Category: Feelings

Oct 22, 2017

Urgency?

Waking up on a weekend morning, with the sun filtering through the shades, taking a moment to roll out of bed, meander to the coffee pot.

There is no sense of rushing, no sense of urgency on such days.

The day in front of you is slower, offering any and all possibilities

Why these mornings feel so lovely, because there is no urgency to them

During the workweek, the pace of life speeds up, the getting up is strewn with anxious feelings, the coffee cannot brew quickly enough

The day is choked with obligations, a sense of urgency

Urgency to get to where you are going, do what you do, eat when you have to eat, get home when you have to get home.

Sometimes this sense of urgency seeps into our weekends as well, when that happens when do you slow down?

What’s the rush?

Most things are not urgent, saving your child’s life as they step off the curb into an oncoming car, is urgent.

Braking the car quickly to prevent an accident, is urgent

Saving people from a fire is urgent.

Most of the day’s activities are not urgent, though we approach them as if they are.

Urgency stems from an uptight society, it is contagious

Consumed by so-called pressing things, meetings that have to be attended to, emails returned, all work related things seem important.

Home life can feel as pressured, homework completed, dinner eaten, dance class and maybe a yoga class, thrown in.

Then it is time to sleep, not the kind of sleep after a leisurely day, the sleep that gets shoe horned in so you can get up to race around again.

Your life does not need to be replete with urgency, since nothing is that critical.

Catch yourself being hurried; your breathing will be a telltale sign

Slow down, breathe deeply and fully and say to yourself “ It is not urgent”, “there is no need to rush”, “If I am late, or don’t finish that thing, what is the worst thing that will happen?”

Urgency is a state of mind that depletes your energy reserves, the energy required for experiencing joy.

Recipe: Breathing away urgency meditation

This meditation can be done anywhere and at anytime

Pause for a moment and place one hand on your chest and one hand just below the belly button

Continue to breathe normally and notice which hand is moving more.

If the top hand is moving and the bottom is not, then you are breathing with urgency or chest breathing.

If the bottom hand moves more, you are relaxed

If two hands move in unison, you are most likely experiencing a relaxed/alert state, especially when the shoulders expand outward rather than upward

Relaxed/alert state is when you are calm and awake, neither lethargic nor too energized.

If you are feeling stressed or urgent simply by changing your breathing pattern from chest breathing to belly or both, your sense of urgency will shift.

It is impossible to feel urgent and belly breathe at the same time

All you need is to pause, shift your breathing to include your belly.

Inhale belly expands, exhale belly retracts

Enjoy life more without urgency.

Oct 13, 2017

Caught

CaughtCaught out or in the act, with your trousers down, red handed

Sometimes getting caught is a relief when finally you can be honest

Interesting how much energy goes into deceiving others and ourselves.

Convincing ourselves that we are something when we are not, happy when we are actually depressed, enjoy what we do for a living when we don’t.

With others we paste smiles on our faces when we are angry, say ‘yes’ when we mean ‘no’ or laugh when we want to cry.

Carrying this load of deception weighs heavy on your mind and body, but most of all on your heart.

You might not even be aware of your deceitfulness, despite the fact that every morning your legs feel like lead.

Dragging your body from here to there, to and fro, until it finds a place to rest.

That place maybe on a barstool or in front of the TV munching a bag of crisps.

I have found myself crawling onto the couch, longing to sleep it all away.

It is an exhausting existence to pretend all is ok when it is not.

Longing in the depths of our heart to get caught, then at last the pretending is over.

Initially you find you are hanging from a ledge, not knowing which way to turn, possibly deciding to jump and run for it, or hold on until the coast is clear and then crawl back up to cheat on yourself again.

Cheat yourself from happiness, from thing your truth.

Although it is only a matter of time, when the burden weights you down and you are hanging from the ledge again.

Until the truth is acknowledged and spoken, the ledge is where you will remain.

Speak the truth, if not I guarantee you will get caught out.

