As my hand moved the whisker through my morning gluten-free pancake mix, my thoughts were with a title for my new years newsletter. My mind barked out saying you should send a newsletter soon, whilst the observer part of my mind listened in its equanimous way, my body pulsing between these two thoughts. Suddenly as the mixture got softer a title arose in mind “relaxing into change.”
Whilst my intention was to send the newsletter out on the 1st January, I was not ready to do this; I needed more rest and time for reflection. On new year’s eve, I spent the day in a silent personal retreat. As part of my #executivecoaching with Blend Associates Ltd. assI use the Oura ring which tells you about your heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), sleep, oxygen and activity levels. You wear this all the time and so during my periods of formal meditation I allowed it to monitor my heart rate variability, which shows you how well your nervous system is relaxing and to my surprise during the retreat the HRV spiked positively.
As the nervous system rested, it created for me a sense of space, openness to possibilities and physical well-being. It was not asking to be somebody but to be more deeply myself.
After this rejuvenating and delightful experience, patterns and habits can occasionally be disturbed inside, causing an internal wall to suddenly hits you. For me it appears as mental constipation: my thoughts don’t want to move. I’m blocked up like a sewer pipe, waiting for a good flush out. I’m lost at the frontiers of the liminal space looking for somewhere to go, some point to focus on and all I get is a blank stare, deafening silence and wobbly thoughts.
In the northern hemisphere where nature is dying and pulling our attention inside of ourselves, this inner yearning for change can be strong even if not totally conscious. You can start dreaming of futures, looking for books or people and so on. Cultural pressures and the return to work, if you have been lucky enough to have a break, asks of us something different, they pull us outside of ourselves to do something, to be somebody.
As I listened to my body, it asked for rest and my mind asked for kind attention of the type a mother gives to a new-born baby.
You may say be silent, be still, let it all come and go – really? I leave you with the paradoxical words from Greta Thunberg who I saw on a new series about leaders called Live to lead. She said
“So instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then, and only then, hope will come.”
The action I use, is to remember to be present to what is, it is a gift to yourself, our fellow humans and to the planet.
My newsletter has gone out, in an easeful manner and I wish you and our planet a very peaceful new year.
How do you relax?
see the post on linkedin here