Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's Over!

I'm glad to know that the election is over because no matter who you like, the commercials had to be driving you crazy! It certainly was not my favorite and I hope that we can now move on. One of the things that I felt very disappointed in was the way that we seemed to treat each other. I think one of my biggest challenges to myself in life is learning how to discuss a topic with people who have different opinions. Can I respect that they may have had a different life or a different perspective and while I may not agree with him/her, do I need to resort to name calling and degrading comments to make myself feel better? I certainly don't want to live my life that way.

But rather than sit back and judge people for the way they acted during such a heated election, I thought it might be nice to give some different solutions for dealing with such a stressful time. I don't think I'm alone in being able to feel the stress of yesterday in my body. I feel frazzled and I keep having to take deep breaths to shake off the tension I feel everywhere I go. If you are happy with the results, be happy, excited and continue to focus on the positive ways you can be an influence in people's lives. If you are not happy with the results, this may be a good time to accept it for what it is and continue to focus on positive ways you can be an influence in people's lives. How can I be positive, though, if I'm all frazzled? Here are some things to do to relax and get yourself centered:

1) Take a deep breath

Here are several articles on breath and how it affects stress:

Article 1
Article 2
Article 3
Article 4

There are so many methods to practice breath work but the simplest thing to do is this:

a. Sit in a quiet place, lock yourself in the bathroom if you have to, and sit with your back flat against the wall.
b. Close your eyes
c. Take a deep breath in, filling your belly with air first, then allow it to rise into your chest. It's like your chest and stomach are a bottle of water and the water fills the bottom first as it rises to the top.
d. exhale pushing the air out with your belly like your squeezing the bottom of the water bottle
e. repeat that for 3-5 minutes.

2) Take a bubble bath

I think this is pretty self explanatory. How relaxing is it to take a hot bath? I love it. Maybe add some candles that are scented with lavender or vanilla. Turn the lights off and close your eyes. Imaging letting go of all of your muscles, starting with your feet up to your head.

3) Loving-Kindness Metta

This is a wonderful meditation that helps us let go of anger and resentment in our heart.

4) Prayer

At the end of the day, there are going to be things that happen that I have no control over. I have to practice this on many levels, on a daily basis and in times when I feel fearful about the future. Let's face it, the reason we get so hateful during election time is because we are fearful. We're afraid of not having control. We think our ideas our best and if they are not followed, then the world is going to end. Much of the rhetoric that I heard yesterday and today was fear based. So what can I do to counteract that? I can pray. I can ask for guidance in my actions and I can ask for God's will. My only function in life is to align myself with God's will in every action. Do I really feel God's will is to degrade others? Do I feel God's will is to be a source of negativity for my family and friends? I do not. So I just sit quietly and ask God to guide me through my day and show me where I can be of service. As long as the intention in my heart is good, then there is no doubt that God can make miracles happen.

You will never see me express a political opinion on this forum because that's not my place. What I will say is that my goal in my daily life is to be of service and of love. When I do that, I am happy and have no fear.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012