I like to think I am a positive person but I am also highly emotional and I really tend to cover the full range. I have always been all over the map and I, often, run in extremes. Over the years, I have gotten better but heaven knows I have my triggers that really set me off.
And before too long all the meditation, yoga, gratitude journaling in the world seem like time wasted… at least for a moment. I blow my top, vent, and practically foam at the mouth and then my husband looks at me and calmly says, “Go pet a cat.”
That’s what it’s like to live with the Dalai Lama or so I surmise because I often feel like that’s who John channels most of his life. He’s the most even-keeled, laid back, chilled out person I know.
He doesn’t really get angry, never raises his voice much less yell and I am well… you know, the total opposite.
While all the water of life is rolling off his duck-feathered back, my feathers are ruffled and/or falling out. It’s hard enough to reflect on your flaws but when your life partner could easily shave his head and don a saffron robe you’ve got quite the experience in opposites.
What’s a girl to do?
First, I follow his instructions, even though I don’t like being told what to do. The most common directive (or suggestion) is: pet a cat. Of course, he’s saying that based on the widely known fact that giving a little attention to the household pet actually lowers blood pressure so when I am fired up it’s probably pretty good advice.
His other, go-to is jump on the trampoline.
This one is my own discovery that I have been doing for a long time to chill out, unwind or just give myself an attitude adjustment. But I know I am headed to the dark side when Swaggy J gives me a nudge, or a shove, in that direction.
I will likely need to have many more reincarnations in order to reach Swaggs and HH Dalai Lama’s levels but I am getting better.
Over the years, I have established practices that help me keep my center, be more positive, focus on gratitude and overall cultivate more happiness. But as my aforementioned anecdotes illustrate it doesn’t make me anywhere near perfect, just better.
What works for me?
Being an animal owner really does help. Animals are great energy gauges and they sense what you need and help you to balance out. Now if you are not an animal person then I am not suggesting you go out and adopt one. But if you are, let your fur friends help you when they can.
Jump Around: Rebounding on the mini trampoline helps me to shake out the cobwebs in my head and after 30 minutes I start to see things a little more clearly.
Putting My Butt on the Meditation Cushion: For years, and I do mean years, I just couldn’t get a consistent practice going. I was all over the place. But in the last couple I have become a really consistent meditator. Sure I miss days but I know I’ve made it when I get back on track after only a day or two. I realize how much I miss it and how connected it lets me feel to who I want to be in the world.
Savor Your Happy Moments: Lowi and I have both been keeping happiness jars. There is an ebb and flow about this practice as well but it’s a great reminder to focus on what’s working. And writing down the good allows it to really becoming integrated into your soul. Plus, at the end of the year when you look back through all the stories, experiences and mementos that got thrown in over the last 365 days it hits me just how BLESSED I truly am.
Yoga: I am a yoga teacher but having my own practice is a real necessity for me. I don’t always practice long but taking the time in almost every day to get down to the basics of breathing and the body are essential for me being able to put the pieces of myself in order.
Running: I often say that running is how I burn off the crazy and it’s only half a joke. I have a lot of nonsense rolling around in my noggin and running free and far allows me to make sense of what needs mean-making and to dump what was trash all along.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G