“If you meditate deeply, sooner or later you will start feeling tremendous love arising in you that you have never known before. You want a love that is born out of meditation, not born out of the mind.” Osho
Meditation can be a word that carries feelings of resistance. When I first came across meditation, I wasn’t even prepared to look at the concept, because the picture I had in my mind, was that of people sitting cross-legged on the floor, humming a mantra and of course they were able to clear their minds of the thoughts, constantly tumbling around in my mind. However a few years later when I was on a wellness course, I was introduced to the notion that anything we did to create the relaxation response, rather than the stress response, was going to be good for us. We were taught a variety of methods, and what got me hooked, was the fact that we would feel better if we accepted the transgressions of the mind and accepted that minds keep flitting. The Buddhists apparently call this unwillingness of the mind to stop, as ‘jumping monkeys.’
Research has shown that even 5-10 minutes each day, of focusing on the breath as it goes into the body can be beneficial. It can often be just a matter of remembering to carve out this small amount of time, and then follow it up with the odd deep breath, and letting go of the tension as you relax with the out breath, during the day. You’re waiting for someone to answer the phone, take a couple of breaths to the bottom of your lungs. The lights are red and it’s tempting to allow the frustration to amp up when we’re running late, instead take a couple of breaths and drop those shoulders. When we’re in this place of relaxation, it is easier to feel gratitude for the people in our lives, to feel the love in our hearts that will help us respond in a way that makes everyone feel good.
Just trial getting up 10 minutes earlier, sit quietly and focus on the breath, with no other agenda than to ‘be’ and enjoy!
Our attitude is the crayon that colours our world.” Allen Klein 1931-2009, Businessman and Talent Agent
Over the years I have been writing these thoughts, I have talked about how our thoughts create the feelings we have. In other words creating our attitude, creates how we feel. What is important to understand is that our feelings are felt in our bodies not our minds. Becoming more aware of what we are feeling in any given moment will give us an indication of what we are thinking. What we are feeling will then cause us to take some action on that thought, in either a negative or positive way depending on how we are feeling in that moment. Often I will talk about the ‘what if’ concept in a positive direction rather than the negative. This can change our thoughts or attitude into a chosen positive vibration which then by the Law of Attraction can attract those more positive experiences into our lives. There has been some study done on which colours calm people down or hype us up. Different colours have different levels of vibration & like our thoughts can change our vibration to attract different experiences.
So if you are wallowing in feelings of fear and worry your body will reflect that – may be with a sense of anxiety butterflies, or maybe you have developed a physical joint pain for no apparent reason. Whatever it is, you know where you hold the tension or feeling in your body. Ask yourself is this what I want to feel, what thought or condition has allowed that feeling to arise, and what would I rather be feeling. Don’t expect others to ‘make’ you feel better. Only you can do that. Damn! That might involve some work on myself! It may, however, be as simple as choosing to feel the preferred option.
Enjoy noticing the feelings in your body & what you want to change!
An Australian nurse, Bronnie Ware was recently brought to my attention. She has written a book, “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying,” after working in palliative care, looking after patients in the last 12 years of their lives. In this book she talks of the top 5 regrets that these patients had, hoping that if we all see them, we can learn from them. These are the top 5 regrets that she found…..
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I’d let myself be happier.
Are you seeing yourself in any of these? Every day we wake up we can choose to live life differently than we did yesterday, even if it is only one small step. If we have the intention and the aspiration to head in a new direction, we are the only ones who can take that step, take the responsibility for the life we want, as I talked about last week.
Number 3 is the one I work with my clients the most. Not always about wishing they had the courage to express their feelings, but to be able to do that in a way that others are not traumatised because they have used words that are upsetting. So often we don’t have the courage to have that difficult conversation & it escalates to the point where the words come out without a lot of thought and the relationship can suffer. So having the courage to express ourselves about the things that feel awkward, before they have built up to a crescendo, is a vital part of ensuring that our friends can continue to trust us. Just because we have a different point of view does not destroy the trust. In fact, it is the opposite. If we trust we feel comfortable expressing ourselves with a difference knowing that it will be accepted.
Enjoy working on these 5 regrets!
“When a person takes responsibility for their life and the results they are obtaining, they will cease to blame others as the cause of their results. Since you cannot change other people, blame is inappropriate. Blaming others causes a person to remain bound in a prison of their own making. When you take responsibility, blame is eliminated and you are free to grow.” Val Van de Wall
One of the ways I earn finances is to supervise 3rd year physio students when they are in the outpatient department of the hospital. Getting patients to turn up can be an issue. This means the students are not getting this essential learning practice. I had one patient who didn’t turn up for the 2nd time last week & when I rang her, she had all the excuses but the hospital policy has changed & after 2 strikes you’re out. I thought of this quote about how some people cannot take responsibility for putting the appointment down where they can see it, putting it in their phone or whatever it takes. Yes we can all forget once but….. They don’t have to pay so no skin in the game as the saying goes.
As Van de Wall says, we can’t change other people so blaming them & the situation you have got yourself in doesn’t create the results you are after. The only way to do that is to start to make changes in yourself. It doesn’t have to be all at once, just small steps, small intentions every day to do something differently, and you’ll soon notice that things have changed. Often it helps to have an accountability buddy and even if you can’t see the subtle changes you have made, they usually can. Once you can see how you alone made the changes, it is an incentive to start changes elsewhere in your life. Slowly but surely, different opportunities will turn up in your life. You may have felt stuck but now you can see that you have broken free from the prison that you had created for yourself in your old life. You will be free to grow in the direction you want rather than where you were going by default.
Enjoy taking over the responsibility of your life!