|Just an opportunity to share our chakra-inspired tree :)|
I focus on this all mostly because I experience it. I am highly aware of both the increased levels of stress that our society introduces to us, but also the types of stress that we encounter with each major life change: going off to college, a death in the family, new jobs, marriages, divorces, having children and so on. These life changes are enough to put a person into a special mode of coping, but when you add on the rapidly changing and chaotic world we are living in, the topic of stress management and methods for reducing the effects of stress on the mind, body, soul, are of utmost importance.
It's great that I also happen to be writing about this near the holiday season and though we might (hopefully) face this time with great joy and light (this IS the point actually...as an aside, we are nearing the winter solstice, the time when we'll tip over the hump of losing more light each day, and instead start to gain it back), the truth is that for many of us, all of the hustle bustle can throw us into a bit of chaos.
Here's a fantastic example, and I share this with full knowledge that my own experiences are perhaps less chaotic of those people with small children and other extra layers of concern like illness, grief, and other responsibilities. Yesterday was a Saturday and being a day that I don't have to be at my 9-5, I usually end up taking care of all of the things I am too tired to approach in the evenings of the weekdays. So I made my list:
- Get ornaments for tree (our first "bigger" one! last year was a small table-top guy with just lights);
- Find glass containers for making candles as gifts;
- Take advantage of the 20% off Target coupon expiring that day to find useful gifts for Costea's family in Moldova;
- Maybe run in to a favorite overpriced clothing store that I just emailed me telling me everything is 25% off (this one never happened).
Well. I should have know that everyone else was also going to the mall. being just two weeks out from Christmas. Between finding a parking spot, finding what I needed in the store without being in someone's way, and the fluorescent lights and artificial fragrances galore, I got a pounding headache. POUNDING. The little voice in my head was like, "Girl, you should have done this kind of shopping long before now, you know better". I guess I do, but I guess I forgot. Isn't that what we do all.the.time? To end the story, I had a headache until I went to bed even after going home to stretch, drink water my best to relax.
This little story is just a small example of how hard it can be to remain calm, collected and cool in the world we live in. But alas, there are methods to the face the madness! Since I've already rambled quite a bit, I'll try to keep this as succinct as possible and hope that you'd gain a little insight into making this time of year, and your own life generally, as amazing as possible. Here are my interpretations of our guest speaker's tips:
Tip #1: Observe vs. Absorb
As potentially THE most guilty person of absorbing other people's shit, I can testify to the importance of this tip. My goodness. I used to think I was so nice and sweet because I let people be themselves around me and I'd listen and I'd try to help. Well, while all of that can be good at times, the truth is that it's not my job (nor yours) to FEEL what others are feeling. Many times we can just walk into a room and KNOW that something just doesn't feel "good". The tip here is to observe that and use your discernment as to what to do next. You can either leave the room or if that's not an option, continue in observation mode, but you don't have to actually feel something that is not yours. Observe people's crazy. See it. Delay. And be entertained. One way the visiting speaker talked about this was a mentality of "Sunny in here, crazy out there". Keep your sunny inner weather no matter what. When you KNOW you're going to be around people who bring the crazy, grab a bowl of popcorn and watch the show.
Tip #2: Protect Your Sponge
Now that we've looked at observing versus absorbing, now let's dive a bit deeper into protecting our "sponge". The way the woman spoke about this was awesome. She pointed out the fact that we are actually, biologically, like sponges. We have receptors connected to our nervous system that are always reaching out into the world as well as taking in the data around us. One example of this would be the pheromones we always hear about that either physically attract or repel us to/from others. So, in the above scenario above of entering a crazy-ass energy room, you know it's crazy even without words being spoken because of your receptors/your sponge. You're taking it in and processing it. And once you realize this is NOT something you want to absorb you can protect your sponge. Here are a few ways how:
- Visualization: Imagine you're that sponge and you're just not going to absorb anything icky so you need a protective barrier. One great way of doing that is imagining millions of little diamonds glistening all around you. They are hard, light, reflective, and beautiful. You can see through them and the other people can still see you, but the energy flow into you is reflected off and/or transmuted to something much more lovely. (maybe diamonds ARE a girl's best friend? huh?)
- Have a response ready. Our guest speaker shared this one and I liked it. When Aunt Sally or Uncle Freddy or cousin Sue who you KNOW is always bringing some crazy mozies on over to you, you can have some phrase ready-to-go so that allows you to disengage in their crazy. It might look like this:
Crazy Person: "Oh my gosh, Donald Trump is going to kill our country and my boss hates me and the house we bought is a disaster and....blah, blah, blah"
You: "Interesting" (and walks away or changes the subject to something positive).
Tip # 3: Respond vs. ReactEspecially when we're with people we know very well and know what to expect from them, we can tend to get reactive. But since we do know what to expect we can also choose to be responsive instead. And this also works well with the strangers who bring crazy (you know, the guy who cut you off at the gas station, or the person who butted in line). Rather than allowing yourself to get in a huff and react to their crazy, pause, take a moment, and respond to the situation rather than allowing for a knee-jerk reaction. This should help you to keep your cool, keep your "sunny" inside :)
I'll end this post with the great Mark Twain quote about trauma,
“I've lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
In other words, we create many of the dramatic experiences in our lives simply by letting the crazy in and absorbing crazy that's not even ours. So put up your diamond shield, sit back, and enjoy the show! I love you!
Om shanti, Om peace.