As I mentioned we are all facing very difficult times. I have been contemplating how to promote calm and peace amongst all the uncertainty and fear that surrounds us all. I believe it is important to firstly acknowledge the real danger and the enormous loss and suffering evident everywhere and secondly to honour our associated feelings. It is important to work with our feelings with as much kindness, compassion and wisdom as we can muster.
When feelings of fear and anxiety come up I try to remember to accept and acknowledge them and not push them away or suppress them. I also try to remember not to indulge such feelings and go into panic, victim or blame mode either. Very tricky to do currently! Somewhere in the middle is to work with ourselves and our feelings of fear, sadness or overwhelm, kindly. What do I need? What has my friend stress popped up to remind me to do? I have written some blogs in the past regarding our friend stress and what it has to teach us. You may want to read Meet my Friend Stress or 'Another Gift Our Friend Stress Brings" . These blogs were written with regard to minor stresses in comparison to what we are facing now, but they may provide some ideas regarding dealing with stress. I am sure you can adapt with creativity the ideas presented regarding maintaining connection with others given the current advice on keeping safe distance. .
I certainly don't have answers to the complexities of the current situation we all face. I am trying to do my best to deal with my feelings of fear and sadness. That said, I would like to share some things that have helped me. As our need for social isolation increases some ideas I have found useful to maintain my sense of calm, connection and peace of mind have included......
To Adapt, be Kind, Calm and Creative
Today I imposed a social safe distance restriction on myself so that I can remain healthy for my mum who has an upcoming cancer operation. So, I am looking at ways to adapt and be creative. I just did my first zoom yoga class which worked really well. We even had our regular post yoga coffee and chat via zoom. I am spending time at home studying, creating, and cooking. With the need for social isolation I have been seeing lots of adaption and creativity around me .......
In gratitude, love and appreciation for you all
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I have been noticing I have been somewhat impatient of late. My perception is that things are certainly not happening as fast as I would like and I have been feeling somewhat frustrated by things not seemingly going the way I think they should be.
The definition of Patience I like is "a calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order that the one you had in mind". I was reminded recently that patience in not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.
So what is a good attitude while waiting? I believe a good attitude always involves kindness, a calm acceptance and trust. An acceptance of what is happening and not a protest about it not being the way I want it to be. And a trust that things are unfolding just as they are meant to be. Often I look back on times I have been impatient for change or wanted something to happen in a certain way and I am relieved that it did not go the way I thought it should have. With hindsight I can see that things have unfolded for the best, just as they were meant to.
Like all feelings, frustration and impatience come and go. Again like all feelings, they will persist if we do either of two unhelpful habits. Firstly attempt to suppress the feeling, bottling it up inside so it is primed to explode out. And secondly, indulge the feeling with all sorts of justification, blame and criticism of self or others. If we can calmly accept the feeling with that detached awareness, breathe and relax it will pass allowing us to know when and how to act wisely.
The person I am most often impatient with is myself! When I am unable to get things done in time (like writing this blog) I become impatient with myself and have an unkind soundtrack going on in my head. Where is the patient, 'good attitude while waiting' soundtrack - the patient friend internal voice that is accepting, kind, encouraging and trusting?
My husband told me about a kind, encouraging strategy to help overcome blocks to getting things started, many years ago. I used it to help overcome the impatience I had with myself when I had not written the blog on time! The strategy is to sit down for 10 minutes and make a start. I did this and here I am an hour later and nearly finished my blog.
I read an interesting analogy regarding patience that has helped me maintain a good attitude while waiting. The analogy involves imagining you are a surfer. You work hard to get out to the wave break and then you have to be patient and wait for awhile until the right wave comes along.
So waiting with a good attitude - calmly accepting the wait, breathing and relaxing into the wait. With this attitude you are then ready for the right wave when it comes along. You can then paddle like mad to catch the wave and have a great time riding it into shore.
With patience we are able to be mindful of when we need to wait and when we need to act. We will sense when there is a great opportunity and we can go for it. Stay patient and TRUST what you feel and you will know when to be stay patient and when to paddle like a professional surfer and catch the ride of your life or complete this blog on patience!
In appreciation for you all. Have a great fortnight!