donderdag 5 mei 2011

Anticipating the Good

By Deepak Chopra
Anxiety about Change


Change will occur in almost every aspect of our lives, we can learn to embrace it while releasing the past with grace.

When we find ourselves going through any kind of change in our lives, our natural response may be to tense up on the physical, mental, or emotional level. We may not even notice that we have braced ourselves against a shift until we recognize the anxiety, mood swings, or general worried feeling toward the unknown that usually results. There are positive ways to move through change without pushing it away, however, or attempting to deny that it is happening. Since change will occur in almost every aspect of our lives, we can learn to make our response to it an affirmative one of anticipation, welcoming the new while releasing the past with grace.

One thing we can do is change our perspective by changing the labels we use to identify our feelings. We can reinterpret feelings of anxiety as the anxious butterflies that come with eager expectation. With this shift, we begin to look for the good that is on its way to us. Though we may only be able to imagine the possibilities, when we acknowledge that good is there for us to find, we focus our energy on joyful anticipation and bring it into our experience while allowing the feelings to carry us forward.

We can also choose to do a ceremony to allow our emotions to process. Every culture has created ceremonies to help people make the transition from one phase of life to the next. We can always create a ceremony too, perhaps by burning written thoughts to watch the smoke carry them away, thereby releasing them, or we can welcome new endeavors by planting flowers or trees. Some ceremonial activities such as a farewell send-off or housewarming party, we may do automatically. Society also has built-in ceremonies, like graduation and weddings, which may satisfy the need we feel. Sometimes the shift from denial to acceptance is all that is needed to ease our anxiety, allowing us to bring our memories with us as we move through nervousness to joyful excitement about the good to come.

dinsdag 3 mei 2011

So Sensitive: Are you tired of sucking it up?

Posted  By Cheryl Richardson

"Your sensitivity is your greatest gift.  Protect it."
Last night I went to see a movie with a group of friends.  I'd heard wonderful things about the story from people whose opinion I respect, and I was so looking forward to enjoying the film. 

However, within twenty minutes of watching, I made a decision to leave the theater.

I'm very sensitive to violence and human suffering and therefore my threshold is pretty low. 

I really wanted to see this movie, so at first, I kept trying to talk myself into staying. I told myself things like, "Just wait, Cheryl, I'm sure the violence will end soon."  Or, "Close your eyes through the tough parts." 

But, after several attempts to hang in there through what I imagined was the set-up of the story, I thought to myself, "Wait a minute.  I don't do this anymore.  I no longer override my sensitive nature.  Instead, I protect it." 

So I quietly said goodbye to my friends and left.

Knowing and respecting my sensitive side is an important way that I practice extreme self care (which is why I dedicate a whole chapter to this topic in my new book). 

We all have varying levels of sensitivity. 

It's the fundamental part of us that allows us to be touched by beauty, signs of grace, or intimate moments with others. 

And, it's the mechanism that provides us with an internal warning signal that lets us know when we're in situations that may be hazardous to our emotional, physical, or spiritual health.

As we grow in our understanding and practice of extreme self care, our sensitivity level rises and we pay closer attention to what we need to feel good. 

If the lights are too bright in a restaurant, for instance, you might ask to have them turned down. 

Or, if you know that you're easily wounded by harsh criticism, you might decide to educate someone about how best to give you feedback so you can learn and grow. 

While these ideas might sound a bit "high maintenance" (and certainly can be when misused or not handled in a gracious way), they're actually an indication of healthy self esteem.

This week I invite you to notice your own sensitive nature.  Are you paying attention to your needs or overriding them? 

Do you practice the art of "sucking it up," or the art of extreme self care?

Just a gentle reminder to notice, that's all ...

Take Action Challenge
During the week, pay special attention to those times when you push yourself to do something you'd really rather not do.

Don't suck it up.  Bow out, say no, turn around and walk away. 

Protect your sensitivity and it will serve you well!