Let’s face it, not every day is going to be an integrated, let-my-breath-solve-this-situation kind of experience. In fact- just last Friday I fell into the well of everything-sucks.
It looked like this:
- Woke up feeling icky. Neck hurt. Not enough sleep. All of it.
- Put a load in the washing machine. Washing machine made loud noise. Wouldn’t start.
- Got all grinds in my first sip of coffee.
- Went to Brooklyn. Took the express train in the wrong direction. Ended up in Ditmas Park.
- Waited while 2 out of service trains passed before finally getting back on track.
- Arrived late for yoga. Got a spot crammed in the corner near everyone’s bags.
Annoying, small stuff – yes.
But it was also an opportunity to pull out my practices, and put them to work.
I could’ve attempted (I mean practiced) letting my breathing solve the situation with some deep abdominal breaths. Inhale for 5. Exhale for 5 before I even stepped out of bed.
Or I could’ve tried to get my gratitude on. Pulled out a picture of M&G, and remembered how lucky I am while heading in the wrong direction on the F train.
Or maybe it would’ve been best if I brought all awareness into my body. You know, got completely out of my head so I wouldn’t pay attention to the huge sign hanging overhead that said DITMAS PARK. I could’ve noticed that massive ball of tension sitting in my chest and enormous pit in my stomach while standing on the platform, waiting for the right train to arrive.
But I didn’t feel like doing any of those.
I turned to something else. (Skip over to 52 seconds to hear it!)
I popped Black Swan onto my headphones and joined Thom Yorke in his sentiment.
It doesn’t matter what you do to chill out– to move from stress to dealing with the situation.
It’s that you realize you’ve got options.
You know how to chill out. And you can move from stress and accept the situation.
How do you chill out from a stressful situation?
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Your post really does point to a question people should ask themselves. Personal and collective stress is a form of chaos that influences the global energy flow. These stresses evolve to the decisions and observable outcomes we see in the world everyday.
Like you, I don’t let the stress dominate. I see the humor, irony, and the reminders that I am not always in “control.” Sometimes there is sadness, sometimes there is joy. That I can experience either is far better than no capacity to do so at all.
Great music…. 😉
Rob, I agree that our small choices can impact the collective energy – 100%. I think a key to keeping stress at bay is to distance ourselves from the situation. We are not the thoughts that create the stress. So it’s this ability to recognize which enables a more go-with-the-flow attitude.Sometimes I can do this. Other times not so much. But the good news is there will always be another opportunity to practice. Thanks so much for your comment. I appreciate your thoughtfulness.
PS: Thom Yorke is a favorite! I’m pretty much obsessed with everything he does.
Getting out of a negative mood, moment or even a whole bad day is tough because you don’t have high energy. Your suggestion of using music is fabulous! We all have a song that could do the trick and can quickly lift us out of the temporary dark heavy place. Thank you!
This is so true about the low energy…it’s the culprit of many miserable moments! So to include invigorating practices in our repertoires can be incredibly useful. Thanks for sharing your valuable insight, GGW!
Oh yes, sister I hear you – I love your opening graphic :). That’s the thing about our practices though isn’t it? We have to actually practise them – and why do we resist when we need them the most?
Sara, when I saw that opening graphic it spoke to me directly…as patience is definitely something my practices are geared around. I think we resist them when we need them most because they’re not always easy to implement (or even access). Whereas our first reaction is usually like a knee-jerk, it’s automatic, and often it’s what needs to be re-programmed. Hence, the practices. It always comes back to them! Thanks for commenting.
yep, my practice is totally geared around patience too – and faith 🙂
OMG, your opening photo made me laugh out loud! As for your day, the song, and your method of release — awesome!! We all have those kind of days! Thanks for the smile.
I got chills when I read this!! Thank you, Sara!
The opening photo still makes me laugh when I look at it! I can totally relate to this level of impatience. I’m so glad it gave you a smile too!
Heh–that opening visual and your description of your off-kilter morning made me smile (empathetically, of course). I dig your honesty and self-awareness and perseverance, Elysha. Music to relieve stress? Heck, yeah! And thanks for the Thom Yorke tune-cool. The only thing I’ll add, especially in the context of the convo above about practice, is that I MOVE.MY.BODY. Even if it’s only head circles as I wait in a long line or mini sun salutations in the doctor’s office or shaking all body parts for 5 seconds on my walk. Helps me move stuff around and OUT, and reconnects me to breathing. Here’s to bliss, my friend. xoxo
So smart to add in movement to the mix, ST. It’ll take the mind away from the aggravation and release some energy. Thanks for sharing your wisdom! xoxo