This article speaks about nine simple ways to stay calm, centred and grounded during challenging times.
In the last few days, I woke up with a deep sadness.
I can feel a part of me that wants to rationalise, know the what, when and how, and make a (very precise!) list of why I am having (or I should not have!) this experience. But sometimes, the heart and the soul have different plans.
I can sense the loneliness of my little girl inside. I know her sadness deeply. I also know very well in me the part that can be very harsh, critical and judgmental. This part can also be brilliant, badass and articulated. She is bossy and a bit of a bully!
What if, in this unfolding journey of being incarnated on this planet, we could stop judging how we feel and become more accepting? What if we could land more softly in our bodies and celebrate our shared human experience, with all its ups and downs, tears and laughter? What if we could let go of the fear of the dark and the unknown and rest on the wings of the Great Mystery? What would happen if we embrace the despair, irritations, the small and big disappointments with curiosity and wrap them in the arms of a loving mother? What if all these inner parts could be celebrated and included knowing that for the longest time, they all have been doing a fricking hard job trying to manage, protect, and keep us alive?
Internal Family System’ s founder Richard Schwartz says there are no bad parts!
As I have been reflecting on how to support myself in the last few days, I want to offer some simple tips to stay calm, centred and grounded during these challenging times.
Nine simple ways to stay calm, centred and grounded during challenging times
1) Ask yourself which 1% change you can include in taking care of yourself.
Whether it is drinking more water, having a few minutes to move your body or calling a friend if you feel lonely, remember that every small step matters.
And acknowledge what is already working, what you already did, and the little improvements and successes, even if it is only 1%!
2) Find and connect to something beautiful around you.
It could be a plant, your cat, a teddy bear or a tree outside your window.
Give yourself permission to pause for a few minutes. Close your eyes and take in that beauty. Feel how that resonates in your body and let it circulate through your breath. How would it be to absorb it in your muscles, cells and organs?
Drink that beauty in and let it nourish you.
3) When an uncomfortable feeling arises, put one hand on your heart and one hand on your tummy.
Acknowledge whatever is happening and offer yourself some sweet words of appreciation.
Extra tip: you can read here my article on self compassion.
4) Take a moment to sense a place of comfort in your body.
Try this right now if you wish!
We are so used to giving energy to what is disturbing or not working that we forget to stay with what feels easier. Moreover, our culture supports living up in the heads and numbing sensations, so we need to re-educate ourselves to listen more to our bodies.
Which words could you use to describe what you are experiencing? How does ease feel in the body? Where is it? Is it warm?
Does it feel expansive? Is it tingling?
There is no right and no wrong here. This is all about making friends with yourself and inhabiting inner sensations. It is an invitation to learn more deeply to trust and validate your experience and body signals rather than relying on somebody else to tell you what/how you are supposed to feel. This practice can also help you to develop more body-oriented language and tune in more deeply with your inner felt sense, intuition and guidance.
Extra tip: you can read here my article about calming anxiety.
5) Offer a beautiful gift to your inner child.
Very likely, she is the part of you that may feel sad, overwhelmed, lonely, rejected, insecure or fearful that she does not belong during these holidays.
Ask her what she desires, or take her out for some adventure.
Perhaps she wants some colours or to dance wildly!
I recently redecorated my office and bought some little stars that glow in the night and have found them very soothing!
6) Explore your senses.
We live in a culture that focuses very much on what we see.
Take a moment to include the sounds around you. Can you hear the birds? How is that sound affecting you? How is it vibrating in your body? Can you hear the silence? And if there is something noisy, how can you relate to it?
What about the smells?
Can you touch something? What is its texture?
When eating something delicious, open your palate and find new specific words or metaphors to describe the flavours versus saying, ‘this is good!’
These invitations are a simple way to be in the present moment and ground through your senses.
Extra tip: you can read more about ways to tune in with your body.
7) Open up to physically sense support.
Remember the contact between the ground and your feet.
You can experiment with leaning on the wall with your back. Can you open yourself to receive physically, in your muscles, in your body, a little more support? Even if it is just 1% more? How does it feel to sense that support in your back?
This is a way to fully include your body, kinaesthetically!
I know the story ‘there is no support for me’. I feel that this practice is a simple yet profound way to rebalance the memory of the lack of support in the body.
8) Hum and send to your heart some gentle sound.
You can imagine you are singing to yourself a loving lullaby. There is no right or wrong here. You can do it internally, humming, depending on where you are, or use the sound ‘AH’. This is an expansive vowel connected to the heart and to the loving energy of the Divine Mother.
Give yourself permission to receive yourself and feel the vibration in your body.
Extra tip: you can read my article here on the power of voice.
9) Nourish patience and cultivate a practice of celebrating small steps.
Some patterns take years to crystallise in the body, cells, organs and nervous system, so it takes time to ‘undo’ them. It does not happen in a moment; it takes repetition and practice.
Every marathon starts with one step. It is essential to create a culture of success. As I already mentioned above, every small change matters. It is vital to notice and acknowledge it. This way, you can help your brain re-wire and create new neural connections versus falling into the spiral of giving power to what is not working.
Well, dearest ones, that’s it for today. I will spend some time in my garden and then have a little excursion 🙂
Feel free to comment below and let me know how this lands!