What Makes Someone “Difficult”?

highly sensitive person

source: Pinterest

“What makes someone difficult?   Essentially, it’s their energy. We don’t have to be students of quantum field theory or Buddhist metaphysics to sense how much the energies around us affect our moods and feelings.  What makes someone tough for you to take? Basically, it has to do with how your energies interact with theirs.

Every one of us is at our core an energetic bundle. What we call our personality is actually made up of many layers of energy — soft, tender, vulnerable energies as well as powerful, controlling or prickly energies. We have our wild and gnarly energies, our kindly energies, our free energies and our constricted, contracted ones.

These energies, expressing themselves through our bodies, thoughts, and emotions, and minds, manifest as our specific personality signature at any given moment. What we see on the surface, in someone’s body language and facial expressions, is the sum of the energies that are operating in them. As we speak, its the energy behind our words that most deeply impacts others.

The beginning of change, then, is learning how to recognize and modulate our own energy patterns. The more awareness we have — that is, the more we are able to stand aside and witness our personal energies of thought and feeling and (rather than identifying with them) the easier it is to work with our own energies. This takes practice. Most people don’t start out with a highly developed awareness of their own energy or the way it impacts others — and even fewer of us know how to change the way our energies work together.”

~ Sally Kempton

This except from an article by Sally Kempton at Awkin.org caught my attention. There is wisdom here, and an opportunity to expand our insight into our energies and how they impact us and those around us.

Its easy to sense a “difficult” person, but do you have insight into how we may be “difficult” too? 

And when you realize your energy is impacting others negatively, are you able to modulate your own energy patterns?

I pondered these questions for myself, and came up with a resounding “I’m not sure”.

There is an old saying “It takes one to know one”. We see in others what we like and what we don’t like in ourselves. That difficult person’s energy is connecting with the same energy within ourselves.

Negative interactions become an opportunity to learn more about ourselves, and also to modify our own energy patterns.

Modifying our energy patterns is something that most of us have already experienced as we go through life.

Think of when you are feeling stressed out. What is the best way for you to let it go and feel better? It can be going for a run or a walk in nature, rolling out your yoga mat, reading a book, painting, playing an instrument, journaling, blogging or simply opening the Reader on WordPress.

These practices help the negative energy transform into something positive, so that it moves through you.

Awareness is the first step. Noticing how we are reacting to someone else’s energy, and how it is sparking the same energy within us.
Rather than reacting to what’s “wrong” with them, step back and consider what they may have touched within you. This can give you valuable insight into how you may be also be difficult to others.

 

 

Breathe Well and Live Well

Breathe well and you will find your Middle Ground.

I love to breathe! Its what attracted me to yoga and keeps me passionate about how yoga and mindfulness can transform us.
Without breathing fully, a yoga practice becomes simply a workout. Rather than calming the mind and soothing the body it can have the opposite affect. This is not yoga.

The content here is to help bring awareness to how you breathe. Its the foundation for mindful breathing to alleviate stress, reduce anxiety and to live a full and healthy life.

breath awarenessIt begins with becoming aware of your breath:

  • STEP ONE – OBSERVING

Take a few moments to prepare yourself. Sit comfortably. Relax.

Begin by simply observing your breath. Get your own natural baseline.

Place one hand on your belly and the other above your heart.

Notice the rise and fall as you breathe in and out.

Let the wave of breath flow down to below your navel.

Feel that long slow wave of breath.

Now placing both hands just below the navel. Breathe as if your breath can reach your palms.

Notice how this fills the whole body with breath.

Let your belly expand as your lungs fill with air.

Soften your body so it can open to receive the air

Let the sensation of the breath move like waves. Find your own natural rhythm and pace.

Bring attention to your belly. Imagine as you inhale, your belly is like a balloon. With each inhale it fills up with air. Use your diaphragm to expand the belly outwards creating space for the air coming in.

On the exhale allow your belly to come back towards the spine.

This is full yoga breathing.

Notice – without any judgment – if this is easy for you or somewhat difficult.

  • STEP TWO – EQUAL LENGTH

Lightly bring equal length to your inhales and exhales. Silently count in your mind to ensure they are equal length.

Imagine waves coming to the shore ebbing and flowing.

Moving on to the next step in a natural smooth way

  • STEP THREE – SLOW DOWN

See if you can slow down and expand the length of both inhales and exhales. Making the waves longer let them flow more slowly.

Find the length that is expansive and opening. If you sense any struggle you have gone too far.

Don’t try, just step into this new space, accepting that what is good enough for your body is good enough for you.

In your mind count a number that feels long and strong for each exhale and inhale.

Let yourself be in the space at the end of the exhale without grasping on the intake.

man deep relaxed breathing

  • STEP FOUR – EXPAND EXHALE

When you are ready you might want to expand your exhale making it longer than your inhale. See if you can make it twice as long.

As you release the tension in your body, allow the tension of your mind to also release with each long exhale.

Let the waves of breath flow through you.

Let the prana and life force flow through your entire body.

Come back to your natural breath and notice how you feel after this experience of mindful expansive breathing.

Life is … Letting Go

I came across this earlier post and it made me pause and reflect today. Letting go is always a part of living, yet can be hard sometimes. I hope you enjoy this reminder.

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letting go

Letting go is living life fully.

We let go of every exhalation in order to breathe in life.

We let go in order to sleep.

We let go of being held as a baby in order to walk.

We let go of our children so they can grow as adults.

We let go of old hurts in order to heal.

We let go of our armor so we can give and receive love.

We let go of attachments in order to be free.

We let go of the past in order to step into the future.

