Weathering The Internal Storm
On a recent early morning just as summer was fleeting, I was awakened by the sounds of a terrific storm. Despite the crashing noise on my window pane, I allowed my mind to quiet; I lay in observance of my emotions and reflected on recurrent edges stirring inside me.
And in surrender, I realized the storm was also in my being, synchronized with the storm outside.
As the light of dawn unveiled, I brought myself downstairs to witness the storm and walked to the ominous ocean. Stabilizing my center, grounding myself to the earth below as winds gusted and massive tides provoked.
Somehow, the air felt different now. The elements and atmosphere provided a space of love for trusting I was held for this process of letting go.
With surrendering, I turned my direction to be one with the nature of the storm, freeing myself from resisting it. Breathing with the storm, I exhaled the internal strife permeating from my ego; the eye of the storm.
When I could shine a light on its core, unpeel its hidden layers, and destruct the story I was invested in, I found a path to calm and a place to rest. The ego and my soul dancing, revolving in the form of a helix coexisting for exquisite expansion of my soul.
The ego revealed where I avoided darkness, and what I wasn’t willing to see within. Noticing where this became a disturbance and the soul guiding me to where it served me, to arrive on this turn of my journey.
I exhaled judgment and allowed the protection that guards my shadow to wash away with the tide, accepting and forgiving all parts of me.
_ _ _
And with a deep inhale, I set intention.
Intention for renewal.
Intention to consciously choose.
Intention to practice higher vibrational choices.
Intention to desire without limits.
Intention for discernment.
Intention for pause.
Intention to forgive.
Intention to love and choose love.
Intention to ignite fire starting projects.
Intention to begin again.
Do you find yourself in an emotional storm at times?
There are times in our lives where we may experience a collision of emotional upheaval in response to events around us.
It may be related to our jobs, relationships, the political climate, physical illness or internal emotional distress that can cumulate to experiencing of an emotional storm.
An emotional storm can manifest in forms of anxiety, agitation, depression and or stress.
How can we respond to these kinds of strong feelings in healthy ways?
When we can first be aware that we are in distress even in the most subtle form, we already begin the process of dissipating the storm.
Understanding and learning how to ‘read the wave’ of exactly how you are feeling, the subtle undertones reflecting like different colored lights hitting the surface of the water. Identifying what has triggered the mood state and being able to track it like a life saver detecting rips and dangers before trouble brews.
Noticing forms of uncomfortable reactivity coming up. Reacting with defensiveness, judgement, impatience explosiveness, lack of clear rational decision making or any emotions that are not aligned with a higher way of being ; all signals for you to pay attention to. Notice if you are often distracting yourself to avoid what’s happening internally.
“Emotion is the chief source of all becoming conscious.” Carl Jung
It takes a willingness to explore our reactions, become aware of irrational beliefs, and learn to accept feelings—instead of judging, ignoring, or trying to change them, or blaming others for what we’re feeling.
Discovering deeply about our emotions and how they move inside of us and knowing all the features of their different ebbs and flows is no simple task and yet, it can be one of the most worthwhile adventures that we embark upon. Like the waves, no two emotions are alike. We discover how to focus and deal with the present wave and not get caught in thinking of a past emotion that was similarly painful. We can learn to understand what direction the wave of emotion is flowing towards and not paddle against the flow. We slowly trust ourselves how to be safe in a big ocean or know what to do when we are caught in a rip of strong feelings. This all contributes to help us not get caught in the whirlwind of our habitual patterns, but fluidly balance in the center of our awareness.
Pause and Reset
Set the intention to take a pause and spend time in stillness to observe the cycle of your recent life. List the patterns that you’ve been repeatedly orienting from and which are no longer serving.
Mindfulness helps us turn toward our suffering with a desire to heal and stay connected with ourselves. By bringing ourselves t the present moment, we become aware of what we’re feeling in our bodies and our heart, and learn to notice when we’re hooked into our stories or reactive thoughts. It’s a centering and grounding practice. Instead of creating stories, getting lost in negative thoughts, or reacting defensively, we attune to our own pain in a loving way.
Steps for Developing a Mindful Practice
To develop mindfulness, pause and try one or all of the following:
- Take a slow, deep breath. As you do, become aware of where you feel the breath most distinctly. Can you feel the breath as it enters your nostrils? Do you feel it in your chest or in your abdomen? Slowly release the breath. Repeat this at least three times or until you feel a noticeable change in your body.
- Become aware of the sensations in your body. You don’t have to do anything other than notice what you’re feeling. Do you feel any tingling sensations? Any areas of tension, stress, or pain? Just notice any sensations.
- As you notice any areas of tension or stress, take a moment to become aware of any thoughts that follow this. For example, do you feel like you need to do something about it? If you feel pain in your back, do you then start thinking about how awful your day is going to be? Just acknowledge the thoughts, commentaries, or judgments about your body sensations.
- See if you can tune into the sounds that are going on around you. Open your eyes and become aware of the colors that surround you, the scents and sights. Just notice how much activity is going on around you and take it in.
- Stand up, stretch your arms up toward the ceiling while taking in a long breath, and then release it slowly. You can repeat this three more times and then resume what you were doing.
Take a few moments to think and write about your experience:
- What was it like to be still for a few minutes?
- Did you notice anything different about your surroundings or about yourself?
- Did you notice how many judgments, thoughts, commentaries, and stories followed your feelings?
- Can you see the benefits of not getting hooked into, or following these thoughts and stories?
- How would this help you be more present to what is going on in the moment?
- What was it like to take a break from your normal routine?
Be with your Emotions
How do we ride the wave of anger for example? When it roars up inside of us, sometimes so quickly we forget how to breathe. Our thoughts and emotions are stormy and choppy and we get thrown around and lose our awareness. It is very real and we totally believe the story. How to choose not to catch the wave of depression as it tries to sink us down into the depths of despair and hopelessness. Or to learn the smallest signal that forecasts the arrival of lightning strikes of anxiety so that we can skillfully avoid that particular upsurge of churning in our belly. We discover how to breathe deeply as we face the oncoming storm of a panic attack and to calm our mind.
We can also explore the subtle nuances in each emotion and become skilled in recognizing that our feelings are an essential part of our wellbeing and have meaning and messages for us in our inner and outer life. The process and journey itself is as important as the result. Jung said that the seed to the solution is contained within the symptom. In other words, if we get rid of our emotions too quickly, we lose the very information held within them, that we need.
We each have a choice whether to step into the ocean, as well as giving our power over to our emotions. It’s a skill to notice when the shadow/ the ego is surfacing and be able to shine the reflecting light from the sky to explore it and either ride the wave or resist it. As we practice being with our emotions more and more, we step out of our old ways, like the surfer emerging from the glistening sea, gleaming, happy and contented.
Turn to nature and allow yourself to heal with Nature
Our lives our busy, and our minds are even busier. Even if you already spend time in Nature, your mind’s chatter can take over. If you don’t set a clear intention to connect, you give away your power to build the relationship with nature. Spend time grounding with nature.
While immersing in nature, try to practice mindfulness as you are exercising or just being in nature by feeling the ground underneath you. Take in your surroundings. Notice little details and the larger lay of the land. See, hear, smell, and feel, and allow yourself to enjoy it.
Then, try asking yourself: “What am I drawn to?” Is it a mountain? The ocean? A creek? A flower? A tree? Allow your eyes to rest there, and focus your mind on it.
Bring your attention to whichever you were most drawn to and communicate with it. Draw energy from it and ask it to heal the parts of you that are hurting, You may experience an exchange of love between you and nature consciously or on an unconscious level. This is how being in nature is a spiritual practice.