Category: Emotions

Sep 29, 2017

Presence meets Pressure

Presence meets pressurePresence holds his hand towards Pressure.

Pressure turns away, wanting nothing to do with him.

There is no time to devote to Presence, too much to do, too many deadlines to meet, too much of an effort, why waste the time?

Maybe Pressure will have a drink with him later, after work or on the weekend.

Yet, even then there is no time, children need to be fed, dogs walked, bills paid, lawn mowed, emails read, then it is time for a restless sleep.

Presence waits patiently at the bar for Pressure to show up, once again he is stood up.

What makes Presence so special is that he never gets upset or gives up; he understands and knows that the time will come when Pressure will join him.

It is most likely when he falls ill, or walks out of his job, or loses his partner, and then Pressure will go searching for Presence.

He might find him sitting on the next bar stool as he drinks his 3rd whiskey or is laying next to him in bed as he recovers from his illness.

If only Pressure took the time to meet Patience earlier, then maybe the job would be more satisfying, his body healthier and his love life intact. Because he would know when to pause, slow down and prioritise.

Presence does not blame pressure; he acknowledges that it is the way life, though if the two were to join together, then miraculous things could happen.

Pressure no longer alone, he has time now to breathe, enjoy his accomplishments, be more creative and respond to others with kindness.

Before it is either too late or a crisis ensues, take the hand of Presence; it is well worth the time and effort.

 

Recipe: Inviting Presence Mindfulness Technique

This meditation is an on the spot meditation

When you notice that you are feeling overwhelmed, angry, tired, anxious…

Feeling your blood boil, heart race, shoulders ache, jaw tighten, head hurt, sweat drip…

Stop what you are doing, take a breath in and out, slow down your breathing first, ground your feet to the floor, and lift your head towards the sky.

Take a moment to observe the breath and how your body shifts to a more relaxed state, this relaxed state is Presence.

Then deal with the meeting, conflict, and deadline if you need more time, step away if possible and take more deep breaths.

Return to later, return with a lighter and more constructive mindset.

To deepen your Mindfulness understanding book on my October Mindfulness Course or ask me how I can help you?

Shame

ShameShame on you

Caught! Exposed! Found Out!

Shame wraps its tail around a person with such swiftness, that before they have a chance to fight or run, their throat tightness, heart quickens and eyes seek asylum towards the ground.

There is no refuge; shame is like a cancer, it loiters inside you, like a hungry dog until it is fueled with hateful self–talk or releases on to others through blaming and shaming them.

Nothing compares to the feeling of shame, when exposed, other people see through the veil of your protection, the veil used to endorse your okayness.

Before shame you walked around head held high, full of yourself, flawless and convincing until shame, then it all unraveled, like a mummy losing its wraps exposing a petrified body.

After shame, much of your time is used bracing against any reminder of what caused the shame in the first place.

It creates a secret life that screams out, please talk, and share what happened, because we are human too.

We all have flaws, our vulnerabilities and nakedness is the real deal, while endless pursuit of bravado is a farce.

Interestingly the shield you carefully carried for protection is the very thing that destroyed the person you aspire to defend, which is you.

There is no shame in talking about shame, the shame is leaving it unspoken.

 

Recipe: Facing Shame Meditation

First, learn the physical symptoms of shame, this way you recognise shame.

Dry mouth, heart racing, tunnel vision, hot flush, perspiring, and eye avoidance

Once identifying the physical symptoms you can explore the triggers.

What event elicited this feeling of shame?

During meditation, sit with the discomfort of shame; breathe through the waves of uneasiness.

Use your body as a means to heal your shame.

If shame is not addressed, it can wreak havoc on your self-worth, authentic self, social life, and mood, manifesting unhealthy behaviors such as, perfectionism and avoidance.

Close your eyes, breathe through the shame and breathe out the disparaging thoughts.

Repeat to yourself, “ I am human” “ I am imperfect” “I am lovable” “ I am worthy” “I am okay”

Just in case

Just in caseJust in case

You forget the world is a dangerous place.

