One of the lessons I learned on my silent retreat was I must practice to not be swayed by the inevitable highs and lows that most days consist of. If I’ve been having a great day I should not let one thing my mind deems negative to cancel out all the good.
The same works in the reverse and is important more than ever right now. Just because life is in a global upheaval, there’s uncertainty for us all, our personal lives might feel chaotic, or our relationships may feel strained.
We must still allow for those moments of pure joy that pop in and out of our days to matter.
We can experience good and bad together. All or nothing mentality has no place here.
It’s okay to have good days while there is suffering out there. It’s okay to have bad days too. It’s okay if one part of your life is awesome while another part feels like a giant dumpster fire.
This is life in all it’s complex glory. However you feel right now is just what you need to feel right now. The important detail to remember is to not stay in one extreme or another for long.
If we allow all outside factors to determine our moods then we'll never feel stability or peace for long. This is what living conditionally looks like where we state that we'll be happy only when x or y happens, but until then we struggle.
Isn't this what we all crave deep down? Peace, stability, happiness in how we're living life? To feel content and confident no matter what life throws our way unexpectedly?
I know I want to live more in this state of being.
We must trust that emotions are as ever-changing as the ocean’s tide. What you feel now will one day dissolve and another emotion will take its place.
Unpleasant feelings come and go... pleasant feelings come and go...
The only thing for certain is everything we perceive, feel, and think is temporary. The sooner we become okay allowing all feelings to be present the less hold they have on dictating our lives.
This is a daily practice to get to a place where we aren’t derailed by our emotions and thoughts.
I’m working on this myself and see the progress I’ve made internally, but I do still have moments that my emotions get the better of me.
We’re all a work in progress and that is okay.
So...how do I work on this and apply it to my own life you might ask?
1. I do my best to view all thoughts, sensations, emotions as objectively as I can.
I do this by allowing whatever I'm experiencing in my body and mind to be there and do my best to view it with love and zero judgement. For all thoughts and emotions, bad and good.
At first this can be painful, but it's the equivalent of doing physical exercise to build up endurance. You're building up mental endurance instead to make your mind the strongest and most aware it can be.
I practice this through meditation and when situations or moods arrive that create a physical or psychological reaction within me.
2. I tap into the wiser part of me, my soul.
This work can feel draining at times, but by tapping into my soul I remind myself that there's this wiser part of me who loves me and accepts me completely as this work-in-progress that I am.
I do this by putting my hands to my heart and breathing in and out deeply while feeling into this part of my body.
I can also do this by lighting my Loved affirmation candle which physically reminds me that I do have this deeper part of myself to connect to. This is especially a helpful one when my ego is calling all the shots for the day and I'm feeling resistant to practicing my self-love.
Now for me it's the affirmation candle, but if affirmations work for you too it can be as simple as you writing "I am Loved" on a post-it and putting it somewhere you see it daily or creating a reminder in your phone to go off hourly or daily.
The tools themselves can be whatever resonates and works best with you. Through it all just remember that we’re all a work in progress and that is okay. You are loved unconditionally by this more wise part of you that lives deep within the body. I call it soul, but it also goes by inner being, inner voice, intuition.
It's all one and the same and each one of us comes equipped with accessing this power. It's just that some of us have buried ours over adulthood and are hard of hearing from this source as a result. If that's the case all you need to do is start digging within until you've uncovered it.
Love to you xo