I typically think of myself as pretty even keeled – an optimistic realist. So, it’s been interesting for me to observe the wide swings in moods I’ve felt lately (and that’s a euphemism). I’ve been trying to figure out the specific triggers and the internal behaviors that deepen the tumble.
Here’s my insights and a powerful practice I’ve been using to shift the internal black hole.
Yes, Covid-19 is the most overwhelming macro challenge of our time (if you were born after 1945). Yes, it’s really hard for me to look at the state of America politically and not be deeply saddened by our lack of leadership, trust, honesty and ability to listen to each other. Where are the Alan Simpson’s of our time?
But what deeply knocks me off my game are the smaller daily events that highlight the almost tribal divide in this country.
I have five adult children. They come from different demographic backgrounds, but they are aligned in their values, work ethic and sense of human connection. Recently, they have been targeted for their differences and discriminated against as bystanders watch in silence. And that really makes me sad and angry.
I realize in these days of darkness, I fall into the habit of closing in on myself; of thinking I independently need to fix it, I in my aloneness and self-reliance have to be David against Goliath. And that feels so overwhelming that my inner critic has a heyday. I just want to hide under the covers.
In these dark moments, I begin teaching my mind, body and soul to remember to feel that connection to others I love, even if I am physically alone. It’s been a game changer to bring me back to my own power and strength. Through my memories of being held by others in love, support and comfort, I know I am not alone.
After these visualizations, I change how I show up. My memories shift my energy from sadness and anger into love and creativity, and they allow me to carry that energy forward with compassion, clarity and honestly. And that changes everything.
So, if you have times or days that all begins to feel overwhelming, please try this and try it again. Lower your eyes and take a few deep, relaxing breaths. Allow your whole body to melt into and be held by the earth or a chair. Allow your focus to go deep into the center of your mind, deep into the middle of your head, slowly and quietly. From that center, picture a door. Gently open the door and allow yourself to walk through it into a comforting memory of you being held – perhaps by a parent or grandparent long ago, by a lover or partner, even by your 3-year old or snuggled by your dog. If you can’t think of a memory, visualize being held by someone you love.
Allow that energy of connection, comfort, safety, love and support to fill and expand you. Keep that door and your heart open in this space for as long as you want, breathing in the memories and feelings to every cell and space in your body.
By doing the exercise above, I walk through a portal leaving my negative, angry energy in the room I came from and move into a place of strength with ability to listen, respond and see the goodness; to continue to create to see new solutions.