How To Bring Yourself Back Up When You Feel Like Life Has Been Beating You Down
Many women are experiencing unusual economic circumstances that have pushed them to the edge financially and emotionally. Some have had businesses fail or have lost jobs. Others have had relationships end and are faced with new life changes and challenges.
What can we do when life feels like it’s caving in on us and we hit a wall of fear and despair? How do we deal with the chaos and confusion of our thoughts, the feelings of defeat and entrapment, and the critical voice within that has become our habitual self dialogue?
How do we claim back our lives and our happiness and restore our spirit? How do we believe in ourselves and remain confident in our ability to create wonderful, fulfilling lives?
Clearly… we first have to acknowledge to ourselves what we are truly feeling… to be present to the emotions and the sensations in the body that they cause. Sometimes we might even experience a meltdown… intense pain, anger, crying. Naming our emotions and the reasons we are feeling them is helpful… bringing them out in the open to explore and examine… shining a light on the dark places… eradicating the bogeyman.
Being aware of our inner dialogue at this time can also shed light on the situation… since thoughts are very powerful and create emotions. What are we telling ourselves? What do we believe about ourselves and our circumstances? It is especially important to refrain from negative self talk. How do we ease the tendency to compare and compete; or the vicious cycle of “shoulda”, “coulda”, “woulda” that threatens to consume us?
What choices are we making about our thoughts, words and actions? When we are in the midst of emotional and mental hysteria it is hard to realize that we have choices. But if we allow our feelings to surface without taking any action… just feel them and allow them to subside; and then consciously and deliberately center ourselves… we will then be able to choose different thoughts, which will produce different feelings. Eventually we can empower ourselves.
New ways of thinking about the situation can assist us in gaining our equilibrium and reconnecting to our self esteem and self respect. What new perspectives can we generate to look at our situation from a different angle? Things are always changing and evolving… we do not live in a static universe after all. There is always movement… fluidity… and that means new possibilities! This is one small chapter… one small blip in the context of a whole life.
Shifting our focus to more positive thoughts can bring in fresh energy. What are our strengths and abilities? What do we know? What skills do we possess? What comes naturally to us? Who are we really? Attention to these things will enable us to reconnect to the vital parts of ourselves that we value and enjoy.
Finding peace in the aftermath of chaos is the only way we can move into action and get our lives back on track. We have to access our inspiration and our passion first. All creativity comes from a clear, inspired place. The inner work of centering and connecting to our spirit must come first, and action follow.
What do we truly want and deeply value? What do we love? What is our new vision for our life? How do we start to create that? What small steps can we take to bring these things into our lives right now? How can we distract ourselves for awhile to create a bit of emotional distance from the situation we have been grappling with… and infuse our lives with a dose of joy now? How do we love ourselves through this? We can’t allow our fear and circumstances to block our path to well-being.
If you have been experiencing a financial crisis or situation that has caused you angst… here are some techniques and exercises to try:
- Free Form Writing
Get a large sheet of drawing paper, colored pens or markers and randomly write… words, feelings, self dialogue, body sensations, emotions, anger, rants, raves etc. Whatever comes to mind. Get it out. Do not censor yourself. Do not show it to anyone. This is for your own healing.
You can also use this technique for visioning… when you want to get into a creative flow… write joys, inspirations, insights, desires, brilliant ideas, ah ha moments, epiphanies, thoughts, feelings, observations, creative work that you want to embellish, musings, quotes, pleasures, delights, daydreams, remembrances, etc.
This also works to gain clarity. When life or an issue feels like a bunch of jigsaw puzzle pieces tossed in a heap… a huge piece of paper can help you sort it out and organize your thoughts and feelings. Write down different aspects of your life or components of a situation and the things that are relevant to each one. Notice what is really important to you. Where do you want to place your time and energy? How does your body feel when you mull things over… resonance or resistance… expansion or contraction?
- Vivid Imagery
Think of a time when you felt powerful, creative, and fulfilled. Recreate it vividly in your mind. What were you doing? Were you alone or with others? What were your surroundings like? What was the mood like? Who were you being and how were you feeling? What was your body posture like? Mimic that with your body now and recreate your feelings of that time. Step into your vision in a deeper way… in detail… as if you were reliving it. Feel yourself as you were then. Remind yourself that you are still the same person with all the natural resources within you that you possessed at that time.
- Extreme Self Care
Think of at least five things you can do to love and nurture yourself now… body, mind, and spirit. Do them!
