* When the Going Gets Tough

 

grounded

When the going gets tough … the tough get grounded.

The past couple of weeks have been like a proverbial roller coaster.  Now I have time to to reflect and share some insights.

I noticed there was a rocky start when I was in shock and denial. Wishing things could be different.  But the more I sat with the reality, the more I let go of resistance and found acceptance.

Yes, there was fear. Fear about what could happen. Fear about loss. Projecting anxiety into the future creates more  worry in the mind … and stress in the body. That is why finding time to pause, walk outside, meditate, BREATHE and practice yoga became so important to me.

Coming into the present moment and accepting the way things are, brings alignment rather than resistance and tension.
The universe aligned the best people and resources to tackle the situation and I knew that we were in good hands.

Since then I found time every day to pause and come fully in the present … and live my own words.

“Life is a series of highs and lows

Be grateful for the highs

Be graceful in the lows

And find contentment in your middle ground.”

The Middle Ground is always there for us every time we pause and bring our attention inwards with an open mind and heart. It is where love and spirit reside.

May you find it for yourself and let it nourish you through the lows of life.

 

* Inspiration – Joy

joyful moment

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are”.

~ Marianne Williamson

We humans have a built in default of negative thinking. Its part of our survival mechanism that the ego has reenforced ever since we were little. We are alert to scarcity and threats.

So for many of us, it feels natural to go around looking for what is wrong and criticizing things, other people …  and of course, ourselves. We may not even be aware of it.

Negativity feels acceptable and normal.
Anything comfortable becomes our preferred state. Even when we feel miserable. After all “better the devil you know … ”

When we are in this state, the idea of positive thinking is likely to be rejected as ridiculous and fake. Remember, this inner critic is our ego wanting to protect that ways things are.  If we were to be more positive and less fearful, it would lose its power over our thinking and behavior.

Yet, how did our thinking get to be like this? Through continued reinforcement of judgments and habitual thinking.

Neuroscience shows us that we can change our thinking by reenforcing new neural circuits in the brain. With practice, our brains are able to grow and change.
We are not hard wired in our thinking. Just hard headed sometimes!

Here are some ideas to inspire you into shifting your thinking and creating new neural pathways:

  • Instead of looking for what’s wrong. Look for what’s right. For example, write a post it note and keep it with you all day as a reminder. Or catch one of your children or an employee doing something right!
  • As you pause, take a moment to look at something ordinary as something to be grateful for. For example, sitting at the table with your family tonight. Or watching the sun shine through the leaves.
  • Before going to sleep reflect on 3 things that you are grateful for.
  • Keep an achievement journal. Write down everything that you accomplish, including the small stuff. We usually filter out our strengths and accomplishments and focus on our losses and weakness. Balance out your thinking by writing down the good times! You will be surprised.

Recognizing these moments will start to transform your neural pathways into ones that recognize how good things really are. This is where joy lives.

* Lean in

The next time you lose heart and you can’t bear to experience what you’re feeling, you might recall this instruction: change the way you see it and lean in. 
Instead of blaming our discomfort on outer circumstances or on our own weakness, we can choose to stay present and awake to our experience, not rejecting it, not grasping it, not buying the stories that we relentlessly tell ourselves.
This is priceless advice that addresses the true cause of suffering — yours, mine, and that of all beings.

~ Pema Chodron, Taking the Leap

courageous yoga pose

Reading these words I think of poses in yoga where we lean in to the physical and emotional discomfort and embrace the sensations and thoughts that come up. Surprisingly it is the poses of surrender and letting go, rather than strength building that can be the most challenging for us.

Our practice on the mat is a great metaphor for life. We learn to be present with whatever comes up and use our breath to lean into it. Accepting where we are in that moment.

On our mat there is no one to blame …except perhaps the yoga teacher who brought you to this challenging place. 😉

Namaste

* Hyper critical

mother daughter conflict

Are you being hyper critical right now in relationship to one or more people?
Take a moment and consider… Are others consistently irritating you and annoying you?

When we become hyper critical it is usually because we are repressing a feeling … which is usually of resentment towards someone.

Are you resenting someone’s behavior towards you?

Has his or her behavior triggered you and touched a tender place where you don’t feel appreciated or loved? Perhaps there is an unmet need for respect and appreciation.

As human beings we all have basic needs: to feel safe, express ourselves, belong, feel loved and appreciated.

Perhaps you are playing the “martyr” game, a tactic of pretending that something is all right with you while subtly signaling that it is not, and possibly trying to make others feel guilty for their behavior.

Most of us are unconscious of this … its not something our ego is likely to acknowledge.

Taking time right now to acknowledge that this may be the case, will open up compassion for yourself.

See beyond the resentment and anger to the hurt and longing to be seen and loved for who you are. You are worthy of love and respect.

It takes courage to say what you really mean and put your feelings on the line.
Yet this is the only way to heal and move past the struggle.

 

* Outer and Inner Lives

inner and outer reflection

Our outer lives and living are a reflection of our inner lives.

When we are at peace within we are at peace without.

The time we spend in peace and stillness is never wasted.

Take a moment and reflect on how your outer and inner worlds are right now.

Perhaps this is the time to slow down and reflect on the things that matter in life.

Let us find our middle ground together in the highs and lows of life.