March 20, 2023

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Hi there! Legit silver lining moment up yonder – so darn pretty, too. I suppose that is precisely the point, as they are not called mustard or gross or beige!

I have a personal one, too. For my whole life, my brain has been a maniacal over-thinker. If it has the opportunity to go off on a tear about an emotionally fraught situation, it is absolutely on board. Giddy-up. 110%. Pick a moniker, overachiever style. It probably goes without saying that this is highly problematic, particularly when I desire peace and rest.

This past weekend, one of said fraught situations occurred, and of course Colleen Louise’s brain was first to board the train. So, until the wee hours of the morning, I struggled. But the good news, I was 99% peaceful (only imperfect beings in this house!) with myself about it. I did all I have learned that works for me and felt proud. Whatever it is may still gnaw at me, but I can use these techniques for more calm, less fear. Absolute silver lining, indeed.

Here they are if you need some of the same, along with their source, if I could remember it.

From Pema Chodron – Instead of focusing on the details of the situation (that sucks, she did this, he did that…), drill down on the feeling associated with it and where it occurs in the body. Given the opportunity, say the words out loud. Mine are usually anger and rage and radiate just below my heart. Maybe skip this if you’re at work or around people who don’t get you. Sometimes I say them ten times. Others, I lose count. On a very good day, I finish the exercise failing to remember what the anger and rage were all about. Then I laugh!

Yoga Nidra – There are a few versions of this out there, so I am only going to discuss the one I learned. While sitting or lying (better) in a relaxing position, and starting at the top of your body, release tension, stressful thoughts or icky feelings until you reach your toes. I often whisper: “I breathe in light, every cell is filled with light. I relax and release any stress, tension, or feeling from my chosen body part. This body part is soft and yielding: like a cloud, butter, a wet noodle.” Choose your object. Depending how wound up I am, I may go through every body part: top of head, forehead, eyes, lips, really get into it. Other times, I go section by section. Head, neck, shoulders, arms, torso, etc. Most times, I don’t make it to my feet (poor little piggies) before I am peace and off to dreamland.

From Stephanie Foo’s What My Bones Know – She got the technique from someone else, but I don’t remember her source. Sorry. Name objects, names, cities, plants, whatever strikes your fancy from A-Z or Z-A or both! The other night, I did fruits and vegetables, male and female leaning names (always open to gender fluidity!), cities (Just looked up xerophyte (edible) and Xochimilco in Mexico, for obvious reasons and to save you the trouble), and the streets of the neighborhood where I grew up (Ames, Benton, Chase, Depew…).

I don’t remember where I learned this one. Name an uncomfortable feeling or problem, then put it in an imaginary box, or if your’e really upset, a cage. Then, tell it you will attend to it at later because now is the time for rest. If your brain wanders back, and it will if it is anything like mine, do it again. With love for yourself, every last bit you can muster.

Be well…