 

Recipe: Catching the truth meditation

If you are noticing that you are beginning to feel heavy, lethargic, tired in the morning, not just once but if it becomes a pattern take a seat.

Close your eyes, take 3 deep breaths.

Ask yourself to ‘Speak the truth’, repeat 3 times and wait

Until something pops up for you, if not no worries, repeat the phrase again.

‘Speak the truth’

Be patient, it may take time.

The answer may come as you are going about your daily life.

Keep asking, try not to get caught up in thinking it through, allow the answer to emerge organically, within the silence of the mind.

Be honest with yourself no matter what it is, chronic deception will destroy you in the long run.

Catch the truth

Sep 17, 2017

Stop

Stop

Stop!

When?

What now? The body screams as it staggers home after a strenuous day.

Really!? The head thumps following a deluge of meetings and reading reports.

Yes, Stop! The heart races tired and forlorn having had little time for self.

Despite the chorus of requests to slow down, you push ahead.

Placing more things on your plate, taking nothing off.

Bring it on, you say, as your shoulders slump with fatigue.

I can do it, it has to be done, who else can do it but me?

So there you are with gritted teeth, locked jaw and eyes drooping, unrelentingly continuing on.

This becomes the way of life, you know no difference, aside from the inaudible voices deep from within, bubbling up, attempting to get your attention.

Stop! They whisper.

Stop!! They intensify.

Stop!!! They scream.

Then you may stop and listen, only because your body has been wrestled down with an illness or the mind has laid a heavy blanket of gloom over you.

This may be your catalyst to stop and take a respite, until you recover your health and energy, only to jump back on the fast track of life.

Stopping again only when the body shouts again.

The cycle continues, until recuperation takes longer, illnesses become chronic, life-threatening, and then you might stop.

This time stopping does not entail living healthy and well, it tucks you away in a vacuum of joylessness and suffering.

It sounds grim, but why wait to find out stop and slow down.

Say no more, leave your plate half empty and say yes to things that make you happy.

Stop and ponder this thought.

 

Recipe: Stop Meditation

When you notice that you are feeling tired, overwhelmed, stressed, unfocused, angry, irritable…

Stop, take 3 deep breaths, slow down.

Ask yourself honestly, “Am I doing too much?”

If you are feeling any of these feelings, odds are you are overextending yourself.

Stop again and take 3 deep breaths, slow down.

Ask yourself, “ What can I let go of?”

Remind yourself, that taking care of yourself is paramount to your long-lasting physical and mental health.

Don’t shortchange your needs.

Stop again, take 3 deep breaths, relax your shoulders, your face and sit up tall with your feet resting on the ground.

It takes time to chip away your schedule and create a new mindset that less is more.

 

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

Sep 10, 2017

Lost?

Lost

Get Lost?

How many of you have lost something?

Keys, wallet, your dog, motivation or mojo?

Keys and wallet, however frustrating can be replaced.

Dog under normal circumstances found.

Motivation and mojo regained

Losing something are things once known

Now getting lost is different

Becoming lost is allowing for the unknowns to emerge.

We lose people we love, things we value and energies where they become part of the storehouse of memories.

But when we allow ourselves to get lost, to venture into unknown spaces, and try new things our world expands.

Losing things remind us of the past, while getting lost is a present moment experience.

Because there is no vantage point when lost, emotions are rampant, so intense and loose that there is not an area in your body, which is not bursting with aliveness.

Though frightening being lost can be, exhilaration meanders close behind.

Losing things leave us sadden, pining for what was, getting lost hurdles us forward into the unfamiliar, it changes us.

None of us like to lose things or get lost, both elicit distress.

Yet, we all lose things whether we like it or not.

Getting lost can be avoided at the cost of losing our self, our potential and what gives us a purpose.

We avoid by sticking with what is known

Since loss is inevitable, getting lost should be so too.

If you never take risks or venture into the unknown, then you are missing the essence of living?

Make the time to get lost.

