By Cindy Yantis
Sometimes when our plates are very full with projects, deadlines, obligations and expectations, our subconscious mind plays tricks on us. And, it can happen particularly when you’re asking yourself to stretch. In other words, when you’re asking your brain to operate on all cylinders, the internal dialog trying to talk you into numbing out can get really loud!
Picture those nasty little scrubbing bubbles that come in and wipe everything out.
The numbing occurs by removing your mind from the present moment, from being fully alive in your body, and disengaging from the very thing you want to be focusing on. Numbing activities could include surfing the Internet, watching television, over sleeping, eating when you’re not hungry, drinking, or burying yourself in frivolous activities. They can be addictive.
Mel Brooks said, “If you’re alive you’ve got to flap your arms and legs, you’ve got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at very least think noisily and colorfully, or you’re not alive.”
Showing up means truly being alive, saying yes to you. Numbing activities stop the yes.
Here are some tools to help you show up for yourself every day:
- Awareness – Be aware when you start to venture into a numbing activity, or if you hear yourself regularly quoting Scarlett O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day,” in other words putting off today what you can do tomorrow.
- Fully engage by anchoring yourself in the room – Recognize the objects around you, feel your body in your chair, feel the texture of your clothing, notice the tapping of your fingers on the computer keys, the push of the pen against your middle knuckle, the grain of the wood on the desk in front of you. Being present can pull you away from the numbing activity.
- Breathe – connect to your breath by pausing to take ten deep breaths. If you can, go outside. Breathing in nature can clear your mind in a good way.
- Get physical – regular exercise such as yoga increases the dopamine in your brain, which increases your capacity to absorb and assimilate information.
- Promise yourself to strive for excellence in all things, even the most mundane tasks – Treat each task as importantly as the one before and after. If you’re working in a job that doesn’t necessarily feed you except to simply put food on the table, show up in every way at that job.
- Ask yourself at the beginning of each day – “How can I be excellent today?” “How can I show up?”
- And, at the end of the day – “What brought me joy today?” Strive to find the answer in the simple things and every day tasks.
Above all else, say Yes to You.
Now, off to yoga.