While hormones, electrolysis and legally changing my name are inching me towards my true self that alone will not get me there. Yes I will be a woman, but I won’t be who I truly am. To go on that path I need to recognize great things about myself and I have resumed working to achieve this. I don’t pity myself but love the opportunity I have been given and feel great great power in it. I have also taken up meditation and mindfulness to help me better deal and live in the world as it really is.
I have been on this quest before, becoming a woman has only allowed me to begin it once again. On it thus far I have utilized many great resources to continue propelling me. The first one is the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This book is a great place to start and I have personally read it front to back at least five times. It helps you better understand the world we live in and give you strategies to start with. This alone will drastically alter your life for the better if you let it, and in addition with other things you will be much more happy, present and yourself.
Next I took up Transcendental Meditation. This is a sitting practice where you focus on your breath, quiet your mind and try to let go of your thoughts. You you may think meditation is crazy but it has been consistently proven to be helpful for many things. In one inner city school they even used it. They started doing two 15 minute sessions of meditation. Four years later the school moved “from the bottom of California’s academic ladder to the upper middle rungs.” With a 75% decrease in suspensions and a .4 increase in GPA, not to mention a large affect on students lives.
I’ve been meditating for about two and a half months and have felt great results. It has helped me better see what is going on in the world and what I am doing in it. Bodhi Kjolhede likened meditation as helping you use the mind better as a flashlight so you can better direct your attention(flashlight) to see the reality of the world around you.
To better utilize meditation I have also worked on being more present or mindful in my daily experiences. I want to better utilize my flashlight to see the world as how it is and enjoy every moment of right now, because what do what have other than this minute right now? The book, 25 Lessons in Mindfulness by Dr. Rezvan Ameli, has helped me in these goals. This book walks you through a 25 week course on being more present. Being mindful is letting go of your thoughts and trying to be present in the moment.I am constantly realizing how up in the clouds I normally am and have been struggling and succeeding in getting myself out of them. Instead I have begun to enjoy my life as it happens, the pain and the joy.
My best moment with mindfulness was when I was drenched and walking my bike up a never ending hill. I had just backpacked for 3 days and was trying to get my car to go home. I was tired, hungry and over it. But I tried to stay present in my suffering and realized it wasn’t unenjoyable at all. In fact it was amazing. I got home and was truly present for the next 24 hours and have quested to get that feeling back ever since.
The final book I have found extremely helpful is Start Where You Are by Pema Chodren. She talks in an easily understandood way and helps you utilize painful moments in your life to grow enormous amounts. I have greatly appreciated her book and all the slogans that she has shared in it.
I now will leave you with a moving TEDx talk by Sean Stephenson on pity and power.