Can You Be With Things Exactly As They Are?
Everywhere I go, people are echoing variations of the same song: the last several years changed how I see and feel about everything. I don’t want to go back but I’m confused about my next steps. Now what?
Yes we’re dynamic and things are constantly shifting, but we can’t escape the reality that we’re all swimming in more chaos and uncertainty than we could have ever imagined was possible.
I’m feeling a wide range of emotions and revisiting my life purpose and what makes me come alive (read more). Every few months I pause and I ask myself, “How can I best serve?”
While I have many self-care tools/resources to help me find my center, the practice I have found most helpful in times like these is cultivating the ability to be with what is.
When I trust and “let go” of expectations, timelines, outcomes and my endless incoming texts–even for a bit—I am able to relax into a vast sense of peace. And the reminder that right now, in this moment, connected to my own breath– I am well.
One of the main reasons I meditate before I begin each day is to gain perspective. My perceived problems don’t vanish after 20 minutes of silence, but they take on a different hue and diminish in their sense of urgency. And, more than anything, I become more comfortable being with what is. (Read my tips for starting a meditation practice and consider joining me for my April 14-16 Awakening Your Wild Soul retreat.)
Over time, I’ve come to realize three things: 1) if I can accept where I am without trying to change, it can provide a sweet sense of freedom, 2) I won’t die, drown or implode if I allow myself to truly feel what I’m feeling; it’s key to healing and 3) joy and bliss–just like pain and fear–come and go, too. Don’t get too attached to any one feeling; they’re all here today and gone tomorrow. Kind of like the constantly changing weather. Everything is impermanent.
Some of the things that help me learn to be with what is, include:
Having a strong support network that can provide help and validation for the incredible, messy journey of being human. It’s key right now to stay connected and to reach out daily via phone, for walks, forest time, picnics and to be choosy about who you spend time around. Connection = medicine for the soul.
Practicing self-compassion and being gentle with myself especially when I know I’m “triggered” and navigating intense emotional terrain. I often place a hand over my heart when I need to invite in self-acceptance and ask, “What do I need?”
Keeping the big picture and doing things can help me pull back and up to gain perspective. I remind myself I’m fortunate to have a safe home and office space, friends and family who believe in me and opportunities to serve and make a difference–all things that are very important to me.
Breathing and conscious movement: whether it’s through pranayama (balancing breath work), yoga, qi gong, conscious dance or walking a labyrinth–these practices help us process and release strong emotions, which are simply “energy in motion!”
When discomfort arises (which it will, again and again), I keep returning to this mantra: remember to breathe, stay present, feel what’s coming up and ask, “Can I be with what is right now and be ok?” Yes, I can.
HOW CAN I SUPPORT YOU? HERE ARE THREE OPPORTUNITIES FOR SELF-RENEWAL:
- **Almost full!!** April 14-16 ~ Awakening Your Wild Soul: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, will be filled with beautiful, joyful self-renewal experiences to help you gain clarity and remember who you really are. Packages start at just $635. This retreat will be magical and a great Mother’s Day gift! Let me be your soft place to fall. Learn more.
- Check out my books and self-paced online retreats ~ Susan shared, “Thank you so much for all of your amazing work. I find your blog/newsletters, books, and retreats to be so powerful and spot-on in terms of what I need to hear! Bravo Renee, this virtual retreat was amazing!” Check out our award-winning life balance audio classes and books–available 24/7 to enjoy from the comfort of your home, car, or bathtub! Starting at $49. Learn more.
- Wild Souls Nature Adventures (based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC): authentic movement classes, community song circles, full moon hikes, meditation workshops, women’s circles & more. New offerings listed each week; have me design a custom experience for your team/friends. Join us Easter Sunday, April 9th for Wild Souls Authentic Movement near Asheville, NC. Learn more.