A recent post on Linkedin, in response to the pandemic and lockdowns, caught my eye.
“I feel like Mother Earth has sent me to my room to think about what I have done.”
As a human race, I think we’ve raped and pillaged the earth to devastation proportions. We’ve taken so much from her but have not returned it in anywhere near equal measures. That’s a huge conversation in itself. One that I don’t have the intention or am in the capacity to get into here.
As an individual, one of the things that would have me sent to my room would be I’ve been too busy. Too busy being a human doing instead of a human being. Are you guilty of that as well?
“Love of bustle is not industry – it is only the restlessness of a hunted mind.” ~ Seneca
We keep ourselves busy daily – working, exercising, shopping, watching Netflix, ferrying the kids to and fro enrichment classes, and busy thinking about how to be busy. Being busy is often being lauded while sitting quietly with ourselves is deemed purposeless and unproductive. The question is “Are you really busy?”, “Is everything so urgent that it needs your constant and immediate attention?” or “Are you distracting yourself from addressing what’s really going on inside?” With our mobility being curtailed by the lockdown, it’s an opportunity to carve out some time to go on an inner journey, to climb the mountains of our mind and/or dive into the ocean of our emotions.
Our busy-ness has kept us from exploring the depth of who we really are. Much of what we believe in and our perspectives have been largely shaped by our interaction with others, and of course, by the media. No doubt, we need external stimuli and connection with others for our personality and mental development. However, when all these external voices have been silenced, what do YOU really think? When you are being present with your inner wisdom, what does it tell you about a particular situation, a specific person, your relationship? In the process of self enquiry, we can take pride in the authenticity of our ideas and perspectives that present themselves in our inner journey.
“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways” ~ Sigmund Freud
What about our emotions such as sadness, anger, fear, disappointment, rejection? When we ignore them, whether consciously or otherwise, by filling our lives with busy-ness, it’s like putting up sandbags to prevent the torrents of water. Sooner or later, the sandbags are going to give. So would something within ourselves or in our relationships. Unexpressed emotions have been shown to manifest themselves in depression and diseases. More often than not, the lack of communication of our feelings creates the chasm in many relationships.
When we’re able to sit quietly and attend to our emotions, we might just recognise that most of the triggers are not based on our reality. We’re reacting to the ‘now happening’ with information from a database of a past hurt or trauma. If that were true for us, wouldn’t that be true for our partner, spouse, loved ones and friends? By pressing pause, we gift ourselves the time and space to be present with our emotional body and to listen to the messages from our deeper selves. We cultivate more patience and compassion for those parts of us that need to be heard. What if all that’s needed for healing is simply by being present and listening attentively?
“When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
The lockdown has tempered our busy-ness and curbed the way we’ve been socialising. But in return, it has offered us this golden opportunity to reconnect to who we truly are at the deepest level. It doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time or effort. Consider
– Taking 5-10mins each day to sit and day dream or look out of the window, simply letting your thoughts ebb and flow. If you have family members in the household, negotiate a time when you can have a room all to yourself for a short period.
– Having a notebook next to your bed. When you first wake up in the morning, write without filtering or editing, anything that comes to mind. It’s a download for more mental clarity.
– Practicing Yoga Nidra before your bedtime. Yoga Nidra, a guided body awareness meditation, is easily available online for example on Spotify or on Insight Timer, an App that offers music, talks and mediations.
– Taking a silent mindful walk, using your five senses to connect with nature. Also know as Forest Therapy, a western adaptation of the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing), it’s been shown to help lower cortisol and blood pressure and improve your immune system. Nature has amazing healing powers and the ability to touch the core of our being.
As we take time out from our busy-ness and emerge from our inner sanctum, we may just know how to be a better human being – being present, being attentive.
“Be a good human being, a warm hearted affectionate person. That is my fundamental belief.” ~ Dalai Lama
References: The School of Life “An Emotional Education” by Alain De Botton; The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Article written by Carita Wong, Life and Wellness Coach at Carita Bodywork (www.caritabodywork.com.au)
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