It makes me laugh sometimes when I realize what an intensely “creature of habit” individual I am. I love my comfort zone, hard, and yet some of my most joyous memories have been created in realms outside of said comfort zone! It’s like the part of my mind that is habitual and regimented has no short-term memory; it’s like “Woooo that was so FUN!!!!!!! I’m going to step outside my boundaries all the time!!!!!!!!!!” Then ten minutes later when the awesome storm has cleared and habit has resumed it’s like, “Oh yeah, this is my spot, I’m not going anywhere.”
This came to mind this morning as I woke (today is my “Sunday!”) after a very tumultuous night of sleep, feeling mostly happy but wit a little feeling of dread for tomorrow – seriously, though, I was awake from 3:30-5:? a.m. including lots of tossing and turning, outfit planning, 5-year life-plan planning, a trip to the fridge for a glass of almond milk, designing and redesigning of today’s to-do list, changing of breakfast ideas, copious drinks of water which only prolonged the falling asleep by increasing the bathroom trips…you get the picture, I’m sleepy today. Good thing I’m not perfomring brain surgery today! 😉
So anyways, I awoke feeling a teensy bit dreadful about the fact that I have an obligation to step outside of my boundaries tomorrow as a one-time thing at work. I couldn’t help but feel a bit irritated at my feelings, even though my intention was to acknowledge the dread, honor it, and let it pass. I felt a bit stuck on why I felt the dread. Which led me to this blog post.
I’m constantly talking about being the captain of our own ship and navigating even choppy seas with deep breath and tranquil focus. That is like, my mantra. So why the bubbling dread over a silly afternoon spent doing something I’m unfamiliar with? And tomorrow, no less! I’m not even focusing on today because I’m already worrying about tomorrow! Not cool, Sara, not cool.
So I set out to devise a little formula for myself. I don’t want to just speak and write inspirational words but not live them, that would be a terrible waste. I want to live them everyday. I want to be understanding of my thoughts, but rational and present in my awareness. The formula I’m coming up with is this:
[Emotion pops up] + [Emotion is recognized as helpful or harmful] – [Emotion is given equal weight and importance regardless of helpful/harmful nature] – [Helpful nature of Emotion is extracted] + [Emotion is released and awareness of the present moment renewed] = [Healthy Recognition of Emotion and Sequence of Acknowledgement]
With this equation, one is left with a positive. A plus one. A lesson 🙂
Notice that “justifying/analyzing” the emotion is not present in the equation. It’s often not necessary and often only keeps the emotion alive and nagging at the mind for even longer. Instead, by extracting the helpful nature of the emotion (and there’s always something positive even in the most negative of emotions, a silver lining if you will) before releasing it, one takes away something positive.
So here’s how I’ll work out my dread today:
[Dread] + [Harmful] + [An emotion that popped up for a reason and is worth recognizing, respecting and feeling] + [Feeling this dread has allowed me to devise this very equation, it has unveiled to me that I tend to fear the unknown and end up loving the atmosphere, and to remind myself that my attention ought not be directed towards anything but today] + [My awareness of the present moment, and this one glorious August 30th, 2012, is renewed by this little talk with myself] = [My dread was acknowledged, seen in a helpful light, and has been released from my being so I may focus all of my light and love on the one true thing I know I have: this beautiful day].
It worked for me, my friends, maybe it’ll work for you next time a nagging emotion pops up. Namaste!