Where are you when life surprises you with heartbreak of some kind or another? Do you lash out at those around you? Do you distract yourself with work and keeping busy?Do you escape through comforting yourself with food, shopping or relationships?
In my last post I shared how my morning power routine, has been helping me through a hard time, one that includes the death of my late grandmother Maria De Los Angeles.
Resource of Calm and Strength
Although there will be much to learn from this time in my life for years to come, what I can say right now, without a shadow of a doubt, is that a stronger conviction and trust in the power of self care routines has been unearthed in me. The few first 2-3 hours in my morning has become ever more sacred and has come to the forefront as a fountain of calm, resourcefulness and resilience.
Having taken small steps that activate feeling of wellness, energy and focus every morning for years, has led to a momentum that has been thankfully upholding my sense of well being and focus at this time.
That is the litmus test isn’t it? When chaos ensues and the !#% hits the fan where are you? Are you running from it? Are you fighting it?
Performing feel good activities in the face of fear has been helping me to notice it, sit with it and breathe through it till it passes.
90 Second Rule
Here is a great explanation from her book.
“When a person has a reaction to something in their environment, there’s a 90 second chemical process that happens in the body; after that, any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop. Something happens in the external world and chemicals are flushed through your body which puts it on full alert. For those chemicals to totally flush out of the body it takes less than 90 seconds.
This means that for 90 seconds you can watch the process happening, you can feel it happening, and then you can watch it go away. After that, if you continue to feel fear, anger, and so on, you need to look at the thoughts that you’re thinking – that are re-stimulating the circuitry – that is resulting in you having this physiological response over and over again.
Feeling Good Bringing You Back To Now
I realized that in the midst of doing my morning rituals I’m present because what I’m doing feels so good. Although waves of fear come over me and manifest as a clenched chest, heavy shoulders, tightening stomach, sweaty palms etc., my mind is pulled back from indulging in it time and time again. In being brought to the present moment, my old habits of emphasizing on the fear and futurizing it are derailed, giving way for equilibrium to prevail.
This inner derailing prevents acting out those fears, in essence nipping them in the bud before they creates consequences.
I’ve recently learned of a remarkable woman named JJ Virgin who lived through a harrowing experience of almost losing her son to a horrendous hit and run accident. She had been an established guru of physical self care in the diet and fitness industry for many years beofre that. In making the choice to help her son beat the odds in order to live (.2% chance!), her rituals of emotional and mental self care came to the forefront.
In this interview with the Pedram Shojai at Urban Monk , she shares how her self care was number one priority before she visited her son in the hospital every day. Aside from her self care in fitness and diet she also practiced gratitude every morning, this she says, is the one thing if she had to choose, that made the most difference.
She shared that it was through practicing gratitude that allowed her to ride that 90 second wave of fear that would come over her daily.
Riding that wave of fear and replacing it with gratitude gave her the strength to keep focused on the signs of progress in her sons healing and filter out the negative feedback and predictions from the doctors, that unfortunately, is many times the norm.
Stop Reading and Start Doing
She hit another nerve of truth for me when she says in the interview that change doesn’t come from reading a self help book, it comes from doing things differently. This deeply resonated for me in that it wasn’t until I started tinkering with finally implementing all I understood from the self help books I read, that my life started to change.
Learn more about her amazing story in her new documentary called “Your Stronger Then You Think” here
Practicing Resilience in Small Ways
One last nugget of wisdom she shared that I absolutely resonated with was how having daily habits of practicing resilience in little bits at a time stretches your comfort zone. this I think increases your capacity to integrate what happens around you. In times of fast paced and high consequence situations, having had practiced resilience regularly, the ability to be proactive and resourceful is stronger.
How do you practice resilience? What things have helped you stay centered in tough times?
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