It’s been a long time coming, but I finally know what to do. And it’s becoming a habit.
In any given moment, if I am sad or confused or struggling in any way, I now know that the very best thing that I can do – for my health, for my sanity, for my best response in whatever situation I am in – is to take a deep breath. Or five. Or start on a pattern of deep breathing that will be the wind that will sail me through this experience with as much presence, surrender and action (what? aren’t those contradictory? not necessarily) I can muster.
- begin the deep breaths
- relax the body
- notice where the body is holding additional opportunities for release
- keep with the breath
- remember what I’m here for*
- re-relax the body
- reconsider the situation from this new and improved state
If the situation still merits concern, worry, or more time before it can be resolved, I like to invoke a mantra. It could be anything – some people use Louise Hay affirmations, bible verses, vedic mantras or buddhist… A couple of my favorites are “there is nothing wrong here” and “i love knowing Life Itself is ever-unfolding and I am part of that.” I also love the Paul Selig “wording” and Byron Katie’s “the work” has been really nice lately.
In any case, it is super exciting that this pattern is revealing itself as a habit. A habit I’ve long wanted to cultivate, but I also had a lot invested in taking things personally. You know, assessing if my any of my definitions of/sense of identity or self was being assaulted in any way, and then getting on with the testy work of defending said construct. Lousy habit. this one is better.
Taking a deep breath is always the best path (unless you’re in some seriously polluted air, which happens a lot, especially in a few Asian cities. But beside from that, the deep breath, the body relaxation, the prayer – that is *virtually always, if not always* the *very best* thing I can bring to a moment. The situation I am in will get the best version of response from me and interaction with me when I am operating from that space. It is simple and free, it demands I recognize that I am enough right now, just as I am, and I can meet whatever it is I am facing. This is the style of living I want to cultivate. And have be my standard operating system, which is
hopefully naturally always evolving itself.
Any skill I can then employ, any knowledge I can offer, an contribution I can make is then coming from it’s fullness, not the lack of the situation or the fear of it continuing. Things get much simpler much more quickly, and I am also learning a new way of interacting with my own body (because when I check in my body is almost always in some weird, stressful contortion somewhere or another).