Remembering you have another gear

Work is busy at the moment. My head is consistently in ‘on’ mode. I notice myself thinking of tasks, and trying to work through challenges as I drift off to sleep. Work quickly pops into my head as I wake up in the morning, and even when I’m meditating I notice my mind drifts again and again to thoughts of cash flow, workshop planning and marketing strategy.

Luckily, I love the work I do, but the simple fact that I’m perpetually ‘on’ means I’m operating from a ‘fight or flight’ perspective. My subconscious believes there is a challenge to overcome, and it tells my body to release cortisol, adrenaline and glucose in order to deal with all the tasks.

What happens is that when I’m in this gear of ‘getting sh*t done/always ‘on” I forget I am actually capable of being deeply relaxed. I forget my ‘rest and repair’ gear, when I feel completely free of worry and feel present, calm and joyful. You know that feeling you get when you’re on holiday? That feeling that sticks around for a couple of days when you’re back in work after returning from a break? That’s the feeling I’m talking about. Only I’ve learnt over the years that you don’t actually have to go on holiday to achieve it, it is a feeling that is reachable at any point if you remember the tools to access it.

‘What are the tools?’ I hear you ask. The tools are personal. For me, it’s listening to Thich Nhat Hanh, or reading Thich Nhat Hanh, or listening to Sarah Blondin on Insight Timer, it’s visualising being on a beach and in that moment reminding myself that there’s nothing to do and nowhere to go. Laughter (yesterday I laughed so hard my face hurt!) and making light of the challenges that are coming my way also allow me to relax, and drop into a calmer, more hopeful and joyful gear.

Other people use ‘anchors’ or ‘totems’ – little objects they can carry with them to re-connect to a calmer feeling. Others will have a song they listen to. Exercise works for some, and prayer works for others.

We all have access to the more calm, relaxing, restful side to us. It can feel really hard to get there sometimes, but it is a feeling that’s available. It might take a little time accessing it, but if you connect with it even just for a moment, it will do you the world of good.

With love as always, Hannah and The Bird Team

If you would like us to deliver some wellbeing and resilience workshops at your organisation contact me here and we can explore options. Our newest workshop ‘Building Resilience in a Fast Paced World’ is going viral, if viral means attendees whooping at the end of the session. Get in touch if you’d like us to bring it to you.

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

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