Three of my mentors have used the same word recently in different contexts to suggest a way of letting go, of allowing in, and of finding calm in the storm of life:
I’ve been repeating the word to myself for everything from letting go of a negative thought to relaxing a tight muscle. And I’m happy to say that this little reminder really works. Thought I’d share it with you…
Can you soften, even a little? When you notice your body tensing up from fear or anxiety, can you appreciate your awareness and then try to soften? When thoughts of frustration, anger, or other negative feelings start to repeat their old familiar stories, can you stop them mid-thought? “I see you.” Take a slow, calming breath. And soften.
Negative thoughts have a tendency to replay and anchor themselves in your mind, keeping you stuck in a loop. With just a little practice you can increase your awareness of these old stories when they arrive and begin to let them go. Breathe, soften, and ask yourself, “How would I like to feel instead?” Yes, you have a choice.
Recall a happier time, choose a better feeling, remember a special person, place, or adventure that helps soften and bring a smile to your beautiful face. Anchor these better thoughts into your mind. Invite them to linger awhile. Enjoy every detail they offer and let them replay for a few minutes each daily so you can recall good thoughts easily when you need them. This simple act will rewire your brain so you can feel better anytime you choose.
There is an amazing little place in Bali with a rose-colored window seat overlooking a small stone-lined pond with pink and white water lilies and a gray birdbath. There was a slow, steady drip from the birdbath that created concentric rings in the pond. The morning sun shone on the water, highlighting the rings with sparkles as they moved. I replay this scene in my mind often so I can soften and allow an instant sense of calm and happiness to fill my mind and heart.
What memories would you like to hardwire into your brain for quick access? Choose one or several. Each day, bring one pleasant memory to mind with as much detail about the scene as you can. Include colors, sounds, smells, temperatures, or anything that makes it special to you. Spend a few minutes with this good memory so it becomes easy to recall.
If you want to take this further, begin breathing the good feeling into your heart center. Take five slow, calming breaths and imagine happiness going directly into your heart as you inhale. Surround yourself with good feelings as you exhale from your heart. Notice how you feel.
If a negative pattern starts running in your mind, or you notice your body beginning to feel tense, bring one of your practiced good memories to the front of your thoughts, breathe happiness into your heart, and enjoy how your brain and body relax and soften.
Please remember: It's important to contact a professional if things feel too big for you, whether it be a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, or certified EFT practitioner. Never discontinue your current medications without first consulting your doctor.