The changes, leaps and new realisations require time and space to settle in.
So I’m just having a simple little lifestyle being a happy animal while the inner processes take their course. Eating well, sleeping well, exercising every day, not wanting much, and that provides a stable physical backdrop.
The following practices have been integrated and have helped build resilience and a steady connection with innate happiness and stability. I’m going to return to this list and elaborate and add to it as I go.
– Awareness of appreciation and gratitude – noticing what I’m grateful for. Can be a list or just what is noticed right now. ‘Thank you for the warm room, the comfy chair I’m sitting on. I’m grateful for living in this safe neighbourhood…’
– Being honest with myself. Cultivating a willingness to practice brutal honesty and having ‘the truth at any price’ as a principle.
– Being consciously in the senses and being in the present moment. I’ve realised I’m always safe in the here and now.
– Breathing from below the diaphragm consciously – this reminds the body that it is safe. Shallow breathing can be caused by stressful or fearful thoughts. Remembering to breath properly can help the body to feel relaxed and safe.
– Conscious loving self talk – see the updated list below. Putting a hand on the heart or chest area, a self hug, a high five in the mirror backs up the inner positive self talk with a potent soothing physical gesture.
– Watching and listening mostly to empowering wise material from awakened teachers. My regulars at the moment include Tara Brach, Eckhart Tolle, Michael Singer, Tom Cambell, Russell Brand and calming recitals of old wise Tibetan Dzogchen texts by a Buddhist nun called Samaneri Jayasara.
– Mindfulness of thoughts and inner dialogue – what am I thinking about moment to moment and is it conducive to well-being?
– Prayer and mantra recital – especially useful if there’s inner rumination going on that’s hard to let go of when fear has taken hold of the physiology and causing stress. It is more beneficial reciting something consciously, than to ruminate in compulsive distressing thought. I use the Gayatri mantra and say this often out walking, or driving. Any phrase also works fine, or loving self talk ‘I’m here for you, I love you, you are supported’.
– Noticing the beauty in nature – brings us into the present – creates appreciation and a quieter space inside with fewer thoughts, and fosters gratitude. Pausing often to be still with the trees, plants, water, wind, smell the air, use the senses fully can help to feel connected to the world around us. Fosters a sense of wonder too. Taking photos helps train the eye to look around.
– Grounding by connecting with the surface of the earth outside.mi regularly lie down in a field with as much of the body connecting with the earth as possible. Noticing the sense of safety. Or in warm weather taking off the shoes and being barefoot in the water or on the grass. Repotting plants and getting the fingers into the soil.
– Empowering others and being kind helpful and supportive. Win win approach to others. Being a positive experience for others including strangers. (Came out of the supermarket the other day to find a very drunk woman had fallen next to the car. So I offered to take her home and we had a lovely encounter, she felt looked after and I got to feel beneficial. Win win.)
– Looking in the mirror and saying something positive and empowering or even just a ‘Yes!’.
– Not spending time around competitive, or habitually angry or complaining people
– Body movement. Stretching. Dancing. Consciously using muscles. Singing. Humming.
– Dropping out of the mind often and into the body and the feelings to consciously acknowledge what is being experienced.
– Facing uncomfortable feelings head on. Not trying to change the environment to make myself more comfortable.
– Having a happy cheerful cosy indoor environment that engenders a feeling of safety and nurturing. Plants, candles, flowers, tidy enough, clean.
– Listening to what the body wants to eat which is very little processed food. Fruit, veg. Occasional meat. Probiotic in the morning, a few vitamin supplements. Not much food. Long periods of not eating 6+ hours. Maintaining a healthy weight.
– choosing to be around positive empowering people
More and more choosing not to be around others who habitually and unconsciously express anger and complaint. I had quite a challenging one with maintaining an environment conducive to loving open energy with a friend the other day. Practically lost his temper in response to a view I expressed. He swears constantly too. Do I want to have to make such an effort? No.
Another friend is competitive and defensive. Also hard to be around. Another one complains a lot and rants angrily about others often. I told her that I think its poisonous to her and that it is unpleasant to listen to. Haven’t heard from her since. These are the last few friends I have after letting most of the others go already. It can be a bit of a solo path this.
It could be that who I am, how I’m developing, what I’m interested in, talk about, may not be compatible or enjoyable for others. I’ve been thinking about that. Could it be that I don’t bring out the best in some people, that I even bring out the worst in them? Could be.
Been updating the list of positive self talk, removing any that don’t feel quite right. Here’s the list so far.
I love you
I respect you
I care about you
I appreciate you
I support you
I like you
I value you
I’m here for you
You are held
You are safe
You are loved
You are accepted
You are supported
I respect myself
I am lovable
I like myself
I am loved
I am safe
I am valued
I accept myself
I trust myself