Mind-body healing is amazing. Mind-body healing has no boundaries. With the selection of skills at your fingertips, you are equipped for anything and everything. You feel as if you could fight crime with these skills.
But…are there so many skills that you don’t even know where to start, and you feel overwhelmed because you want to use all of them every day and then you end up using, well, none of them?
Rest assured, I have been there. People who end up getting a mind-body syndrome tend to share some similar qualities, one of them being perfectionism. How am I going to find time to consistently use all of these mind-body skills, while making sure to still find time to feed myself and show up at work on time? I’ve often found myself putting pressure on myself to approach mind-body healing with this one principle: all or nothing. (I tend to gravitate towards the all or nothing approach with things like exercise and eating healthy, too.) But the truth is the only thing the all or nothing approach will do is stall your entire healing process. If you are putting pressure on yourself to do it perfectly, like using the skills every hour on the hour, using a minimum of five skills per day, trying to use these skills around the clock, etc., you are missing the whole point.
And yes, I have missed the whole point more than a few hundred times. I have put pressure on myself to do it all, and if I don’t do it all, then I am just not doing enough to get to where I want to get in my mind-body journey. But when we are putting pressure on ourselves to be in mind-body healing mode 24/7, that is really what will hold us back from getting to where we want to get, whether it’s pain relief, weight loss, or building a successful business. When we are forcing ourselves to do it all, we are not being kind to ourselves. And being kind to ourselves IS the whole point.
So how can we be kind to ourselves and take all that heavy, uncomfortable pressure off while still ensuring that we are making some time to play with the mind-body tools? Well, you can get still and ask your inner guidance this question and I’m confident it will give you a brilliant answer, or you can learn what I’ve adopted, and if your body feels like the shackles that you have put on yourself have been loosened or released from your wrists, then I think we are on to something. And it is easy peasy.
So what have I done to make mind-body healing feel less overwhelming? I simply use one tool over and over and over and over and…well, you get the point. I ask myself, “what am I feeling emotionally right NOW?” and wait for the answer, and repeat it as much or as little as I want throughout the day. It literally takes five seconds, maybe ten to twenty seconds when you’re first starting. It’s quick and dirty, as Abigail Steidley likes to put it, but it creates loads of awareness on your body and emotions, which is the key to mind-body healing.
I will give you an example of how I use this quick and dirty method. While walking down the stairs one morning to get a cup of tea I asked myself what I was feeling emotionally. I took a full breath, released it, and waited to see what came up. Not even five seconds later I noticed my body felt heavy. I prodded a bit more, and asked if this heavy feeling was because I felt somewhat mad, sad, glad, or scared. Out of the four options, I felt more mad than anything. Ok, cool, I thought, as I poured tea into my mug. Now I knew that I had some anger to feel and get more information about. I stopped there for the time being. Yep, quick and dirty, but it got me to check in with my body, check in with my emotions, and get some valuable information: I had some anger in my body to feel. I told myself I would feel the anger later on in the day when I had some time to do so. Easy peasy. You’re on your way to becoming a mind-body rock star.
If you wanted to take it one step further in that moment, you could have carried on with another mind-body skill. What I love about asking myself what am I feeling emotionally, is that uncovering the emotion generally takes the guessing out of which tool to use. In the moment I felt anger, I could have simply felt the emotion. This could mean getting descriptive with how it feels, where it is, how big it is, and asking it what it would want to say if it could talk. You could stop there, or you could continue on once you uncover what it has to say. Maybe doing some thought-work would apply here, or some mind whispering, or whatever seems perfect in that moment. Letting your emotions lead your mind-body healing process tends to guide you towards the perfect skills in that moment.
The beauty of adopting a quick and dirty What Am I Feeling Emotionally Right Now method is that it is so flexible. You could ask yourself, get an answer and stop there, or you could continue on and use another tool that feels perfect in that situation and then stop there, or you could continue on from there. But it helps knowing where to start. And even if you stop early in this process (which I so often do!), like after you ask yourself what you’re feeling, it doesn’t mean you can’t pick up where you left off later in the day, or even the next day. I love this no-pressure approach because it feels more fun when I decide to go in full throttle with the mind-body skills! And being kind to yourself and having some fun while you carry on with your journey with the mind-body skills will get you to where you want to go, and that’s truly what it’s all about. 🙂