- Shifting Energy
Imagine your new vision for your life… and the situation being resolved. Imbue yourself with the qualities that you value. Everything you need is already within you. You are naturally creative and resourceful. Step into your vision mentally and emotionally and feel it as if it already is. Stay with the feeling and act as if it is so. Do this a few times a day. Very powerful. Thoughts and feelings have creative energy.
- Self Acknowledgement
List your values, skills, abilities, talents, knowledge that you possess.
List the things about you that you love, admire, and enjoy. Don’t be shy or modest…. Go for it! Self love is healthy, vital, and life giving!
- Awareness Of Habitual Thought Patterns
When you notice yourself having negative thoughts, simply choose not to. Say “Stop It”. Your awareness of your self dialogue will sharpen. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Remember… you are at choice. You have control over your own thinking.
- Free Dance
Clear some space. Choose some of your favorite upbeat music… happy, sensual, fast etc. (nothing sad or woeful). Play it loudly and dance. Try closing your eyes and allowing your body to move in its natural rhythm, without judgment or censoring yourself. Just you and the music… very aware of your body and how free you feel. It is important that you do this alone so you don’t feel self conscious. It is a great way to get your energy cleared. Notice how you feel after ten minutes or so.
Place both your hands on the ground outside. Envision negative energy leaving your body through your hands… literally grounding yourself.
Pelvic Grunt… It is important to do this alone so you are aware of your own energy. Plant your feet hip width apart. Flex your knees slightly. Let your arms hang loosely at your side. Drop your awareness to below your navel. Now thrust your pelvis forward sharply while grunting loudly. Do this a few times. I told you that you would want to do this alone! As absurd and ridiculous as this sounds… energetically it does work… even if it is because you have a good laugh at yourself!
Sit or lie with your back straight, but relaxed and comfortable… legs uncrossed… hands at your side or in your lap. Close your eyes. Place your attention on your breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Just notice your breath. When thoughts come, just let them go… don’t follow them… like waves coming to shore and breaking. Stay with your breath. Do this for ten to fifteen minutes every day. The stillness within will increase as you meditate over time.
- Know Thyself
Look into a mirror and gaze into your own eyes for a few minutes Start with at least three minutes… then to five.
(Don’t look at your eyes but into your eyes). At first it might feel strange or uncomfortable or even silly. Stay with it. It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. You will fall in love with yourself. Notice the emotions that surface… self compassion, self knowledge, self love. Do this practice daily and you will begin to see the Divine Being that you really are.
- Vision Board
Clip images that you are drawn to from magazines. Choose photos that appeal to your senses or that touch you emotionally in some way. They may spark a desire or a memory… or just make you happy to look at. Paste them onto a large sheet of paper or illustration board. You can also put them in a scrapbook. You can include words as well if you wish. These photos hold clues to how you really want your life to be. When you view them, allow your natural desire to come up and your dreams to take shape. Cherish your dreams!
- Sensory Awareness
Make a list of all the things that delight and inspire you… things you love… things that make you glad to be alive! Think of all your senses… sight, sound, scent, taste, touch, vibes. Your list might include something as simple (and precious) as the way sunlight dances through the leaves on trees, or the scent of the soap you use in your morning shower. It could be the feel of your favorite silk robe on your skin. Keep adding to this list whenever you think of something or have a new experience.
Now might be the time to embrace your belief in a Higher Power and your connection to Spirit. There is a pure place of love and wisdom within us all. Seek that place of stillness and quietude within you and infuse your being with the peace, grace, comfort, and faith it brings. Then be aware of the inspiration and new possibilities that you receive in your life. You might also read books that uplift you and strengthen your faith… or choose a symbol of your faith and hold it close. One woman I know took her rosary beads to bed with her during a particularly difficult and vulnerable time.
These techniques are not about solving all your problems immediately. Their purpose is to assist you in moving through the negative emotions that are blocking you and weighing you down. They will lead you to new ways of thinking and being… and bring you back to a place of confidence, hope, and belief in yourself.
Blessings to you on your journey!
The sun will shine in your life again!
Which brings to mind one of my favorite verses from The Incredible String Band:
May The Long Time Sun Shine Upon You
All Love Surround You
And The Pure Love Within You
Guide You All The Way On!
If You Only Have Two Coins Left In The World… Buy A Loaf Of Bread With One And A Lily With The Other