1. Grounding...feel your feet (ideally bare feet) on the ground beneath you. Feel them sink heavy into the ground. Close your eyes and imagine toots growing right down into the earth
2. Breathing...just stop and notice your breath. No judgement, no forcing, just stop and notice.
3. 4/8 breath...if you feel stress levels rising, focus on breathing in your nose for 4 and out your mouth for a longer 8
4.Walk...as you walk, notice each footstep, feel your feet moving across the ground, lower your gaze and with each step, breathe in and out. If you can, you can slow yourself down so that you really feel the ground make contact with each part of your foot
5. Light energy...imagine a ball of bright light (whatever colour or size takes your fancy) at the top of your head. Imagine the light start to fill your body from your crown, flowing down slowly all the way to your feet, bringing energy and healing
Who recognises this? (I wrote it at 3am so no idea if it makes sense 🙈)
That pattern of doing stuff we don't want to do ALL the time.
Resenting the stuff we don't like to do.
Chastising ourselves for hating it.
Wanting more and more and more and when we don't get the THING, feeling like we've failed.
But what if it's not about the THING. What if it's about the FEELING?
What if we sit with that FEELING the THING gives us and discover what we're really craving?
And then think about, where do we experience that FEELING already?
Maybe with the washing up, walking, sitting on the sofa with our kids? Because sometimes it's in the mundane things we do.
What if we just did more of what we liked and less of the stuff we didn't like? Would the world fall apart?
What would happen if we just stopped all the stuff we hated? Would it ever get done?
Maybe, just maybe it would get carried along in the stuff we liked doing?
Because everything is just a thought. And then a thought becomes an action. And a feeling. And, sometimes, a habit.
And then we can't see past the 'GOT to do this' even if we feel crap from it.
Would it make a difference to stop and watch our thoughts, as we go through the minutes of the day? Just watching as we do something. And watch whether we like doing it or not.
And if we don't like doing it, do something that lights us up instead
I strive for the feeling of freedom in my life.
As a teenager and in my early 20s, I did everything I physically could feel free. At the age of 14, I had a serious boyfriend and when I was old enough to get a job, I spent weekends split between his house and work. I was earning some of my own money, so I was able to do what I wanted to do. I was pushing away from my parents, craving freedom and self-fulfilment.
By 18, I had saved enough to leave the country for nine months to travel. With a friend, we did the usual Gap Year route round the world, joining the thousands of other young people on a search for freedom. Drinking all night, sleeping all day, and seeing places we didn’t even know existed. Breaking through fears we had and doing whatever we wanted to. Because we could. No responsibilities and no cares.
And ever since then, I’ve craved the same feeling. The feeling of complete freedom. Surrendering to all the thoughts, feelings and emotions that come with being so young.
But I never seemed able to access it. As time went on, I continued to travel occasionally with my husband. But when things didn’t go to plan in my life, I got really stressed out. Gradually, I became fearful of flying. I had panic attacks, and felt the fear take a tighter hold.
And despite years and years of trying to work out WHY this happened, I still don’t really know. Maybe it was down to greater awareness of my own mortality. Maybe it was falling in love and developing fear of losing it. Maybe it was having ALL the great things in life, and feeling fear of it all slipping away. The WHY didn't really matter.
But, over time, the sense of freedom was lost. And when I had children, I felt that more than I ever had before. I felt trapped. I decided that there were a million things we couldn't do anymore. That the kids stopped us from doing. Dinner out, date nights, last minute weekend plans, exotic travel...
I put the beliefs in place that these things would never be possible again and I had to submit myself to the needs of my children. Completely.
I often talk about surrendering to life. To letting go and just being. To letting life guide us, rather than fighting against it, in the name of free will and independence.
When I talk about surrendering, submitting to my children in this way is NOT the kind of surrender I'm talking about, because a) I submitted with resentment, and b) I made the rules as to what we could and couldn't do.
I wasn't letting life do the deciding, I was doing the deciding. And I hated the rules I was putting in place for myself (Of course, I saw this as a dislike of being a mother).
