Tasks are Simple, Practicing is Hard 

A “life-revelation”, if you will…the body tells us how we are feeling and feelings are one or two words only. The thoughts behind the feeling are the emotions.

Simple enough, right?

Well, I just came to a clear understanding of this within the past week or two. I’ve worked with my therapist for years now, been to group therapy, listened to tons of mental health podcasts and read several books on the subject but it finally just made sense to me last week. Eastern Body Western Mind by Anodea Judith and The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller are my current reads right now. They both have been fantastic books of healing and growth. Also, The Language of Letting Go is a book of daily devotions that I read after my yoga practice each day. Good stuff. I’m a bit (or a lot) stubborn, hard-headed. It takes awhile for me to come to true acceptance because I like to come to it on my own–I’m working on that.

This blog is called “emerging yogi” because I’ve just started practicing yoga daily about 6 weeks ago. I’ve dabbled in it for years and I feel like any time I get onto my mat, I am practicing a form of self-love, mindfulness, awareness and acceptance. If I can do this for myself, I can be a better mom, partner, teacher, friend, etc. My mat has become my own little sanctuary. With that being said, I have finally, finally come to recognize how to…

1) Check in with my breath and my body. My therapist always tells me that it’s not the act of doing something that’s difficult…it’s the practice of it. So while we have obviously learned how to be in our bodies, we may have never paid attention to what our bodies tell us. Practicing in a conscious way to check in with our bodies on a regular basis to see how we are feeling is a whole new practice of awareness. Our bodies lead us to the next thing…our actual feelings.

2) Pinpoint the feeling. Seems remedial but the next time you feel anything (truly, anything) try to articulate the feeling (happy, angry, sad, anxious, excited, dreadful, etc). I often have to pause and think of the feeling knowing that it’s only one or two words. In fact, sometimes I break out the emotion wheel for myself and even for my kids. Practicing articulating how we feel is another practice in it of itself.

3) Discuss through journaling or talking with someone who is trustworthy and safe who has your back…like, really has your back, the thoughts behind that emotion. When we are in our head, the cloudiness, our own judgements towards ourselves, others, etc. gets in the way of our rational brain. We can’t work out our own issues in our own head. Our brain often likes to take us to the worse case scenario. But, by talking with someone, we are able to more clearly sort out the thoughts up there in that workshop of complexity.

4) Don’t forget to breath! Our brains are made to think–that is their job! And while we thank them for that, sometimes we need our brain just to think about our breath–gives it a little break for it’s sake and for our own sanity.

If I’m feeling a special type of “ick”, a negativity, or an anxiety of some sort (which is multiple times a day) and I follow the four above steps, my outlook feels more solid. I feel more grounded and confident that I am ok even if what is going around me is unpleasant. I bring myself to the present moment. Again, the idea is simple but the practice can be a challenge. Just like any type of practice–we get better over time. If we can bring ourselves into the present moment and don’t give a thought to the minute that has passed or the minute that is ahead of us, we come to realize that…we are ok! Simple as it is…when practiced, it changes the dynamic of ourself in a positive way. We are allowed to be who we really are at any given moment and we truly do have the power within ourselves to take the reins on that.

So, even if just for today, I will practice what I preach…to breath, check in w my body, my feelings, emotions and thoughts. And I will practice, practice and keep practicing–bc there’s no such thing as perfect.  

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