As we re-enter the world, how will you elicit your comfort & calm?
Several clients and friends have recently expressed some anxiety, apprehension, or an uneasiness about “getting back out into the world.” What they’re experiencing, from what I gather, stands apart from stress of the world opening up again (businesses reopening, mask mandates lifting, etc). This is more about identity, normalcy, and a distaste for being too busy (again).
The closing down (during the pandemic) inserted a pause, a break to the norm, and quite consequently, a relief to the nervous system in many ways. For most, there was no rushing off to work in the morning, no more dinners to plan, parties to attend, or others’ expectations to meet. While not all bucolic, there was of course the parents-turned-teachers for young ones now doing school at home. We were also gifted an increased awareness of the mind, our thoughts, the internal dialogue, and for many, a much-needed slowing down.
I wonder if we can give ourselves permission to stay slow. Can we (continue to) reap the benefits of not planning too much, nurturing that conscious awareness of what it means to be not to do. A human Be-ing, not a human Do-ing. I invite you to find your comfort and calm within this and each present moment, and share that practice with your children.
The Great Eternal Present
This was a theme during last week’s backpacking trip in the Needles District in Canyonlands, Utah. What else do we have but the present moment? Acknowledging time as a human construct, and not linear, then there is no past and no future. The present is all we have, and it is a gift.
To quote the quintessential Mary Oliver “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” In the context of this post, I think it appropriate for us all to consider, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious present?
Another common theme and intention expressed by more than one of us during the weeklong adventure was enchanted boredom. It is certainly easy to be enchanted by the quiet, the calm, the potent energy of that place. It was also easier to get bored there too, without the daily responsibilities of modern life. A friend remarked that, while it took a few days, the constant stress felt at home had nearly dissipated to a 1-3 on a scale of 10.
Back in civilization, and at rest on a real pillow, I was arrested with reflections from the trip. How can we maintain that sense of peace, quietness, and calm back at home? I believe it is about a constant and consistent tapping into of what brings us comfort & calm. For some it may be a meditation practice, being in nature, breathwork, exercising, or being at play each day. Can we also give ourselves permission to stay slow, to not fill up the calendar, and reflect daily on what it means to be in a state of comfort & calm?
The Invitation for Comfort & Calm
I am currently revisiting a childhood admiration, staying in Estes Park, Colorado. Every day within walking distance of the cabin I see elk and deer. Being with nature, wild animals, and my husband bears the fruit of conscious awareness. For me, the most prominent source of comfort and calm is seeing mountains each day out nearly every window.
While the chaos may continue, taking a sentiment from the Serenity Prayer, you have the wisdom and the courage to control the calm. This is an invitation to bring into your daily wellness ritual an action, thing or thought that brings you comfort and calm as we re-enter the world.
What I noticed with clients during 2020 was the neurotransmitter GABA showing up much more as a system needing more attention. GABA, as a chemical messenger for the body, helps us navigate anxieties and overwhelmedness. This chemical was either being used up more quickly or being underproduced. Either way, it is not surprising if this system has not yet gone back online so to speak. If you’re experiencing the above and interested in doing a wellness workup for helping stabilize this or other neurotransmitters, emotions of fear, or feelings of apprehension, learn more here.
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