This week we explored the theme of Calm and Stillness in our daily sessions. Bloom Pause is a community offering that meets remotely using Zoom. Each week we explore a new theme through discussion, sharing, meditation, and practices to improve daily life. If you'd like to join Bloom Pause, sign up here.
From Brene' Brown's book, The Gifts of Imperfection, her 8th Guidepost for a wholehearted living is:
Cultivating Calm and Stillness ~
Letting Go of Anxiety as a lifestyle.
Anxiety is a fact of life. The point is to become aware of our anxiety, what triggers it, and how it impacts our lives if we are not coping with it consciously. We want to be especially cautious not to make anxiety a lifestyle. Also, anxiety, as part of the family of the emotion of fear, is contagious. Calm is just as contagious. So, we can unconsciously spread anxiety or we can consciously spread calm.
Brene' Brown defines calm as "creating perspective and mindfulness while managing emotional reactivity." She defines stillness this way: "stillness is not about focusing on nothingness; it's about creating a clearing. It's about opening up an emotionally clutter-free space and allowing ourselves to feel and think and dream and question."
What helps us bloom calm? Stillness does. And, what gets in the way of stillness? Fear does. Hence, anxiety is self-perpetuating.
Also, some of us respond to anxiety by over-functioning, and some of us by under-functioning. Over-functioners tend to move quickly into competence, fixing, rescuing, and the like and tend to go into the action. Under-functioners tend to be less competent under stress and can shut down into helplessness, powerlessness. The visual below is a great one for understanding how the nervous system kicks into action under threat (anxiety and fear) and how in the safe zone, we calm and connect with the flow balancing activity with rest.
I accept that I am feeling anxious.
However, I am not my anxiety.
I am that which is Aware of my anxiety.
And, I offer the light of my Awareness for calming and stillness.
And, so it is.
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