When times are tough and you are experiencing stress, it's nice to have some tools you can use to help get through a rough patch, and use on an ongoing basis to make your life a little easier. Perhaps you are trying to quit smoking, or suffering from a broken heart. You might be having trouble at work or school, the traffic is bad, your children are misbehaving - sometimes the whole world seems to be against you. These are issues that most of us are dealing with on a regular basis. It's best to remember you are not alone even though sometimes you feel like nobody understands you. Below is a Rescue Toolbox For Coping - when you are at the end of your rope, open your toolbox, take a breath and take care of yourself.
Call a friend.
Talk about it. Calling a friend that will listen willingly and openly can make all of the difference. Sometimes we feel like we don't want to "dump" on people, but wouldn't you want your friends to call you when they need a friend?
Write about it.
Journal. Get it out of your head and on to paper. This technique can help alleviate stress by getting your thoughts out of your head. You don't even need to save what you have written - in fact it may help you feel better by ripping the paper into tiny pieces and throwing it away.
Take a bath.
Make yourself a bath with sea salt to release and renew. This bath will help cleanse your energy field which is just as important as getting the clutter out of your head. While you are in your bath, imagine all bad thoughts and bad energy going down the drain to Mother Earth.
Walk around the block.
Physical exercise is very important in helping to relieve stress, but many of us don't have a regular routine at the gym or yoga studio. Everybody can make the time for a quick walk, during a break or lunchtime and it makes a world of difference.
Whatever this means to you. Meditation doesn't always have to be sitting in a lotus position or chanting. Sometimes folding the laundry can be a meditation - as can gardening, knitting or cooking. It's important to relieve your mind of daily complications and give yourself quiet time to be still.
Commune with nature.
Getting out into nature in some way is very rejuvenating. It can take any form you like including gardening, walking in the park, riding a horse, watching a sunset, swimming in a lake or taking an leisurely stroll through a field. Enjoy nature on a regular basis, it is very grounding and your soul will sing.
Thank your body.
Thank every cell, organ, muscle and bone in your body for doing such a great job in supporting you. Imagine how your body feels every time you make a negative comment or put your body down. Thank your body and see what an amazing difference it makes in your day and in your life.
Like the ripple on a lake spreading out, humanity is awakening at an ever increasing speed.
A snowball at the top of a mountain has the potential to become huge, just by rolling down the mountain and gathering more snow. In a short time, this tiny snowball can become a force to be reckoned with. We humans are like this when it comes to exchanging energy and vision, and no matter how few people are involved at the beginning, there is the potential for massive change. As consciousness seekers, we are in the midst of this process, and it is amazing to see people we thought might never come around, waking up to their truth. Each time we see this, we can count ourselves blessed to be living at a time when the awareness of humanity seems to be at a tipping point, as more and more individuals open their minds and change their ways.
For some people, this revolves around an awareness of the environment, for others it is a spiritual awakening, and for many it is both. A great change in consciousness is sweeping through us all, as we recognize that things are not what they have seemed to be, that there is more to our lives than meets the eye. Many of us have the awareness and the energy at this time to break through old, outmoded ways of seeing things and to move into a new way of being in the world, and it is essential that we do so. The beauty of living at this time is that even small actions have a powerful ripple effect, and the reverberations of what we do have the power to reach and open many minds.
It is as if a scale is about to tip in favor of higher consciousness, and each one of us has the power to bring humanity closer to that point with the smallest of actions. Each time we move in the direction of our dreams and visions, we can visualize another small pebble dropping into the pond, or another gold weight on the scale, rippling and tipping our way to universal awakening.
Stargazing meditation is an easy and readily available way to connect with self and Universe.
Since the beginning of time, humans have gazed at the stars in the night sky with awe, seeking in their luminosity everything from answers to inspiration to guidance. We have emerged from our contemplations with stories of gods and goddesses, maps of the universe, astrology, astronomy, math, and art. We have worshipped, wondered, and even projected ourselves out into space in an attempt to understand their magical essence. We know more now than we ever have about what those celestial lights are, how far away they reside, and what will happen to them over time, but facts and information are still no substitute for experiencing them yourself.
Gazing at the stars is no doubt one of the earliest forms of meditation practiced by human beings, and it is readily available to this day. If you live in a city, you may have a hard time seeing the stars, but a short drive can take you far enough beyond the city lights to reveal their glory. If you live in a rural setting, all you have to do is wait for the sun to set and the night to settle to get the show of your life, every night. If you make a habit of it, you will begin to know the seasonal changes of the night sky, deepening your connection to the earth and the universe in which you live.
