Take pause and reflect on how you react to life’s unexpected and not-so-fun circumstances. A favorite indicator is driving in traffic, never a favorite to experience. Traffic happens to all of us, especially if you live in a favorite city or travel to a popular destination. You cannot make the traffic disappear, but you can change the way you react to the traffic jam. Next time you are in an unpleasant circumstance that is temporary. Stop and notice where you have the sensation of unease in your body. Pay attention to it. Don’t name it, rather feel it. Is it warm? Is it painful? How big is it in size? Really notice it and really notice how much it affects you. Once you notice the first one, the next time you are in an uncomfortable situation and a sensation arises in your body notice it again. Is it the same location? The same size? More importantly, how did you react to it? Do you yell? Do you cringe? Do you Cry? Where is it? If it’s in your torso, is it near your shoulder? How far is it from your throat? How far is it from your heart? How far is it from your gut? Can you breathe into this space? Try not to judge it, or yourself for reacting to it. Right now, just observe and describe the sensation.
This is a challenge; one should you choose to take on may prove helpful. This breath practice may provide a little space that can cause lightness which in turn can prove comfortable and dare I say, “life-altering”.
The next time – the challenge is to catch yourself in the moment of unease/upset. When in the moment notice the sensation. If possible close your eyes and feel. Feel the intensity of the upset, feel the sensation within the body. Does it quiver? Is it hot? Is it tight? Feel the sensation not the emotion. Not what causes the emotion but rather the sensation. Get as descriptive as possible. I am hot, I am trembling, I am shaking, I am heavy, I am tight, notice where you are tight. Just keep on describing these sensations.
As you describe the sensation, close your eyes, and breathe into the space of unease. Take a deep slow to breathe an expansive breath. Repeat as many times as possible as you describe the sensation. Focus on the sensation, not the emotion. If possible, give it a color and give it a temperature. Is it hot or is it cold? Breathe into the space where it landed. Breathe big, breathe deep, breathe slow and repeat as often as possible until you can dissolve it. Envision it expanding until it disappears. Give it space give it air, expand it, and make it larger and lighter. So light that it floats away or turns to dust and evaporates away. Once it blows away or drifts away. Once it floats away keep on breathing into this empty space with your eyes closed. The space is clear, the space is clean.
We cross unexpected and at times uncomfortable circumstances; I have heard it said that life will present us with challenges we have not surrendered to. I don’t know which circumstances will come my way, but I do know that by breathing into them and not allowing them to take root in my space, these challenges will not sweep me away. By breathing into the space, I keep my energy clear and as smooth as possible to not get so attached to the circumstance that presents itself to me. Sometimes easy, other times challenging but now I have a tool. And the tool is my breath. A tool that we all have access to. So many tools that we have access to are within us and easily available should we say yes to receiving the gifts life has to offer. It’s when we slow down and let them avail themselves to us just by sitting still.
I wish you well and at ease.