This is a reblog of an earlier post about finding balance. My week has also been off balance. I have a Yoga Teacher Mentor workshop tomorrow on Low Back Issues, and I found myself researching so much I lost the overall intention of what I wanted to share with others, and I became overwhelmed. The analytical brain hijacked my heart… and I became disconnected from others around me.
Despite yoga I lost my middle ground this week.
So what was missing?
I stopped and took a breath, and then launched right back into exactly what I had been doing before. There was not enough time to pause fully and observe or to reflect on what was happening.
It was more like a break in a never ending marathon of getting things done. This is not enough to nourish mind, body and spirit or find real balance.
When you have found your middle ground, life is in balance. There is no overwhelm or anxiety, no fear or regrets. You are in the present moment and content.
Knowing that this place is available to us is reassuring … but our minds have “minds of their own” and still prefer to go into their own tailspin of thoughts about the past or worry about the future.
How do we recognize when our emotions start to sabotage us or our overactive thinking takes over from reality?
By regularly checking in with ourselves.
We may do it formally in yoga or in meditation, but a really helpful informal daily practice is to to do mindful check-ins with yourself.
These are referred to, using the STOP acronym.
S = Stop for a moment
T = Take a breath
… And then a few more until you feel the mind start to settle and you land in your body once more. Perhaps bring hand to your belly and tune in to the sensation of breath, and the feeling of connection.
O = Observe…
… Ask “What am I aware of right now? In my body, my mind, my heart? … Can I be with it – without judgment? This practice is STOP not STJP!
Take time to reflect and perhaps journal about what brought you to this place. Be an observer of yourself from a caring place. Perhaps imagine what a loving friend or grandmother would see in the situation, and what she might say to you.
P = Proceed…
… After acknowledging thought, sensations and emotions, accept them for what there are right now. Allow them to move wherever they need to go.
As a practice it helps us understand that whatever arises, it does indeed pass. We don’t need to react to it. We don’t need to overcome it or run away from it. By recognizing it, it will lose its power. No matter how difficult or intense the experience can be, we are able to find our way to living it with more balance and peace.
Ask yourself now. “Am I really stopping and finding balance or I am just taking a break in a marathon of getting things done?”