Thoughts and emotions are part of our lived experience. Repeated experiences result in beliefs. These may serve us well. At times however, there are beliefs that do not serve us well. These may be the likes of: I’m useless… I’m a failure…. I’m unlovable … people are untrustworthy … I’m wrong … I’m bad … I’m unworthy …. I’m not good enough … I’m worthless … We may remain “hooked” by these thoughts, “hijacked by them”, living in the past or in the future. A deep sense of shame may be evoked about who we are, and we may disconnect from our true selves. We may then try to protect ourselves in different ways, like trying to please everybody, withdrawing from others and the world, or defending ourselves and argue our way forward in the world.
Becoming aware of these thoughts and emotions is the first step in finding our authenticity and inner strength. By being aware and bringing compassion to ourselves, we allow ourselves to reframe these thoughts into the present moment in a way that allows us to move forward meaningfully and in a valued way in our lives.
“When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write the ending” Brene Brown
The notion of “keeping moving” has been on my mind of late. I was reminded of this recently whilst in Wellington at a conference. Some of you may be aware it’s quite a hike from downtown Wellington up to Victoria University. I’d found a charming, and challenging, winding walkway to do this each day, albeit a tad steep. Halfway up, I came across a welcome little bench to rest on. There was a plaque on it, it read “in memory of …. keep moving”. The bench and plaque were a memorial for somebody who knew this tortuous walk very well. Keep moving on this walk, and you’ll get to the summit, eventually. I carried on with my strenuous walk.
The words resonated. We know how important it is in terms of health, to keep moving physically, so too is it important to keep moving in life with the challenges it may bring. So often we may feel like giving up and stopping. It may all seem too bleak. For those who have experienced depression this may well be very familiar. One may feel like you’re frozen still. There may be times when you feel so empty there’s seemingly no purpose in getting out of bed, dressing, getting on with your day …. and moving forward. You may just feel like staying in bed and pulling the duvet over your head.
It’s so important to get out of bed, and to move on with your day, to do the things that may have made you feel happy before even though you may not feel this now; to find somebody you know and trust who will not judge you, somebody who knows what you are going through; find the values in your life that you cherish and do something in line with that; find something that you feel passion for…. keep moving, even though the meaning may not be clear. At times, finding hope and meaning in life can be challenging, but don’t give up. We are not alone, reach out.
My Jack Russell takes me for two walks a day. Rain or shine. Morning and night. She’s always excited to hear the rattle of the leash. She’s there, waiting and present, no other agenda. All too often my mind may be elsewhere …..somewhere further along in the day, or what’s for dinner, or what happened yesterday, or the day before. And so … I’ve started to pause once her leash is clipped on, and look directly at her, and she looks at me … we pause … and then we walk … in the present. As we walk, the thoughts still come … and go. I notice my feet touching the ground, I notice the sounds around me …
A reminder to get present, moment by moment, as the day unfolds
Stop….Breathe….Notice where the breath enters your body, where it goes, and where it leaves your body….Get present…Notice the picture……..With a sense of curiosity, slowly notice the colours… the shapes …the textures …