Nervoucited!

Sometimes our physical symptoms can be interpreted in a variety of ways. For instance when someone describes butterflies in their stomach, it could mean they are anxious or it may mean they are excited or maybe there is yet another explanation. When my daughter was young, we were going to visit a friend and for the first time, she was to stay for a visit on her own. As we drove there, she said it felt as though there were butterflies in her stomach. I knew that she was probably a bit anxious about staying on her own, but also that she really like the family we were going to visit and was most likely she was also excited. Without asking her about the details her feelings, I asked her what colour the butterflies were. I asked if they were dark in colour or if they were more like the colours of the rainbow. She immediately said she thought they were the colourful kind. With this imagery we were then able to talk about how one feeling can have muliple meanings. It also allowed her to choose her emotion regardless of the physical sensation she was feeling in her body. She chose to be excited. This story illustrates how we can choose a perspective and alter our experience. When our thoughts are focused on fear or negativity, we will often interpret our world in a negative way. If we are feeling light and hopeful we are more likely to see possibility in even difficult situations. But how can we notice how our perspectives are influencing our thoughts and actions...

Let it Flow – Mindfulness Day 22

Lakes, rivers, oceans, puddles and precipitation. Water is everywhere and is essential to life. We use it everyday. We wash with it, drink it, use it in our art, travel over it, and play in it. Notice today the various ways that water plays a role in your life. This is another area of life to which we are usually unaware of the details. As we drink, we don’t often think about where the water came from and how it got into our glass or our body. Exposure to water happens on a daily basis and as such it is a great opportunity to develop your mindful practice. From a drop of dew to a raging river, attend to the everyday in a new way! Day 22: Be mindful of water. Foster an awareness of it’s colour, feel, temperature, and taste. Notice the way it runs across your skin as your bathe. As you drink water, can you feel it in your mouth, throat, and even as it enters your stomach? Be aware of how water is held and contained, and also the way it moves. Notice what feelings and thoughts arise as you are mindful of water today....

Acceptance

I often think about the effort it takes to fight against something that already exists.  I suppose that is denial.  Which is appealing for many different reasons, but takes a lot of effort.  When an elephant is sitting in the room, it can take a lot of effort to pretend it doesn’t exist. Holding back reality can be exhausting. That is what has me contemplating the idea of acceptance today. And acceptance doesn’t mean that you have to want IT, or even like IT, it just means that you have to acknowledge that IT, whatever IT is, exists. Examples of IT, that I often see (aside from elephants) are things such as anxiety, depression, brain injury, anger,or perhaps an unhappy relationship. When people are working to deny the existence of these issues, they are often fearful of the work involved in dealing with them. Or they may be afraid of what it says about them and what others will think or how it will affect their sense of identity. What they don’t often realize is how much energy they expel trying to pretend these things don’t exist for them. As I said before, an important piece of this acceptance process is knowing that you do not have to like or want the issue you are facing, but by acknowledging it’s presence, you can get the upper hand. For instance if you are to acknowledge that you have anxiety, you can start to get to know your anxiety.  As you get to know your anxiety, you can start to anticipate when it will affect you and to learn ways that...