the inspiration blog

Posts Tagged ‘emotions

I’ve been going, going, going – both outwardly with all of the activities I named above, and also with deep inner work. While I do my best to also simply enjoy life, I also am constantly on a path of personal and spiritual growth.

While I think I’ve been doing fairly well at staying centered and not rushing, apparently I needed to slow down even more: yesterday I sprained my ankle. And this morning, my neighbor called me to tell me that I have a flat tire on my car. Hmmm.

Luckily, my ankle isn’t too bad – after all, my coach training program starts in mere days! But it was a message to look at how I’m operating.

It’s easy to subconsciously hold the belief that moving quickly, to grow our businesses, means that we have to be stressed and anxious, or even have a packed schedule. This really isn’t true. In fact, most people procrastinate a lot (which is really a block that can emerge due to various reasons, such as fear that we won’t succeed, the fear of rejection, or out of perfectionist tendencies). and don’t use their time well. Or, we can waste time Web-surfing or on Facebook – which feels as if we’re productive, when in fact our minds are just busy.

In fact, creating extra space, and slowing down, is a form of self-care that allows us to really get things done. This nurturing of the parasympathetic nervous system lets us prepare to take action. That’s right – it’s actually a functioning of the nervous system. We need down time in order to then be ready for action (or, a the sympathetic response). Incidentally, with speaking, publicly or otherwise, a pause functions the same way: we need silence to be able to hear the words better. And we need to take a pause to get ready to really move. Sometimes this is a moment; sometimes it’s a year of self-development and preparation, or focusing on other things.

Assuming you’re ready to get things moving sooner, are a few suggestions, to implement if you’re not doing them regularly:

  • Meditate. Do whatever practice works for you, or even just contemplate the sky.
  • Go for walks in nature. Nature energy rejuvenates, and provides space for action.
  • Move your body. Get out of your head, and just enjoy kinesthetic movement – be it dancing, exercise, heightened bodily awareness while doing the dishes, or other somatic techniques.
  • Laugh. Or, cry. Take breaks to just feel and express what’s needed.

By taking these moments to slow down and get present, you can then get ready to really move into action, and use your time more efficiently when working… and make sure you’re spending more time fully enjoying your life.

As for me, my ankle is already getting better – but, long-distance healing is very welcome. I can’t take those walks outside for a bit… but my dish-washing includes a new dance move!

How do you want to slow down? What works for you? Please comment below.

slow-downnnn

 

When we have a bad mood, or perhaps are lost in the distractions of the day, we become immersed inside of the experience with little perspective. Ever feel like other people saw you just a little bit more clearly than you realized? Or maybe they even pointed out how you felt before you realized what was going on? It’s easy – from the outside.

Cultivating an internal witness is a powerful practice, and at the heart of Buddhist meditation and awareness practices – don’t worry, they’re at heart nondenominational and don’t conflict with any other belief or practice. Here’s one version.

  1. Sitting up straight, either close your eyes or have a soft gaze upon a single point in front of you.
  2. Focus on the breath. If you  like, take long, even breaths, with approximately the same count in and out.
  3. For a minute, listen to all the sounds around you.
  4. Then, for a minute, notice all bodily sensations.
  5. Next, pay attention to emotions that come up.
  6. Finally, listen specifically to your thoughts. It’s easy to get lost in them at any step – just bring your focus back to where you were.
  7. The last step is to intermingle all of the above. Watch whatever comes up. Let your attention skip back and forth, and let all of them garner your equal attention.

Personally, I find taking long intentional breaths allows me to focus better, but other practices say not to intentionally alter the breath.

Now, I said “a minute” for each step – but it could be an hour, or just 15 seconds. Play around with it.

Keep in mind – cultivating this witness does not mean detaching from your negative emotions. It’s simply cultivating a new relationship to them. And again, this is just one awareness practice, and there are many – but give it a try.

Time for more inspiration on mood improvement. Sometimes if we’re feeling depleted, or irritated by other people, we may not be connected with a larger source of energy. Say, for example, the earth. The ground is right there underneath you. Are you fully appreciating it? Try a grounding exercise.