 

Recipe: Getting Lost Meditation

Find a comfortable seat and close your eyes

Take 10 deep breaths inhale through the nose and out through the nose

Once relaxed take your minds eye deep within and imagine you are on a beach, woods or anywhere of your choosing

You are alone; no one is sight, but you,

Look around and decide which way to walk, it doesn’t matter because you don’t have a planned direction

Follow your intuition and begin to walk.  What do you see, is it cold, warm, hot?

Is it sunny, cloudy or rainy?

Choose anything; play with it because this is your journey into getting lost

Observe your emotions, allow them to arise

After 5 minutes notice where you ended up, what it was like to not know where you are and where you are going

Was your heart pumping, skin tingling, afraid or excited?

Do not judge yourself, it does not matter, only that you are on a journey into the unknown

 

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Really?? !!

Really

Is it for real? Really? Are you kidding?

Spellbound, stuck in a swamp of sticky, squishy mess.

Did you just say that? Excuse me?

Eyes wide, eyelids cease to blink

Hearing turned up to its highest volume, the mouth struggling to form a word

Mouth is frozen due to the brains shock into immobility

Neurons confused, misfiring across synapsis searching for a logical explanation.

Body heavy, weighted down, like an anchor caught in a submerged fishing net.

Is it true? Can it be? Wait a moment? Can you repeat?

Expecting one thing and getting something else instead.

Surprise!!!

We have all been there

Having already imagined yourself there, living It in your imagination, making plans for That future dream.

Within seconds, which feels more like hours, your dreams take a turn and promenade off the edge of a cliff.

Looking down, aghast as you watch That dream fall to its death, and no matter what you say or do you cannot stop it.

Yes, we have all been there?

These moments etched into our memories never to be forgotten.

They are moments in time, surprise events, where expectations are dashed; shaking your head as if by doing so will change the outcome.

Uttering phrases: What could I have done differently? If only? What did I do wrong?

Disappointment careens through your system initially with such speed it throws you off your balance, eventually decelerating to a blip

You get over it, move on, and regain the new normal.

The new normal may not be what you expected, but it is another one of those life’s lessons: Life moves on… Get back on your horse… What will be will be

Once the shock wears off and your disappointment reduces to a sputter, you can now turn around and walk away from the edge of the cliff and…

Get on with living.

 

Recipe: Breathing through disappointment

When faced with a disappointment due to a turn events

You will automatically hold your breath; this is one of the reasons time feels like it is standing still

Holding your breath triggers the Sympathetic Nervous System, Stress Response

Fortunately, you are able to reverse this response by taking long deep breaths

It might be you step away from the person giving the news or asking for a moment

Begin taking long deep breaths through your nose and exhale out your mouth, if you can close your eyes, invite your eyes to close and follow your breath until your nervous system relaxes.

Taking the time out to follow your breath provides time to absorb the news and bring you back into your body letting the really escape.

Back to where you feel safe and secure

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Mindfulness course

Rejection

rejectionRejection hurts

Did not get the grades, job, promotion or that award, no matter what life stage you are in rejection hurts.

It feels like being punched in the gut, leaving you writhing for breath, the air that once kept you afloat with dreams of success sucked out of you. Left with a narrative that will replay itself about how worthless you are.

Rejection hurts, though interestingly everyone has in some form or another felt it, having received ‘ I regret to inform you’, or ‘ It is our sincerest apologies’ or ‘We need to talk’ messages.

Gut wrenching, describes rejection, an emotional grip on your worth and likability. Instinctually it is akin to being ostracized from your tribe, left to fend alone.

It is a lonely place to be, no one is able to console you, and no words can ameliorate the pain. Their gentle, yet unconvincing clichés settle like a bee on a flower only to flit away, returning you to your hollow state.

Let’s put this in perspective.

If every person gets rejected by someone, at some point in their lives, then what makes you think you are the only one?

You are not alone in this pity party, woe is me moment.

Rejection is neither good nor bad, it essentially suggests that you have taken a risk.

