Wednesday, July 18, 2012

P.S. Take a breath

In June of 2010  I was 2 years into owning my own business, 3 years out of a hard break up, and about 5 deaths in to a 7 deaths (in 8 years) family death streak.  I was dried out, and yearned for some time out, rest, and contemplation. I wanted to go to Hawaii.

I bought some crazy sandals for the (so far fictitious) trip, and kept saying out loud that I was planning on going to Hawaii - and voila - I ended up with a trip to Hawaii - my dream trip, staying at the hotel of my choice. My head was spinning, and I was thrilled. For the first time I was going on a trip just to relax, and look at the water.

Here's what happened. My hotel was beautiful, so was the ocean... I found out that without any general busyness, or anyone to blame my crankiness on, I was unable to let go. I observed my inner dialogue, and found out that I was mean to myself, keeping myself uncomfortable a lot of the time - I was playing control games. For Example : I need to go to the bathroom, so instead of going, I set a goal to read another paragraph.

This whole unconscious internal cruelty was news to me, and, it explained so much about why I wasn't feeling balanced and loved, even in good situations. Bottom Line, I wanted to learn how to be kinder to me. 

Every morning  I wrote myself letters with drawings, and insights, and mailed them to myself at home.  I didn't want the awareness that I had gained to just disappear, and the letters were a gift to the me in the future. I had been holding on so hard, trying to control the world, that I wasn't able to receive, from myself, or anyone. I wanted to learn how to receive -  I came up with a new mantra: Open one hand, Open the other hand, Open your heart. Easier said than done, but repeating it was a good reminder of my intention. 

The habit of ignoring my needs was going to be hard to break, so I came up with a list to lean on when I start to feel off. This is the list I use(d) for kindness training. 

1. Take a Breath
2. Go to the Bathroom
3 Drink some water
4. Have a small protein snack (nuts)
5. Take another Breath

It was a good place to start. When I returned from Hawaii, I started working the kindness steps, and began learning how to treat myself as someone of worth. The first step being, my most basic human needs. Who Knew.

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