Has anyone ever told you to ‘just relax’ when you are anxious? Or ‘don’t worry’ when you are worried? What happens?
My experience has been that those bits of advice are probably not helpful. In fact, they often work the opposite way. Similarly, when we tell ourselves “I’m going to stop worrying’ or ‘I have to relax!”, that we also create more resistance and then more tension, then more struggle….
What would happen if we just stayed open to whatever arises, including those states you don’t like, the situations that are frustrating and the many irritations we face each day? I’ve been experimenting with this and let me tell you, it is a constant practice, not a single decision.
Irritated? Notice you are irritated and accept what is happening.
Negative thoughts about someone? Notice them and see them as just that: thoughts.
Things not going as planned? Accept that it is so, and move slowly and gently towards what you want.
This is a physical practice of noticing the contraction or irritation and relaxing into it. When we can dip below the chaos of thoughts and feelings that happen on the surface, there is always a calm place to go.. don’t search it out, it is always there. Just allow it through acceptance of what is happening. Everything that is in resistance to what is happening is struggle and creates more chaos. This requires a huge amount of faith and awareness… but it has never, ever failed me yet. It is like moving towards yourself all the time by staying present and mindful of what is actually happening. Each time you will get a little gem about yourself, like a little tidbit of information that is usually a recurring theme. So it looks a little like this:
Irritation? People aren’t doing what I think they should be doing. They are not me.
Negative thoughts? I am usually tired, hungry or feeling let down or not acknowledged. Notice, breathe and address or see if it’s really true.
Things not going as planned? Let go of expectations and allow something new to happen, which it always does.
Life is much more peaceful here. Will I get frustrated and irritated and yell at times? You bet, but hopefully I will notice when I have gone unconscious of myself a little quicker each time and see what I am resisting.
Stay open, as much as you can: to the many thoughts and feelings you may be denying, the wants and needs you have, the huge pain you may feel at times that is waiting to be held and healed. They are not who you are. They are passing states and they will pass more quickly if they don’t get locked away again. It will be ok if you take the risk to stay open. Try it, just once this week and let me know the gem you discovered.
Much love and encouragement to you,