As a trauma-informed yoga teacher, I’m never going to tell you NOT to feel something you’re feeling.
If you’re afraid, feel it.
If you’re worried, feel it.
If you’re anxious, feel it.
If you’re overwhelmed, feel it.
It’s real and it’s our collective reality right now.
The least healthy thing any of us can do is to force ourselves NOT to feel what we feel.
In a world that wants an instant fix to get as far away from discomfort as possible, this might sound cruel…but here’s the deal: we’re here to help you find your way through what you’re feeling instead of stuffing it down.
FOUR STEPS TO PRACTICE CONNECTING WITH YOUR INNER POCKET OF PEACE:
1) Notice your emotions and say them out loud (yes to yourself) or write them down like this:
I’m aware that I’m scared.
I’m aware that I’m feeling rage.
I’m aware that Im worried.
Using this intentional language let’s you acknowledge how you’re feeling without self-judgement or a story about what you’re feeling. Just good clean acknowledgement.
2) Get curious about what your feeling needs to feel expressed. Maybe your rage wants to dump itself into jumping up and down 2 times with a loud stomp as you land. Maybe your overwhelm needs to be taken for a long walk in the woods to experience some awe, wonder, and the medicine of nature and sun shining on your face. The idea is NOT to make what you’re feeling go away, but rather to give it what it needs and help it be fully expressed and moved through and out of you.
3) Breathe. Find a cozy spot to sit. (pro-tip, try sitting on the floor with your back against the couch or wall with a pillow behind you). Create some length in your spine by elongating from your seat to the top of your head. And then close your eyes – or look down at your hands on your lap. Notice your natural breathing pattern as a starting place. And then after a few breaths, start breathing slower and a little more deeply and let your awareness come down to your belly and notice it expanding as you breath in and drawing back in toward your spine as you exhale. Take a few breaths that way. Sometimes it helps to place a hand gently on your own belly to bring your awareness there. After a few breaths, deepen your breathing a little more, this time maybe try feeling your belly expand as you inhale and then continue by allowing your ribs to expand to let more breath in. Reverse the process as you exhale, feeling your ribs gently hug in and then your navel draw toward your spine as you exhale just as slowly. Repeat a few times. (If you get light headed, stay where you are and let your breath go back to your natural breathing. Sometimes our bodies get surprised by the extra oxygen coming in with these fuller breaths and need to remember how to distribute it properly, the spacey sensation should slowly pass after a few moments. Don’t get up until it does).
4) Connect. We’re in a worldwide period of physical distancing, so we’ve got to be intentional about staying connected. This time can feel super isolating and our experience of loneliness can go WAY up and quick. Take time today to send some good ole fashioned human connection out to someone you care about.
+Text someone a cute picture of your cat doing something bizarre.
+Send a quick message checking on someone’s well-being and ask them if there’s anything you can do to help make today a little easier for them (or ask for help if you could use a helping hand or a quick phone call).
+Take a video of yourself playing that guitar you love and post it to your social media page to send someone the gift of a human voice in song.
+Drive around the community and wave and smile at people you pass!
+Go for a walk or run on a trail or around your neighborhood and holler hello as you pass others out doing the same.It’s amazing what a little human connection can do to boost our mental, emotional and physical well-being. We may have to get creative to meet these needs, but the benefits far outweigh the effort it takes to stay connected! ️
Connnecting with (and cultivating) your inner pocket of peace is a daily practice – and this worldwide mandate to slow down and stay at home is the perfect time to begin, or double-down in this practice.
Inner peace is the new successful. In the good times and the hard times, stay in touch with your inner pocket of peace. We can always count on it to help us find our way!