Time for calm, today, after the thunderstorms of last week, and the clashes of political opinions, and all right after a very intense lunar energy from the Beltaine full moon. The strain of modern life knocks us all off our feet from time to time but, when that happens, it is our opportunity to get better at getting back up!
Getting back up
Depending on how much experience you have in the stress department – and I think most of us are way beyond novice – you’ll have likely already picked up on certain self help methods that best suit you. But if we really want to defy stress we could use it as a calling signal to expand our understanding and find new ways to better sustain our peace and happiness … grab a book, build a library … build an arsenal … keep getting better at feeling better!
And breath …
The simplest tricks stick best, and can be the most effective – such as the breathing exercise shared in the book ‘You Can Conquer Pain’ by Leon Chaitow. Yes, we all know to ‘just breath’ but maintaining a controlled, slow breath when you’re het up is another matter. Leon’s simple 7-11 method keeps you on track until you calm down:
1) Count at your own pace as you breathe, until you find a speed that lets you count from one to 11 on each out-breath.
2) When this feels easy, start counting from one to seven on each in-breath, at the same rate. You will automatically breathe out more softly, so that the out-breath lasts longer.
3) Using counting to help you keep the rhythm going, as you aim to make the out-breath about twice as long as the in-breath. The counting will help focus your mind, so you are less likely to be distracted by other thoughts. Continue for several minutes. As you practise (once or twice daily), you will identify a comfortable counting speed, so that you don’t get out of breath. It can be hard to keep count at first, but the technique gets easier the more you do it.
Sometimes the realisation that you’re not the only one feeling overwhelmed is enough to snap you out of stress mode or to at least put things in perspective. When I began reading ‘Overwhelmed’ last night, I actually laughed out loud at just how relatable Brigid Schult’s very honest recount was, of how she had been living her life, trying to be a great worker and a super mum and getting totally overwhelmed by everything … and the bit about always being late, I totally got that! As the journey continues, she takes us through the lessons she has learned, about better ways to approach work and how to manage time … or more to the point, about the freedom to perceive time as we choose to and what we choose to do with it. This is one of the books that I have my nose buried in as I ‘get back up’ this time.
The other book I’m learning from right now is ‘You Can Relax and Overcome Stress’. My interest was sparked after watching the video I’m about to share with you. The author, Mike George is a calming soul and again he brings our focus back to perception – how we choose to perceive the world around us and how we perceive what we experience during our time here.
“Things don’t happen to us, situations don’t happen to us, people don’t happen to us. Everything happens for us. When i can turn this idea that life happens to me into life happens for me then i transform my own relationship to life from one of being a victim of circumstances a victim of situations to being the master of those situations, the master of those circumstances.”
I hope reading this blog has helped you as much as it has helped me to write it. I thank you for being there; as is so often the case, you’ve helped me find my calm.