As part of my morning routine, most mornings during the week day, I incorporate what I have termed ‘spiritual study’. I’m a big fan of Sounds True. Sounds True’s mission is ‘to disseminate spiritual wisdom’ and it does that exquisitely well. Over the years, I have ‘compulsively’ purchased diverse programs and I have listened to only a tiny fraction of these. Now that I have more time and that I’m willing to dive in deeper, I’ve started listening to these. The one I’m listening to right now is “Recovery One Breath at a Time – Mindfulness practices for overcoming addiction” by Kevin Griffin. Very valuable information, practices and tools!
Yesterday I had a huge aha moment. It is not that I didn’t know about this intellectually but yesterday it landed at a deeper level. Kevin Griffin talks about the importance of working with difficult emotion, and even the not so difficult emotions. He goes on to say that it is the underlying emotion that are triggering trains of thoughts in our minds. So when I notice that I’m thinking, it doesn’t stop the thought because the thought is being driven by an emotion and my emotions reside in my body. I feel anxious, angry, excited, sad, not at ease., etc. My tendency might be to intellectually try to figure things out, to talk myself out of feeling what I’m feeling. Sometimes I might be fooled into thinking that I have ‘figured things out’. But unless I go into my body to feel the emotions, the feelings, I will never really truly have worked my way through that emotion. The result is that another worry will surface, another thing will trigger my anger, the feeling of unease will return, etc. and the cycle will continue to the point where it becomes an over encompassing state of anxiety, depression, anger, etc. The energy of the emotion has to be worked out through the body, not the mind.
That is very interesting. It is a fact, that most of us live in our head most, if not, all of the time. I definitely do. So it is important to become more body conscious. It’s interesting that our body has so little say into our lives. There is great wisdom that resides in our body. Yet most of us are afraid to journey there. As British Political, Andrew Bennett said “The longest journey you will ever take is the 18 inches from your head to your heart.” That is so true!
How do we do this? It can be something that is done during meditation if one meditates. Or it can be done at anytime when we feel the unease, the anxious thoughts, the anger, etc. The simple practice of sitting in silence; bringing our attention to our body, to the solar plexus area of our body, our guts; to feel what is there; and to gently breathe through the sensation, the tightness, the unease. To make this a dedicated practice can do wonder to how we experience our lives and our capacity for happiness and joy.
I was feeling ‘off’ this morning when I woke up. I have started a morning ritual of meditation, movement and study and I did not want to do any of it. I knew it was important to go forward and keep this commitment to myself, to my wellbeing. During meditation, I brought my attention to my body, to my solar plexus area. I knew I was anxious about something I had to do today. I’m not used to connecting with my feelings, my emotions I could hardly ‘feel’ anything there. There was just a tiny flutter, tightness there. I breath through it. Nothing else. I just brought my attention to this area and breathed. Interestingly, it is like clarity entered my mind and a solution to what I was anxious about popped into my head. The way I felt before and the way I felt after my meditation time was very interesting. I didn’t know this before but it became clear after. Before doing that exercise, it’s like my thoughts was a wild animal and was stuck in a cage and was frantically trying to find a way out. Whereas after, it felt free and could be itself. I hope that makes sense. This is definitely something I want to incorporate in my day as needed, not only during meditation.
I love those aha moments!