Calm and Mental Fitness
Posted January 20th, 2022
In Atlas of the Heart, Brene Brown quotes Harriet Lerner in her section on Calm: “Intensity and reactivity only breed more of the same. Calm is also contagious. Nothing is more important than getting a grip on your own reactivity.”
Do you agree?
I’m not sure about the ‘nothing is more important’ part, although I appreciate the emphasis. When I’m in reactive mode, my curiosity goes offline. Fast. I lose access to my sage powers and drop into protect-and-defend mode.
This is exactly what a Mental Fitness practice is designed to address: ‘getting a grip’ when we get hijacked by our saboteurs.
Today, set your alarm for a mini mid-day moment to pause and tune in to one of your 5 senses (you tune into the 6th during your Moon Magic practice!) Isolate that one sense and explore it in a deep way. For instance, if you focus on Hearing, notice the furthest-away sound you can hear. “Stretch” your ears. Be with this for a few full breaths. Then bring your attention to the closest sound you can hear. This may be the sound of your breath as it enters and exits your nostrils. Explore and be with what you notice. Bring to a close when you feel complete.
This is a “PQ Rep” and it’s a way to build our mental fitness muscles.
There’s a lot out in the world, and perhaps in your own home, that can be activating. We can choose to re-act or we can choose to explore how the activations affect our bodies, moods, minds, and energies. When I’ve been activated this week, I notice the urge to sleep. I take this less as a sign that I want to check out and more as an indicator that I’m craving some deep rest. I meet my obligations with the energy that I have and I enter mini-retreats throughout the day. My saboteurs can tell me I’m indulgent! that other people don’t have such privileges! that I shouldn’t be so ‘lazy’ – and on a workday, no less! I recognize these shenanigans for what they are – saboteur lies – do some PQ reps, and close my eyes, while smiling.
If you have a mental fitness practice, I hope you can use it today to be even kinder with yourself.
If you don’t and you’re interested in developing one, I have one space left for the Mental Fitness Series that starts on February 7. This is true for those who have a practice and have someone they’d like to share it with! Just send me a message and I’ll send you the details. The next series will start in early April.
Sending warmest wishes on this frosty mid-winter day in Denver,