I must be in denial. I still can't quite believe what may lie before us as we enter the new year. There is so much that is unknown. Our future feels fraught with danger.
We are in the beginnings of our new becoming. As individuals, tribes and as a nation. Willingly or not, each of us has embarked on what Joseph Campbell calls the hero's journey. Many perilous misadventures and amazing encounters lie before us.
So, as we enter this new year it occurs to me that each of us could use a powerful charm or two to embolden and accompany us as we venture forth creating and living our way into a sweeter, saner new year and life.
Something to touch upon, to remind us of who we truly are. And who we are becoming, no matter the discomfort or darkness we may be journeying through. As individuals. As tribes. As a nation.
Which powerful charm feels just right for you? You know. The one that feels really do-able, even magic. That one.
Take 3 deep breathes.
Did you know the vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the body? And every deep breath you take stimulates it and its capacity to move you from anxious-driven, “fight or flight” sympathetic mode to calming “rest and digest” parasympathetic mode. Pause several times throughout your day and take in 3 deep nourishing breathes.
Meditate by shaking and dancing.
Movement is one form of meditation. Think Sufi dancing for starters. If you're like me and like to keep moving, try a daily visit to http://oshorajneesh.com/download/osho-meditations/osho_kundalini_meditation.mp3 and spend a few moments each day, allowing the music to move you . . . to drop out of your anxious monkey-mind into your body. Move, shake out and shed old stagnant energy and draw in the fresh and new.
Repeat the mantra “I don't know what the hell is happening . . . and that's okay!”
Repeating this mantra on as-needed basis can help bring humor, lightness and comfort to the crazy-making situations or states of mind we encounter throughout our day. It reminds us that feeling topsy-turvy and confused is a perfectly normal part of the unfamiliar territory we're moving through.
Science shows that gratitude for even the smallest of things rewards immeasurably by generating peace of mind, reducing blood pressure, and much, much more. Practicing gratitude has proven to be one of the most reliable methods for increasing happiness and life satisfaction; it also boosts feelings of optimism, joy, pleasure, enthusiasm, and other positive emotions. Simply journaling or reflecting a few minutes each day and noticing throughout will amaze you.
Acts of generosity through the day are a gift to you as well as others. Can be as simple as a genuine smile to a stranger. Research shows that generosity in hospitality, emotional availability, volunteer hours and money rewards in good health and happiness. (Paradox of Generosity by Smith & Davidson) Try it. You'll like it.