“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Tao Te Ching
There are times in life where we need to let go and flow in the river of life: yielding, releasing, and allowing. Other times we need to stay firm and direct our intentions and actions in the way we wish them to go. There’s a balance in this movement through life – yielding, then pushing, then yielding again – that helps us move towards our goals while allowing life to work through us.
It can be hard to find this balance. As a child I had no sense of what it meant to go with the flow. After my trauma I compensated for the sad state of my inner life by pushing through life attempting to make creations that were impressive and made me feel worthy. Eventually this strategy ceased working. Healing brought me to my knees and forced me to learn to let life move through me. I found the beauty in letting go and letting life itself direct me.
Now I like to move between the two approaches: yielding and sensing God’s will for me, then acting when it feels right. Some days I have a tendency to yield too much out of fear. I’ve worked on this a lot to learn to tell when fear is holding me back from action when I know God’s will is for me to move.
Finding the balance is as easy – and as hard – as just letting go. You were born with God’s love and life force flowing through you. Release your ideas of what should be and allow life to flow through you.
In our harried lifestyles, it can be hard to take a moment and connect with your Self. I know I run, go, move around, get stressed, and lose touch with my heart and purpose on this planet frequently. It’s so easy to lose touch with who I am and why I’m here when there are schools, jobs, commutes, and dinner on the table.
Thankfully, there is one amazing tool that always brings me back to myself – breathing. Breathing can be done at anytime, anywhere. The breath connects our spirits with our bodies and calms our minds. It’s so simple yet so profound.
The main trick is to notice when you are getting stressed and remember to breathe! I have friends who have apps on their Apple Watches to remind them to pause. I try to notice on my own. It can feel hard to stop and breathe when you’re feeling stressed or rushed, but you can breathe while still continuing about your daily duties. You only need to slow down and get still on the inside.
True joy cannot be found outside of yourself. You may find some happiness there, in the people or things around you, but it will not be lasting. People will change, things will go away, and you will be left again with yourself. For real, true joy, you must go within. Get still and awaken the flame in your heart. There joy is.
I used to put a lot of stock into how successful I could be. I thought if I made good grades and built a great resume, then I could be happy. I was always making plans for myself in a vain attempt to find happiness. Of course, I could not be happy that way. I still had healing to do. I learned to go within, where I could heal. That is where I found true joy.
You are equipped to feel that joy because you were created in love. Follow the thread of your heart. It will lead you to that place of joy. You can be there. You were born to be there. Turn off your mind, get still, and you will find the path. Your heart connects you to God. Your heart will lead you to joy.
Have a joyful day!
When change in your life and on the planet is afoot, it’s helpful to try to stay grounded whenever you are able to. I’ll admit, I have had a hard time of it sometimes. When life is really changing fast, it’s difficult to get my footing and remain centered. I get swept up in the current and become easily ungrounded.
Paying attention to my breath is the most important technique I’ve found to stay grounded. I’ve heard about the importance of breathing for years. I even help kids practice their breathing every day in my work as a speech and language pathologist. Does that mean I remember to breathe? Of course not! But, some days are better than others.
It takes practice to remember to breathe, however, once I’m aware that I need to get grounded, I’m able to breathe deeply and calmly. The best part about breathing as a grounding and centering technique is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. It’s one of the most powerful tools we have to connect our minds with our bodies and help us stay grounded. If you are feeling the winds of change in your life and feel you have nothing to hold on to, get centered quickly by paying attention to your breath.
Wishing you deep breaths and open hearts today!
Can you find times in your day to be still? It can be an enormous undertaking when you are living in the modern world. Being still allows peace to enter. Being still allows you to hear the “still, small voice.” Being still means putting away your smart phone and screens and televisions and distractions. Being still means being brave enough to sit in silence and accept the truth of who you are.
Pre-healing Rebecca ran and ran and ran. I joined things and did things and added many things to my schedule and life. I was afraid to be still. I was afraid to know myself. And yet, when I finally gave myself the space to be still and truly heal, I learned there was nothing to be afraid of. I didn’t have to be so scared. I thought the world would end if I was still enough to honor my true self, and yet the world didn’t end – it truly began.
Being still doesn’t mean you have stop doing all the things you need to do in your life. I know that in times of financial hardship I’ve had to work extremely hard to make ends meet and pay bills, and that didn’t really lend itself to being still very often. Neither does being a mother, a working mother, or any other kind of human. And yet, there is still time. Is there one minute in your day to be still? Stop running and doing and being all things to all people. Meet yourself in the stillness. Meet yourself in the peace. Give yourself the gift of being still. Being still will let you know who you are.
Staying calm in the midst of difficult and stressful situations is a life skill I continue to work on daily. At the beginning of my life, I had a very hard time staying calm at all. I had anxiety and headaches, even stress-related stomach ulcers when I was just in grade school. It’s taken a fair amount of practice, but I’ve gotten a lot better at staying peaceful during challenging times. Here are some of my favorite calming practices.
The first and best one is to breathe. It sounds so easy, until I forget to do it! Like anything, these techniques need to be put into practice, not just read about. I love to read and think about all sorts of healing practices, but it doesn’t really help if I don’t actually do it. Breathing deeply and calmly for several minutes, or when in the midst of a stressful situation, helps me so much.
I also like to pray. These can be prayers I make up, or prayers I’ve memorized. Sometimes I just ask God and the angels to be with me or to help me. Sometimes I say parts of the 23rd Psalm. It helps to clear my mind and return me to a peaceful place, especially if I’m feeling too overwhelmed and stressed out to meditate.
And of course, writing helps me a lot, which is part of why I started this blog. I write short prayers and practice automatic writing to help me stay centered and see the bigger picture. I also love reading spiritual texts that are meaningful to me, especially Conversations with God. It helps me to remember my spiritual center and come back home to myself.
What are some of your favorite ways to stay calm? Wishing you a calm & peaceful night!