Today I was dropping my children off at school on my way to get the car fixed before work. A friend saw me and asked if everything was OK. The overwhelm I felt inside showed on my face. I answered congruently, a newer practice for me, and said, “I am overwhelmed.”
She hugged me and we moved to an area where we could talk. At this moment, I let her in. Just by walking with her, I let her help shoulder my burden, in this experience I could feel clarity and space beginning to open up. I did not realize how clamped down I had become.
As we talked I shared the tasks I was juggling, none were different than anyone else’s, none were life threatening, none were unaccomplishable individually. Together though they were creating a constriction in my solar plexus, the area in the middle of my abdomen right below my sternum which was making my breath short, shallow and fast and beginning to create an ache in my mid back.
After the conversation with my friend ,I had made one decision which eliminated a bit of stress. Though I felt better, I did not feel totally settled. I was at a crossroad. I had a family responsibility to tend to, a personal commitment to my health to uphold and work commitments to follow through on. All of these commitments were colliding to occur at the same time, which made it hard for me to make a decision as I wanted to do them all. I bet you have never felt this way!
To top it off, I bailed on my morning meditation and yoga practice on this day. I had stayed up late the last few nights getting work done and decided sleep was more important than focusing myself. My morning practice is a routine that is grounding for me. In addition to having too many things to accomplish in one morning, I was also more agitated than usual.
For me, clarity often comes with a release: running, crying, vocalizing, biking, other release methods, or an intervention of help (when I allow it and can see it as that). I have spent many years practicing doing it all myself that to ask for help does not even occur to me. Yet when I do ask, or someone asks me, surprisingly I get help and feel better, then my family feels more spacious and work feels easier.
Since practicing somatics (connection between the mind and body: meditation, breath work, body movements, focused bodywork, and paying attention to my internal stories and thoughts) I am able to connect more easily to my body, trust its wisdom to help me understand what I need, and gain clarity on which commitment is most important at that time.
After this conversation, on my bike ride home from dropping the car, before work, instead of stewing, I breathed. As my breath deepened, my shoulders relaxed and I felt more space in my belly. The relief I felt was amazing.
I did not take anything off my plate, I simply occupied myself differently. In this new way of organizing my breath and body, I felt relief. When I let go of the holding that comes with the stresses of life, I take one thing off my list. Holding a contraction in my body takes energy, now that energy is freed up for more generative purposes.
Want this for yourself? I want it for you too!! Invite perspective, the time is now!