The more rejections mean you have put yourself out there, taken a chance, and exposed yourself, despite the possibility of rejection.

Good on you!

If you want to minimize your rejections then take fewer risks, the downside to that you miss out on opportunities, personal growth and developing resiliency.

Next time you are rejected, have a pity party, invite your friends, whine and dine, then get up dust yourself off and leave. Identify what you could have done differently or acknowledged you did your best. If best, isn’t good enough it only means your life has detoured in a direction you did not expect.

Remember you are not alone; you have 7.5 billion friends who understand.

 

Recipe: Sitting with your rejection meditation

Following a rejection, take a seat, close your eyes.

Take 3 deep breaths, inhale through the nose, exhale either through the nose or mouth

Allow yourself to begin to calm your agitated nervous system

As your body relaxes, sit with the dominant feeling, choosing the one that stands out, not all of them at once

Identify where that feeling has settled in your body and breathe into it

If this is too painful, move into a child’s pose; place your forehead on the ground, with your bottom towards your heels.

Breathe, move away from the narrative, the beat yourself up voice, into the body.

Depending on the impact of the rejection, you may have to do this several times.

Remind yourself, you are not alone

 

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Stressed

Stressed

Stressed the common response for pretty much everything when the senses and nervous system are overloaded

Stressed when tired, anxious, distracted

Stressed when excited, overwhelmed, insecure

Stressed when grumpy, hurt

Stressed is one of those words that lacks meaning, leaving you feeling lost, confused, possibly slightly satisfied, though where does that word take you?

Then what?  You are stressed!

What do you do then?

It becomes a throw away comment, such as ‘I’m busy ‘and ‘I am fine’

Everyone says it, so we say it

It is a label, similar to depressed, a succinct descriptor of how you feel.

Placing all your emotions under a one lid may seem crisp and efficient, though it traps you.

Traps you into the self-fulfilling prophecy of being stressed; not once in awhile but all the time.

Everything becomes experienced as stressful

Waking up, getting ready to leave the house, leaving the house, feeling stressed

Once involved in your day, feeling stressed

Stressed with the prospect of meeting someone new, going out with your work mates or going to the gym

Stress can be found in your happiest days, holidays, Christmas, a new baby or a first home and marriage

Stress creeps into the nooks and crannies of pleasurable times as it does sad times.

You cannot run or take cover from it; stress finds you, takes hold of you whether awake or sleep.

We find ways to get away from it, albeit only temporarily.

Get away by drinking alcohol to quell your nerves, smoke dope to zone out, eat greasy foods to warm your nerves and sleep to escape.

Then you sober up and guess what? Stress is still there with bulgy eyes and a quickened heart.

What can you do if there is nowhere to hide or run too?

Face stress head on, look at, and see it for what it is.

Stress is tired, happy, excited, lonely, disappointed, grumpy, overworked, underworked, irritable, hurt, embarrassed, impatient…

Catch stress as it enters your mind, before it leaves your lips, replace it with the actual emotion and then you no longer feel trapped or hopeless.

You can give it the appropriate label and do something about it or just the satisfaction of knowing what it is.

Recipe: Reframe Stressed Meditation

When feeling stressed, close your eyes and identify the physical sensations arising.

Tight shoulders, rapid heart rate, sweaty palms, tension in the chest, head, lower back, heaviness in legs and arms, tingles or another sensation

Then ask yourself, what am I feeling?

Tired, weary, anxious, excited, overwhelmed, bored, lonely, distracted or another feeling

Replace ‘stressed’ with the actual feeling

For instance, ‘I feel stressed’ with ‘I feel tired’ or ‘ I feel frustrated’ or ‘I feel angry’

Take 3 deep breaths and acknowledge that feeling

This is not the time to resolve the situation, just sit with it

Then open your eyes and get on with your day

Stop using ‘stressed’ as you catch all phrase for how you feel

Eventually, you will feel less stressed and more at ease and true to yourself

 

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With Courage by your side

With courageWith Courage

Where did my Courage go as I stepped out the door?

