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Struggle with my Struggles

Struggle with my Struggles

by Shirley Riga

I walk on the same street every day

I awake to the same light as the day before

I view the same me in the mirror

I step into the same slippers

I eat the same food

I use the same computer

I wash the same body

I am familiar and yet I feel lost

My thoughts take me to uncomfortable places

I awaken doing U-turns

Don’t think that

Don’t go there

Don’t eat that

Don’t think that

I struggle with my struggles

I surrender into my chair

Above me are so many choices

Each with a thread hanging down

Tickling my head

Which do I choose?

Meditation is soothing

Will it be today or will another thread

Impose itself on my head?

My breath opens a door

Yet I keep my hand on the knob

Standing on the edge

A deeper breath invites me

Into my soothing place

Will I surrender to my thoughts

Or to my breath?

The choice is up to me


  • I jotted down the words “struggle with my struggles.” I will keep a notebook next to me from now on.

  • I started yesterday with a headache. Today I have choices. Parts of me have negative thoughts but I now know that parts of me can take care of myself. I don’t have to do my old habit of picking up a bad and making it bad.

  • Good to hear that you and others have trouble focusing on breath.

  • Yes, we are all having trouble

  • I’ve been using a biofeedback device, the Muse, to measure my meditative state over this last year. But I’m getting fewer of bird sounds indicating I’m in a meditative state lately. I realize it’s achievement enough to just sit here quietly for 15 minutes

  • My 21 day routine has been to walk every morning. When I don’t, I lie in bed with negative thoughts. By trying to focus on breath while walking, today I smelled hibiscus

  • Meditating with a group buoys us.

  • “Shoulds and “have-tos” are self-defeating. I’m trying to get a handle on them. Reminds me of a poem by Sylvia Plath about trees. I can make a choice, and if I don’t like it, I can make another one. Every moment is an opportunity for another choice

  • That voice that guides us is subtle

  • I started trying the mirror challenge. I realized I've tuned out the mirrors and don’t see them. I now have the awareness that I am unaware.

  • During the meditation, I reflected on choice. I use my higher power for choice, not my ego. My life is more joyful now, not always thinking about my thoughts, and I’m relying on small inner voice

  • I follow my gut as my inner voice. If I have a choice, I know a stomachache response means no. I’ve been honoring it only in last 15 years

  • I identify with what's been said. Just for today, I will enjoy what is beautiful. And I’ll give back what the world shares

  • The emotions shared here are tremendous. Incredible honor to be in space where we all share with such truth

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