We are in week two of the Kind-ful Meditation Journey. We've set the intention to be kinder, more mindful, less reactive, and more present.
But life happens and you find yourself in a funk, unable to return to that intention that you set, unable to find the good at the moment. So what do you do now?
It's too easy to give it all up at that point. To tell yourself that you failed at meditating, that you are not doing it right if you are in this negative place. Don't let yourself go there.
How do we we make a shift when we're only seeing what's wrong?
Life is a journey where hard things happen. With greater awareness of what we are feeling as we are feeling it - allowing our emotions to be what they are energy in motion - the more we can pause and shift into a better energy and mindset.
We can see how these hard things are helping us grow, helping us learn something that we need to learn, and calling us to return to love. With greater awareness - that we practice with meditation - the more ease we have to move through the hard things and uncover our next step. So we don't stay stuck in it, in the energy and story of ourselves as a victim, of being alone in what we are experiencing, of feeling like there is no way out.
5 Ways to Return to Mindful and Kind-ful Being when we are in a Funk
Follow Your breath. You can pause at any moment—whether you are in the stands at a soccer game, sitting in traffic, or in the heat of an argument with your spouse—and shift awareness to your breath to center yourself. Focusing on your breath helps you get back to the present. Simply watch the breath flowing in and out.
4-7-8 Technique. Give your mind something to do. Breathe into the count of 4, hold your breath for 7, and release out to the count of 8.
Intention technique. Breathe in what your heart's intention is at that moment. For example, in Breathing in Patience, let go of Angst. Breathing in Peace, and let go of Worry. Breathing in Love, let go of fear. And just watch and witness that intention flow through you and see how your energy shifts, and you become less reactive to what is happening and return to the truth that you are love.
Practice Appreciation. Do you know that You can’t be angry and grateful at the same time? You can’t be fearful and grateful? So when hard moments come up , and challenges arise, you have to practice shifting your focus to something good within the challenge. This is not easy. Our brains are wired to focus on threats, on danger, and on how to keep you safe - that means what is going wrong, not right. Our brains are not wired to keep us happy. You have to retrain our brains for that. To practice finding the good at any moment, you must choose to focus on what is right, what you appreciate, and what you are grateful for - over what is wrong. It takes practice. Meditation helps you have awareness into this. That is the first. Next, you just make a shift.
Perspective Shift. There are many different perspectives for every experience. A challenge for someone may be a lifetime opportunity for another. When we are so caught up, we forget to realize that the challenges we face may be the dream we once had for ourselves. The more we can shift our perspective to see what is coming up with different eyes, the more we can move through them with ease and calm, and even gratitude. How would a child see what is coming up? How would your mentor, someone you look up to see what is coming up? How would someone without health see what is coming up? Seeing experiences from an appreciative lens takes practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Reflection. Sometimes our experiences are blurred by all that we hold in our heads. We are filled with ToDos, Worries, and Expectations of the way things should be that we lose sight of what IS right in front of us - and its being here for what's in front of us that we find joy and show up as our higher, loving self. A great practice to help with this is to allow yourself to release all of that. Sometimes we just need to get it out of our heads. Great practice for this is to write out everything that comes to you. Just write it out on paper or even type it on your phone. After you've let it out. Next, go back to your list and if it's indeed something to do, add it to your calendar - your to-do list at the right time. If it's a worry or fear, take a moment to release it into the universe. Trusting that the right next step or solution will come to you. If it's a dream or a goal add it to another list you hold that has your vision, your dreams. Most of what is in your head will be one of those three things. You'll be amazed at how much better you feel once this is out of your head. Try this before your meditation or at night before bed. Did you know often the last thought you have before bed is what you will think about when you wake up next morning? So why not end with your dreams, your vision for yourself? Allow yourself to drift to sleep with that in your mind and see how different and more energized you feel when you wake up!
Get Moving. One of the best ways to get present, to clear your head is to get moving. Take a walk, get outside, do some stretching if you can't leave your place. Movement is meditative. Movement is centering. Your head will clear. Your mood will shift. You will feel more energized by a little bit of movement. You can practice awareness by calling out what you are experiencing as you experience it. Focus on your senses. What d you hear? What do you see? What do you smell? What do you feel with your hands around you? This brings you back to present. Away from the worries in your head and back in touch with now. This is where you can return to gratefulness, joy, and calm and be present with those you are with, with your work, and appreciate more.
Remind yourself that this is a Journey
We don't wake up one day and just be mindful, or calm, and stay there. As human beings it's natural for us to experience hard things, to be challenged - but the more we can shift our perspective of what is coming up knowing and trusting that it's here to help us grow, to release conditioning and patterns that don't serve us so we can return to the love that is in us and all around us - that's why we do the work! It's worth it.
Meditation is a great first step to Practice.
To becoming more aware. To tap into the kindness and love that is in you and all around you. And when hard things come up, you are able to create some space so you respond with more love, kindness, and calm. You are able to see that you can't always control what happens, but you do get to control how you respond. And in your response, in the energy you put out matters. More good, love, and kindness comes back to you as you put that out. It's a practice. It starts with awareness, with meditation.
Remember your tools and to give yourself Grace.
We all mistakes. You can always bring yourself back to love, to appreciation, to joy, to kindness - it's what you are!
To learn more about the Kind-Ful Meditation journey, click here.