There are times when despite being armed with an arsenal of tools or practices for well-being, finding a sense of ease can seem elusive. And often, the harder one tries the more frustration arises. Once the momentum of frustration starts, attempting to stop it can feel like stepping in front of a speeding bullet train. When I have had this experience, it’s as if all of the stories surrounding my feelings are swirling in and around my head like a swarm of mad bees. Thinking so much about the problem makes my head hurt! And laughing to myself, I often realize that not only am I completely in my head but also that I have stopped breathing. At times like these, I long for a sense of release, of relief. But what if we were to let go of the effort to find ease?
Suggested practice this week: Say yes to whatever is arising
The momentum of an emotion, particularly one perceived as uncomfortable, can be a powerful thing! Given this, the thought of saying yes and moving towards, or leaning into, that “storm” can conjure fear, a desire to run, or an avoidance of pain and discomfort.
1. Breathing deeply, notice the way the breath moves throughout the body. What sensations do you notice: Perhaps you might notice areas of tension in the body, for example, the forehead, jaw, throat. What sensations are arising in the area of the chest? What are the sensations in the belly?
2. What would it be like to sit with whatever is arising, to take a step back and observe it with a curious awareness, without judgment, noticing the areas within the body that are speaking to you? Perhaps you might notice a tensing of the neck, a tightening of the shoulders, lower back pain, a general restlessness in the body. What would it be like to say yes to it, as if to a welcomed friend?
3. By simply bringing awareness to the body and the breath, you arrive in the moment, detaching from the thoughts, the expectations, the desire to control a situation for a desired outcome.
4. What would it be like to let go of the effort to make anything happen at all?
5. Breathing in the moment, you might find ease actually requires no effort at all.
I’d like to share with you one of my favorite relaxation songs. It’s constantly playing in my car while I commute:
“Inside Silence” by Silvia Nakkach from The Sound Healing Collection: http://youtu.be/k_8mcuqHlAc