Inner Spaciousness

 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

~ Viktor E. Frankl

The pause between our reaction to an external stimuli and how we choose to respond is essential in our evolution as human beings. Otherwise we react instinctively from our animal brain.

Space allows us to be open to choose our response

Gives the time for deep full breaths with long exhales.

There is more here than clearing the mind

Being present to our inner state

Reduces clutter and brings clarity.

Space allows for expansion

Learning to be observers without judgment.

In this space our life energy flows through our being

Mind, body and spirit connect

Drawn to the light of inner freedom

Namaste

 

Inner Spaciousness

 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

~ Viktor E. Frankl

The pause between our reaction to an external stimuli and how we choose to respond is essential in our evolution as human beings. Otherwise we react instinctively from our animal brain.

Space allows us to be open to choose our response

Gives the time for deep full breaths with long exhales.

There is more here than clearing the mind

Being present to our inner state

Reduces clutter and brings clarity.

Space allows for expansion

Learning to be observers without judgment.

In this space our life energy flows through our being

Mind, body and spirit connect

Drawn to the light of inner freedom

Namaste

 

Living the Way a River Flows – or Not

river flows

“I’d love to live the way a river flows carried by the surprise of its own unfolding”

~ John O’Donohue

Me too John. Me too.

When we are healthy and whole, our mind and body is able to adapt and adjust to what daily life brings.

However, sometimes things happen in our past that really shake us up and we feel we have little or no control. For people who have experienced trauma, the body and mind are forever alert, and often keep re-living the experience.

Trauma stays with us. Our bodies becomes sensitive to potential dangers and can be triggered into a fight, flight or freeze response. Our bodies are the holder of the memories that our minds cannot face.

For trauma survivors, the river is a downright scary and dangerous place and they need to find a way to have some control again. They are being blown off course and need help to stay feeling safe.

I am not a therapist, but as a life coach and yoga teacher, I work with some wonderful people who have experienced trauma in their lives. The key is to find their middle ground and center of being. For them, life really is like a pendulum moving from one extreme to an other. Learning to slow down and breathe, pause and reflect, is a powerful and empowering practice.

Thank you to my dear clients for inspiring me to create this blog and to help others find their own middle ground. 💛

Namaste.

Getting over Anger with Loving Kindness

 

blossoming love

When we feel rising frustration and anger towards an other person, it’s time to tend to our selves, rather than act it out against the other.

Acting out our negativity only adds to the violent energy in the world. Our ego-mind may be pumped, but it doesn’t bring about resolution or peace.

pause

Instead, bring awareness to where you are right now. Place one hand to your belly, and the other above your heart. Take a few deep breaths. Allow the breath to become fuller and let it move down into the center of your being.

pauseFeel the warmth of your hands and the movement of the breath. Feel the connection to this tender and loving part of you.
Be present to what just occurred that was upsetting. Notice thoughts, emotions, sensations in the body, without judgment or creating a story.

Then say to yourself:

This person has a body and a mind, just like me

This person has feelings, emotions, and thoughts, just like me

This person has also felt sad, disappointed, angry and hurt, just like me

This person wishes to be free of pain and suffering, just like me 

This person wishes to be accepted and loved, just like me

This person wishes to be happy, just like me.

Then allow this loving kindness (metta) meditation to arise:

May this person be happy
May this person be healthy
May this person be free of suffering and the causes of suffering
May this person live their life with ease

This practice allows me to stay heart centered and lets the negative energy release.

Being kind feels so much better about the whole situation, the other person, and myself 💕

 

4.7.8. Letting Go Breath

Dr Andrew Weil introduces us to a breathing practice that will help you sleep… and calm your mind when you are triggered.

I call it 4,7,8, letting go breath.

Make it a habit and see the difference over time.💤💤💤

Namaste

* 4 Questions to Ask When We Get Annoyed

Recently, there has been some discussion going on between myself, Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way and Don at Candid Impressions. Its about what goes on when we  are triggered and get annoyed. I thought I would share my perspective and 4 questions that can throw some light on might be going on.

Judging shadow

When we experience discomfort, our basic human response is to look outside to see who is “doing it to us”.  It is a part of being human. We react and make a judgment about the other person. We may blame them, ridicule them,  put them down or attack them. We have labeled them “wrong” in our own minds. They are the “enemy”.

I believe that this is our ego’s instinctual way to defend itself and to maintain its vision of itself. The ego thrives in making itself look good to itself… and others.

