Be.Here.Now - By Janine Lowe
Sounds simple, but it’s not easy. Very possible, but it takes conscious and consistent daily practice. There is quite a shift happening in the world at the moment and what our new normal is, though if we take the opportunity to SLOW DOWN and REFLECT on what this magical thing we call life is REALLY about, we can be CERTAIN amongst the UNCERTAINTY, that LIFE CONSTANTLY CHANGES. Change enables us all to GROW and THRIVE (not suffer and survive), physically, mentally, emotionally and/or spiritually. Just like the seasons, our bodies, our fruit and vege garden, and even our fingers and toenails change (grow) each day; these miracles of life are beyond our control.
So then why the need to try and control things outside of us, like certain people or situations; instead of what we can control, like our own thoughts, feelings and behaviours. From my experience, it can feel safer and easier to focus on things outside of us, especially if it’s familiar and a pattern you have repeated over days, weeks, months and years because the CERTAINTY of knowing the outcome despite it making you feel tired, anxious, overwhelmed, depressed or angry as examples, it still “feels better and safer” than the UNCERTAINTY of how you could possibly feel and/or what could happen instead. This learned behaviour is usually a result of what we’ve seen and experienced in our environment around us, growing up. Which of course isn’t wrong, it’s the best the people around you could do with what they knew. They could’ve done better had they known better. That default behaviour of REACTING (vs responding) to certain people or situations with emotionally charged eg a lack of empathy, understanding or kindness; can make us think and feel like a victim by blaming that person or event.
BLAMING (vs owning) gives our power to a person or situation and we put the responsibility of how we feel, think and behave on to someone or something outside of us. Again, not wrong, just different, but an opportunity to lean-in and ask yourself, is this way of thinking, feeling and behaving NOURISHING ME? Nourishment is more than just the food and drink we put in our bodies, what about the thoughts we think, words we say, people we spend time with, social media we consume etc. PLEASE be kind and gentle with yourself and others, if this resonates with you or reminds you of someone that behaves like this, at times. I say, at times, because we aren’t ALWAYS “grumpy” or “NEVER” positive, we have MOMENTS of feeling grumpy or negative. Now back to this REACTIVE behaviour. There is so much beautiful opportunity in this “feeling like a victim” space, IF…we take the time to stop and listen to our heart, by RESPONDING vs reacting, which looks and feels like for me: PAUSING for a moment or taking a breath to process and reflect on, what is this person really trying to express to me vs me feeling pissed off with their blunt tone and cold body language OR what is this situation making me feel fearful about vs this is too much and I'm about to roundhouse kick someone or eat that Kingsize Block of Whittakers!!
Have a play next time and see what buffers you can pop in here to create space for your curiosity, BEFORE you react, and practice consciously responding. Of course there are times where people and situations test us, our life is not determined by what happens to us, but how we process that thing that happens to us. We need that contrast in our life to better understand and appreciate the multiple layers of that person or situation, such as happy vs sad, light vs dark, sun vs rain or hungry vs starving. In moments of feeling fear, unsafe, overwhelm, tiredness, hangryness, or physical or emotional pain, we can at times, compare and compete vs coming together to collaborate, ie us and them vs WE.
If your language or choices continue to make you feel more fear, overwhelm, anger, tiredness, frustration, resentment, judgement, expectation etc, reacting this same way will strengthen those same patterns of how you think, feel and behave. However, if you want to feel better, practice thinking thoughts and speaking words to yourself and others that make you feel good NOW, like love, joy, peace, expansion, abundance or gratitude. And like anything new to the body or mind, it takes conscious consistent practice, moment by moment, one day at a time. Remember to also allow yourself space for the old thoughts and beliefs to pop-up and then let them go with love and gratitude for what they have taught you and enabled you to feel. Be mindful that at times, we have this need to create a story for protecting ourselves from uncertainty or change . Eg: you text a friend and they don’t reply back straight away, after a day, or at all. Our tendency if we don’t feel safe within ourselves, can be to create a story/narrative by default (if this is a habitual behaviour pattern) such as, “they must be pissed off at me or avoiding me maybe because of this thing I said or did”. What about the reality of “they haven’t texted me back” fullstop. I spelled out the punctuation to reinforce the message here about focusing on the data you DO have, which is, they didn’t reply, end of story, you have no further data to confirm why they didn’t reply.
This power has always been there, inside of us, and is one of our most magical tools, which is our heart NOT our head. Tuning into our heart can help us understand ourselves, others and the situation around us vs being victimized by our self-limiting beliefs. But it all comes down to YOU and what you CHOOSE to think, feel and do. Take responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, because there’s no one else in your mind choosing those beliefs, except you, only you can save you. Give yourself permission to make room for ALL types of emotions, feel what you feel, be it anger, resentment, guilt, shame, judgement, expectation, fear, etc and then let it go to allow more space for what feels good and what is true for you. Which is unconditional love: loving and accepting yourself no matter what. YOU ARE NOT your thoughts, feelings or behaviour.
YOU ARE A LEGIT MIRACLE, and scientifically supported, that the odds of you being born into this world is one in 400 trillion! Stick that in your pipe and smoke it So with all the gorgeousness of who you are and what you bring to the world, honour the magic of you getting to wake up each day and breathe another breath so that you can sprinkle it with moments of all the things that make you feel good NOW. For me, and no surprises here, it involves cooking and eating delicious kai with friends and family that are my tonics (i.e. I feel safe to be me and they make me feel light and excited); biking to the beach with the sun and wind on my skin for an ocean swimmy or walky; time alone to connect with myself reading, journalling, meditating, napping, oracle cards, or watching Disney; movement in all forms that are playful like handstand walking, challenging like weightlifting with my strong and inspiring AF wahine crew, engaging like my Iyengar Yoga classes,and spontaneous like biking to the beach in the rain; and lastly one I’m still working on, quality sleep! When I make time for most of these things throughout my day, even for 5 minutes, I truly feel aligned with trusting and believing that… Chaos brings change and transformation, even though the waves are choppy, this too shall pass. Because chasing your dreams is: Adventure / Discovery / New friends / Excitement at the crack of dawn /Magic Surprises /Fun /Laughter Which for me, is stepping into LOVE vs FEAR, like being in the present moment vs ruminating about the past or future; holding space for others with kindness and compassion vs judgement and expectation; feeling grateful and excited for what I have and what I get to do vs feeling resentful and depressed about what I don’t have and can't do.
Every moment we create and feel is about CHOICE, what are you going to practice choosing? A few affirmations to guide you from one of my favourite wahines, Louise Hay:
I love and approve of myself exactly as I am
I hold a clear vision of what's possible and trust it deeply before its a reality
I always proper no matter where I am or what's going on
Wonderful new doors are opening for me all the time I'm discovering talents I didn't know I had
I’m in the process of positive changes
I deserve the best
I only give out that which I wish receive, my love and acceptance of others is mirrored to me in every way I step into my future with strength and clarity
I’m meant to be here