The mind won’t let you forget.

The mind shifts towards pain and worry navigating from thoughts that may brighten your day.

Just in case you forget the world is a dangerous place.

The mind leaps across cavernous gorges, tirelessly devoted to the pursuit of hurts and irritants, just in case.

A dilemma faced by most, some more than others; nevertheless it is all part and parcel of being alive.

The mind keeps watch over potential dangers; it wanders into dark, unforgiving places, just in case.

Just in case you forget that the world is a dangerous place.

The mind assumes a vigilante stance spotting possible perils, real or imagined, to safeguard your life.

There is no stopping the mind, it remains steadfast until it finds what it needs, going to lengths, drawing upon forgotten memories, lifting boulders, jumping through fire, risking it all to expose the hazard.

Refusing to take a gamble, just in case.

Staring into the eyes of others probing for malicious intent, if not obvious, it will scavenge to find a flaw, just in case.

Relieved, the mind can rest, but only for a second, it is off again.

Yet the world is a dangerous place.

Don’t blame the mind; it is only doing its job, the job of keeping you alive.

Despite evolution the mind is stuck, foretelling and creating thoughts that are meant to safeguard your life, though unknowingly is dulling your life.

Trapped in a groove, so ancient and deep, the mind holds on for dear life,

Just in case

 

Recipe: Reducing Negative Thinking

Simply by observing your thoughts will lessen the hold on potential dangers

Take moment several times a day, to observe your thoughts, place a label on them, pleasant, unpleasant or neutral

Once thoughts receives a label, take a deep breath and watch the thought diminish or retreat.

A thought’s power depends on you, if you fuel it by grasping on to it, it will remain strong and steadfast.

Observe your thoughts with neutrality and eventually the groove of negative thinking loosens and a new groove is created.

You are no longer living, just in case.

Sadness is OK

Sadness is OKSadness is OK

Let sadness express itself; it has a voice, a purpose and a place.

Sadness speaks to loss, disappointments, and hardships.

Softly and subtly drawing the mind into the fold of the body, protecting it from the storm outside.

There are no words spoken, though the body feels its presence.

Heaviness succumbs to limbs and muscles, shoulders droop, as do the corners of the mouth.

Sadness nudges its way towards the heart, side stepping happiness and hope.

Within in the heart sadness marks its spot; happiness makes a valiant effort to stave it off, though sadness stands strong it understands its purpose.

Its purpose to heal, heal old and fresh wounds, caused by loss, disappointments and hardships, removing distractions that interfere with healing.

Happiness despises sadness because of the suffering it evokes; it fears an end to happiness. Though sadness has no interest in settling down, all it wants is to heal, so it too can move on.

Sadness is OK; it helps you grow, strengthens your resilience with stress, opens your heart to others, and last but not least teaches you about you.

Resembling a growing pain, sadness too experiences achy muscles, dull moods, as with bones, once the sadness lifts, growth has already begun.

Let sadness express itself.

Sadness is OK.

 

Recipe: Sitting with Sadness

When you are experiencing sadness or within the same emotional family take a seat, close your eyes, take 3 deep breaths, sit with the feeling, notice its texture, shape, colour… where in your body is this feeling felt?

Notice if your first impulse is to push it away, or seek out a distraction. Be careful not to condemn yourself for doing so, just sit with it.

Breathe again and stay with the sadness, if it becomes too overwhelming, ground yourself, touch the ground, use the breath as your focal point.

The key is to observe your sadness without running from it.

With time, your sadness may lessen, remain as it was or heighten intensity

Say to yourself, ‘sadness is OK.’

Sit for 5 minutes maybe longer just to sit.

Then gentle open your eyes and get on with your day. Chances are you will need to revisit sadness multiple times, until sadness is replaced by happiness.

Sadness is OK

Be in a flow

Be in a flowWhat does it feel like to be in a flow?

In a flow, nothing seems to matters; all attention is on the task at hand.

Unbroken attentiveness, all that surrounds you stops, there is no time, clocks cease to exist, a timeless state.

