“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~ Wayne Dyer Certain things never fall in place, it just stays the way it is! We all face or are experiencing circumstances in life where you wish things were different. But sometimes, it is what it is, and the only thing that can change or we have control over is our perspective about it. I was recently pondering over the circumstances in my own life, which pulls me into a stormy or never-ending tunnel of darkness and I find myself trapped in my own web of thoughts…pause, take a deep breath! When the mind gets caught up in thoughts like these, then the only way to resurface would be to change the way you look at things. Instead of getting pulled into your own storm, ride with the storm, surf through it and shout, ‘Hurray, I’ve managed to do it’ or ‘I can do this’. The mind is such a tricky little thing, you feed it with negative thoughts, it will keep consuming them until it explodes. On the other hand, if you feed it with positive thoughts and intentions, it ponders, hesitant to change its old ways and patterns, so it chews on the new thoughts and swallows them. Staying strong during these times is the key, rewiring oneself isn’t the easiest thing to do.
The above mentioned quote really struck a cord because we still have control over our thoughts, we simply need to change its course, change the flow. How can we go about doing this?
1) Acceptance “Happiness can exist only in acceptance.” ~ George Orwell It took me a long time to accept the death of my father and the subsequent depressive state of my mother when I was a teenager/adolescent. I use to refrain from talking about it to my friends, some didn’t even know about it, until much later on. One of the main reason was that whenever I spoke about it, I would end up crying and this also led to bottling up of feelings. The key here is acceptance of any situation, no matter how heart-rending or painfully agonizing it is. Once you accept it, you aren’t in a state of denial and not simply suppressing your emotions and feelings. Accept it, embrace it, give it some love, nurture thoughts that will help your emotional growth, for the simple reason: shit happens.
2) Spend time alone “There are times when alone is the best place to be.” ~ Unknown Don’t run away from yourself or distract yourself by going out with friends or indulging in different sensory pleasures, which might seem to help in that moment, but its not a permanent fix. You are simply chasing your thoughts or procrastinating from facing the challenges/difficult times head on. There are many who fear facing themselves, how can you fear your own self or fear your own thoughts?
Fear is the cause of lot of pain, anger or frustration. Of course its not easy, but in my life I have realised that challenges/obstacles makes you a stronger person – its a process that unfolds slowly and gradually. Let it unfold! Hold your fears by the neck, twist it, bend it, thrash it or do whatever it takes to end its power over you. Spending time alone will give you the space to get a better grip on the situation, declutter your mind and I’ve always said, a heavy dose of nature works wonders.
3) Self-healing rituals “Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” ~ Joseph Campbell Rituals needn’t be religious in nature; it is that sacred time you devote solely to yourself in a sacred space (if you like to call that). Burning sacred herbs, tratak meditation (gazing at a small object or candle flame), mindful living, meditation, yoga, chanting, gardening, earthing, and so on can help you to heal those suppressed emotions, keep you calmer and gain a better mental clarity on the current situation. I find practising yoga, gardening, nature walks and grounding extremely nourishing and beneficial for my soul; although I still have my bad days. What the heck, we aren’t perfect!
4) Heart-to-heart conversations “We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.” ~ Brené Brown Having an open, heart-to-heart talk with anyone you resonate with at a deeper level – be it your loved one, friend, therapist, teacher – can put you back on track if you’ve gone astray. Problems arise when you are unable to express your true feelings/thoughts/problems freely; speak your heart and mind with people (close to you or the ones you are comfortable with). Cry your eyes out if you wish – crying also is a form of cleansing and relieves you from pain. I cherish honest conversations with people I am comfortable with, what’s the point of shallow talks or speaking for the heck of it? The real essence of communication or connecting with another person lies in the ability to open up and bare your soul, and you realise that it isn’t so bad after all. It can help you change your perception during troubled times; if only you are able to talk about it in the first place.
5) Believe in yourself “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson Most importantly, all of the above would be of no use, if you don’t believe in yourself. If I didn’t believe in myself that I would be able to overcome my father’s death or my mother’s state of mind, I would have been a hopeless victim of my circumstances. Believe that there is nothing so difficult to get your grip around, love yourself first and be honest to your own feelings. “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” ~ Stephen R. Covey. Wouldn’t it be a better place if all spoke with the intention to listen or not talk for the heck of it? We all have stories to share, stories that has made us who we are today, what’s your story?