Are We Stuck in Our Bodies
Some days and some times we all get that feeling of: OMG I’m not going to get better. Maybe we are overweight, out of shape, have chronic aches and pain, or are feeling caught somewhere in life.This pain or this situation is just what I have to live with from now on. Fear starts to have a bigger say in our mind. We not longer are in touch with that more reasonable (laughing Wisdom) character. Now we are controlled by these emotional winds that blow from different corners of our mind moment to moment.
Pause and Breathe
What to do? First hang out a bit. This pausing before doing is a bit difficult. Often we’d rather rush to make a change. Totally reasonable for this emotional self. Totally unreasonable for growth and change. This hanging out literally involves dealing with a tension we just are too uncomfortable with. So as with much of life’s stress and strains we can often refer to our breathing.
There is nothing magical in this first part. We have heard it all before. So what is the problem often for us. It is the lack of implementation for a long enough time in a systematic way in order to appreciate change. This first part is a slowing down on the outside so that we can get a view from the inside. This interior view must include the stresses but the view is a bit broader if we let breath take us to a calmer place. This calmer place takes some time and some work. It is worth it.
For some of us there will be a lot of work just at this initial stage. It can be very unfamiliar and seemingly stressful to not initially do something to alleviate the discomfort/pain. Please note if there are acute problems one may need to take immediate action (breathing, not leaking, etc)
Talking to Ourselves
Once we have established the breath AND feel a bit more calm, we can have a brief inner dialogue. Nothing like a complete Soap Opera–just a way to have the rational self chat with the emotional self or whoever is answering inside at the moment. Ask ourselves: What do we really want? Not just pie in the sky kind of thing. But what is it that would serve in our best interest. Our best interest will also serve and fit well in the interest of the family/community that we reside in.
Again as you respond to this inquiry, check in with your breathing and inner perspective. The inner perspective feels a calming sensation and you start to tap into your own interior wisdom/intuition. It may be a very soft inner voice. So all the noise of fear and stress makes it difficult to hear. This is why taking the time to properly prepare is absolutely critical.
You will know it when you feel a shift from this furtive questioning that leads nowhere. You start to feel a quieting that causes a release of held tension. You will feel it in the body as relaxation and the breath automatically becomes deeper. You may even start to feel more tired or periods of greater energy. Stay with what ever you are experiencing and repeat this initial process of breathing and paying attention.
All these steps subsequently are predicated on one’s desire for change. We might want change, but we need to define what that change really looks and feels like. This means having a goal or goals. Nothing too fancy or high-sounding. The more practical and measurable you can make it the better you will know when you have achieved it.
Now lots of us have goals but we never reach them. Here a goal would be that something or aspect that you could not live without. Kind of like breathing when you are under water and run out of air. Boy you know how much you want to breathe-NOW and you are driven literally to the surface again. This is a burning goal that successfully drives us. We literally stop doing all the other things that naturally sabotage our efforts or take us away from the direction we need to be moving towards.
This power of ones will in the above example is the type of fuel that take you to your goal. This will power is critical to develop for many of us. Often we start out on this journey of change and end up quitting too early. As soon as it becomes inconvenient or too difficult we find we don’t really want it anymore in that way. We would like it delivered and all ready to be consumed. The work of changing ourselves becomes a bigger effort than the effort we are willing to make to create the change.
We lose sight of our goal. We become again disillusioned and loathing of ourselves. We once again settle back into this comfortable yet uncomfortable lifestyle.
One must have a good reason to have this goal. It must be based on a deep inner desire. We have to make a connection from the inside. This connection inside will show us and bring us to a clearer understanding of ourselves. This goal will resonate deeply in a way that we begin to feel better. This better feeling needs to be nurtured by lifestyle changes and proper practices. This process then continues on it’s own accord and we end up following a deeper calling. This automatically directed process can easily get side tracked at the beginning (the first several years or decades!). So of course our exterior effort of pushing towards as we feel the pull from the interior is all part of this dynamic dialectic.
We just don’t take the time to develop this interior appreciation. This interior life can join with our exterior life and this becomes our great goal. The movement towards this goal becomes our practice. First we might need to spend a good amount of time in once again, paying attention and developing this full deep diaphragmatic breath.
How to Change
Go ahead and read the classic wisdom texts for guidelines. Develop a relationship with like minded seekers. Nurture your inner spirit/intuition.
Also develop a basic practice. Choose maybe one thing–two things for a busy minded person. Remember how to climb a mountain? One step at a time. Running up and take leaps and bounds doesn’t really do ANYTHING in the long run.
Basic Practices to support your Philosophy of Life (Goal)
- Diet and Nutrition
- Environmental Considerations
- Healthy Close Relationships
Maybe start with just avoiding some problems and poor habits.
- Stop staying up late with your computer or videos
- Skip a breakfast and get use to hunger and just eating a normal next meal
- Stop talking or checking Facebook, or email or phone messages all the time
- Take a break from an unhealthy relationship (person or thing or habit)
- Lie down after work: Relax and Breathe for 10-20 minutes
- Get up and do 15 minutes of exercise
- Prepare a simple stir fry meal of veggies and a protein source
- Read something inspiring
- Go to bed
Don’t make it too complicated. The complexity is there and it will evolve over time.
Get ready for your new day
Stick with your plan for 4-6 weeks before you change it. Just get in a good month of training. Then reassess by again going inside and listen as your relax and breathe.
Remember Dude: We can all still change.