Looking behind, waving to Courage to join me, though there was no convincing him to leave the comfort of the bed.

Nestled under the covers, Courage decided to stay.

I had neither the time nor energy to grab hold of Courage and drag him out of bed.

So I left him behind.

If only I had taken the time to sit on the edge of the bed and discuss Courage’s malaise, my day would have been different.

That day had taken on many twists and turns, grappling for the very thing I needed, tucked away in bed at home, which was Courage.

My steps that day were weighted down, the heaviness in my legs made it almost impossible to move with ease.

Without Courage, my shoulders were burdened with fearful thoughts, self-doubts, insecurity, with that came forgetfulness.

The world did not feel as safe without Courage.

When Courage was there he would either sit on my shoulders or gently place his hands on my back, supporting and pressing me on.

Without Courage, I lost my confidence, only seeing the cloudy skies, people’s disappointed faces and all the botches.

If Courage were there he would have turned my head towards the sunny skies, my arms up high, lifting my head to see the smiling faces and nods of acceptance.

Courage would never have allowed me to ignore what went well that day, all the achievements and efforts, irrespective of the outcomes.

Only if I had taken the time this morning, maybe been a little late, to sit and talk to Courage, convince him he needs to accompany me, that without him, the world becomes a bleaker place.

Without him, I walk on tender hooks

Without him, rejection destroys me

Without him, I feel alone

Without him, I lack energy

Without him, I take no risks

Without him, the day is sad

With Courage you can overcome mostly anything, don’t leave it behind.

Take the time.

 

Recipe: Taking the Time Meditation

Give yourself time to prepare for the day, carve out extra time.

Sit for 5 minutes on a chair, the floor, or the bed.

Close your eyes and follow the rhythm of your breath.

Inhale and exhale 3 times then add:

As you breathe in say, “I breathe courage in”

As you breathe out say, “ I breathe fear out”

Repeat for 5 minutes and then get on with your day.

Take the time each day to invite Courage in.

Do not leave Courage behind; make sure you bring him with you.

Take the time

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

Stop and look

Stop and lookStop and look

Take a moment, stop, look around at what you see, listen to what you hear, feel what you feel.

What is happening now? Not what might, did, or will happen, what is happening now?

Anxiety, worries, and upsets soar into to the mind at such speed, catching you unawares, before you have a chance, you are swept up in a milieu of unknown fears.

Until thoughts are intercepted, worries and concerns dominate.

Asking the question ‘what is happening now?’ Halts worries in their tracks, immobilising them. Negative thoughts exist only when the mind is disconnected from the present moment.

Try it! See what happens to your frazzled nerves, dark thoughts and sweaty palms by stopping and looking at what is happening now.

All that is required is asking, “ What is happening now?”

Too simplistic, maybe, crude possibly, but it works!

What is happening now grounds you in the physical world, drawing you away from the mind’s obsession with creating chaos and pain.

What is happening now creates a safety net to fall into when negative thoughts become unwieldy.

What is happening now a reality check, a hook to hang anxieties on.

What is happening now, you ask?

My fingers are tapping on the keyboard

I hear an airplane above, a child crying and the wind knocking blinds

I see a computer screen with letters and words, my coffee next to me, a plant

What is happening now?

My shoulders are tense, ankles crossed, skin touching the chair

For those few moments, my mind no longer flailing to think a thought, it was given a job to answer the question and amazingly it did its job.

It’s a win/win, the mind can focus rather than go on tangents about this and that and you are anxiety free.

Free from what might, did or will happen.

Free!

Now give it a try!

What is happening now?

 

Recipe: Stop and look

Ground yourself with the question, “What is happening now? “when you are worried, anxious, overwhelmed, unfocused.

It only takes a few moments, silently or out loud say what you see, hears, feel smell, and taste.

Notice how your thoughts no longer gravitate towards what you were thinking, they are answering the question.

Practice this throughout the day.

Take a moment to stop and look!

RJMindbody

RJMindbody