One of the best ways to stargaze is to lie down on a blanket so that your body can fully relax. This position allows your breath to move easily through your tranquil form as you settle down into the earth, connecting your consciousness to the sky. As you look deeply into its vastness, allowing your awareness to alternate between the pinpoints of light and the blue-black space that holds them, your breath expands and contracts your body, just as the universe expands and contracts to its own eternal rhythm. You may feel as if you are floating amidst the stars or that they are raining down upon you. You may feel peacefulness, joy, and connectedness, or any of a full range of emotions. Simply continue to breathe, experiencing the wonder of this universe and your place within it.
We all change throughout life trying new and different things, but the core of who we really are remains the same.
As we bob and weave with the ebb and flow of life our roles change, but our true self remains constant. As spiritual beings having a human experience, we go through many aspects of humanity in one lifetime. Living in the material world of opposites, labels, and classifications, we often identify ourselves by the roles we play, forgetting that these aspects shift and change throughout our lives. But when we anchor ourselves in the truth of our being, that core of spirit within us, we can choose to embrace the new roles as they come, knowing that they give us fresh perspective on life and a greater understanding of the lives of others.
As children, we anticipated role changes eagerly in our rush to grow up. Though fairy tales led us to believe that “happily ever after” was a final destination, the truth is that life is a series of destinations, mere stops on a long journey filled with differing terrain. We may need to move through a feeling of resistance as we shift from spouse to parent, leader to subordinate, caregiver to receiver, or even local to newcomer. It can be helpful to bid a fond farewell to the role that we are leaving before we welcome the new. This is the purpose of ceremonies in cultures throughout the world and across time. We can choose from any in existence or create our own to help us celebrate our life shifts and embrace our new adventures.
Like actors on the stage of the world, our different roles are just costumes that we inhabit and then shed. Each role we play gives us another perspective through which to understand ourselves and the nature of the universe. When we take a moment to see that each change can be an adventure, a celebration, and a chance to play a new part, we may even be able to recapture the joyful anticipation of our youth as we transition from one role to the next.
We all have a story to tell, but sometimes we get stuck in that story and become our story.
We all have our own life story. It is filled with relationships and events that help shape who we are and what we believe to be true about the world. Depending on our perspective and willingness to grow, our experiences can become fodder for negativity and patterns of playing the victim, or they can fuel a life of empowerment and continued self-development. It is the story we tell ourselves about what happens that makes all the difference.
Take a moment to look at the life story you create for yourself on an ongoing basis. If you generally feel peaceful about the past and trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way, then you are framing circumstances in a manner that serves you well. On the other hand, if you retain a lot of guilt or resentment and often feel weighed down by life, you may want to start telling yourself a new version of past and present events. No matter who the characters are in your story or what they have done, you are the only one who can give their actions the meaning they will have for you. You are the only one who can define what role you will play in your own life. By taking responsibility for your story, you are able to learn and grow, forgive and find compassion, and most importantly, move on into a brighter future.
From now on, you can choose a life story that supports you. Let it be proof of your own resilience and creativity. Be kind with the roles you give yourself and generous with how many chances you get to learn what you need to know. When you remember that you are the author of your own story, you are free to create a masterpiece.
When people are chronically late, they are in essence saying that their time is more important than yours.
Being late for an appointment or a date can seem like a small thing that really doesn’t matter, but it communicates volumes, whether we mean it to or not. Being kept waiting is an experience that almost no one enjoys, because at best, it wastes their time, and at worst, it indicates a lack of regard. It’s as if we’re saying that our time is more important than their time, so we don’t need to honor them by showing up when we said we would. When we are running late, it means a lot if we call and let the person know, especially if it’s going to be more than ten minutes. However, if we are chronically late, it may take more than a phone call to properly address the issue.
If it’s become a habit of ours not to be on time, we may want to look inside ourselves and see what’s going on. It’s easy enough to make excuses about our behavior, or to project responsibility on the other person, perceiving them to be uptight if they are irritated by our tardiness. What’s more difficult, and more meaningful, is looking at ourselves and asking why it is that we always, or often, show up late. Sometimes this happens out of a lack of self-regard, as if we aren’t really important anyway, so why will anyone care if we’re late, or don’t show up at all. Chronic lateness can also stem from being disorganized, or simply trying to do too much in one day. Another possible reason for being late to a particular appointment, or date, is that we don’t really want to be there. We communicate our disinterest or boredom by not showing up on time.
