Finding Stillness in the chaos
My morning mindful practice consists of sitting in stillness and allowing the thoughts to dissipate while focusing on the spaces between the thoughts rather than getting attached to the thought. This is an act of self love for me to get grounded before starting my day, it allows me to get clarity on what it is I need to focus on each day, helps me to release things that I do not need to hang on to. A lot of times we are hanging on to things that aren't even ours to hang on to. When you have gone through an especially challenging time, sitting in stillness can help you to see what has been triggered within you that still requires your attention to heal.
If you are just beginning or thinking about a mindful practice for your routine such as prayer, meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, it can be daunting to think about not thinking! But the true essence of stillness is not about having nothing going on because our brains are wired to be going all the time! It is to practice being still even while the thoughts and processes are happening in the mind. We often get caught up in our to do lists and what we need to accomplish and rush through the uncomfortableness of thinking we are just sitting there doing nothing when in actuality, stillness and mindful practices will be able to help you to focus on what it is you need to do for the rest of the day. Starting off small, maybe 2-3 minutes is all you can do, that's OKAY! Try not to judge yourself at all, that is counterproductive. Over time we get better and better at it, and as we grow in our mindful practices, we are able to ground ourselves quickly without even having to sit down! It is important, especially during this time of rampant mental health, to learn how to ground ourselves.
Fear can take us to scary places but it is important to recognize that when we think of things from the perspective of fear, we are often looking into the future which isn't real, yet. I read a quote a few years ago by Robert Downey Jr. that said, "worrying is like praying for something you don't want to happen" and this really stuck with me. I used to worry all the time about the what if's and the could be's but living in the moment will calm the mind and worries. Presence and mindful practice can bring you back to the moment that is currently happening and grounding yourself there can help you feel safe and secure from anything that hasn't happened yet.
Why is this important? When you are living in fear, anger, pride or sadness... that is the lens that you will be wearing when you interact with the world. If you feel angry, you will see anger. If you feel afraid, you will see fear. If you feel defensive, you will want to defend yourself from everything. It's kind of like when you buy a red car and all of a sudden all you see on the road are red cars. We do not see the world as it is, we see the world as we are. This is true for the opposite, if you are living in love, peace or joy... that is the lens that you will be wearing when you interact with he world and you will see those things in everything and everyone. Finding your ground, tuning into the energy that is there in the safety and security of your root, you will be able to tune into the love that is always there from your true Self. When we can find that, everything in our lives starts to align with that frequency and we begin to have positive experiences.
This is especially important for the parents out there with spirited and highly sensitive children. When we teach ourselves how to ground into the love that we are, we can teach our children to do the same. Our children do not have the capacity from the outset on how to ground themselves when they move into the fight or flight stress response and this can be triggered by a situation or circumstance or just what's going on in the energetic field that they are in or around throughout their day. If the energy is turbulent, it could feel scary for us as adults too! Sometimes we have no idea why we feel a certain way, but at all times we can use grounding and mindful practices to calm our minds and body from their responses.
Some ideas for you that has helped me learn to ground myself and find stillness:
-Affirmations; remembering that what we speak is what we create so always focusing on the positive aspect of our thoughts. Simply saying "I am calm" or "I am grounded" can help calm you or ground you.
-Breathing; Pranayama or vital life force energy in and out of your nose; sit down and focus on deep inhales from the nose all the way down to the bottom of your lungs, you can place your hand on your abdomen and focus on lifting it up and down as you inhale in and exhale out. You can practice counting on the inhale, pausing for a moment before exhaling and matching the number from your inhale as you breathe out.
-Meditations; either sitting in stillness or even moving meditations like yoga and dancing. It is your meditation practice, make it work for you. The goal is to be in the present moment and calm your nervous system. There are many apps and videos that can be found online to help you develop a meditation practice.
These are things you can learn with your children as well, I know when I was growing up I certainly wasn't taught the coping mechanisms that I have today and I am grateful to be able to share them with my spirited children.