I get stuck in cycles of eating food or milling through Facebook posts, which hurts my belly and my soul. What helps me take care of myself is to make the small leap into a different cycle and follow this simple guide:
1) If I notice I'm in a cycle that I don't want to be in (e.g., looking at possible political futures over and over),
2) I come back to me and start there. I turn off computer, clear the space of distracting sounds, sit still, and observe my breathing with eyes closed.
3) I do this for as long as I want, often going just beyond when I want to stop.
4) Notice my mind and body flutter from thoughts to aches and then I do my best just to come back to my breath--a gentle re-set.
Sometimes this slowing down and being with myself is all I need to move on with my day.
Sometimes a feeling or thought reoccurs and stands out amongst the rest. If this happens I do the following:
5) Could this feeling (e.g., tightness in jaw) mean that my body needs something? I make a guess at one "need" that my body may be lacking (e.g., rest).
6) Next I design a small, achievable, specific action that I can do for myself to meet my need (e.g., going for a short walk outside my home and stretching my neck by saying "WOWWWW" every time I see a tree). I attempt to meet my own needs before asking others to assist me or do it for me (although this one could be fun in a group!).
This step is an important one. For me it's been really important to be aware of how my actions to meet my own needs impact the needs of everyone and everything in the world--a ripple effect. So, I aspire to find creative actions to meet my needs that benefit myself and those I share this world with.
7) Lastly, I do the action I designed.
This is a cycle (repeat if you like) that I continue to practice actively in moments when I feel *stuck*. It helps me to
make a simple plan for how I want to move forward.
It has also become a habit that happens passively, which is pretty cool!
Interested in trying it out with yourself, a group of friends, or a class? Need some 'umph' to actually do it (like I do most of the time)? Feel free to email me to chat about how we can work together.
Thanks to Non Violent Communication, which is where I learned how to practice this *dance*.