This came into my life today. I was meant to see this today as maybe you are as well. The interesting thing, in this version, it leaves out #10 which is “You will forget all of this at birth” which I think is an important ending to this list.
“Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
How many times have I anticipated suffering, or created suffering before it happens thus PRE-suffering? Oh…many! I can get myself so wound up over stuff that hasn’t even happened yet thus ruining the present moment…huh, I am not even in the present when I am PRE-suffering, I am somewhere in the non-existent future that I have created in my head!!
I heard someone use this term last night and WOW…it just resonated through my whole being. “PRE-SUFFERING”. This is definitely something I can try and let go of. But how?
This is present moment and breath work. For me, meditation and yoga help with this. Focusing my mind on my breath during yoga, the movement from one posture to the next that aligns with my breath keeps me right there. It keeps me from thinking about thinking or thinking about the things that haven’t even happened yet. I enjoy Vinyasa yoga because it is a yoga practice that allows me to move. One breath to one movement- it seems very natural to me.
Sitting meditation also helps me to remain sane and in the moment but honestly is more difficult for me because I am sitting and not moving. Thoughts come into my head on a regular basis even though I have been meditating for twenty years. The process of letting them go and focusing on my breath is more automatic than it used to be but it is still a work in process.
The most difficult thing for me is getting myself un-stuck and out of the PRE-suffering black hole that once I am there is like space…never ending. I like that I can put a name to it now. It will help me to more easily identify this thinking. It lends me perspective which then guides me through the five other “P’s”- pain, prayer, patience, process and payoff. These are from the book, Paths to Recovery. John Maxwell also has a similar idea that I have spoken about before in his book Today Matters. I recommend both.
Just for today, start to notice your pre-suffering. Are you experiencing pain or anguish about something that hasn’t even happened yet? Are you anticipating bad things happening to you? Take a moment and breathe, connect to your source, go for a walk, do yoga, do what works to bring peace around you. I know you can!
I can easily get caught up in S.H.I.T. For me, S.H.I.T is this feeling of being overwhelmed with my life, an inability to control situations, thinking that I have to do it all and then making that happen, wondering if anyone that is part of my life will just get their SHIT together and make my life easier? Have YOU ever had this feeling?
S.H.I.T is an acronym that stands for Super High Intensity Thinking. And although I’d like to say I coined this phrase, I did not. An Al-Anon member who heard it from a speaker at a conference retold this story to me. I’m still researching the source and when I find it, I want to give this person credit because this acronym has stuck in my head and is useful.
Super High Intensity Thinking is something I bet many of you can relate to. I was just reading an interview of the author, Kelly McGonigal who has written The Neuroscience of Change, in the October issue of Yoga Journal and she states that “Neuroscientists have found that everyone has a default state that the brain shifts into when we’re not fully immersed in an activity. This state things about the future and past, makes judgments, and categorizes and compares everything.” Ahhhhhh…. What a relief that is! I thought I was just nuts! Our brains are really hard wired with this chattering state and if left to its own devices, it would continue to go on this rampage.
How do you know when you’re in S.H.I.T. mode and how can you get out? Ask yourself these questions: What patterns of your behavior tend to repeat themselves? Do you have a default mode of thinking? Is your default mode of thinking negative affirmations that sound like; “I can’t do it all,” “I am incapable, not loveable,” “I will always be alone”. Or maybe your voice speaks to you like this; “People are always trying to screw me”, “How come all the jackasses are on the road when I am?” “ Why doesn’t anything work for _________ (insert your name here).” It could be that S.H.I.T. not only sounds a certain way but may look a certain way. Are you running around to every crisis that isn’t yours? Are you fixing things that aren’t yours to fix or helping those that you think need helping? This is all S.H.I.T.!!!
How do we get out of S.H.I.T.? McGonigal states that “mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation can take us temporarily out of the default state of the mind and into an experiencing state.” It’s about compassion, compassion for yourself and for others. The brain will continually try and go back to its default stage. It will remind you how uncomfortable mindfulness or yoga is and try to get back to its comfort zone… S.H.I.T. mode. Knowing this, you can continue to focus on self-compassion and care. Know that the only way out of S.H.I.T. is the awareness of it and then back to self-compassion and care. AND once you begin to have compassion and care for yourself you can begin to see that everyone is just doing the best that they can given the tools that they have and you can start to feel compassion towards others.
With much love,
I specifically remember times in my life that I had an inkling, a microsecond twang in my gut that I ignored. That microsecond cost me, many a times and for many years. It has taken me a long time to realize that those whisperings were coming from a higher source and that I need to find inner quiet in order to receive them.
At first, you may feel a feeling, literally in your gut. As a child you may have experienced this. Maybe you even got physically sick when things did not “feel” right? As an adult, it may be a soft whispering, a feeling of a heavy heart or “butterflies” in your stomach. Goosebumps may be a signal that something you are feeling is right on. Starting to notice these physical sensations is a start to tuning into to the higher vibrations of the Universe.
In today’s society, listening to your gut has become quite difficult. Society at large does not want us to be in tune with our Inner Self. There are distractions at every turn; TV, social networking, billboards, flashing lights, sounds. The ads tell us ‘you can be happy if you buy THIS!’ DISTRACTION!
Tune into your gut and tune out from the busyness all around you by taking time to be quiet each day. Personally, I like to get out into nature as much as I can but I don’t get to do it everyday. Some days I just find a quiet space in my home and focus on my breath. Light a candle, burn some incense, have a ritual to your quiet time. If you do yoga, do quiet yoga, move with your breath, do it slower than you normally do or sit longer in a posture. If a feeling arises, be with the feeling until it moves on. If a thought arises, let it go and come back to your breath.
If you haven’t ever taken time to be quiet start with 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes before you go to bed. You can do anything for 5 minutes!! Then, increase it over time. Try to commit to 15 minutes twice a day.
As you start to take time to be with yourself you will start to deepen the connection between your Inner Self and the Universe. That golden cord will strengthen and communication will be easier to receive.
Prayer for today:
“I ask that I be open today to be able to listen and hear my inner voice, the true voice of the Universe. Allow me to be quiet in my mind and heart so that I may receive the messages I need to hear.”