Why Guided Meditation Didn’t Work For Me

This article will be in the November issue of Vibrance Magazine, be sure to check it out!

I’ve never been a person who particularly likes being told what to do. I guess this should have been an indicator that Guided Meditation wouldn’t really work for me.

Amidst a major flare I decided to check out a Chronic Pain Workshop that was put on in The Arthritis Society in Canada. I sat in agony while they listed off what pain is and different strategies that could be used to manage it. I rolled my eyes like “yeah, whatever, I’ve tried that!”. Clearly I was a great listener and absolutely receptive to their ideas, not.

About halfway into the workshop one of the speakers put on relaxing music and led us through a Guided Meditation exercise.
Never being one to follow the rules I kept peeking out at everybody, watching how into this they were and tried to suppress a chuckle… how was this working for them?! The meadow is not where I want to be! The waterfall is making me have to pee, and there’s probably bugs in this supposedly happy place!
Afterwards I was debriefing the session with my husband and he asked me where my happy place would be. Without skipping a beat I replied, with penguins! So now every time I am stressed or the pain is just too much he asks me “What are the penguins up to?” and I make up an elaborate story about what my happy place penguins are doing and it takes my mind (at least a little bit) off of the pain.
I experienced a similar situation while trying my hand at Tai Chi. I’ve never been very good at sitting and relaxing. I am more a “get up and go” person- even if I can’t be as active as I would like anymore. So my alternative to Tai Chi is water aerobics! I absolutely adore it! Being in the water is definitely my favourite place to be!
Other things I do to de-stress include: colouring, writing, painting, origami, reading, Netflix, music, and sleeping! Ah, sleep.
On the flip side, I do have an anxiety disorder so stress comes with part of being me! I am very anxious while in vehicles so I try to close my eyes and focus on the music. I also tend to stress out about upcoming plans and need to make sure everything is in order beforehand. Calendars and phone reminders are my lifesaver for that reason!
But all in all, no matter what the stressful situation is at the time, as long as I have my husband and family and the support of the spoonie community I know I am going to be alright.
Love and Gentle Hugs


Hey! My name is Courtney and I am a wife, a mom to a pup and cat, and I just happen to have a few chronic illnesses that have drastically changed my life. I've gained a brand new perspective of life and who I want to be while I face these new challenges. I am so excited about this new phase and meeting fellow Chronic Warriors! Please join me! Love and Gentle Hugs xx Courtney

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