The past few weeks (or years) have been challenging. Collectively we are experiencing a lot of upheaval and uncertainty, tragedy and loss. On top of that we all have our personal challenges and experiences to navigate.
In the midst of it all there can still be beauty and good. As humans we are very good at redirecting the light to create something good out of terrible situations. My hope is that when the going gets tough, you have the tools in your toolbox to navigate through it as smoothly as possible.
To support you in this, I would like to share a few simple actions that can help when life gets stormy:
1. Breathe – our breathing becomes irregular and shallow when we are stressed. Taking deep, belly breaths helps lower your heart rate and reduce stress. We may not realize when we’re holding our breath or breathing irregularly, so when you find yourself stressed, pause and mindfully breathe to redirect.
A great, simple exercise is box breathing:
- Inhale for the count of 5
- Hold the in-breath for the count of 5
- Exhale for the count of 5
- Hold the out-breath for the count of 5
- Repeat 10x
Try this breathing exercise and notice how you feel afterwards.
2. Emotions – emotions move like water. They can come in with great force and sweep us away. They can be uncomfortable, painful and overwhelming. We can get caught up in a storm or feel nothing and fall into apathy. Experiencing emotions is part of what makes us human. Our soul communicates with us through emotions. We are meant to feel our emotions, not run away from them, or bottle them up, or distract and numb them.
The key is finding balance and grounding the emotions. When our emotions are stirred up it can be difficult to see clearly. For example, when a stream is turbulent we can’t see much, but still water allows you to see through it. When we ground our emotions it helps us come into a more balanced place, find clarity and take action from this balanced and clear place.
To balance emotions:
- Physical movement can help release excess emotions. A brisk walk, jogging, dancing, chi do or any exercise is great. Emotions want to move, and this helps ground emotions, rather than bottling them up where they get held within the body and cause issues later on.
- Find a way to express – give yourself space to cry, to yell, to release. Channeling emotions through expression, like singing, playing music, painting, creating art, writing poetry etc. Find a way to express your emotional energy and you will feel lighter and more balanced.
It’s not unusual to not feel like taking these steps, but once you do, feeling better afterwards. Keep that in mind and make time for yourself to move and express, giving your emotions space to move.
3. Mind – our thoughts are related to the element of air. Mental energy can move quickly and we can find ourselves spinning in circles, going over the same thoughts again and again. Practicing the breathing technique above and developing a meditation practice is an effective tool to bring clarity and lighten the mental load.
Here’s a a quick meditation practice to quiet the mind:
- Take 3 deep breaths, breathing into your belly for deep inhales and exhales
- Allow your mind to relax, and slow down as you breath. Focus on your in breath and out breath as you come into a comfortable rhythm of breathing.
- Allow your body to relax more deeply with each breath. If you’re noticing tension, breathe into that area, and release the tension as you exhale.
- As you relax, begin to observe your mind. Recognize that you are not your thoughts, and if any thoughts come into your mind, visualize them passing through your mind like a cloud passing through the sky. Letting them go as you exhale.
- Focus on your breath and continue breathing and releasing thoughts as they come up.
- If you find your mind wandering through thoughts, as soon as you become aware, redirect your mind back to your breath and let the thought go.
- Know that you’re doing it right. Thoughts will come up. It’s the practice of recognizing your thoughts and letting them go that will strengthen your mind.
Note: Doing some exercise or chi do practice before meditating can help release excess energy and assist in relaxing and preparing yourself for meditation.
4. Ask for help – Know that you don’t have to take it all on yourself. Reach out for support, seek out professional counseling, share your challenges with trusted friends and family. We can be so hard on ourselves, and feel shame or guilt for not being “ok”, but this is one of the ways we get in our own way. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, and there is nothing shameful about desiring healing. You’re not broken, you are strong and fighting for greater joy and peace in your life.
- JOURNAL: reflect on where you can build stronger support systems in your life. Aspects of health can include: mental, emotional, physical, financial, and spiritual. Start with one area and take small steps to build that foundation and build your team.
- Journal prompts:
- What areas would you like to develop a stronger support system?
- What does that ideal support system looks like?
- How does it feel to be supported in this way?
- What growth and healing are experienced through that support?
- Keep your awareness open and seek out the people to fill the roles for your team.
5. Build a practice – Creating a routine helps build our “muscles” that give us strength to navigate when things get tough. We get better results and grow stronger when we are consistent and give ongoing care to ourselves. For example, it has been shown that a daily meditation practice re-wires the brain, and has dramatically greater benefits when compared to meditating sporadically.
- Action steps: Consistency and dedication are two keys to getting results in life. Where can you create greater consistency for your wellbeing practice?
- Here are some ideas for building a daily practice that supports your wellbeing:
- Meditation practice
- Rituals from Empower Thyself class to work with spiritual energies to support you every day
- Chi do practice
- Physical exercise routine
- Scheduling regular healing sessions
- Gratitude journal
- Meal planning
Choose an area and make a plan for building a more consistent practice and commit to 30 days to build your routine. After 30 days, assess and adjust as needed.
I hope this list of simple actions strengthens your wellbeing toolkit. If you have any questions or would like support, please reply to this email. I truly care and am here for you.
Also, the healing sessions I’m trained to offer through the Modern Mystery School are very effective to support moving through the challenges we face more quickly, cut through the fog and create a shift that helps us find greater clarity and forward motion. You can read more about the sessions I offer here, and reply to this email if you’d like support in identifying which session will best support you at this time.