All aches and pains dissipate, mind and body in unison, the heart races and slows, eyes focus without distractions, hands move effortlessly, head nods and sways, shoulders tighten and relax, time stands still.

There are no thoughts, limbs draw energy deep within, the mind has released its hold, maintaining distance, staying close in case it’s needed. In the flow, the mind takes a siesta, a well-deserved break, from problem solving, planning and distractions.

In a flow, pleasurable feelings emerge, replacing the bad stuff.

There is no room for both. Happy emotions dominate.

Senses and thoughts suspend to expose those areas where flow exists.

In flow we feel happy, peaceful at ease like a twig meandering down a stream.

In sharp contrast to our busy mind, constantly attending to our daily routine, blocking the flow.

Flow states are rare, they can happen every day, anytime, anyplace, many times a day, but we have a choice of where to place our attention.

A flow is an essential ingredient to happiness.

Flows are independent of dramatic events; regardless of emergency or ecstatic.

Mediation will rewire your brain for increased flow; through meditation your brain begins the journey of re-evaluation what is meaningful.

A process to enjoy increased happiness.

 

Recipe: Be in the flow

Dedicate 5 – 10 minutes each day to sitting in stillness, either close your eyes or keep your eyes open maintaining a soft gaze on one thing.

Practice bringing your attention back, to either the breath or the thing you are looking at, as thoughts come and go.

With a consistent practice, your brain will remain on the very thing you have chosen to place your attention on.

During the day, practice bringing yourself back to the activity you are doing: washing dishes, cooking, writing, working, talking on the phone, eating, whatever it is you are attending to.

With time and practice, your flows will increase as will your overall happiness and joy.

Be in the flow

Delays

DelaysDelays can be your greatest teachers

Flight delays teach patience

Delayed gratification teaches tolerance

A delayed visit from a friend teaches deep breathing

Delay in the purchase of your home teaches unflappability

A delayed birth of your baby teaches acceptance

Delayed adolescents teaches playfulness or trepidation of growing up

Delayed happiness teaches fatalism

Delaying the inevitable teaches fear

Then what does a delay in your good health teach

Or the delay of the perfect life you once had before your loved one died teach?

Lessons learned when a prosperous career or a loving marriage is delayed are some of the most difficult ones to absorb.

Delays are inevitable, yet are a constant source of torment for many.

Though there are the lucky few who roll with the punches, easily accepting these interruptions?

What is a delay?

It is merely a pause in a plan, though can create a powerful sense of losing control, being disempowered.

Delays are unexpected interruptions in your timetable. They are reminders that life does not always go according to plan.

These delays are the greatest teachers of tolerance, patience, and most importantly not to take life too seriously.

They are the lessons prompting you to loosen your grip on man-made schedules; realizing that gripping on to trajectories are a set up for disappointment and frustration.

Delays teach you to ride the wave, with agility, foreseeing the possibility that you might get swept underneath.

The beauty of learning these lessons is the cultivation of the trust that you will at some point get back up on the wave again, chances are it will be a different wave but it will get you to where you want to go.

Delays impart the resolve to manage life’s rollercoaster ride, creating flexibility and belief that at the end of the day things work out.

Life is about delays, the sticky, messy sweet syrupy gunk that clings to anything within its path.

Life is less about things being flawless; it is more about accepting life for what it is, whatever happens.

Delays are fortuitous adventures, unplanned, unknown and unexpected, their spontaneous nature is what creates the energy of life. They are the seeds of creativity and inspiration; neither of these can be planned.

As difficult as a delay may seem in that moment, remember it is an opportunity that takes you to places you would never of experienced had gone according to plan.

Embrace delays, listen and learn from them, as they can be your greatest teachers.

 

Recipe: Delaying Regret Meditation

This meditation will teach you the art of delaying something that you may regret, whether it is saying something unkind, purchasing something you don’t need, making an impulsive decision, grabbing for that piece of chocolate or a drink.

Practice taking long deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth.

When confronted with a situation that evokes agitation, take 3 deep breaths, walk away for a moment and then decide what to do.