Whatever our reasons, if we raise them to the conscious level, we have an opportunity to live a more conscious life. As we begin to understand the deeper reasons behind our inability to show up on time, we have the option to communicate clearly and consciously about how we really feel, rather than communicating unconsciously by being late.
Nature is a mirror, inspiring and teaching us, deepening our sense of belonging in the world. Wherever you look, you can see that our patterns and the patterns of the natural world are the same. You can find this resonance in every form, from molecules to plants and animals and to planets. We live our lives according to the same principles as the trees, the mountains, the clouds, and the birds.
We begin our lives in the womb, folded in on ourselves like the bud of a flower. We can see our whole lives in the mirror of this natural form. When we emerge from the womb, we slowly begin our unfolding, just as the flower begins to open its petals. At its prime, the flower draws many insects to it and also the eyes of appreciative humans. When the flower's petals begin to fade and its life cycle comes to an end, it ceases to hold itself upright and returns to the earth. Traditionally, we return to the earth, just as all plants and animals do. Like flowers, we leave behind seeds in the forms of children and other gifts only we could have given. They continue to unfold even after we are gone. Rebirth is encoded into our lives, and death is just one part of the cycle.
Look around you, and you will find connection and insight. Notice how your moods shift from one to another like the sky shifts from bright blue to turbulent grays. Your thoughts are like clouds, appearing, changing shape, passing through, and then disappearing without a trace. The rain cleanses the sky, just as an emotional release cleanses your mind. The sky itself is your eternal awareness, unchanging underneath all these permutations. Let it reflect back to you your own abiding perfection.
As you walk through the world, find your own metaphors for connectedness in nature. Flesh them out fully and follow them as they lead you through the mystery and intelligence of life.
In ancient times, the moon was revered as a goddess, and each of her lunar phases - new moon, full moon, and dark moon - was said to correspond to the three phases of a woman's life: maiden, mother, and crone. The moon has long been associated with our power within, and you do not have to be a woman to connect with the moon's power. The dark moon, which is associated with the crone phase, appears in the sky during the last three days of every lunar cycle. It cannot be seen with the human eye, but it is the dark moon that presides over the sky until a new 28-day cycle begins and a new moon is ready to appear. Often referred to as the "dead moon," the dark moon doesn't necessarily represent death. It is, however, a time for life-enriching endings and a prelude to new beginnings.
When the dark moon appears, it becomes easier for us to shed unnecessary emotional baggage and free ourselves of people and ideas that no longer serve us or add value to our life. It is a time to cleanse ourselves and create space so that what is new can enter. For many people, the dark moon is a time to rest, be introspective, and replenish their energy. Powerful, healing dreams have been known to take place during the dark moon, and you may discover that it is during the dark moon that you are most driven to meditate, explore your intuitive abilities, retrieve past life memories, or delve more deeply into your psyche.
One way to harness the energy of the dark moon is to perform a ritual where you light a black candle. Call forth and visualize the different parts of your life that you are ready to let go of. Through visualization, bind these parts together with light and imagine this bundle moving toward the candle. Watch these old parts being devoured by the flames, and let the candle burn out. Trust that what you've released has left you. You are now ready to welcome the new into your life.
When you decide to bring your full presence to work, you may find that the entire is filled with new energy and life.
Being present at work begins before we even go to our place of employment. It starts with our intention to bring consciousness into everything we do, including those activities we do for money. Whether you are a secretary who files papers all day, a janitor who cleans the local high school, or a nurse caring for children, there is much to be gained by fully engaging in the tasks at hand. When you decide to bring your presence into your work activities, you may find that the entire experience of working is filled with new energy and life.
Sometimes we believe that when we step through the doors of our workplace, we cease being ourselves and start being someone else’s employee. Though our employer may depend on us to perform certain tasks, the truth is that we never stop being ourselves. The commitment to being a conscious, empowered person of integrity doesn’t stop and start with a time clock. Our decision to be present for our own lives is what weaves together all of our experiences from the moment we wake up, throughout our entire workday, and to the moment we turn off the lights at night.
Before leaving for work today, you can clear your energy and choose to step out with your best foot forward. Setting an intention in the morning can even help you stay present as your day unfolds. You might decide to find joy in every activity, complete all of your projects on time, or be truly helpful to your coworkers. By being fully present, you will begin to radiate and people may begin to notice; they may even want to follow your lead. Whether you run a company or hold a sign outside a deli, do it with pride and be the best you can be.