  1. Sit with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor, or cross-legged.
  2. Close your eyes. Take some slow, even, deep breaths.
  3. Feel your spine. Perhaps wiggle slightly to get in touch with it.
  4. Imagine that, growing out of it, are roots, or cords. Either way, they’re made of light, and can be clear, white, or whatever color you prefer.
  5. Visualize them growing out of your spine, down your legs and out your tailbone. See them shooting deep into the earth. Instantaneously and easily, they shoot miles down into the earth.
  6. As you continue to breathe deeply, visualize them going deeper into the earth on the exhale. On the inhale, feel the energy of the earth rising up into your body.
  7. When the cords or roots feel very deep – perhaps, at the very center of the earth – imagine that they wrap around a very large rock, anchoring you there.
  8. Continue to picture energy rising up. Perhaps see the energy as a color – whatever at that moment feels most nurturing or supportive. Imagine that this light and color fills your entire body, and even spills out into the space around you.

For the rest of your day, let this be your source of energy, inspiration, and life.

Another inspiring tip on mood improvement: connect with yourself in a new way.

  1. Close your eyes, and take some deep breaths.
  2. Imagine that your grumpiness is actually just one part of you. If you like, try to picture what part of you it is – for example, your inner child… your inner jokester… your professional self.
  3. Ask it why it’s unhappy, and what it needs. If this is difficult, just make it up – use your imagination until you come up with an answer that somehow feels satisfying or brings out a feeling of relief.
  4. Visualize giving it what it needs. Or, a big hug. Or, picture The Wise You, At Your Very Best, giving love to El Grumpie.
  5. Return to your day. Anytime you like, close your eyes, or simply shift your focus away from other activities, and reinforce this self-love.

 

Let’s face it: just about everyone has grumpy days (and, as my partner well knows, myself included). Maybe you didn’t sleep well… get tired of routine… had an unpleasant interaction… were affected by a disturbing world event… maybe even an upsetting dream. So, can we still find inspiration when we feel like we’re a step behind?

You bet. It’s time for some focus on how to  Turn that Frown Upside Down! …Okay, now, don’t throw up. We’re going to address several practical techniques. They’ll will be given in several postings, so you can keep coming back to the blog for new ideas.

Mood Improvement Tip #1: Help someone in need. Whether you give money or food to a homeless person or help a friend (or, even better, a stranger) move, try redirecting your attention toward assisting others.

Last week we looked at anger, the idea of lack and disempowerment, and how to find true energy from our source rather than from someone else (read part 1, part 2, and part 3 if you haven’t yet). Today, though, we’ll approach anger in a different way.

Essentially, you can boil down anger as having a couple of different possibilities: being stuck in a struggle, or as a motivating force to push us into a new place. For the former, you might be angry at someone (say, a relative, or someone you work with), and unhappy with something that happened. Or maybe you’re unhappy with an aspect of your life.

But is this necessarily a bad thing? No. Anger is a sign that you’d like something to change. What’s the difference between anger as struggle and anger as motivation? Simply changing your mindset. The thing is, you can’t change the past. If someone apologizes for a past action, it might return energy to you, but it doesn’t give you what you truly want: to set a new course for the future.

Action: Think of something that’s upset you as of late, either interpersonally or in your own life. Get in touch with what you’d like to be different – and take steps in that direction right away.

What’s complex, and what’s simple? And what should be what? Here’s a thought:

Thoughts are complex. Emotions are simple, but thoughts make them feel complex. Bodily sensations, and all sense perceptions, are simple. Opinions are complex… but the truth is simple.

OK, slightly more expanded upon: the mental plane, and thinking and reasoning, can easily become convoluted and/or drawn out. A pure emotion, such as anger, joy, love, etc., is what it is. Simple. But when we start questioning whether emotions are valid, or try to justify them, it gets complex. And a bodily sensation as well as what is perceived by the other senses is simple (sure, it may be subjective to some degree, but it’s simple.)

Action: If you want to keep things simple… get out of your head. Stop thinking about what to do. Feel what’s inside and around you, and let it inform you.

Of course, we could debate this and make it more complex if you like…


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