Recently I found myself angry, irritable and frustrated by the littlest interruption in my day. I had been so fixed on meeting an upcoming publishing deadline and launching a new course that I would get frustrated when I didn’t get what I thought was enough done. I soon realized that my rigid attachment to a desire for productivity is almost like an addictive force, a longstanding drive for accomplishment as a means for feeling good about myself and about life.
When I recognize that my obsessive energy is affecting the creative quality of my work and the harmony (or lack thereof) in my relationships I unplug. I unplug daily to meditate and I regularly go for 45 minute jogs while blasting hip-hop music in my ears to give me time away from crazy making.
I consider exercise, meditation and sleep(!) to be self-nurturing time that I protect at all costs. I need these vital periods of disconnect from work, social media and yes, people, so that I can allow my brain to be in a state of peace and quiet. As ambitious as I am, I have learned the hard way that when I do not unplug on a daily basis, there will be hell to pay later. And I’m committed to creating Heaven on Earth. So I usually stick to my morning rituals of chanting, meditating and rocking out to hype beats. And an evening ritual of quiet time and meditation is just what this doctor needs to stay sane!
These unplugging routines allow me to hear the peaceful voice of my higher self, Soul and wisdom guides. But in the last few weeks I got busy with clients, travel and obsessed with new projects. So I lost sight of my routines.
I lost sight of my peace. And I had no one to blame but me.”
Of course, we’ve all been engrossed in some activity or project that we want to crash through. Especially when we are on a roll! As much as it can be tempting to keep cranking on to get just one more thing crossed off that to do list the reality is we will still wake up to a long to do list.
And even scrambling to get the house in order or the email inbox emptied won’t bring lasting fulfillment. So the key for me is finding that balance and that discipline to unplug regularly so that body and brain can recharge and relax as well as giving the creative impulse from my soul the time to be heard. This brings so much more creative, clear confident energy into what I’m doing.
What about you? Do you unplug regularly? How do you make time to tune into your soul or higher self?
Meditate for peace & peaceful productivity!
The most important thing my meditative practice helps me do is to remain present. In meditation we bring our focus to the present moment, not some future deadline nor do we wallow in regret for what we didn’t do in the past. Just focusing on where we are — right here, right ow — appreciating what’s going on in this moment.
This is where the power is, right here and right now.”
In the TEDx in Jersey I spoke about how to become more resilient using the practice of mindfulness meditation. And I mentioned that you could gain incredible insight into what makes you vulnerable to stress by taking the Vitality Test. It’s free to take & gives great insight!
And my dominant energy type is Wood. Generally, as a Wood type I know that I can be ambitious and visionary and innovative. Those are some of the the wonderful qualities of Wood types. Yet we can also be very rigidly attached to our goals, ideals and the belief that we know the right way to do things. We are susceptible to falling into the pattern of one of the ‘villains of negativity’ I spoke about in the TEDx talk, the villain of anger and rigidity.
The ambition Wood types have can sometimes go too far, especially when we feel like what were doing isn’t enough or we won’t be satisfied until we get to “insert some magical destination here.” Unfortunately that can derail our sense of peace and even knock us off-course in life. Ultimately, crossing another thing off of your to-do list or even booking another client or making another thousand dollars is not what you on the planet to do. It’s not the ultimate end goal. At least not for me. I’d prefer to focus on the quality of my life and inner being, not the stuff that surrounds me.
I feel like this life offers us the rich opportunity to develop and evolve our mind and soul and to embrace, cherish and enjoy the relationships that are around us. And as I also shared in that TEDx, in order to build resilience, “Awareness” is where should start. Emotional awareness has been such a popular buzzword over the last 10 years that I think we’ve lost our focus on it. But I want to remind you to focus on and investigate your emotions. Get to know them and rather than hiding them, stuffing them away or even rationalizing them, be present with them.
Everyone has a good reason for being sad, mad, frustrated, fearful and anxious. And we all have justifiable reasons to distance ourselves or blame others for our painful emotions. But if we relied upon being justified in avoiding the painful, sticky or otherwise uncomfortable parts of our emotional life, we’d be throwing each other pity parties every day and we would NEVER get beyond childhood squabbles or teenage angst!
Go to the Source of Your Emotions
Instead of throwing a tantrum, get to know the source of your emotions. Your feelings are bearing fruit in your life based on the seeds of your karma. The seeds of past injustices, the seeds of the beliefs, expectations, wounds and experiences are all implanted in your subconscious mind. These are bearing fruit today in your life as your emotions, experiences and circumstances.
So, rather than looking to justify your emotions I invite you to investigate your emotions. As you sit on the meditation cushion, on the floor, on your yoga mat or even while walking in nature, gardening or scrapbooking, allow yourself to be present to those emotions and ask what message they have to communicate to you. Ask, “what are you here to tell me?”
Attune to Peace
I invite you to listen online or download the Attunement Meditation, a five-step mindfulness process to help you create harmony in your body and mind and heart and brain. Then you can clearly see and become aware and present to the emotions and feelings that are here to give you a message in this moment. You can then allow them to come up, be present, be seen, be acknowledged and you may find they fall away rather than overwhelm you or overtake you. And then you can take that next up of asking for insight into how to clear that emotion.
Bring on the compassion
Meditation studies show that the loving kindness meditation, also called the Mettā meditation, can help dispel anger at its root. This involves generating the feeling of kindness while tapping into the heartfelt wish that you and others be free from suffering.
You recite basic phrases of kindness toward yourself, saying,
May I not suffer. May I be free from harm. May I be at peace. May I be truly happy and live with ease.”
Just spending 10 minutes each day reciting these statements internally while actually feeling that sense of loving concern for yourself can ease anger.
Then the practice calls us to bring to mind someone we care for deeply or love. With a loved one in mind, you generate the same feeling of kindness and wishing that they, too, are free from suffering, harm and danger. Repeat the same phrases such as, “May you be truly happy and at peace. May you not suffer. May you be well in body, mind and heart.”
Next you bring to mind a neutral person, someone you may not really know well like a store clerk, the postal delivery person or whomever. After sending the same compassionate wish to them, you bring to mind a difficult person, someone you have a hard time liking — let alone loving! You repeat the phrases again; “Just as I wish to, may you be free from suffering. May you be free from danger. May you be happy and live with ease. May you enjoy peace and good health.”
Then you extend that compassionate wish for the wellbeing of all beings on the planet.
Lovingkindness Links Us All!
By practicing the lovingkindness meditation we come to recognize the interconnectedness of life. And then it’s not even about the to-do list, the things we want to accomplish or the people who aren’t doing what you want. Somehow, in recognizing our shared humanity we come to understand that all beings on this planet want to live in peace, free from suffering. Sending the desire out to end suffering helps to melt anger, frustration, irritability and frustration it allows us to let go of the strong biases and obsessive activities.
The lovingkindness meditation is built into the Attunement Process so I invite you to return to it and just listen to the guided meditation.
I wish you blessings of peace. ?
May you be free from suffering. May you be truly well in mind, body and heart. May you be happy and live with ease.
Originally published at www.andreapennington.com.
Originally published at medium.com