We as humans say ridiculous things to ourselves. We allow things small and insignificant to designate homes within us. We allow them in, and we do not even ask them to take off their shoes at the front door. They walk in, they make a mess, and they rudely invade our space until we all have no idea how to get rid of them. The interesting part though, is that we let them in to begin with. We forget that the true solution lies within prevention. It may be an extra lock on the door, an alarm system, assertion even: our ability to say no and to implement boundaries.
What I am truly discussing, is our ability to hold on to thoughts to the high degree that the thoughts seem as if they have our control. We crumble beneath the weight of what we think at times. We crumble with anxiety, dread, sadness or regret. Sometimes we crumble with anger or frustration. This happens more often than we think. Our home alarm system is ultimately our coping mechanism. How do we cope in the face of discomfort? In order to learn this about ourselves, we need to truly begin to understand how our thoughts make their mark on our physical, emotional reactions.
Reflect on this with me for a moment. When something has upset you or worried you in the past, have you been able to melt it away after a moment, allow it to fester elsewhere? Or has it remained on your mind for minutes, hours, days even? When you needed to confront a big decision or obstacle, how often did you attempt to plan it, think of it, organize it in your mind’s eye before you even arrived at it? Better yet, how many times did it already begin to eat away at you- in the form of uncomfortable emotion, before you even physically saw the obstacle itself? Also, when you did something that you were embarrassed about, did you think about it before bed that night? Did you think about it the day after? What happened after you thought about it? Did you feel uncomfortable? Nervous? Ashamed? Did the pit in your stomach drop? Our feelings are incredibly linked to our mind. These feelings are manifested in physical symptoms… stress, and unfortunately also manifested in our sicknesses and disease.
This is our thought. Our perspective. Our mindset. The single, most powerful thing that we have.
Taking the time to observe is the first step in learning about our minds impact on us. Noticing how you feel when certain events occur, and pinpointing how different events make you feel differently. Then taking the time to not only make a mental note but to communicate it, either to a friend or via paper in a journal. IE: I could write, “My mother made a comment to me that upset me. I immediately felt irritated and annoyed. I continued to think about how annoyed her comment made me, and it made me feel more annoyed. The feeling grew until we snapped at each other again and had an argument.” The growth of frustration here could have easily been prevented had I taken a moment to just pause and observe myself.
The observation of self contains two principles: One of them being the state of non-judgement. While in a moment of “crisis” or high intensity emotion, judging the emotion will only cause the emotion to build and the discomfort to grow. The second principle is the principle of patience. One can not assume that just by observing the situation and emotion that peace comes automatically. Like any field, self-growth and mastery of the mind takes time and work. In knowing this beforehand, we can find it in ourselves to step back and give us the patience and compassion necessary to tackle this life-long task.
So begin to learn your tendencies. Learn how when your partner does certain things, you feel a certain way. Learn how it has nothing to do with your partner but everything to do with your own state of self, state of being and your own perspective. (Abuse of course, is another story and should be taken absolutely seriously- but I shall save that for another post.)
Now to ensure keeping your home private and clean, we will begin to look at our coping mechanisms and how they can aid us in setting boundaries. This occurs after our thoughts have already started. They haven’t yet built a home, but like in my previous example, they have manifested into physical emotional symptoms. This is also a lesson in self-observation. It is now centred around noticing how you cope after the climax of these emotions has occurred. Do you immediately eat something? Do you go for a run? Do you sit and breathe? Do you journal? Do you ignore it and continue on with your daily tasks? Do you call a friend? How do you cope with your emotions?
It’s interesting because many of us don’t even know the answer to that question because we don’t take the time to learn about it. I’ll use a personal example again, just to paint a clearer picture. Oftentimes when I feel anxiety or worry I will reach the peak of my emotion and then my tendency is to grab a snack. Food has been a coping mechanism of mine for years. I’m aware of it, it’s cool, that’s how I learn to differentiate between whether I’m actually hungry or if I’m trying to suppress something, calm myself.
This is important to know because although coping mechanisms allow us to cope, some bury our feelings deeper, and then our barriers and boundaries are less strong. Our walls are down for a moment, we’ve left the front door unlocked, and that is when those thoughts and emotions and stroll in unannounced with a suitcase. When we bury or suppress our feeling, we just give it opportunity to come back… to come back… to come back… and then bam! We are overwhelmed by it. It’s grown to disproportionate size. It’s grown tenfold. How? We allowed it to because we buried it and fed it, gave it a couch to sleep on and even a blanket.
So that step has been taken care of. We are aware of our coping mechanisms.
The next step in this emotional crisis, is to consciously (as we are aware of our habits) make the choice to observe the emotion, breathe and just learn from it. Patiently not judging it. Instead of reaching for a snack or going for a run, let us address these feelings, talk them out or write them out, and then seriously consider whether you are hungry. And then go for your run. And it will be all the more productive because instead of pushing something away you are inviting it in for healing. And you’ll know what to do. You’ll know that when you sit with your feeling even for 2 minutes, breathing, not-judging, that when you go for that run you are really giving yourself the space to heal and not harm. To keep your house tidy and beautiful. You’ll know this because you will set an intention. You will go for a run for the purpose of freeing the stagnant energy and allowing yourself to be liberated from the emotion- learning what you needed to, and then doing what you need to to improve your quality of life. Choosing to cope with healthy things is important. You know what your healthier options are, and you know what will truly help you vs. hurt you.
And now that takes me to my final point. Why did I include giving ourselves space in this blog post? Well simply, we need to give ourselves the space and time to learn ourselves, to heal ourselves and to become our best selves. There will be moments where we need to take a step back and not do what we instinctively want to do. By pausing and reflecting, we won’t always just react in the face of adversity. We won’t always just immediately yell back at someone’s comment. We won’t always feel the need to type out a hasty and “sassy” text message right away. Those climaxes are harmful not only to ourselves but to the people around us. If we can control our immediate responses by being able to master the observation of self then we are one step ahead.
So ultimately yes, this is going to definitely allow us to improve all of our relationships; however, most importantly, it will allow us to improve our relationship with ourself. It will allow ourselves to give ourselves the space we need to just finally feel better! And I can guarantee that is what we all need and deeply desire, even if we don’t admit it. Feeling peaceful, happy and joyful is beautiful and important. Feeling the lows is equally as important because it teaches us how to feel the joy. The discomfort will not ever end, the journey does not ever end, but our ability to cope with it, learn from it and grow from it always does… and in the end, joy and peace is always more accessible.
So there we have it friends. Naturally, I want to continue writing more and more and more about this because I have a lot to share. I will save that for some more posts and info sessions! I thank you for reading up to here and I wish you all the best in the task of learning yourself. It’s a beautiful journey, and although it can be intimidating, it is the most rewarding and beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced. I want you to experience it too.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please let me know. I am always open to a yoga session, meditation, chat… you name it!
Namaste friends, Happy Feeling.
Redundant & how spiritual growth/self evolution is redundant itself.