Time for a resetMar 28, 2022
Each morning when we wake up, we have been granted a brand new day. This day is not the same day as yesterday. It's not like any other day we've lived before. Why? Because we've never lived today. But that's not how we typically wake up. Here we go, same old, same old. It can feel like groundhog day again.
The truth is, we can reset our experience of life by acknowledging that it is in fact, a brand new day and we don't know what the future holds - because it hasn't happened yet.
Even in traumatic situations or dealing with the impact of war, recognising it's a brand new day and receiving life as the gift it is, is a powerful practice that Sister Chân Không, the Vietnamese Buddhist nun who worked with renowned Zen master, Thích Nhất Hạnh discovered for herself. This is the song she sang to herself as she buried corpses in fields after multiple American bombings.
"Waking up this morning, I see the blue sky.
I see the sunshine, I join my palms to give thanks for how wonderful is life,
For having given me twenty-four brand-new hours.
I vow to live deeply my twenty-four brand-new hours with joy, with understanding.
I go across the field of sunflowers,
Ten thousand flowers are waving to me, saying hello to me."
The Bond Between Women: A Journey to Fierce Compassion by China Galland, 1998
There's no such thing as a bad day. Why? Because the moment you declare it's a bad day, you've written off the future and the rest of your gift of 24 hours. Walking around convinced it's a bad day means we will literally not see any good things that come our way. Expecting it to now be a bad day, we will only see what we expect. Ever spotted a yellow car during a game of 'spotto'? Now see them everywhere? You've trained your brain to scan for yellow cars and see them. Prior to this, you could have passed plenty of yellow cars and not clocked them. The same thing happens when we expect a bad day versus a day where the miraculous could happen.
That's not to say that bad things don't happen in a day. They do. That's part of life experience. You might ask yourself, does it empower me to declare a whole day a bad one?
So what do you do if you find yourself in the middle of a bad day? Sometimes things feel like they are going in a particular direction and you can't stop it. That's called momentum. If you pushed your car at the top of the hill, gave it a nudge, you could probably get around to the front of it and stop it from rolling down the hill. However, it's already halfway down the hill, it's gained too much momentum for you to stand in front of it and expect it to stop. Earlier in the day, it doesn't take much to re-direct your focus and get back into a positive frame of mind. Later in the day, there may be just too much momentum. That's when you need a reset. Here's how to do it.
Take a 30-minute break and do a Restorative Yoga practice. These gentle stretches are held for 1-2 minutes while breathing deeply. This will help reset the body and the mind. When you do this as a regular practice around lunchtime, it can help reset your day and interrupt too much momentum in the direction of stress, helping you to think more clearly.
Take two quick and successive breaths in through the nose and one exhalation. Repeat 3 times. This breathing technique is the quickest way I've found to do a reset. It recircuits the brain and takes it from a state of fight/flight/freeze and soothes the nervous system. This is because it replicates a natural mechanism in the body. Think back to a time when a child cried and cried. During a big cry, the body takes these two quick breaths in and often just before it starts to go to sleep.
Take a 20-minute nap. This is the best solution for when there's a lot of momentum and you're more than halfway down the hill. Allow your body and mind to take a reset while sleeping. When you wake up, immediately focus on something that makes you feel good or something you like. It might be your pillow.
Make a list called what I like about my life. It doesn't have to be things you love. Simply things you like. Human beings love to complain. And complaining with others can help us feel bonded. The mere noise of complaining, however, won't make any difference in your life as it is based on opinions (everyone's got one and they make no difference in reality) and blaming others (there's always someone else to blame, but it will never leave you empowered.) When you turn your attention to what you like about your life and start talking about that, your outlook on life will be reset and this will give you energy.
Waking up into a brand new day is one of the best opportunities we have to reset our minds, our bodies and our outlook. Let's expect miracles.
P.S. When you’re ready... here are four ways I can support you to feel good in your body, be 100% at home in your own skin & feel connected.
- Download the best part of my restorative yoga class on audio here. Click here.
- Follow me and request a dedicated #dancebreak. Click here.
- Book a time for a complimentary call with me and we’ll look at your situation together and create a plan for empowering you through the body. Click here.
- Work with me by staying sane with an online yoga community, be uplifted in a performance group Show Ponies or Kings of Joy, or become a great lover with queer tantra. Just click on “Yoga”, “Show Ponies”, “Kings of Joy”, or “Queer Tantra”.
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