This week we explored the theme of Resilience 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.
The truth is we all experience difficult emotions. Difficult emotions such as shame, guilt, anger, loneliness, despair, sadness, fear, confusion, failure, inadequacy, and the like, can feel the most challenging to hold safely. Having emotions is part of the human experience. Period. Try as one might to escape this experience - it's impossible.
I am personally someone who experiences emotion deeply. It's how I'm wired. I am also someone who did not have adequate support from my family of origin to learn how to be with my innate sensitivity compassionately. It was not validated, supported, fostered or embraced. In fact, it was judged, demeaned, mocked and insulted. Painful. And, something in my younger years, I did a fair amount of numbing to deal with. I have come to embrace my sensitivity as the gift it is and encourage others to do the same.
Practicing kindness, remembering my common humanity and taking a balanced approach towards myself and others in the realm of difficult emotions is critical and something I have come to learn and practice daily. I have found that nourishing my body, mind, heart and soul is the truest way to sustainably maintain my capacity for resilience.
The essence of this is taking breaks to allow for feeling my feelings, crying when I need to cry, eating when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm full, eating nourishing foods that taste great, getting enough sleep, exercising self-lovingly, taking salt baths, having fire in the form of candles or in a fire pit or place, doing dirt therapy (gardening...), experiencing meaningful connection with others, being of service through meaningful work, and above all chanting every day with the heart of appreciation for the good, bad, beautiful and ugly ... for it all. Appreciation is critical. And, also, making sure to set the vibration of my day in the morning from a place of appreciation... this makes all the difference. And, coffee helps too. xo
Practicing true self-nourishment has enabled transforming sensitivity and suffering into purpose and feeling foundational happiness no matter what I'm going through. This is a daily practice. It is in no way shape or form an all-or- nothing experience. And, consistency is key. Showing up, especially when it's the hardest... this makes all the difference.
Christopher Germer, in his book The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion talks about 3 common harmful and hurtful reactions employed in dealing with challenging emotions. These are self-criticism, self-isolation and self- absorption. I suggest, specifically drawing from Internal Family Systems model's Self energy, we practice the following:
- In response to self- criticism, we call in compassion.
- In response to self-isolation, we call in connection.
- In response to self-absorption, we call in curiosity.
And, this practice of calling in Self-energy is a critical aspect of being able to bounce back from challenges instead of "taking the edge off" by numbing or experiencing powerlessness.
From Brene Brown's research, resilient people...
effectively problem solve,
seek and allow help,
believe in our own ability to cope with difficult feelings,
cultivate hope, and
experience social connection.
How bouncy is your bounce?
And, what supports your bounce-back-ability?
Notice what's happening inside...
I accept that I am feeling ...
I allow that I am feeling ...
However, I am not this feeling ...
I am that which is Aware of this feeling ...
I offer the light of my Awareness for whatever is needed...
And, so it is.
In Bloom Unity,