Those 3 breaths may be enough to delay an impulsive reaction or if not, take a walk which should relax your nervous system, then decide what to do next.

Sitting with it

Sitting with itSitting with it

Sitting with what?

Sitting with your shit.

Why would you ever choose to sit in your own muck, when sidestepping it would be so much sweeter?

Sitting in it, as perverse as it might sound; is the critical step to getting to know who the hell you are, how you tick, what makes you happy.

Sitting with it, removes the swaggering know it allness, having it all togetherness, eliminating the veneer you project to the world.

Knowing yourself is far greater than what you have been exposed to throughout your life; there is a depth that seeps beyond the outer world, sitting with your own dirt allows you to enter the heart of you.

It is a tirelessly, arduous journey getting to know yourself, there are neither: guidelines to follow nor mentors to seek out. It is a lonely business.

What happens to most of us is we delude ourselves into believing we know who we are, we can speak openly about our peculiarities, believing that is us.

But are our eccentricities who we are, or is there more that waits to be realized?

Perhaps, the other question is, is it worth the effort, can we continue on living deluded?  Not an easy question to answer, until you have actually gotten to the space of knowing who you are, or at least close to it.

If you choose to make the effort, where do you begin?

Begin with being brutally honest, no lies, or defensive posturing, put all your cards on the table. Start with the truth, genuine feelings, not I should or shouldn’t feel that way or this way, or something is wrong that I feel this way.

As I like to say you need to sit in your own shit, sit with it all, your own messy head with its fears, delusions, saboteurs, the head that appears to be conspiring against your happiness.

It will at first feel crappy, though the beauty of it, it is yours, no one can take that from you.

Once you have sat there for a while, it begins to become too uncomfortable, there comes that moment when you have had enough and it needs to be cleaned up. You won’t know what you need to clean up until you have sat in it for yourself.

From that point onwards you systematically remove the mess, you are able do this because you now know what the mess consists of, it is right there in front, under and on the sides of you. You see your shit for what it is.

Cleaning up takes time, especially as most of us have things that we never knew existed until you sat down on top of it.

Do it methodologically, eliminate things one at a time, gradually remove the things you no longer want, those things that are destructive and toxic, creating space for things that bring joy and peace.

Getting to know yourself, is not a clean process, it starts out messy, it takes time and patience. It is indeed a crappy job, but when you begin to eradicate the negative, space opens up for the you which is serene content, relaxed, loving… then the effort is all worth it.

Sit with it as the first step to creating happiness.

 

Recipe: Sitting with it meditation

Take few moments to settle into a comfortable seat.

Close your eyes, or look towards the ground with a soft gaze (eyes slightly closed)

Take 3 deep breath, or as many breaths until your mind and body calms down

Then begin to sit with whatever feelings are coming up for you, do not push away the uncomfortable crappy feelings

Breathe in, say “sit”, Breathe out, say, “it”

Sit with it, keep sitting with it and watch it as an observer, not a participant.

Be curious and kind to yourself, because we all have shit to deal with.

After 5 – 10 mins, return to your breath and invite calm into your body.

Open your eyes when ready.

Take few minutes to assimilate the meditation on a physical and emotional level, then get on with your day.

Be patient and kind while sitting with it.

Remember everyone has it, you are not alone.

 

Without fear

Without fearPart 1: Without fear

What would a day be like without fear?

Have you ever had such a day?

You now move with ease, as before you felt stiff and tired, slugging a heavy body around weighed down by stress.

A day without fear, lightens your load, opens your heart and elevates your mood.

That fearless day, adds a spring to your step, a smile on your face and a desire to fly.

That day you see the subtleties all around you, you look at the world with eyes wide open, sounds become magnified, smells enhanced, touch actually felt and the taste of foods are the best.

Somehow the food comes alive, when you are without fear and the crow’s raucous crowing punctures your eardrums, when you are without fear.

The sun is brighter and warmer, when you are without fear.

Love for humanity flows when fear is set aside

Is it possible to live without fear?

Not really or should I say not completely, but living with less fear is possible.

