I am not feeling my usual self at the moment. I am more reactive, impulsive and my resistance to choosing to practice or to follow the options to promote well-being is through the ceiling.
I am moving house, but surely that couldn’t be the problem? So, I googled this morning what the most stressful life events were and realised that moving house was just one of several major changes I am navigating just now. My daughter is leaving home, my dad has been seriously ill, I am in the process of getting a mortgage and changes are afoot in the developing Everyone Project and UK Network of Mindfulness Teacher Training Organisations, in both of which I am likely to take a key role.
What I know is causing me stress is the process of getting a mortgage, because I am reliant on others, who are not going as quickly as I would like, and hence I feel not in control. I know intellectually that control is a delusion – I cannot even control what arises within my own mind! But boy is it frustrating! I tell myself that what will be will be, but I’m not buying that message. The very time I need my practice the most, I have the strongest resistance. While I am still getting up early to practice – that habit at least is sticking – I do less than I intend to and procrastinate. This morning instead of getting down to practice, I was reading up on what to do about my dog’s stiff joints & buying a supplement.
Choden had recommended that I read Chapter 3 of Rick Hanson’s book ‘Hardwiring Happiness’ in relation to the Insight book that we are writing with Rob Nairn. As I was sat on my cushion, there it was on the bookcase within reach and so I read it. I can thank Rick in person at the conference this weekend. We have some day tickets still available, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
The Chapter was about how when we are in the red zone, that can be triggered by stress, our ability to refrain from unhelpful habitual patterns is undermined. This is where I am – it’s not my fault and instead of getting mad about it, I can get curious and take steps to move myself into the green zone, which will support my ability to refrain.
I have a call this morning with the mortgage advisor (if he rings). I was interested to find that getting a mortgage is more stressful than moving house. I was quite relieved – perhaps I am not over-reacting! – and moving will be a doddle by comparison!
This state of change is likely to continue for several months and so it will be useful to take steps to support myself through the process – until the next set of changes!
Rick Hanson advocates taking in the good by:
Having a positive experience & noticing it;
Enriching it for 5 to 10 seconds, by tuning into the felt sense of the experience, soaking it up and intensifying it; and
Absorbing it by letting it sink in to you as you sink in to it, by relaxing back into it and visualising it.
I will focus on this and include it in my practice of gratitude and appreciation for all the wonderful people and experiences I have in my life.
So if you see me at the conference this weekend looking a little harried, send me a smile, a kind wish or a hug and that will give me even more happiness to hardwire into this wonderful, but wayward brain of mine.
I’ll send good wishes, smiles and hugs back in a positive circle of gentle friendship and before long we will all be residing in the green zone!
Until the next life changing event!
If you can’t come to the conference, the main proceedings will be captured on video and made available to members of the Mindfulness Association (click here) via the membership website. If you are a member, look out for an announcement that the videos are available – it may be a month or so – with editing!
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