Almost every day we meet inner or outer challenges, often outside of our control. What makes all the difference is our sense of internal support, which allows us to deal with these challenges in a constructive way. The inner knowing that we are capable of bringing what’s needed to the situation comes from a sense of connection to Life itself, that which sustains everything in existence. Disconnection from it, on the other hand, endemic to our culture, makes us feel helpless and insecure or driven and defensive, lost in a sense of separation. That’s why practices of re-sourcing can bring us back to a place of capacity to respond, that is responsibility. The way back to the Source is a return to intimacy with ourselves, exactly as we are. This is not always obvious or easy, especially when where we are doesn't feel good. I would like to share with you a few supportive practices that can be incorporated into a full, busy life.
Returning and soothing.
When you are engaged in a task but start losing your ground and feeling overwhelmed, say “I am here” a few times. Say it as a reassurance to the one inside that needs to hear it. You can add “You are welcome, it’s ok to feel this”. Put your hand on your heart or belly. Let your presence become the loving parent you crave. Let yourself be touched. Keep your attention close to the boundaries of your body. Hold yourself and say “I am here”. This works well in the mirror too.
The ground is always here. It’s the mother that doesn’t abandon us. If you can, stand with your feet apart and place your hands on your lower belly. Imagine your feet being as receptive and sensitive as the palms of your hands. Imagine your attention penetrating like roots through the floorboards, down the structure of the building (if you are inside) all the way down to the moist earth below. Feel the living being of the Earth. Allow your pelvis to soften. Notice that your body naturally opens down towards the earth. Allow your hips to sway a little, feeling an imaginary tail extending from the end of your spine.
In the morning take a moment to ask yourself two questions: “What do I feel?” and “What do I need- physically, emotionally, spiritually?” Write down the answers. The connection with our needs opens the door to their fulfilment. Hearing them helps us define ourselves and take better care.
Intimacy with yourself.
Especially when contracted or struggling, look into your eyes in the mirror and report your direct experience. Start by focusing on bodily sensations, then include emotions, thoughts and the world around you. After each phrase add a word “yes” or “welcome”. It can go something like this: throbbing hand-yes, irritation –yes, tingling feet-yes, lostness-yes, dissatisfaction-yes, sorrow-welcome, bird song-welcome, thinking about tomorrow-welcome, breathing-welcome, expansion-welcome and so on. Notice the effect and let it spread through you. The main point of this practice is counteracting the habit of getting rid of an uncomfortable experience and opening the mode of curiosity about it, the mode of the heart. It’s like exploring a landscape, touching different objects, turning them around in your hand and putting them down. It takes patience. As we begin to slow down, we are confronted with the momentum of our internal haste and the subconscious need to get somewhere else. We also come across the discomfort of rejecting our experience. This too can be named and welcomed. Coming closer and closer in, we receive the support of the Source within.
Whatever your situation, what are you grateful for? Speak it, write it down, even if there’s resistance. Neuroscientists have reported that even looking for something to be thankful for creates positive brain chemistry.
Make a list of all that is supporting you in your life at present, your external and internal resources.
I hope these micro-practices can become a part of your “stash of nuts”, your “box of treasures”. Keep adding to it and you will have riches to draw on at the time of need.