. It’s ironic though, I don’t drink, smoke, eat sweets or drink fizzy drinks and yet my teeth (well, my gums) are so bad!

That’s all I can think of for now. If I think of any more I’ll update!

To continue your mindful journey…PAY UP!

I can’t help but be annoyed with certain apps that offer guided meditations with strict limits on the free content. I found one that was really helpful but as soon as I finished the tenth step in the series, I was essentially done unless I wanted to fork over €12.99 per month.

Some apps are good, especially the ones that don’t offer the step-by-step meditations, but rather allow you to do different types based on your mood and physical status (but again, the free content is limited). I say “some” like I’ve tried loads of meditation apps, when in reality I’ve tried about three. These are listed below:

Headspace (€12.99 per month)hero-blog-v2

This is my favourite one and unfortunately you have to pay to access beyond their beginner series. I loved this because of how the meditation itself was structured, especially at the end when you’re told to allow your mind to flow freely for a few seconds, not trying to ground it in anyway. It’s a little reprieve because let’s face it, we do try harder than we should to focus on our breathing. Plus I love their animations!

Calm (€12.99 per month)

This is another series that ends once you reach the end of the basics. It does offer stories to help you fall asleep but I haven’t yet needed to use them. I’ve only just started this one so I can’t comment too much on it.

Stop, Breathe and Think (€11.49 per month)

I love this one because it offers you meditations depending on what mood you’re in. Yes, you’re limited in terms of free content, but it’s still useful. Each meditation has the option of a male or female voice, which helps to change it up when you eventually find yourself only able to listen to the same select few meditations.

Does anyone have any other recommendations? I’d like to keep my guided meditations varied. You might suggest I simply go without the guidance but to be honest I prefer a voice instructing me, otherwise I’m hopeless!