Our ego’s role is to survive. Deflection and attack preserve the way things are. Preservation drives the ego. It’s always more comfortable being “right” than vulnerable!

When we react or feel triggered it isn’t really about the other person.

The actions or words of the other person have triggered something already inside of us.

If we want to grow and evolve, then we must take responsibility for our own feelings and become curious about what is going on within us.

It is our reaction. These are our feelings to explore.

Child looking at flower

I believe that if we ask ourselves the following questions, then we can get closer to our inner truth.

Taking a moment to pause and center yourself. Finding your middle ground and being present with what is alive in you, is the door to inner transformation.

Here is an example we can use to explore the 4 questions: You are in a group of people and you get triggered when someone hijacks the conversation and makes hurtful “humorous” remarks that puts an other person down.

1. How am I that?

This is the hardest and boldest question … as it makes us look honestly at ourselves. Is there a part of yourself that does this? Is this a blind spot you are unwilling to face?

Your ego may be shouting NEVER! I have never been critical or put others down! I have never grabbed attention! I would never use humor to bully someone else! I could never be like this! I am not that kind of person!

Is this really so…. With the wisdom of your years and perspectives on life … is this so…

Rather than denying this aspect of ourselves, be prepared to meet it. In doing so it’s hold on us will diminish. There may be real transformation, acceptance and freedom here.

2. How have I been hurt by that?

Have you been at the receiving end of this type of behavior. Perhaps you weren’t able to stand up for yourself back then. But you still feel the pain and injustice. If this painful experience is still alive in you, then give yourself empathy and compassion. Imagine you are like a loving grandmother comforting the young and vulnerable part of you. There may be some healing to be done.

3. What is the unmet need behind these judgments and feelings? What is missing for me?

When you react to this person, you wouldn’t want to be a person like that … but underneath it may reveal an unmet need that you have. Perhaps a part of you that isn’t being fully expressed. What could be missing for you? For example, an inability to speak up or assert yourself. Or a need for authentic expression. Or a need to be recognized by others?… There may be a valuable need of yours that yearns for attention.

4. How does this violate a core belief of mine?

You are witnessing something you wouldn’t tolerate within yourself. It goes against your own values and beliefs.

A word of caution here …. Note that option 4 is what your ego will always prefer. It stokes it and makes it feel good. It wants to be the champion and hero. Watch out for this one as a deflection strategy to protect itself from being vulnerable.

On the other hand, if it is a belief that comes from your inner heart and soul. Coming from love rather than fear. A core value that you live by every day. Then you are indeed seeing an injustice. Recognize it and choose what to do.

How can you channel this anger in a positive way? Transform it into powerful compassion. Use this emotion to make a difference and bring about what you deeply believe in.

So be mindful with all 4 questions … and listen to your inner wisdom and heart.

Be compassionate rather than righteous.

Be open rather than closed.

Namaste

 

 

 

* We Can’t Change Another Person But We Can …

Its one of the hardest lessons in the highs and lows of life. Accepting that others really are different and we can’t change them … no matter how much we want it!

mother daughter conflict

We can never make an other person change, no matter how hard we try. We can make requests. We can show them how we want them to be. We can manipulate them or even resort to nagging and bullying … but in the end it will always be up to them.  They have to be willing to change themselves.

As adult human beings we only have the ability to change ourselves.

We do have options however! That is what this post is about. You can apply this checklist at work, at home and in any situation where you are having difficulty with an other person.

Here are the 5 options I share with my clients and would now like to share with you.

Before you jump ahead, take a moment to think about a recent difficult interaction and how you wished that person would change in some way.

pause

Now consider these 5 approaches.

1. Can you make a request of them? Can you share with them the impact of their behavior and how you feel, then request a different behavior?

2. Can you change your own actions? How might you have contributed to this situation? What can you do differently?

3. Can you change your thinking and re-frame by seeing things from different perspectives? From their perspective? And as an observer?

4. Can you open our heart and find empathy for the other person as an imperfect human being? … just like you! Can you accept them for who they are, faults and all? This is the spiritual path of acceptance and compassion.

5. The final option is the remove yourself from their company. Step away and regroup. You can review these options and if it keeps coming to option 5, then consider making a break from this person.

So next time when you realize you are expecting someone else to change, instead of going over the same old frustrating negative thoughts and habitual responses, try a new mindful approach.

And keep practicing …

I certainly still am!

Hugs,

Val