It is the unnecessary fear we want less of.

Unnecessary fear is what we fear most of the time.

Unnecessary fear comes under the umbrella of fear-based thoughts which produces worry, concern, stress, anxiety, alarmed, restless, doubtful, unsure, guilt, embarrassed, shame, hopeless…

Examples of some of these thoughts:

Fear when you wake up and prepare for the day, what will day be like, or what will that meeting feel like, how will I look.

Fear of the simplest things, will I be late, will there be traffic, or will I forget the milk I need for later.

Fear what to make for dinner, pick the kids up from school, getting my hair cut, saying hello to that stranger who just caught my eye, where is that matching sock.

Fear that your shoes don’t match, or your nails need repainting, or should I make the bed this morning.

Fear that you won’t finish by the deadline, or that there is not enough money for the rent, or did I water the plants, I think I forgot.

Fear that I might not sleep tonight, or that I am getting sick, or I should really start exercising.

Fear that I am getting a fat, I drink a little too much, I did not eat greens today or I need to call the plumber.

Fear that the taxes need to get done, I forgot to put the dishwasher on, I need to take the clothes out of the wash.

Fear my father is ill, my mother is aging, I am aging, my children are leaving, I am alone.

Fear that I yelled at my child or at my spouse or my dog, I need to clean out the weeds in the front of my house, my neighbor may be looking at the mess, her garden is immaculate.

Fear I want to take a nap, but shouldn’t, If I nap I am lazy, I must go to the gym, will it rain today.

Fear that life is passing too quickly, there is not enough time, I need to get my degree, I need a well paying job, I need a vacation, I am not in the mood for cooking, but should not eat out again.

Damn I forgot the milk!

Fear inhabits every facet of our lives; every waking moment and it sneaks its way into our dreams.

You might think fear occurs only during big crisis events, though actually fear-based thoughts are the most dangerous and toxic.

These fears are the ones which make us sick and depressed, lash out at our loved ones, twist our ankles, create panic attacks, lose motivation, hinder our ability to make decisions, these unnecessary fears become habits.

It is not the gigantic stuff that is the culprit to our stressed out lives, its is the constant chatter in our heads which randomly remind you that you are afraid, stay on guard, be alert, even it is as simple as forgetting the milk needed for the cereal in the morning.

Stay tuned for how to live life without fear in next week’s Recipe

 

Recipe: Becoming aware of your fear-based thoughts exercise

Pick one day to do this exercise

In a notebook or on a sheet of paper, jot down your fear-based thoughts

Thoughts that pertain to worry, concern, anxiety, unsure, anger, restlessness, overwhelmed, stress, guilt, embarrassed.

Thoughts that begin with I should, need, have to … What if… I can’t… It is impossible…I have a problem… I am bad, useless, stupid, a failure…

Notice if you feel any of those kinds of feelings above; ask yourself what did I just think, notice your behavior based on the thought

For example:

Feeling – Anxious and stressed

Thought- I will be late

Behavior – rushing

Next week I will give you the exercise and meditation to begin to eliminate unnecessary fears out of you daily life.

Stay tuned for Part 2 – Without Fear next week

Loneliness and boredom meet Inspired

Loneliness and bordom meet InspiredLoneliness and boredom meet Inspired

Loneliness and boredom together are the saddest friends

Their crooked arms link with one another, holding each other up

Loneliness hides beneath the covers, while boredom stirs seeking refuge from nothingness.

When the two get together, they are the oddest of companions, both forlorn with droopy eyes.

Nothing is spoken; their presence envelops one another, neither one pushing the other ahead.

They rely on each other to get through the day, laying on beds, couches and such, energy zapped, nowhere to go, nothing to see.

Until Inspired marches in, with eyes round and wide, arms pumping with vigor and fingers pointing.

Inspired, takes hold of Loneliness and Boredom, scoops both up as if one, looks penetratingly into their eyes, right through to their soul, saying,

“Get up!!!!”

“Get out of your rut!”

