No matter what, this moment now is pretty awesome but I really get how hard it is to be in that place when you are feeling anxious and uptight about what is happening in your life.
Our minds can zero in on some major crappenings and refuse to let go.
The topics it can get stuck on are plentiful, from bills to messes to broken things to dramas to upset people and their complaints and all the stupidity and the way they can project their crap onto you… and then the migraines not to mention our kiddos or our pets (and on it goes!)
But it’s equally true that there is beauty and love and joy and light and ease right here in the same moment too. It’s available to us too.
While it’s not possible to prevent every problem, illness, or disaster from happening, it is possible to make the choice in how we see and interpret what is happening.
It is possible to choose how we respond to the same old crap.
If you are interested in peace, if you want to experience ease, if you want to welcome more fun and adventure into your life then your practice is this:
When you catch the mind spinning again, choose peace instead. I didn’t say it was easy. I didn’t. Still, you are someone who is interested in the good stuff more than the bad, right? You want to affirm what’s juicy rather than what is a total downer and sucking the life force out of everything. Right?
Rather than allowing your mind to drone on and on, believing the problem is THE reality, you make the decision to choose peace.
It takes a certain amount of courage and strength to show up and practice peace in the face of the upset your mind is spinning, but the important part to remember is that you are choosing to develop this muscle. You’re choosing because you want to feel good, and happy, and at peace. Right?
You are in the process of becoming
In the beginning, it takes a certain period of fire dancing – you may have to experience the upset many times before you can even realize you’re having upsetting thoughts.
Next, comes a period of catching that moment when you realize: even though this thing is very upsetting, I can choose to believe my thoughts about this or I can choose to practice peace. And you may need to practice this step many times before you make the next advancement.
This is a lot like math class, with lots of problems to practice on, and then eventually we get better and better at recognizing what to do.
Simple steps to remember: breathe, soften, center
Breathe: In and out. Fresh air into those lungs helps slow the panic response.
Soften: Your body is listening to the mind saying the upsetting things to you just now, and your body is reacting. Softening the muscles–especially your shoulders and butt cheeks–will help enormously. The mind may be generating crazy thoughts, but the body is not reacting.
Center: Get back into your alignment. Your heart and belly are in the center. Place hands there while you’re softening and breathing. Feel into the center of yourself. Usually, your upsets are waaaaaaaay off from your center, right?
In that moment of upset or fear, it takes all our courage and strength to just show up and breathe. I talk to people all the time who think there has to be more to this, they want a list of actionable steps. But truly, all you need to do is breathe, soften, and center. The awareness will take over from there. It’s not so much about finding the solution to our upset as it is about choosing peace instead.
It’s a lot like opening up our hands and releasing the crap we’ve been carrying. YES your hands might still be stinky, and yes you might be feeling the reverberations of carrying the crap, AND you are still choosing to let go anyway.
I too have walked through some pretty hellish things, and I still face horrible things (some real, some imagined!), and all of what I am telling you I practice on the regular. For reals, this has kept me sane.
Also, these are the times when getting out into nature can help us. I know all about couch surfing with a bag of Doritos (or three different kinds of candy for breakfast!) while trolling your own feed reading horrible comments, and more. But get your ass outside. Find your calm. We can listen to the birdies or go look at the clouds. We can be still for a bit and breathe and soften. Just give it a try and wait for what happens, I promise it will be better for you.
This might not be the right time, but I want you to know I am someone who gets it and if you feel ready to be helped, please reach out. My sessions are the bomb and don’t just take my word for it, I have some great recommendations from friends I have helped over the years. Here.
What I wish for us both today is the remembrance–the constant remembrance–that life is beautiful and we are blessed and even though there are these shitty things happening too. There is also so much beauty and love and even though it’s really really hard to do, we are going to choose to take that step together, to let go of the crappenings and choose our own joy.
We are practicing together!