Feeling emotions

We need to grieve. It validates the loss and allows us to move through.
Anger is important. It reveals our boundaries, our values, and it shows us what we feel threatened by.
Fear: It teaches us discernment. Harnessed, it propels, challenges limitation.
Confusion: It may be telling us we haven’t been living right action (living in alignment). We’ve cowered to fear.
Worry: We are living in the future, using our creative energy focusing what we don’t want.
Depression: We are living in the past, spinning stories using all of the above.
Sarcasm: Fear. Bravado. Wall.
Happiness: We forgot our obstacles and remembered who we were (and are).

Your trajectory is set right now

The present moment contains past and future. The secret of transformation, is in the way we handle this very moment.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

No matter what the future holds, whether you perceive what comes as good or bad, it will be determined by how you respond to things today.

Our response is activated by the lens from which we choose to see, and as long as we choose to see through that lens, we will act upon that story and experience similar things in the future. Different action through the same lens doesn’t yield different experiences; just a different story. Different action through a different lens does.

If you don’t like what you see, it may be time to shift that lens. The work here is in observing how you respond to things because the way you respond will tell you everything you need to know about yourself, and your Self is the trajectory.

On Communication

Good Communication Is As Stimulating As Black Coffee, And Just As Hard To Sleep After.

 –  Anne Morrow Lindbergh 

I love this. It’s a dance to be learned for sure. I know I’m not perfect at it, but as a constant observer, I totally see that how much I am willing to participate in the dance, and how responsive I am to the cues on when to lead, when to let the other lead, and when to switch makes a world of difference. This sort of attentive listening and exchange rapidly improves the quality of my life, and the opposite is also true.

Ways to listen and ways to respond

When someone initiates a conversation with you about something they are either working through or are celebrating…

  1. You can listen as you filter what they say through your own lens – what this might mean for you, how you identify, how it makes you feel, and how you can stay relevant – and you can prepare your response. You might even respond and share while they talk because you don’t want to forget later. When someone comes to you with something… you will have missed an opportunity to truly be there for them and to get to know them beyond what you already think you know.
  2. You can listen by getting yourself out of the way. Their tone means less about you and more about what they are experiencing, which is about them. You can listen to understand what they need at that very moment: (a) to simply share, let it out, or think out loud with you as the sounding board and a safe, healing space, or (b) they can be looking for suggestion or advice from you. But they will ask, and if you aren’t sure, you might want to ask first before you give it.

You can respond in a way that fulfills your need, or you can respond in a way that fulfills theirs. They offer different trajectories on the level of intimacy in a relationship.

The Square Breath Meditation

Breathe deeply, until sweet air extinguishes the burn of fear in your lungs and every breath is a beautiful refusal to become anything less than infinite.

– D. Antoinette Foy

Breathing through the nostrils…

Inhale for 3 counts as you visualize moving up the left side of a square.

Suspend the breath at the top of the inhale (w/o clenching your throat shut) for 3 counts as you visualize moving from the left to the right top of the square.

Exhale for 3 counts as you visualize moving down the right side of the square.

Suspend the breath at the bottom of the exhale for 3 counts as you visualize moving from the right to the left bottom of the square.

Repeat several times or longer. Enjoy!

When the breath is unsteady, all is unsteady; when the breath is still; all is still. Control the breath carefully. Inhalation gives strength and a controlled body; retention gives steadiness of mind and longevity; exhalation purifies body and spirit.

– Goraksasathakam

Keeping a schedule

As we keep our social distance and self-quarantine, a schedule for each member of the family is important.

It’s not about staying “productive,” or getting all of the projects done that you’ve wanted to get done. It’s about not losing your mind. Our basic human nature is to want to have meaning in our lives, and binging on Netflix and social media depletes us of that. It’s the ultimate junk food, and we all know how we feel when we binge on junk food. Not only will you lose your mind, you will definitely lose tolerance for those few people around you. Kids home from school: the same thing.

Feed your soul in the morning. If you aren’t used to scheduling this into your life, you will definitely have tantrums getting started. Do it. See my previous blog. Get fresh air. My doctor once told me, get outside whenever the sun is out, no matter the temperature. Quarantining does not necessarily mean we can’t get sun and fresh air.

I haven’t been to the grocery store this week, but last week was like the apocalypse, as we’ve all witnessed. The frozen sections were wiped out and there was an abundance of options in the fresh produce section. This is the time to load up on fresh fruits and vegetables; they have life force, they are alkaline, immune boosting, healing. They will give you the kind of energy that doesn’t cause you to feel stuck, heavy, dull, and lethargic. Instead, because they are filled with life force, if you don’t heavy them up with cream cause and the like, they will offer energy that one might associate with the sun’s energy and light. Spices – a little bit of salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel, cayenne, etc – are excellent digestives, and they flavor food nicely. Add a little Bragg’s amino acid and/ or nutritional yeast, and you’ve got something good. Let each member of the family decide what they want in their food to please their taste buds.

Once you’ve fed your soul sufficiently – it’s not about the length of time; it’s that you didn’t just go through the motions ‘meditating’ for 10 minutes; you’ll feel it when you’ve done it – the rest of your day becomes more celebratory. You’ll see what I mean.