You know the feeling – something upsetting happens and suddenly
it’s all you can think about.
As your anger, anxiety, fear or distress rises, you temporarily lose
your ability to think calmly and rationally.
In the worst cases, you take action while in that state of “incoherence”
(where your thoughts are not necessarily
aligned with your true desired outcomes),
and you just make things worse….
As those of you who have been reading this blog or participating in my various programs for any length of time know, I am a strong proponent of the strategic use of simple breathing in stressful moments. It helps restore a feeling of inner peace, clarity, and powerful energy. It also creates a space for intentionality and freedom in choosing our next action in achieving our desired outcomes.
Teaching about the power of the breath is such a passion of mine that I am writing a book about it called (naturally!) And We Breathe… I expect to be announcing a publication date in the near future, so I’ll keep you posted about that.
…So as I was writing about self-celebrations in July, and teaching the intentional practice of deliberate celebration to several of my clients and groups, it occurred to me that I could share a tip with you about staying inspired, in the face of whatever life throws at you.
“Inspired” and “inspiring” are extremely positive words that we all use to describe the feeling of hope and energy that arises in our hearts and minds when we are engaged in the appreciation of something or someone we admire greatly. We feel touched at our core, and thrilled by the beauty, talent, generosity, audacity or sheer awesomeness of whatever or whomever it is that we use these words to describe.
And what I love about these words is that they have another meaning, one that brings our bodies into the experience as well. They refer to the act of taking in breath! To “inspire” is to draw breath into our bodies. And what a perfect blending of two definitions in one word this is, since the first step in moving from a state of stress to a state of ease, optimism and joy is taking a deep, slow breath.
If in those moments when you find yourself feeling inspired within yourself, well…don’t you pause, and take a few deep breaths to savor the moment? While you contemplate what you’ve just accomplish, you feel inspired – while you literally are inspiring!
One of the things I love to teach people is how to create, even in their most challenging moments, a feeling of moving forward with inspired energy. It’s something that anyone can learn how to do, which is why I frequently include a reminder to “STOP! BREATHE! and FOCUS!” in my step-by-step recommendations for handling life’s crises.
Absolutely nothing is better for an immediate, meaningful improvement in your mental and physical state – it’s almost like a “micro yoga” session in terms of what it does for your body and brain, and your ability to think clearly and with far less emotional charge attached.
It’s also great for reinforcing your celebrations. So each hour, when you stop and check in to see and celebrate what you’ve accomplished, and you’re breathing slowly and deeply, try adding “I am SO INSPIRING!” at the end of your self-celebration of each achievement.
It takes something to create a new habit – specifically, it takes remembering to do it! That’s probably the hardest part. But it is well worth the effort to continue to build that new way of responding instead of reacting. It gives you far more power to change the quality of your life in those tough moments than you ever could have imagined.
As we move into August, I’ll be offering some ideas for making it a month of relaxation and enjoyment. So my hope is that you will begin right now create the mindset of feeling inspired by yourself many times each day, so you will be able to embrace the enjoyment that much more!
Please note: for those of you who are in the New York / New Jersey area, and those of you who may be traveling here in late September, I will be holding my live half-day workshop on “Letting Go and Living Free: The Fine Art of Forgiveness” on September 27th in New Jersey. If you’ve ever wanted to work with me one-on-one, to finally break through feeling stuck in some resentment, hurt or even anxiety over a past decision you made, this is your chance!
Previous participants have been amazed at the difference this seemingly short program makes in their ability to handle upsets and get past self-criticism and remorse, so they can focus on moving forward and putting all of their energy toward accomplishing their desired outcomes! For more information, click HERE.
There’s a special “bring a friend” offer available until August 5th, so check it out now, before you forget!