Someone once said of me, “Liz always has something going on.” At first I was so hurt by this, thinking I was a drama queen and that was others’ perception of me. Then I started to realize that I do always have something going on. There is always someone telling me I am not meeting their needs, there is always another hurdle to cross as I grow, there is always an argument or misunderstanding that needs to be attended to. That is life. This comment sparked something in me. As these things started coming us, I started noticing my reaction. I was like a ping pong ball- if everything was good, I was up; if someone had an issue with me, I was down. I started thinking about life and its ups and downs a little more mindfully. What if when these situations occur, I stop reacting and just notice. Notice the other person’s words, the feelings behind them, and then sit? What if instead of immediately crying or feeling hurt, I stop and take a few breaths? This shift has helped me greatly.
Now things still continue to come up at their normal pace. Only now I am not taken for a ride by them. I sit and gently notice what my body is telling me. If I have done something wrong or have not followed through on something that is necessary, my body tells me and I fix it. If I know my boundaries are in tact and this is not my issue, my body tells me by the quiet I feel throughout. Then I sit and use a loving-kindness meditation to send that person compassion. My body now is my guide. If I feel the discomfort in my gut, I know I have work to do, but it isn’t a reactive work. It is a thoughtful, deliberate action. If my body feels at peace and my heart feels spacious, I know I need to practice compassion and let it go.
In sharing this with you, I hope you can begin to use your body and breath as your guide- no longer needing to react to a stimulus, but giving yourself space to breathe and settle in. Take the time to unpack each situation and discover what is yours and what is not. No longer will you find yourself pulled like the tides in and out. You will find a quiet peace that rests always in your heart and be able to remain there a little more each day.