“A summer music concert in the park? That sounds great!” I told my friend when she called. I imagined spending the beautiful summer afternoon on a blanket in the grass with cool jazz music floating over the summer breeze. I put on my favorite aqua blue sundress and drove to my friend’s house.
When we got to the park, my heart shuddered. A rock concert?! In an amphitheater?! With a gi-mega-normous sound system! I’m not a huge rock fan. AND I DON’T LIKE LOUD MUSIC! I was beyond annoyed at the painfully loud sounds pounding my head and chest. I wondered, “how can people be enjoying this? It’s not music, it’s just noise!” Ear plugs were like baby aspirin for a migraine. I considered going out to the parking lot WHERE I WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HEAR EVERYTHING JUST FINE! But I was a guest, and I didn’t want to abandon my friend on her birthday.
5 Self-Care Tools saved my sanity, changed my circumstance, and up-leveled the outcome for the day. Maybe they will up-level your day too.
1) Choose. I noticed my mental-emotional state swirling around the toilet bowl. I chose to change my attitude and make the best of what I considered an unpleasant circumstance.
2) Breathe. I noticed my body. I noticed I had stopped breathing. Well, I didn’t totally stop breathing or I wouldn’t be here right now. My shallow breathing stayed near my tightly wound shoulders – which remained up by my ears. I wasn’t getting very much oxygen and couldn’t think straight. I took a deep belly breath. I noticed my tight facial and jaw muscles. I took another deep belly breath and relaxed my tongue, then unclenched my jaws. I noticed my tight gut. I took another deep belly breath and let it out slowly.
3) Toggle. I noticed the cacophony of thoughts inside my head mirroring the cacophony of sound outside my head. “This sucks! I hate this! This isn’t music! This is torture! If I have sensitive ears, imagine the animals in the neighborhood! They must really be suffering! How can anyone enjoy this?” I toggled my attention from my head to my heart. Then, I cycled between 1, 2, and 3 for quite a while.
- I am choosing my state. I am aware of my feelings. I don’t like this situation and I choose well-being anyway.
- I am aware of my body tension and breathing. As I breathe into my belly, I feel more peaceful and calmer.
- I am toggling my awareness from my head to my heart. “PRISONERS OF WAR ARE TORTURED WITH LOUD MUSIC!” Toggle head to heart.
Choose. Breathe. Toggle.
4) Gratitude. I looked for something to appreciate. “Interesting cloud formations. Look at that.” I noticed the peachy, golden sunlight on the water. “I love sun reflected on water.” I did not see anything on the stage to appreciate. “I can’t believe she is actually wearing that in public!” Toggle head to heart. “I love my sundress. It’s such a beautiful color.” I gave myself some appreciation. “This is hard and I’m doing a good job navigating a tough situation.” I felt a little better.
5) Plug in. Then I plugged in. Imagine that you can plug into your higher self, the highest and best part of yourself, like you plug an Ethernet cord into the Wi-Fi jack. Ego on the outside is suffering. Soul on the inside connected to God the infinite always knows peace, love, joy, harmony, freedom, prosperity. I connected to the source of infinite well-being within and hung out there for a while.
Then I breathed infinite well-being through my soul, through ego-personality, through my physical body, surrounding myself like a bubble. I hung out in my bubble of well-being for a while. I did not feel as troubled by the cacophony of sound that still raged outside because I felt more peaceful inside.
Suddenly, a blast of divine love poured through my heart and overflowed my bubble, expanding more love than I could contain. I imagined divine love blessing all the animals who might be suffering at this time. I imagined well-being pouring into all the people in the audience whose hearts were open to receive a blessing of well-being.
I blessed the band with well-being. That made me feel better. I stopped feeling like a victim and stopped seeing the band as the perpetrators. I stepped beyond the victim-perpetrator matrix to feel myself in harmony with everything, the good, the bad, and the challenging.
The band finally finished their set and walked off stage.
When the band returned to the stage for an encore, the lead singer motioned for everyone to quiet down and gently said to the audience, “I invite you to close your eyes. Connect to this moment and feel glad and grateful for being alive right now!”
Wow! Was the singer responding to the blast of divine love that had poured through me to bless her? Maybe, just maybe, I did something good!
I invite you, next time you are in a challenging situation, to build your resilience muscles and practice some free self-care. These five tools won’t cost you anything and they will add to your well-being.
- Choose your attitude. How do you want to respond to the situation?
- Notice your body and breath. Take several deep belly breaths and let them out slowly.
- Toggle your awareness from head to heart to calm your thoughts.
- Find appreciation and gratitude for something.
- Plug into your natural state of well-being within.
Click this link for a sample of aligning with your inner well-being in an eight-minute guided meditation on my YouTube channel of Soul Embodiment Meditations. Re-connect to your natural state of inner well-being and uplift others around you.
You never know when your difficult situation may become a blessing for yourself and a blessing for others.
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