I Am Here And This Is Here Too

When you are in a situation and feeling intensely or in the middle of an internal war of thought and worry it can feel all-consuming. It might feel as though the whole of you is trapped or stuck. You might be aware of how it goes around and around, repeating endlessly.

I have felt like this. In my case, anxiety would consume me. An anxiety attack. And, it was just that, an attack by many parts of me at war with one another. Each one was doing its best to protect and defend. Sticky, tight, closed-in, going round and round in an endless spiral of pent up emotion, feeling, and thought, I felt desperate and imprisoned.

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Perhaps you have felt something like this. You are wanting to get relief and feel better. What to do? Pause and bring your attention to your body. It doesn’t matter where you are. Start with really sensing your feet, pressing into the toes, the ball of foot, and heel and what they are touching. Ah, there they are. Sense how the floor or earth supports you up through your feet to your belly, stomach, chest, and throat. You might follow the energy with your attention as it enters the bottom of your feet and moves up through the legs to the hips, pelvis and buttocks and into that whole middle space of belly, stomach, chest, and throat. There you are.

Now, pause. A breath may come with the pause. That’s good. Just notice the breath. Notice the inhale and how it comes in and down through the nose, down the throat to chest and even beyond to the stomach and belly. And notice the pause at the end. That short moment of stillness. That’s the pause we are after, that short moment of stillness.

This is a good time to remind yourself by saying inwardly, gently and respectfully, “I am the space big enough for whatever needs my attention. Who is saying this? “This is your whole self, that self that is present, that can hold and open space, lots of space, for all those partial selves, parts of yourself, that are needing your attention.

Your whole self is here, aware and open. Now, you might invite whatever needs your attention to come forward or it may come flooding in with many voices, pictures, feeling states, and emotions vying with one another. Ah, how wonderful!  They are all here right now with you. This is is a gift.

Acknowledge each one with interest and curiosity. To the first one say, “Ah, I see you are here.” Acknowledge the second one, “Ah, hello. I see you are here, too. And both can be here.” And then acknowledge each additional one that comes by saying inwardly, “Ah, I see you are here, too. And, all can be here.”

This is what we mean when we say, “I am here and this is here, too.” Practice this. Pausing and bringing your awareness, your whole self, to what is needing your attention inside. And no matter how many parts come forward letting each one know that you are here and willing to listen to it. Ah, that feels better. Now space is opening inside just as the day opens to us.

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Busy. Crazy Busy.

Crazy Busy Effect

“I’m Busy. Crazy Busy. And, how are you?”

Is this you? This used to be me; I remember a time when I was “busy, so busy, too busy, crazy busy.”  Too busy to notice the morning . Too busy to sit down for lunch. Too busy to see friends. Too busy to take a walk. Too busy to get needed sleep. Always too busy. Even when doing things like playing with kids or exercising which might have been relaxing, I felt so busy!

For a time, busy felt OK, like I was in the groove. Then slowly I sensed something off-kilter. Busy wasn’t feeling good. It kept feeling worse and worse.

Now, I see it’s not just us adults, it’s kids, too, college students, teens, even pre-schoolers. We schedule ourselves from early morning to evening. And, when asked, “How are you?” We reply, “Busy, crazy busy.” and how that is for us shows in our body language and facial expressions. We’re exhausted.

So, what’s going on here?

This busy-ness is our culture at work. Being busy is what we do to belong; to be part of our community. Imagine saying in the middle of the day at work, “I’m wanting some rest. I’m going to take a walk.” Most of us wouldn’t do it, or we wouldn’t say it even if that’s what we were going to do. Why? Because, “being busy” and “not taking time to rest in the middle of a busy day,” is our culture in play. I like this definition of culture that Mary Hendricks-Gendlin gives us. “Culture is the routine actions and feelings which a situation consists of.” And, “culture belongs ‘to all of us within the community.'”

It doesn’t have to be this way. Imagine feeling the rightness of taking some time every day to separate yourself from all the routine actions and feelings associated with ‘I’m busy.’ Imagine using that pause to sense the whole of your situation at that moment in order to feel the rightness of your action knowing and accepting that your right action may not be one prescribed by your culture. To be truly creative, innovative, open, and alive, we first need to pause the routine button.

Here’s how to pause.

  • Sitting comfortably let your body take its most comfortable position.  Any place where your body can be quiet for a few minutes is fine.
  • Close your eyes or lower your gaze, if that feels right.
  • Feel your hands, your fingers and fingertips and what they are touching. Now feel your feet. Perhaps wiggle your toes and feel how your feet feel alive.
  • Feel the contact of your body with the support beneath you. Maybe it is the chair you are sitting on. Notice how the support holds you. And, if it feels right rest into that support.
  • Sense your breathing, just the way it is. And, if it feels right take some deeper breaths.
  • Now bring your attention inside to your inner body. That’s right. Inside. Sense your throat. Sense your chest. Sense your stomach and belly. Sensing each inner place for how it is right now.
  • Now remember that whole thing of being so busy. That’s right the whole busy-ness situation. Now offer it an invitation, inviting it to come into your awareness. And sense how that whole busy-ness situation is right now in your body, probably in those places you were sensing before the throat, the chest, the stomach and belly.
  • Maybe something is there for your right now. If there is say “hello” to it and notice what happens.
  • Maybe you sense something but are unsure of what it is. Maybe you’re unsure anything is there.  That’s good, too. Just wait. Something will come. When it does sense if it would like a “hello” or maybe it would like some company, like you’d give a good friend. Hang out with it. It has something to share with you.