In my last post I discussed how humans have a tendency to fight against the things in our life that we are unhappy with. If we allow this fighting energy to occupy our time, it prevents us from moving ahead - we shape our world based on negative perceptions, and we lose any sense of control over our future.
It is important to develop a habit of acceptance for the present, so that we can let go of the pain, and begin to bring more of our dreams into this moment.
Accepting our situation for what it is, not for how we are seeing it, helps us to release the emotional hold it has over our life, and we can begin to focus on creating the life we really want.
The process I recommend to help you begin working on acceptance is easy, and can be repeated whenever you begin to feel yourself get anxious, stressed, or angry at your life. Whether it becomes a Sunday night ritual, or a daily practise on your way to work, you can find happiness in your life now, even if it doesn't fit the picture you dream of for the future.
Step 1: Breathe:
Thoroughly under utilised in our stressed and adrenalin run lives, we often take short, ineffective breathes, holding onto tension in our bodies. Oxygen is essential to our survival, and when you bring your awareness into your breathe and your body (most typically in your head, neck, and shoulders), you can consciously let go of the muscle tension, slow your breath down, and take air deep into your diaphragm. Not only does this bring much needed life into your body, but you will release toxins and pent up emotions that need to be let go of. Focus on how your posture changes when you breathe deeply, drop your shoulders down, and hold your spine straight to support your head.
You can do this closing your eyes (not whilst driving please), or with them open, but it might take practise to feel completely relaxed if you haven't done any meditation before. Close you eyes, and become aware of how you are breathing. On your next breathe inwards, make it deeper, and longer than the previous breathe. The trick is not to fill your chest with air, but your diaphragm instead. This can feel like you are pushing your belly in and out, but it is much more effective for bringing oxygen to all cells in your body. Take about 4 deep breathes, and with each outwards step, let more of the tension release from your muscles. The basics of meditation is focus on breathing in & out, in & out. Once you feel more at peace, move on to the next step.
Step 2: Let go of your ineffective emotions:
Repeat after me: "Where I am in this moment is okay. I have the power to decide my own reality right now." Repeat until you believe it.
A common misconception is that we have no control over our lives or our emotions - but the truth is, we chose in every moment how we react to things in our lives, whether by letting our emotional habits guide our actions, or by seeing ourselves in a certain way (eg. as a victim).
We are not controlled by our emotions and reactions - we ultimately have control over them.
Some people may believe that becoming more stoic is heartless and cold, but really it is just a matter of finding a balance between the two, so you can choose when and how you want to feel. Developing awareness of emotions at any point of the day enables you to stay in control, acknowledge the feeling, then let it go. We tend to get so caught up in our stories and the reasons why we feel a certain way - that we let emotions overwhelm us. The unnecessary importance we give to our stories keep us stuck.
When you are relaxed in your body, become aware of what emotion you are feeling that is causing you pain. For example, you may feel anxiety on the way to work, as you stress about what might happen that day. Imagine the emotion is a cloud in the sky of your mind - give it form, picture exactly the type of cloud it is, big, dark & threatening, or maybe huge fluffy and white but covering most of the sky. Picture this cloud moving naturally out of sight, floating with the wind passing by and moving off into the distance. Let the emotion move out of your mind. What is most important in this part of the process is to realise that emotions aren't a part of our body - they are something that moves in and out of our bodies, and we can chose whether to hold on to them, or let them disappear into the horizon.
By acknowledging the emotion - "yes, I see you anxiety, but you are free to move on now" you take back the power the emotion previously had over you. Not attaching the emotion to anything solid in your life, and not attaching it to a story to give it context, allows you to let it go. This changes your belief about how much power you have, and will enable you to be more effective in achieving the dreams you have for yourself. This step can be the hardest to remember to do, but is absolutely the most essential to getting control back in your life.
Step 3: Chose how you want to feel now: The next step in transforming your present reality is to choose which emotion you do want to feel. Start by thinking of the emotions you will feel when your life is exactly as you want it to be, for example, you may want more freedom in your life. How would this feel? Maybe it would feel light, perhaps it would bring a smile to your face, or you would laugh more - let this feeling fill your body now and transform your energy. Take the time to really let this become how you feel now.
Bringing positive emotions into your current reality will open up your consciousness to creating moments now that make you feel this way.
If you find it difficult to identify the emotion initially - you may have to imagine the life you want, then focus on the emotions that you feel. It is important here not to focus on the 'things' you want in your life, but to really get to the essence of 'how you will feel' when you are living them.
When life on the outside doesn't reflect the life we dream of in the inside, it can sometimes feel overwhelming and difficult to face the day. We do have the power to control how we see things however, and we do have the power to overcome incredible adversity and disadvantages to achieve the life that we want. Don't ever give up, just adjust your way of seeing life - look for the opportunities, and see challenges as a simple bump in the road.
If you know someone who may benefit from this post please send them a link to this page. Our next post will include a fun workbook to help you make small changes in your day to day life to bring your dream lifestyle into everyday now.
Where are you fighting against things in your life? What could you transform this energy into to find the opportunities for positive change? Let me know in the comments, or visit our Facebook page.