Thursday, 20 June 2013

Unfurling through Fear

As a highly sensitive person, your nervous system is hyper alert and this can lead to increased feelings of stress and overwhelm.  

When stressed, we turn to various ways to manage or soothe the intensity of feeling -- some of these ways are helpful, others not so. For the longest time, my default response to stress was to try a force myself to put on a brave face.  I still struggle to recognize and halt the impulse to hide behind the mask of perfection.  Why? Because allowing myself to reveal and express my truth means being vulnerable.  

So my default response is to try and push away, or suppress, in order to negate what's really happening -- when I do this, I close the door on my inner world.

I made the above video in an attempt to guide myself through the fear, embracing movement and exercise as a powerful form of active mindfulness.  


Unfurling through Fear: Affirmations

"I am a vibrant, boundless expression of life"
"I practice exercising my beautiful, free will with compassion"
"I breathe fully and deeply into my heart"
"I exhale fully and completely, with compassion"
"I relax into the strength and repose of my whole body"

True Recovery is inviting yourself to step into the fullness of your being, all of your being -- it's about owning your truth, so you can live and move in ways you never thought possible

I'd love to hear your experiences of moving through fear... how do you meet the "experience of fear" and what do you find it is helpful for countering states of fear?  Let's connect in the comments section below! 


Exercising your Will

Understanding the influence of your beautiful, free will can ignite miracles! 

Here’s the thing:  your “will” to be and to do is a paradox.  Why?  Because it is not helpful to try and “will” things to happen. When you use your will to try to force, or compel yourself to make desired changes, your body-mind will resist the process.

However, when you embrace your will as a wisdom teacher,  your body-mind responds accordingly and your actions become a catalyst for transforming your experience.

Often when we feel things aren't going well for us, it causes the body-mind to default into a state of alert.  This stress response creates a disturbance in the mind, which in turn triggers a cascade of thought-driven impulses.  What happens when the body-mind experiences this intensely anxious state?  The more intense the disturbance, the greater the urge to try and push for a change. 

You may have heard of the fight-or-flight response.  Fight describes the urge to force change, while the flight aspect is what causes patterns of avoidance.

When the mind becomes disturbed, it defaults into either trying to force a change, or negate what is happening.  This gives rise to a sense of fear, or anxiety, which precipitates niggling "pushy" thoughts.

Mindfulness is a wonderful practice, whereby you can “exercise your will” and train your body-mind. It's not about negating what is coming up for you, or trying to push through it.  Rather, it's about accepting your experience.  In this way, you can begin to connect with the exquisite intelligence flowing through your whole body.

Practicing mindfulness will help you hone in on the wisdom your body-mind is communicating to you.  When you are able accept what is happening for you in the moment, you are exercising your will in a healthy way.  In essence, mindfulness is a learning in humility that can completely transform your experience.

Mindfulness is a practice that will help still
your busy mind, while infusing a sense of calm
throughout your whole body.

Calming a busy mind is about accepting your experience.  It's about allowing thought to arise.  This concept is often the last thing on the mind, which will default into "push" mode when a disturbance arises. The compelling urge to fight - or take flight is the natural response.  This is why it is helpful to view mindfulness as a practice, an "exercise" for your will

The Heart Breath

Breathe into your heart.  Draw in the breath with ease, and let out a long, slow exhalation.

Be aware of your body.  If there is any stress present, just feel your body relaxing into the breath. Simply breathe and allow your body to follow your breath.

Breathe.  Notice the gentle rise and fall of your chest.  Inhale fully and deeply, and as you exhale, sense a wave of compassion carrying away all cares, worries and concerns.

Breathe into your heart. Feel a wonderful sense of expansion. You are breathing and you are having a whole-body experience.

Release into your body as you exhale compassion.

Continue to breath in this way, inhaling into your heart, and exhaling compassion. You are breathing and you are having a whole body experience. Follow the rise and fall of your breath.  Feel the aliveness of your natural state of being, which is boundless, expansive and radiant with energy and vitality. 

When thoughts arise, simply notice them, watch them arise and subside with your breath.   Allow your awareness to just follow the breath. 

As you continue your practice of breathing in this way, you are nurturing your whole body, your entire experience, with the greatest care and compassion.

Practicing the Heart Breath awakens the memory of your belonging and connection with all of life.  Through your breath, you are aligning with your heart’s natural response to the inevitable stress that occurs in this life. You are connecting with the heart of compassion.

Exercising your will is about the practice of letting go of the urge to push.  It's fitness from the heart and it will move you in ways you never thought possible.

From the Heart (Affirmations)

"I am a vibrant, boundless expression of life"
"I practice exercising my beautiful, free will with compassion" 
"I breathe fully and deeply into my heart"
"I exhale fully and completely, with compassion"
"I relax into the strength
 and repose of my whole body"