Because, all of those things that I resented NOT being able to do anymore - the dinners out, the date nights, the last minute weekend plans, the exotic travel - they were absolutely possible. Anything is possible. The only thing saying they weren't possible was me. The layer of fear that I was viewing the world through helped me develop beliefs that I couldn't do all these things.
Which is absurd really.
If you were to track your own life in this way, would there be a similar theme? As you’ve gotten older, have you developed a thicker layer of fear? What do you feel you are missing?
This is a biggie.
I'm an RE teacher, so even thinking this feels like some form of heresy.
But, this is what I believe is at the heart of our 'problems' as humans.
• why do I feel like this?
• why did they do that?
• why won't they sleep?
• why is there so much traffic?
• why are we arguing so much?
• why am I so crap at that?
I think our inquisitiveness as humans had led to ALL sorts of over-thinking, worrying and speculating on things we can do very little to change. Because we really can't do anything about other people or situations.
The 'why' doesn't matter. The event is almost always in the past. A second ago, a year ago....it doesn't matter, it's gone.
History doesn't repeat itself. We do learn. It might look like the same, but everything about it is different.
Every moment is completely different.
Every time we try to solve a 'problem' or spend ages wondering what the best course of action might be, is a moment caught up in our heads.
Instead of being right here, right now.
I do it ALL the time. And it's okay to do it. We're all human.
But understanding that 'why' isn't always necessary....that it isn't our default...that it doesn't have to be the go-to...how does that feel?
Case in point...I spent 45 minutes 'debating' with my husband as to why I felt a bit shit and why he wasn't getting it and why he hadn't done what I'd asked him to and why he didn't understand me and why we're on different pages and blah blah blah.
None of it helped.
We had different points of view. We're both human but we see the world slightly differently. As we all do.
We went round in circles...'but I don't understand WHY you're being like this'.
And after if got off the phone, it suddenly dawned on me that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter why.
It just is.
We just think what we think. We just feel what we feel.
We just do what we do.
And when we realise that EVERYONE is thinking, feeling and doing in exactly the same way, suddenly, our differences start to fall away.
And we can see that we're all completely connected. Completely the same. All just as we are. Perfect, whole and kind souls underneath it all.
Sitting back in the jacuzzi, child-free, sipping a glass of prosecco and preparing for a massage.
Contentment, right? You come out feeling like a different person, right?
Except, by Tuesday, you're ready to throw in the towel and you've poured yourself a slightly flatter prosecco by 5pm. And you feel meh.
So you book another spa day. Or a night out.
And you count down the days, looking forward forward forward.
And the cycle continues.
You still feel knackered.
You still feel on edge all the time.
You still feel like you're drowning under the list of things to do.
But that's just life, right?
No. I call bullshit on that. I think you're worth way more.
There's another way.
A more sustainable way.
An easier way.
But it involves trusting your instinct. Are you ready for that?
And it starts by believing that you were born with joy as your default.
Look into the eyes of a newborn and you'll see it. They always default back to joy.
But, as you got older, you started to attach to thoughts that lead to a whole myriad of feelings. Some 'good', some 'bad'.
And then you got caught up in the hamster wheel of life.
And now, you feel like you're losing track of time, as your kids grow up so quickly.
Some days, you want to hold onto them forever. And some days, you can't wait till bed time.
And you feel so tired. You long for peace and quiet. To put yourself first for once.
You hate feeling resentful. But you feel selfish and guilty for doing what YOU want to do.
The thing is, what would happen if you DID put yourself first?
What would happen if you stood up and said 'I matter and I deserve to feel joy'?
What would happen if you gave yourself a little bit of time every month to heal, gain long-lasting support, and nurture your very core?
Because, let's be honest, a spa day is lovely. But it doesn't last forever.
That feeling of contentment that you get when you're there though, that CAN last. I can show you how.
And you'll come to understand why it's not, in the least bit, selfish.
And you'll wonder why you hadn't realised it before.
I'll hold your space.
You'll gain easy tools that have a lasting impact.
You'll learn to let go.
You'll connect with your Joy Default.
But it means trusting your instinct.
So...question...are you ready? ✨
#contentmentcoaching #joydefault #uncoveryourdefault