When the world gets crazy, and it is getting crazier by the day, there is a serious temptation to engage in the crazy, whether that means defending your position or shifting into hyperdrive to control uncontrollable circumstances. We already know that the incredible design of the female brain sees all, holds all, considers all, when making decisions. This kind of hyper-awareness can be really tensing, especially as we navigate a political, social, and economical climate that is anything by easy-breezy. Just think about it. School is back in session. Except it isn’t for everyone. There are millions of families struggling to make sense of online learning, new routines, inconsistent educational practices and limited resources. The pandemic-status and regulations are ever elusive and confusing. The media is salivating at the opportunity to cover this, AND the election year. People have lost their cool, and it’s taking a major toll on just about everything that we consider near and dear. Our families, friendships, relationships, and retirement plans are being shaken. Joblessness and underemployment grows, and there’s just a lot of angst. I’ve been watching, wondering, and resisting the urge to feel anything but peace, gratitude, and hope in this midst of this (and every other crisis my family is experiencing).
Have you ever noticed that the first four letters of restraint are REST?
noun: restraint plural noun: restraints
a measure or condition that keeps someone or something under control or within limits.: "decisions are made within the financial restraints of the budget".
unemotional, dispassionate, or moderate behavior; self-control: "he urged the protesters to exercise restraint".
Restraint can be a powerful weapon to use in the battle for your own peace in this seemingly unrestful time. Restraint can give you the one thing that nothing else can. Restraint can help you cultivate a pattern of behavior that allows for energy to be focused on solutions. Conflict is something that we experience throughout this lifetime, but the choice to engage in combat is something that doesn’t have to exist. Not on social media. Not in your neighborhood. Not at the dinner table. These three steps can move you into a place of rest first, as self-possession streams from a place of peace.
Practice centering yourself, even now. I will share with you a trick we used to teach angsty high school students. Sit up tall, with your feet flat on the floor. Breathe in through your nose. Place your hands gently upon your lap. Breathe in through your nose. Close your eyes (when you’re done reading this paragraph), and continue breathing. As you breathe in, fill up every part of your chest with air. Expand so fully that oxygen floods your space. Slowly exhale. As you continue to breathe in slowly and out slowly, concentrate on only your own body...starting with your feet, notice the way they feel on the floor, and the space between your knees and your feet, the distance that is from your head to the chair, and the chair to the floor. Allow for your mind to be concerned only with the space that you hold. And breathe.
2. Concentrating on Connections
Now that you’re aware, consider the connections you have made. Starting first with those in physical proximity--your family and neighbors. Consider then those you interact with most frequently. Move in to those on the peripheral. This exercise in connection allows you to recognize the real impact that your space and peace has. Your peace (or angst) can meet each person you’ve thought of. It is even more important that you maintain your peace for their sake.
3. Celebrating the Constant
Things will changes as quickly as a news cycle. What are the constants (or nearly constants) in your world? When you take up space, what are you filling it with? In celebrating the constant, you are clued in to what and whom truly deserve your attention, energy, and excitement. Investing and celebrating the constant allows for the relationships and passion projects, professional obligations and spiritual movements to get the energy first, and perhaps you will realize that some of the chaos that was once so upsetting has lost the space it once occupied.
Stay tuned for some truly mindful opportunities in our October Brave Women Brunch!
Check out some self-care essentials from my Amazon Shop to help you capture some calm: