A Year of Mindful Living March - Clarity
I'm writing from the mountains of Colorado, this view was from my walk today! Clarity appeared to be a great focus for mindful living in March.
Clarity can often be so elusive! Not knowing which direction to turn or what decision is best, can send me into a tailspin of negative thoughts triggering every fear my lizard brain can create. This cloud of confusion has held me hostage for longer than I care to admit, disconnected from my true Self and easily influenced by external pressures, opinions and energy. Many years ago, I found myself in a tug of war with my thoughts and my feelings.
I'd been hijacked by the perfectionism in me to find the right answer that would please everyone. What I forgot was, that was an impossible task! However, my thoughts and emotions kept reminding me of situations in the past and what might happen in the future if I failed to find clarity. My emotions created negative thoughts and negative thoughts created more emotions. I was dizzy from this vicious cycle! I slowed myself way down, got out into nature and journeyed inward. This is what helped me find clarity then and continues now when life, situations, relationships, careers, transitions and the human experience put a roadblock in front of me.
There are five dimensions of being human. Lenses in which we filter and experience life. This is where I always begin to find my clarity. These five dimensions that we use to process our world show up mentally, emotionally, physically, socially and spiritually.
My thoughts are usually the first place I start because they are the loudest and most demanding of my attention. Sifting through what are mine or the voices and influence of others. I travel inside get quiet and listen. I find many of my thoughts are parts of me wanting or needing my attention and I’ve been ignoring them. Others are long held beliefs that no longer fit or serve me. So, I spend time with them listening for their inner wisdom discerning if they are still true or perhaps find a truer thought for myself. What I find is there are often thoughts or parts of me that are fighting against each other, yet both have valid reasons for wanting to be heard. As I listen, I hear their wisdom and they begin to calm.
My body is wise and knows before my brain when there is confusion, so I listen deeper. Physically I scan where I hold tension, stress, pain and emotions, these are the voices of the body. I slow down physically connecting to my body through rest, yoga, walks, and eating well. (Often, I eat junk to squelch uncertainty and anxiety in my body, you may find other ways to do this.) Our 2nd brain resides in our gut, which often is discounted, it’s called intuition. I was taught to ignore it. Now I’ve learned to listen to my body deeper. It never steers me wrong even when logic thinks otherwise.
Emotions are my inner guidance. They often let me know what my thoughts won’t let me acknowledge. They can surface at the most inopportune times; however, they have valuable information for me. I allow them to surface and feel them, this is the only way I learn to honor them, accept them and know their wisdom. Releasing them clears my stuck behaviors and beliefs which often create confusion. Releasing emotions can take many forms; tears, working out, journaling, punching a pillow, art, screaming, all within a safe non-threatening manner to others. Be curious and creative to find what works for you.
For my well-being I learned to navigate the world focused on feedback from the external world both socially and culturally. Now, to find clarity I do the opposite, I disconnect often from the news, social media, magazines, television and journey inward to find my own truth. I internally question others' opinions and judgements, cultural norms and religious beliefs to discover who I truly am and what I truly believe. This practice is one of my biggest on going challenges!
The last dimension spirituality, is my favorite because it is woven into all parts of me and each dimension. My connection to nature, the Divine, Spirit, the Universe, the Self-energy I bring to relationships and my work..... are all threads that weave who I am together. Nature is my biggest teacher. Observing connection to something bigger than me, yet within me clarity and kindness comes. My essential Self emerges.
I’m not perfect I’m human and fall into confusion many times and have to re-mind myself what I know for sure before I find clarity again. It’s a journey. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have an abundance of questions.
In Gratitude, Pam