What have you done NOW?



Getting over the wall

As per usual, I’ve been thinking. Not only that, but I’ve been trying to simplify things for myself, in hopes of finding a more simple answer to a lot of questions, issues, and problems that seem to be recurring for me.

Why do we feel bad, sad, upset, angry, or anything negative? Aside from physical ailments that make us feel down, it occurred to me that all of these things (and more) have a common denominator.

Uncertainty. Insecurity. Fear.

A closer look:

I did a good job at something and nobody said anything about it, so insecurity sets in. I feel unappreciated and begin to second-guess myself. I wonder if I did a good job and why no one noticed. Maybe I start questioning what people think of me.

Someone puts me down and makes me feel insignificant. Insecurity sets in and in some cases snowballs, making me notice more ‘faults’ that I may have. Subconsciously (or consciously!) I become afraid that people won’t like me.

I’m not sure what to wear to a party and I’m stressed because I want to look good. I’m feeling insecure because I’m worried about what others will think of me when they see me.

I have a fight with a loved one and amongst the feelings of anger, hurt, and upset – I fear that the relationship may be affected, or even end because of this fight.

My thought process:

I’ve been analyzing situations like these as they happen to me, and they all boil down to fear; Fear of what others think of us. Why do we place so much value on how others see us? And why do we place so little stock in how we see ourselves?

On a daily basis, I try to live by one of my own credos “Stop caring so much what others think of you!” This is easier said than done. Fear creeps in. It’s irrational, and often gets blown out of proportion. I try to keep reminding myself that in any and all of these situations, everything will be fine. I try to check with myself to see what I think of me. As long as I’m doing the best that I can and living up to my own code of ethics, that’s all I can do. That’s the BEST I can do. I can’t change how others outside me act and react.

I concluded that the importance must be placed not on what others think of me, but what I think of me. In order to not lose my perspective, the thoughts and opinions of others should always be included in the mix… but I think it’s time to keep my opinion of me in the forefront.

Trying to remember my mindfulness

Anicca - change

Recently, I realized it’s been over a year since my 10-day silent meditationretreat. There have been little reminders popping up in my everyday life that have been nudging me to remember the things I learned during this 10 days. I have forgotten so much. It’s so easy to slip back into the everyday routine. The things I learned and the uplifting feelings seem to fade like remnants of a dream.

I’ve been feeling downs more often than normal. I’ve been dwelling in the past too long. I’ve been worrying about what-ifs that may never happen in the future. I’ve forgotten how important it is to try and stay in the present; To enjoy what’s going on around me now. My attachments to the past and the future have been growing stronger, and today, the universe reminded me to be more mindful of my present.

So today, I have set a goal. When I find myself disappearing into the past and bathing in things I cannot change, I will pull myself back. When I find myself lost in worry about possibilities of the future, I will bring myself back and try to enjoy a moment that is happening presently.

Things I can enjoy in the present:

  • The way the sun hits things and brightens how everything looks
  • The feel of my dog’s fur as I pet him
  • The taste of a chocolate chip cookie dancing across my tongue
  • The smell of a favourite flower or scented candle
  • The feel of a refreshing, hot shower
  • The feeling as you drift off to sleep
  • A good stretch
  • A good book
  • A good hug

I need to literally pull myself back on track… it won’t simply happen on its own. Being in the present: I’m out of practice. And you know what they say, practice makes perfect!

The furrow

This morning I was thinking about the furrow.

What furrow you ask? Well, the furrow in your brow! I have a theory on furrows…

The furrow!I have been practicing anti-furrow techniques and I think it’s working! Have you ever been driving to work, sitting eating your lunch, or just enjoying the day – and noticed your brow was furrowed for no apparent reason? This happens to me frequently. I don’t have any terrible thoughts running through my mind, and the sun isn’t making me squint my eyes… so why is my brow furrowed? Now, sometimes a furrow is created by negative feelings or experiences – but the unconscious furrow is a bit of a mystery. Whether the furrow is caused by negative events, or just appears mysteriously and without reason, I have noticed a few things by experimenting with my furrow.

When your brow is furrowed, I have a feeling that it automatically puts your body and mind into a mildly negative spin. You naturally begin going with the furrow-flow and thinking of negative things, feeling negative feelings, reliving bad memories. The furrow sucks you into its state – thus perpetuating its lifespan on your face. I think the furrow likes being there, so tries to create more negativity so that it can stay alive longer.

Also, when your brow is furrowed – other people respond to your body language. Whether consciously or subconsciously, people notice your furrow and are automatically alerted that something negative may be happening. Our instincts kick in – our brow furrows in response (again whether consciously or subconsciously, it doesn’t matter) and the domino effect ensues. Soon there is a stream of brow furrowing – and all this because of one unconscious furrow!

I have noted some other things as well. If I notice myself furrowing, whether for no apparent reason – or because something is causing me to be furrowed, when I consciously unfurrow my brow and relax my face muscles… I find that my mood changes almost instantly. Could this facial expression trigger negative thoughts and feelings in the mind? I think it does! And it becomes a snowball effect.

Consider this: You are having a fantastic day and something insignificant or subconscious causes your brow to furrow . This starts a chain of events that effects not only you, but anyone who can see your body language. With brow furrowed, you begin thinking about the negative incident you witnessed the other day, which causes you to worry about something vaguely related, leading you to an absolutely terrible mood… I could go on. Someone – a complete stranger! – sees your furrow and their furrow is triggered (again – this could be entirely subconscious!) and their own cycle of furrow-related events ensue.

In my experimentation – I have noticed the following: When I notice that my brow is furrowed and unfurrow it (whether I am smiling or just have a calm face), I consciously notice that not only does it put me in a better mood, but the others around me (strangers or not) seem to be gradually transported to a better mood as well. It’s simple – try it!

Perhaps the brow furrow triggers a certain area of your brain – or vice versa 😉 Either way, if you notice your brow furrowing – whether something terrible is happening, or you notice an unconscious furrow – relax your brow and take note of how it alters not only your calmness, but the calmness of others around you!

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