Day 2 of my 14 day mindfulness challenge – Labelling Emotions

Image courtesy of “Heart Drawing On The Sand" by arztsamui

Image courtesy of “Heart Drawing On The Sand” by arztsamui

This is Day 2 of my 14 day mindfulness challenge. Every day for the next 14 days I will do a mindfulness meditation.

Today the focus was on labelling EMOTIONS. I had a fitful sleep as I was obsessing about this work project I can’t seem to get a handle on. That send me in an anxiety spin so I spent the first hour this morning working on said project to calm my stress levels before I felt ready to do my meditation.

After connecting with my abdominal breathing, I focussed on my chest area noticing which emotions were present. It turned out that obsessing about my work is a defense against underlying feelings of self-loathing and worthlessness.

How PAINFUL!!!!

Nevertheless, I am grateful to be able to be with this issue and having the capacity for it to emerge.

What I am grateful for today:

  • Insights!
  • My “home brewed” Kombucha tea!
  • Doing my mindfulness meditation this morning!

THANK YOU!

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Day 1 of my 14 day mindfulness challenge – Abdominal Breathing

MeditationWoman_myyogalivingThis is Day 1 of my 14 day mindfulness challenge.

Every day for the next 14 days I will do a mindfulness meditation.

Today the focus was on abdominal breathing. The breath is such a great indicator of where we are at. If we are stressed or anxious, chances are that our breath is up in our chest area, either shallow or rapid. Bringing the breath down into our belly has an instant calming effect on our system. Making us feel grounded and soothing our nervous system.

What I am grateful for today:

  • I slept OK!
  • Found some answers to questions I was pondering before going to sleep!
  • Doing my mindfulness meditation this morning!

THANK YOU!

 

 

Staying with WHAT IS – Day 33

Sometimes it takes me a while to gauge where I am at.It might need an interaction with another person to bring it to the surface.

When I checked in with myself this morning I felt kind of flat, but there was something lurking I could not quite pinpoint. But then I had an argument where I felt I couldn’t make myself heard with my partner and could feel lots of anger seeping through. ANGER which has been there all along but needed a trigger to be released.

My neck and shoulder are still sore, so I wonder whether part of that soreness isn’t anger that has accumulated over some time. ANGER from all those situations where I felt I had to be the “GOOD GIRL”, suppressing my truth and going quiet instead.

But of course the body remembers everything and anger when unresolved isn’t any different, e.g. the correlation between the repression of anger and heart disease (Miller, Smith, Turner, Guijarro, & Hallet, 1996).

When anger occurs, adrenaline gets released into the bloodstream which results in shortness of breath, skin flushing, muscle tension, in the jaw, stomach, shoulders and hands, ready to take action. As we often struggle to find constructive outlets for that charge it stays in our body, resulting in an imbalance in our nervous system.

So what to do about it?

  • Noticing it and becoming aware of “triggers” is always the first step
  • Body centered treatments (Massages, EFT, TFT etc.) help to release blocked emotions
  • Yoga, meditation & mindfulness to balance the nervous system

References

Miller, T. Q., Smith, T. W., Turner, C. W., Guijarro, M. L., & Hallet, A. J. (1996). A meta-analytic review of research on hostility and physical health. Psychological Bulletin, 119, 322–348.

What I am grateful for today:

  • My morning walk
  • Catching up with a friend
  • An old favourite, my coconut chai

Staying with WHAT IS – Day 29

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My body is very much in pain!

My neck and shoulders are very tense, and my legs feel sore and wobbly.

I feel I am trying to do the best I can to take care of them even-though it’s frustrating that they don’t seem to budge.

I guess these symptoms are all manifestations of some sort of stress. Which makes sense as the body remembers everything that ever happened to us.

Stress I am not ready to resolve and release yet.

What I am grateful though is that these pains and aches don’t get in the way of my practice. My practice is giving me space from them as when I concentrate on my breath and the postures the sore areas in my body don’t seem to scream as loudly.

THANK YOU!

What I am grateful for today:

  • The sun-rays shining through my window
  • The fresh crisp morning air
  • The clean energy of my room

Staying with WHAT IS – Day 28

Had a bit of an unruly night!

Feeling quite nervous about the workshop today and kept obsessing about it.

Then tension from the left side of my neck has now moved to the middle of my neck as well as travelled down to the area in-between my shoulder blades.

Seems like my heart chakra (Anahata) is affected as well which was quite obvious in my meditation practice this morning. I couldn’t visualize pink light in my heart space in similarly no beam of golden light in my solar plexus (Manipura).

I felt unnerved and frustrated by this.

My inner critic raising its ugly head urging me to try harder. Which I did, but it wouldn’t work.

I turned to the Acu-Yoga book (Gach & Marco, 1988) and looked up exercises for the heart chakra. The heart chakra is about regulating emotions and connected to the cardiac plexus, the thymus gland, and the pericardium.

The following exercises benefit the heart chakra:

Flapping wings (Gach & Marco, 1988, p.69)

  1. Stand, stretch your arms back parallel to the ground, palms facing out till you feel a stretch between your shoulder-blades.
  2. Inhale, raise your chest up and out
  3. Exhale, keep your arms straight and parallel to the ground, bring them forward, your palms touching, your spine rounding.
  4. Continue to inhale as arms go backward again.

Cross my heart pose (Gach & Marco, 1988, p.70)

  1. Sit cross-legged, spine straight
  2. Place your right hand in your left arm pit and vice versa
  3. Close your eyes, tuning into your body and meditate on your heart

References

Gach, Michael Reed, with Carolyn Marco. Acu-Yoga: Self-Help Techniques to Relieve Tension. New York: Japan Publications, Inc., 1998.

What I am grateful for today:

  • My morning bike ride
  • Being healthy
  • My morning practice