FEEL YOUR BEST TIP: How to Handle Your Politically Divided Family
3/20/17 — My family is politically divided, and that causes some problems.
I know I’m not alone. So here’s what I’m trying to do: chill out on being sure I’m right.
It is good to be committed to ideals (peace, justice, freedom, etc.), but I’ve been sabotaging those causes by clinging to my perspectives. That’s blinding me, and enticing my loved one to cling to the other side.
So I’d like to try the opposite. This takes letting go of closely-held beliefs and listening, without criticizing or needing to convince. I have to remind myself this, but it doesn’t actually matter if we agree. What matters is how we treat each other.
This intention to be open-minded can be painful, but it inspires self-respect and it can change the tone in our homes, maybe beyond.
I think what we see in politics (anger, fear, disagreeableness…) is a macrocosm of what happens within ourselves and our smaller, interpersonal relationships.
If we can start to heal in this context, our own situations will improve and maybe we contribute to the greater solution too. It’s the old “be the change you want to see in the world” idea. Definitely worth a try.
Feel Your Best Tip: Your Body Knows Best
3/2/17 — Our bodies give us information. One of my good friends throws up whenever she really needs to break up with someone.
Physical cues aren’t always quite that pronounced, but they’re always there.
Our bodies reflect something deeper. They don’t lie. They tell us if something’s good/bad…whether we should proceed or stop, and so much more.
But life is crazy, and in all of our running around, we often miss the insight that’s available under our own skin.
So here’s a simple technique that can help us reconnect.
Slow down your breath. On a deep inhale, feel your chest expand in every direction. Pause and be with whatever sensation, or even lack thereof, you might observe. Slowly exhale. Feel all around that area for settling and letting go. Again pause and be with whatever sensation you notice.
When you can, do two more rounds. Next focus on your belly, then your whole body.
This brand of feeling is a way of taking a step back from whatever it is we’re caught up in mentally. It anchors us to the moment, and strengthens our connection to that authentic information inside.
This is subtle, but huge. Regularly checking in is a pathway to a more conscious way of living. And everything becomes possible with that.
Feel Your Best Tip: Change Your Focus, Change Your Life
2/14/17 — Here’s a challenge I’m working on myself. I’d love for you to join in. For at least the next week, whenever you complain, say something you’re grateful for too. Feel for relaxing in your body as you do that.
It’s human nature to focus on our problems, but for every one thing that’s wrong, millions of things are right.
I’m not saying we should deny legitimate issues or sweep things under the rug. This is about being mindful of our thoughts and accountable for our own happiness.
What we focus on expands. The more we pay attention to what’s good, the more good we see and experience.
This isn’t easy. It takes a serious commitment! But it is an active way of releasing negativity and reorienting our focus so that the things we’re grateful for are what expand.
Let’s give it a whirl.
Feel Your Best Tip: How to Feel Empowered and Initiate Change
1/31/17 — A few years ago, I was in a rough place. My ten-year relationship was ending for reasons that I couldn’t really understand, and I was heartbroken. I couldn’t see a clear path forward and I didn’t know what to do.
So I prayed for help and started taking one step at a time.
That turned into taking on anything I could think of that might possibly help me feel better— not alcohol and anti-depressants, but things like yoga classes and therapy and insisting that conversations about my situation were positive and productive.
I often didn’t feel like doing any of this stuff in the moment, but I knew that ultimately, it could only help. And it did.
Over time, I started to heal and grow stronger than I knew I could be. It made me feel empowered to affect my own life. The change that’s happened since then has been extraordinary.
I bring this up now because many people are hurting and it can be hard to know what to do.
My thought—just like I did during that painful time personally—do anything you can. You don’t need to see a crisp path forward or know how to fix everything at once. Just take one step at a time. Do every seemingly small thing you can think to do.
Maybe it’s posting an inspirational blog. Maybe it’s speaking out. Maybe it’s going out of your way to show goodness to someone different from you.
It might not be obvious how a bunch of small, scattered action steps make a big difference. But they do. In my experience, this is a pathway toward healing, and so much more.
Feel Your Best Tip: A Trick to Fall Asleep
11/2/16 — This technique is like medicine. Instead of getting frustrated when you can’t fall asleep, do this.
- Deepen your breath
- Inhale a little bit, and hold
- Inhale a little more, and hold again
- Inhale and totally fill your lungs…
- Slowly, with control, exhale; release every last last drop of air
Do all this through your nose and after a few rounds return to normal breath. It works wonders.
Try this whenever you’re tossing and turning and your mind won’t stop. It’ll help you settle down and let go of whatever you’re holding onto. It’s helped me many times. See how it makes you feel!
Feel Your Best Tip: What Your Breath Says About You
10/17/16 — Allow yourself to sit still and notice the natural rhythm of your breath. Pay attention to the quality of your inhales and exhales. Does one part of your breath seem fuller than the other? Does one part come more naturally?
If your exhale is more pronounced and it’s more challenging to breath in, you may be giving away too much energy, pushing yourself, or not letting yourself receive. If any of that’s the case, consider taking time to rest and do things that refresh you! Also be conscious of letting yourself receive.
If your inhale is more pronounced, you may be holding energy in or closing yourself off. It can indicate holding yourself back. Lengthening your exhales and feeling sensations in your lower body (particularly your connection with the floor) can help you feel more grounded and safe to open up.
I hope this provides you some helpful insight!