Updated: Apr 25
Week 2 of the Daily Notes Of Encouragement Blog series
This week's encouragement:
You are not your thoughts ... You are much more than that.
Have you been hearing and reading a lot of that lately?
Well, it's true.
Our thoughts at times, can be so caring, considerate, loving and kind. Yet at other times they seem to go in the complete opposite direction, making us wonder if we are akin to Jekyll and Hyde. I'm kidding about that last (Jekyll and Hyde) part, but really, it's amazing how multifaceted our temperament can be. On the one hand we feel as though we are patient, slow to anger, and just a lovely human being, and then someone cuts us off in traffic or says/does something that triggers some negative emotion , reaction, or thought. Next thing we know - our compassionate, loving and patient temperament goes flying out the window! I don't know about you, but when that happens with me, I feel like maybe I'm "not as good a person" as I think I am (or I'd like to think other people think I am). These rollercoaster of emotions can take a toll on us and wear us down mentally and physically if we don't keep them in check.
Being "self aware" or "self observant" doesn't have to be a punishment or a curse. I dare say that ALL of us have so many beautiful and noble qualities, and when we show our less than perfect selves by casting judgment, giving in to a weakness (like candy in my case), reacting harshly, or losing our cool by raising our voices, interrupting, or any other number of things - we feel as though we are terrible human beings with no self control and that we need to punish ourselves. Most of us are our worst critics aren't' we? Our egos have worn us down and seem to only give us a glimpse of who we truly are deep down.
Our true nature - our Spirit - is that of great intuition and love . Sounds corny, right? Maybe, but when we can truly see and know ourselves (our deep inner-knowing), we'll see the thoughts and emotions; We'll feel the feelings and yet we won't be attached to them (becoming less attached over time and practice). We'll be able to observe these things, learn what we need to learn from them with more and more ease, and grow as individuals because we won't be grasping on to them with all our might. Eventually, we will notice that we don't get triggered as easily, that we see the "bigger picture" in situations a little more clearly without getting stuck in the mud of whatever story is taking place in our life.
It takes practice, practice, and more practice to be able to see "the forest through the trees" and become more deeply self-aware. When we are stuck in the middle of our thoughts, emotions, situations, etc (seeing only the trees and not the whole forest), it can be so difficult to un-stick ourselves long enough to push onward toward the light of less challenging times ahead.
That's why it is very important to reach out for and/or accept help. We are not meant to go through difficult or challenging times alone. Even if there isn't a person around to reach out to, reach out to a higher power whether it be God, Mother Earth, The Universe (whomever it may be for you) and ask. Nowadays there are professional counselors available at the drop of a hat with online counseling services if that is what works best for you.
In addition to to wonderful and helpful people that love and support us, we can learn to become more self-aware or self-observant without casting judgement upon ourselves. If we practice this often, making it a habit to spend a few moments per day in self-contemplation we will eventually notice that we are becoming more tolerant, have more self control, more clarity and focus in our daily lives. The people around us may even notice these quality changes before we do because the changes are so subtle. That's not to say we won't have hiccups during our "Awareness" growth. We may backslide quite often, but will come to accept it, acknowledge it with less and less judgement, and return to our practice. The practice of Awareness holds no judgment - It welcomes us back every time with open arms.
There are many ways to work on improving or deepening our Awareness. This week I am sharing with you a couple of things:
1) An introduction to Yoga Nidra: The yoga of sleep. I was taught this technique from Scott Moore, who also taught us how to write our own meditations. It has worked wonders for me as well as my silent meditation practices (which aren't always so silent in my head - that place can get pretty busy sometimes, just when I want it to settle down).
2) The ujjayi breathing technique that helps calm down our fight/flight responses as well as giving us something to concentrate on when we have a lot of "mind chatter" and feelings of overwhelm.
Disclaimer: In my videos, I am not the most eloquent of speakers -I forget what I want to say when looking at a camera. It's like being a deer in headlights. That being said - the point does get across fairly clearly so I decided to share them with you. Thank you, in advance, for your patience when watching.
Enjoy the meditations and videos
Print out your daily reminders/affirmations of encouragement
Yoga Nidra is known as the Yoga of sleep ... it is a guided meditation journey that is usually done lying down, but you can be reclined or in any position that is most comfortable. It's purpose is to facilitate a deep awareness, a deep sense of wholeness and balance within ourselves. This journey takes us through the many layers of our body (physical, emotional, mental, energetic, intellectual/subconscious, and bliss) so that we become more attuned with our "full self" or "true self", learning also to be more present and "Aware" in our daily lives. This type of meditation is amazing and so relaxing; I hope you enjoy them. Typically with Yoga Nidra guided meditations, there is no music in the background in order to allow your brain to focus on each layer without distractions of continuous sound taking away from the other senses. In some of my other meditations there will be music (for those who enjoy it).
Here is this week's Printable PDF ... print as many as you need and place one in your car, on your desk, on your fridge - wherever you may need a reminder.
This week's guided meditation links via InsightTimer:
#1: Introduction To Yoga Nidra
#2: Recharge Your Batteries - abbreviated yoga nidra
Ujjayi breath is a wonderful way to calm down our nervous system and bring our attention back inward when we are feeling distracted or overwhelmed.