It takes patience to learn to listen to our wiser, true self.
To tune out the chatter in our heads.
But in my experience, once we've learned how to make that connection, we never lose it.
I get the strongest sense of my "self" in my gut - right in the solar plexus. I noticed in a yoga session that I could sense the whole of my body and my connection to everything from this place. Quite the awakening for this sensible scientist who can numb herself by living totally in her head!
And mindfulness helps me be even more aware of the messages my mind and body are sending and receiving.
All I need to do is stop and listen.
My work with NLP and hypnosis together with meditation has made me so mindful of that voice of "self" from my deeper, subconscious self. It started as a whisper, but comes through much more clearly nowadays.
And it's not so much a voice, really.
More of a knowing.
Very different from Ron, my husband. His subconscious shows him words on a screen in his mind. We all have our own way of tuning in.
I don't stress about a dedicated morning meditation practice. Kinda misses the point if I do! Sometimes I'm tired or I just can't be arsed ... so just a few deep breaths and a quick tune into my body will do.
I know it's good to do a 20 minute meditation at least twice a week (they say 12 minutes is the minimum for building your stress control muscle), but I also know even 5 minutes of focus has an effect. Anything's better than nothing ... but sometimes I do nothing! And that's OK too.
I find even a weekly meditation class is enough for most people to get incredible benefits - especially that moment of pause that starts to magically appear before you automatically react. Then you can decide if you need to step in and take the wheel or relax and just enjoy being on autopilot. To choose how you behave. How you feel. Self mastery in the making. And all for just a few minutes a week ...
As long as you do something regularly, it seems there's always some benefit.
And due to my practice over the years, I'm very mindful of what my head, heart and gut are saying to me throughout the day. And I'm tuned in to how relaxed I am in my body - especially my neck (where so much tension can lie for me).
And I've noticed that sometimes it's not in my gut, but a sudden, slight tension in my left calf muscle that tells me something wrong.
I look for that feeling every time I weigh up decisions or want to know what I really feel about something. I just think of the option or outcome and if my calf tenses up then it's a no! Cool huh?
It's simple, but it takes practice to tune in. To just stop for a moment. To listen and to learn.
And to earn that extra time before I react. That choice. Priceless.
I was just listening to "A Walk in the park" by The Nick Straker band on the radio.
Yeah, I know it's not the height of musical sophistication but, WOW! In a microsecond I was transported right back to the bedroom that I grew up in. I was 14, lying on my bed and taping my favourite songs on a cassette recorder from the top 40 on Radio One, as I did every Sunday night.
Just push "play" and "record". And once I had it recorded, I would write out the words so I could sing along :)
It was wonderful - I surprised myself, because I still knew the words. My mind just presented them to me, once sentence at a time, as I sang along. I didn't need to think or force it. I just sang and the words were there.
It always amazes me how our subconscious mind stores every tiny little detail of our lives. Even long before we thought our memory began. And unlocking these hidden memories are often the key to releasing our stress. To listen, learn and let them go.
A key to my stress release was to let go of some deep emotions surrounding my birth. Who knew that was in there? Consciously my first memory is at about 5 years old. Unconsciously I go way back.
Our whole life is all filed away deep in our mind. Just in case it becomes useful again.
And in there today, I discovered the words to an old favourite.
Singing along was such a simple pleasure. It's one of my most joyful ways to release stress. Singing (like humming or even gargling) activates the vagus nerve in the neck and lets our "rest and digest" hormones take over for a while.
I wonder how many other songs I've forgotten and would love to hear again? If only I knew what they were ...
I suppose I just need to keep listening, put myself out there and they will come :)
A Native American was talking to his grandson.
“There are two wolves fighting inside all of us – the wolf of hate & fear and the wolf of love & peace.”
The boy looked up, wide-eyed and asked,
“Which one will win?”
His grandfather replied,
“The one we feed,”
I find it amazing how when we put words in a certain order, they can become something truly beautiful and inspiring.
Here are a few that spoke to me recently:
"The soul is dyed the colour of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become."
- Heraclitus (Greek philosopher, circa 535 – 475 BC)
Nope - can't follow that......
Back in July I posted about new research that found most stress we feel is not bad for us.
Yeah! Not at all!
The problem? This only works as long as we truly believe it.
It's the worrying about being stressed that actually narrows our arteries and causes our illnesses.
This is so amazing, I thought I'd mention it again and pass on this TED talk about it.
Before my training in self mastery, I found it impossible to change my stress response. And it was doubly hard to convince myself my stress wasn't bad for me. Because it FELT so bad back then.
It doesn't help either when someone tries to remind us the stress we're feeling is nothing to worry about. Calm down? Really?
Nope. Doesn't help at all.
But I know it IS possible to change. And now I choose to love the way my body prepares me to act when I think anxious thoughts.
It can be quite a revelation to watch myself when those wild stress hormones turn up.
We really shouldn't be so hard on them. They're only doing their job......
"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself."
Sometimes I like to think that, one day, I'm going to change the world.
Make a great contribution somehow.
But stress loves ambition. So maybe the only thing I need to do is grow a little each day.
To become more of who I need to be, in order to serve who I need to serve.
To change the world of each client, one by one ..
And that will be enough ..
Here's a great TED talk by Ric Elias - it's really short and really impactful. He tells us what he learned in the few short moments when he thought he was going to die. And how he's changed his life as a result.
And the best quote for me? This one:
"I no longer try to be right. I choose to be happy."
A healthy, intimate relationship spells health for our mind and our body. Having someone to share those amazing moments with. To support us when life kicks us in the teeth, reduces our stress and makes us less likely to ever experience depression.
In the past few weeks, I've been lucky enough to attend the weddings of two couples who mean the world to me. Emotional stuff. To see them take those vows of lifelong love, in spite of all the things life may throw at them.
And reflecting on these happy memories reminded me of these quotes on finding "the one" which I thought I'd share:
"If we do not know how to take care of ourselves and to love ourselves, we cannot take care of the people we love. Loving oneself is the foundation for loving another person" Thich Nhat Hanh
And I love this stunning quote on the subject by Galway Kinnell which I found in a post by Dr Ben Kim:
“We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have.”
Only when we unconditionally accept ourselves and feel whole, even when alone, are we truly ready to love another. Because love means meeting their needs instead of looking for them to heal us instead.
Only then will we attract the right wrong person for us in that moment.
So although nobody's perfect, then a relationship can be ...
You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.
So they've done some research and shown that stressing over any stress you're feeling is gonna make you ill.
And so it's not so much the stress that is damaging you, but the worrying ABOUT the stress that'll get you in the end.
So if they hadn't done the research in the first place to show that stress makes you ill, then we wouldn't be worrying about it and we'd be fine!
But then you can't take knowledge back, can you?
And we'd rather know and make our own choices, wouldn't we? Or would we?
Is ignorance really bliss?
And if we stress about the people we care about and their stress, does that count as just stress or is it stressing about stress? Hmmmmmm!
Anyway here's a link to Dr Weil's post on the subject.
And I'm trying not to stress about the stress that I'm feeling at the moment due to the photo not loading at the top of this post.
And please, whatever you do, don't you stress about my stress.....
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