One day last week I found myself really spinning out. I had to cancel a retreat I was offering and back out of some very enjoyable events I had planned. My inner teenager was not happy. She did not appreciate being told that she could not go out and play. It was apparent that I was going to have to take one giant step backward, and I was not having it. I was snippy and testy, and I could feel a huge frown plastered on my face.
The theme of the Equinox retreat was balance, and so I began to ask myself ~ What is so out of balance for me right now that I started spinning out like that?
With our focus being constantly pulled to urgently heed outside events and information, I suspected it was an inward focus that was being interrupted. Well-meaning digital friends try to comfort us with pleasantly distracting content, but, tempting though it is, it is really just momentary, non-nutritious eye candy. What we really need at a time like this is to balance what’s outside with what’s inside. We need more going within. Here are two simple steps for doing just that.
Balancing Inside and Outside
The first step for going within is simply closing the eyes. Our poor ocular orbs and optic nerve have been bombarded with so much stuff (good and bad) that it is frying our brains!
1. Close your eyes. Now just sit with the pleasure of that simple act. AAAHHHHH…. What a relief to withdraw our attention from alert hypervigilance. This dictionary definition helps explain:
Hypervigilance is an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviors whose purpose is to detect activity. Hypervigilance may bring about a state of increased anxiety which can cause exhaustion. Other symptoms include: abnormally increased arousal, a high responsiveness to stimuli, and a constant scanning of the environment.
2. Deep Breaths – You may notice your breathing spontaneously self-regulate. Exaggerate the breath by breathing in fully into the belly, chest and all the way up into the head. And then exhale briskly through the mouth. Again, inhale fully into the belly, chest, up, up, up into the head. Raising your eyes upward to the third eye helps to disengage the hypervigilant scanning. No effort. Simply allow the eyes to drift upward as the breath goes up.
Keep going. 5, 10, 20 breaths.
Return to your normal breathing and relax. FEEL your body naturally seeking a new state of equilibrium – blood flow, heart rate, tingling, aliveness…
From there, just relax and drop into your expanded heart space. Allow yourself to simple rest in the silence and stillness…. And listen.
What input does your inner self have for you right here, right now? Just notice what comes up for you, and then, when you have had enough, take a deep breath in, stretch and come back to your normal awareness. At this point, you might be inspired to make some art or write down some of the messages you received from your magnificent, deep, soul self.