“You two have been friends for way too long”

Loneliness and Boredom, wipe their bleary eyes, focusing on the dynamic presence of Inspired, almost afraid to move, not sure what to do, where to go, what to be.

Inspired, quite powerful, not intimidating at all, smiles the smile that leaps off walls and penetrates us all. The smile that shakes the ground we walk on.

Loneliness looks inconsolably towards Boredom, their eyes meet, and sigh a touch of relief their days are numbered for the time being. They know their friendship has reached an end, as Inspired as joined the fold.

A threesome is not the same as a twosome, especially if the third to join is Inspiration. There is no room for the three in one bed, couch and such.

Inspiration takes it’s all, Loneliness and Boredom are sequestered to the floor.

Once Inspiration makes its presence there is no turning back, as Loneliness and Boredom, slink away with heavy hearts and weary souls, they creep underneath the bed still friends.

Underneath they lay, listening as Inspiration settles down on the bed that was once theirs, not quietly, or gently, but with exhilaration, the bed shakes and sways.

So Loneliness and Boredom, retreat once again, until Inspiration, tires and slinks away giving the space back to Loneliness and boredom, and then it starts again.

 

Recipe: Getting Inspired Meditation

 

There will inevitably be many moments when you feel stuck, either you are bored or feeling lonely, or the two together.

Rather than doing what you might do intuitively, is to find a distraction, turn on the TV, search the web, grab a book, or call someone, allow yourself to sit with the feeling of boredom/loneliness.

Find a quiet space to sit with your feelings of boredom/loneliness

Close your eyes and allow the feelings to be, do not make any attempt to push them away

Sit and breathe and notice where you are experiencing these feelings in your body

Breathe and sit with them

Wait, until either the feeling dissipates or you are ready to get up

Do not condemn yourself for having these feelings, as they are felt in all humans

Repeat if necessary

Through our feelings of boredom and loneliness, often comes the opportunity for growth

Don’t be afraid of them lasting too long, as they rarely do

All you have to do is wait and see

I got you

I got youI got you

What are these emotions?

Emotions have the power to bring great joy as well has great heartache, turning you upside down, inside out, running away, running towards, remaining stuck.

Those emotions that fire you up, kick you in the gut, tear your hair out, and make you weep until you are empty.

Emotional rollercoaster, merry-go-round, waves, they make their presence either way.

They are felt in your gut, in your head, on your shoulders, your heart, lower back… the body wraps it up and holds it tight

Emotions grab your throat, restrict your breath, cloud your thoughts, and turn your legs jelly.

This loop between fear and driving forward, when you don’t know whether you are coming or going, until you stop moving, burnt out, sick and tired.

Then you turn your head and look around and see over in the distance, calm, peace, tranquility, waiting patiently with its hand out reaching toward you. Not the apathetic calm, the calm that wraps its arms around and holds you.

The calm that sooths you to sleep and reassures you with a whisper ‘I got you’.

“I got you”, calm says

The emotion that softens your heart, makes you smile, warms your body.

That distant feeling sits looking with encouraging eyes, as it knows what you need, it takes you in when you are at your wits end, when you see no way out, when your suffering has become greater than you.

This calm has no limits, it can give indefinitely, it holds your hand and walks with you, not behind or front, as does sadness and fear, and it is your constant companion, loving you unconditionally.

When life’s storms rise, look towards calm and reach out, take his hand and walk with calm and listen to his words:

“I got you”

 

Recipe: I got you meditation

Close your eyes, take 3 deep breaths

Explore within a feeling you need to attend to, the one that is screaming for attention.

Label it without judging it… anxiety, fear, sadness, hurt, grief, anger… name it.

Sit with it; let it be, watch where it is sits in your body, what it feels like, what sensations are emerging.

Then ask it to leave, release it with your breath… watch it, if it goes or is not quite ready.

Then come back to your calming breath, the hand that holds you.

Repeat silently or out loud “ I got you” as calm begins to envelop your body, mind, and soul.

I got you… I got you… I got you

Let calm and peace hold you and immerse you in love.

I got you

RJMindbody

RJMindbody