A perfect moment: Listening to the robins sing as I relax on my front porch. A dragonfly floats by on the breeze. The summer sun (so rare here in Oregon) shines through the tall trees. It all seems so beautifully perfect. Life is sparkly and pretty in this moment. I feel pretty and sparkly in this moment.
Eckart Tolle says, “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” That is so easy to do in beautifully perfect moments. Yet in stressful, annoying, irritating, or just plain icky ones, that is not so easy to do.
Just a few days ago I was feeling not-so-sparkly. I had just returned from a stressful trip (a bear incident while camping and our van caught on fire on the way home – story for another post). I came home to some overwhelming, unfinished business and some large expenses (“Hello” van-repair bill). To top it all off, I was on my “magical-monthly-moontime”.
To say I was in a state of stress is an understatement.
I felt scared.
I felt helpless.
I felt confused.
I felt lost.
I felt stuck.
I wanted it to stop. I wanted it to all go away. I just wanted it to get better somehow.
Then something happened ….
I followed my steps to get unstuck.
I consciously slowed down. I breathed deeply. Ahhhhh….
I accepted what I was feeling. I mean truly accepted it … by feeling it. I let myself fully experience the ‘freak out’, the stress, the helplessness, all of it. I stopped resisting it.
I remembered …
This is only temporary!
This will change. I will feel better soon. My moontime only lasts 3-4 days. (Thank goodness) The unfinished business will get finished.
And, the rest? I am going to trust that it will be okay.
I repeated my favorite, personal mantra for stressful times: “Somehow, some way everything will be okay.”
Then, I practiced a concept from yoga, Ahimsa. Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word that is usually translated to mean ‘non-violence’. Yet, the translation that has always stuck with me is ‘loving-kindness’. Practicing Ahimsa loving-kindness with myself during stressful times means taking time for self-care. It means giving self-nurturance to myself. It means being compassionate and forgiving with myself.
When I am practicing Ahimsa I am softer with myself. I don’t say or think harsh thoughts. I give myself space to breathe. I give myself comfort.
This took me years of practice to learn to do this. It did not come naturally for me to be lovingly-kind with myself, especially in stressful times. I was use to being bossy with myself. I used to tell myself to “Be strong. Keep going. There are things that need to get done. There is no time to rest!”
Now, I have learned that when I give myself kindness and relaxation, I create more time. Time seems to expand when I am gentle with myself. This then creates even more relaxation for me. It is like a spiral effect. The more I am lovingly-kind to me the more relaxed I get. The more Ahimsa flows out of me towards myself and toward others to be reflected back to me and so on and so on.
Ahimsa leads me naturally into a state of gratitude and appreciation. This always feels like a healing place for me. I no longer feel frazzled; instead I feel fluffy!
If I am stressed or not feeling well and I can find my way to a place of appreciation. Then, my life seems to soften around me. I feel cradled by the universe. From this place of safety and comfort I can find my way to truly trust that it will all be okay.
Rena Hatch, the “Get Unstuck” Coach, inspires her clients to let go of what’s not working to live with more peace, confidence and connection to that place within where the answers live. She is also a yoga teacher and offers Self Nurture Days at the Oregon Coast.
She loves supporting women by phone and through email so she can connect with women all over the world. She blogs at Stretch Beyond Stuck Sanctuary.
Her favorite ways to self nurture: eating dark chocolate, walking on the beach, being silly with friends, spending time in nature, and truly doing nothing.