This article explains how we can resource ourself from the inside as a way for coping well in challenging times like we are all experiencing now. At the end of this piece is a link to a recording I have made that will help you cultivate your personal Inner Resource of stability and wellbeing.click here to access the recording straight away.
Fear is on the rise. I can feel it fluttering, my heart jumping and somersaulting to the melody of my inner voice.
Sometimes I notice it as a deep pain in my chest.
At first I thought it might be COVID19 and wondered if I should go and get tested. Then the voice of reason jumps in and after another google of the symptoms I realise I don’t have the signs…… I figure I am not the only one doing some symptom googling. It is probably one of the most googled topics right now.
Anyway, after noticing this alternating fluttering and ache… on and off for days….I remembered.
You see even for those of us who have spent countless hours on the mat meditating, practising asana, doing all sorts of spiritual inquiry there is an interesting phenomenon that leads to us forgetting who we really are.. we keep getting caught in the movement of mind.. we get hooked into psychological patterns keeping us swirling around in various combinations of stuck, painful states.
So what is there to remember?
That every time we have an activation of familiar thoughts or physical sensations that feel uncomfortable or painful, we can be rest assured that life is plonking a signpost right in front of us saying “Hey slow down, look inside…. There is something here to understand. ….There is a part of yourself hurting, needing your attention…. There is a part of you needing your most compassionate, accepting self right now”.
You see, for days I have pondered how sheltered I am from the collective fear and panic. And I have had guilt about feeling calm when others are suffering. My life barely seems affected. I work from home already with my clients online. I have chosen for years now not to travel very much and I choose to live my life within the close quarters of my Henley beach community as much as possible.
I have valued and focused on my inner work, self connection, parenting my son, making sure I have plenty of down time to rest and relax. In many ways I am inoculated more than most against the lock down.
Or so I thought.
This morning I pondered the questions.
Am I feeling any fear? Do I feel scared about anything?
If so what is it about?
When I do this sort of self inquiry, I find the quality of my attention really matters. I dose these questions with curiosity and openness. I connect in with my Inner Resource of wellbeing that gives me a full body experience of loving presence, safety, calm and acceptance of all that is arising in my inner and outer world. And then I listen openly for answers.
I focused on my heart…. attention there for a short time… this is where the fluttering and the pain has been living in me for days… then my attention shifts to other things…. I was still doing some house work, putting washing on, tidying up the mess of nine days straight with my five year old…and as I opened the door to take some rubbish outside… I heard the voice of my heart.
“ I feel really scared about not seeing my lover ‘….I feel scared about not having physical connection with him.. I feel scared of how much I will miss our connection.. and I don’t know how long it will be for.. I am scared it is going to be for months and months. Face times chats are not the same….
I feel really scared about being in isolation with Zac for such a long time, without any play dates, without going to the play ground, without school, being all on our own with no one to support us or to keep us company…..
I feel really scared about how I am going to get through winter which is usually a tough time for us any way…..
I feel really scared about getting really depressed and not being able to pull myself out of it…..
I feel really scared about the state of powerlessness and overwhelm that I have known only too well in the early days of being a single parent when Zac was young before he started day care three days a week. I feel scared about falling into that. I feel scared about being stuck in that….
I feel really scared that I am not going to cope with what is coming…….”
I feel scared of the darkness … of winter, of depression, of the unknown.”
When I hear this I feel relief, I feel open and loving. And tears begin to well.
Connection with our Inner Resource of loving presence, wellbeing and calm helps us accept our human experience, no matter how painful, no matter how scary, no matter how angry.
And this connection accepts the full blown movement of emotional expression through the body… as gentle tears of realisation, as hard long sobbing of grief and sadness, as red hot outrage..what ever it is that is arising, what ever it is that wants to be felt, heard, expressed.. is fully welcomed in its untamed form.
Making room for my feelings is one of my the most powerful parts of my practice these days. I find tht crying hard and long is an elixir for returning to equilibrium. I am usually no longer scared of the intensity, of how much it might hurt. And even as I write and express my fears, I am pausing from time to time to shed some tears.
Releasing big feelings is healing when we are connected with our Inner Resource. For me this feels like I am both embodying the qualities of an unconditionally loving, wise parent or fairy godmother AND at the same time allowing vulnerable tender parts of myself express their pain.
Sometimes my Inner Resource has a gentle, compassionate voice that says thing like “ I am here… I am listening…’ and often there is simply the sense of being deeply held and supported, enveloped in love and kindness.
This gives rise to a gentle, tender feeling of resilience. It is not what I call the false resilience that comes with talking myself into being ok.. or telling myself I can handle it when clearly there are parts of me not believing that. It is not the false resilience that comes with ignoring what is going on inside by distracting myself with a multitude of options. It is a tender resilience that arises from being open with myself, trusting in my inner work, feeling the truth of my deeper nature.
Inner stability replaces the upset, a deeper knowing arises which sometimes is simply the trust in not knowing… the heart remains tender, open and alive.
But we are not usually available to this until we empty ourself of the build up of tension and worry, until we let the upset flow through and out of our heart, out of our body.
Despite all our efforts to be otherwise, being human is a vulnerable experience. And our hearts are very tender.
Bubbling away under the rush, fluttering and pain of anxiety, fear and stress is an infinite well of love. Our heart longs to feel safe, we deeply need physical and emotional connection to feel well and enriched. Our heart aches with the depth of love we have for our families, our children, our partners, our parents. Or if we are already feeling isolated and under supported our heart aches to love and be loved, to be connected.
In these unprecedented times, as the structures of our outer world fall away, there may have never been a more important time to do our inner work. Because when disruption like this happens to our status quo, of course we will feel scared, sad, angry and overwhelmed. I am reminded over and over that allowing and accepting the movement of these emotions is for me, the antidote to getting stuck in the very places of depression and isolation that I fear the most….
And also brings me to reside in the truth of my heart.
This brings relief, calm and gentle stability.
Strengthening connection with our Inner Resource is one of the ways we can navigate through challenging life circumstances and painful inner states. We can practice it through out the day and we don’t even need a yoga mat. All we need is to remember.
For it is really here, inside ourself that we find true stability and strength. No matter what is going on around us.
When we are in contact with our inner stability, with loving presence, we offer an incredibly powerful support for others to also move through what hurts the most.
I believe that a heart connected humanity is one to strive for, and I believe this starts in our own heart.
I recorded this practice recently. It is called Develop Your Inner Resource of Stability and Wellbeing
Would you like to know how it feels to be connected with your personal resource of inner stability and deep wellbeing?
My gift to you.