We let go in order to grow.

Sometimes we are afraid to let go because we experience fear of the unknown and the emptiness we might feel … But we do know in our hearts that when we resist letting go we resist living our lives fully.

What have you been holding on to that you are ready to let go of?

Five Myths About Meditation

Enjoy this re-blog. Meditation never goes out of date, and we come back to it again and again.

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content man meditating

My thanks go to to Ashley Turner at Entheos Academy for sharing this wisdom. It clarifies what can get in the way between you and a regular meditation practice.

1 “In Meditation, My Mind Should Be Calm and Quiet” One of the most common myths of meditation is that it’s about “getting rid of thoughts” and experiencing a calm, quiet mind. Meditation is actually about noticing how our mind works, observing the rapid-fire thoughts neutrally and not getting caught up in them.
Meditation is a training of the mind. We train our mind to notice when we get caught up and come back to the present moment. We can still be meditating while we are in the presence of thought.

2 “I Don’t Have Enough Time to Meditate” Remember, mindfulness is a kind of meditation ­– simply being aware of what we are doing in any moment (walking the dog, doing the dishes, using our smartphone). It is building awareness in the present moment – simply being aware of the sensations, thoughts and emotions that arise. We can do this anytime, anywhere.  While the most effective way to build momentum is to sit for a regularly designated sitting meditation, however, even 5 minutes a day or pausing for 10 deep breaths is extremely helpful.

3 “It Feels Like My Mind is More ‘Crazy’ During Meditation” Once we pause and start paying attention to our mind, we begin to see how erratic and addictive it is and how little control we actually have over it. It can be disturbing to realize how unruly our mind is ­– but, remember, meditation is a practice of paying attention. So, making this observation is a sign of progress, not failure.

4 “Meditation Should Be Blissful, But If Feels Like Such Hard Work” The mind is a mirror. When we begin to meditate, we are faced with thoughts and emotions that may be painful or difficult to experience. Meditation can be difficult, tiring and uncomfortable. It is not easy to sit still with unpleasant patterns arising.  We usually see pictures and images of people meditating – sitting in a serene, blissful state. Over time, by bringing our thoughts and emotional patterns into awareness, we begin to learn how to work with them and release them. And, meditation will become easier and more blissful. meditating athlete

5 “I Don’t Think Meditation is Working For Me….I’m Not Seeing Any Results Yet” Like life, our meditation practices will unfold in it’s own time and at its own pace.
Meditation can help heal emotions, alleviate pain, change thought patterns and create more responsive, less impulsive behavior….but, it doesn’t happen overnight.

However, studies show that positive neurological changes and neural integration can occur even within the first few meditation sessions. Consistent, even small, effort is more effective than sporadic, longer, enduring sitting meditation. When we don’t notice life-changing, blissful experiences…we may get discouraged or even feel like quitting. Instead of focusing on how blissful you feel during meditation or how long you can sit, focus on any small changes in your daily life:

  •          Are you sleeping better?
  •          Are you feeling a bit more positive, motivated and upbeat about life?
  •          Are you more able to ‘let go’ of stressful thoughts or impulsive reactions?

These are signs that your meditation practice is working.

 

Steady Awareness

self awareness

“In the light of calm and steady self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without effort on your part.”

~ Sri Nisagardatta Maharaj

And so the path begins.

Being aware is the first step to bring about transformation from stress and anxiety, and to find peace of mind.

It is a small step, but not an easy one for our mind to embrace.

The ego-mind doesn’t like to draw attention to itself, unless it is in affirmation or admiration! It would much rather remain in control, by telling us to keep doing what we are doing, and not try anything different that could threaten it’s hold on us.

Is it not incredibly arrogant for us to think that we know the answers? Beyond the ego-mind and clinging to how we want to see ourselves in the world, is an intelligence beyond our thinking.

In yoga we call this Prana or life energy. It is more than the energy to heal, energize and nourish the physical  body, it is the essence of life itself.

This is where miracles begin for our mind, body and spirit.

Namaste

 

Can you Recognize When Life Gets Out of Balance?

centering

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.

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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. Worried man

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.

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Ask yourself now. “Am I really stopping and finding balance or I am just taking a break in a marathon of getting things done?”

Namaste

There is no Need

This poem by Steve Taylor really resonates with me and what I stand for in Finding Your Middle Ground. Set aside some time to pause and reflect on these words. Listen for the quiet voice within that already knows that there is no need.

 

inside the Trump penthouse

Photo from guestofaguest.com

There’s no need to surround yourself with luxury
to treat yourself to the best of everything
metallic fridges and designer bags
the colours of the season, the car of the year
to show others that you’re special
and feel incomplete when you can’t.

You don’t need daily doses of good news
to lift your mood when you feel glum.
You don’t need compliments or presents
or flirtatious smiles across the room
to keep you happy with yourself
or hourly fixes of pleasure
to set your brain cells jingling
and frustrate you when they don’t.

There’s no need to say the right thing
to be charming or funny or stylish
so that strangers notice you, and your friends
still like you.
There’s no need to pretend, or to prove yourself.
You need the respect of others
in order to respect yourself.

There’s no need to cover up the silence
with the chatter of radio and TVs.
There’s no need to fill the empty space
with jobs that don’t need doing
or words that have no meaning
or tasks that have no purpose
except to fill the empty space.

You only need to meet yourself
to let the discord within you fade away
and find the stillness underneath
the place where you’re already whole
where there is no need to seek or strive
because there is no need.

~ Steve Taylor. Taken from “The Calm Center”

May we all find this calm center.

Namaste