AM I OK on R U OK Day!
It is a wonderful sentiment to be asking others if they are OK – and helping supporting them if we can.
At the same time how many of us are asking ‘Am I OK?’!
Much like the instructions given when oxygen masks fall in a plane – ‘put your own mask on first if you are with children’. Why is that? Because if you are not in great shape – you can’t help your children!
So…how to work out if you are actually OK? (PS where you are is always OK! It’s part of your journey. What isn’t OK is if we are unconscious of the part we play in how we are feeling! You have control over how you feel because YOU are in charge of your thinking.)
Most of us know if we feel anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, confused, full of fear and uncertainty but do we pay attention to those feelings and how they come about? Often crises occur to give us an opportunity to pay attention when we are not paying attention!
The secret to paying attention is to recognise the triggers that are causing our feelings of distress or overwhelm. Rather than blaming, making excuses or looking externally for reasons, it helps if we look at the source of the feelings. Which is always the story we are telling ourselves.
Did you know that according to epigenetics, 95-99% of the time we are literally unconscious of our thoughts – which of course are the stories we tell ourselves!
Your feelings are the manifestation of what you are telling yourself.
We have 3 thinking areas in our bodies – the brain, the heart and the gut.
Your heart gives you wisdom and your truth. Your gut gives you your intuition and your brain clings to the patterns and old stories that keep you where you are and feeling how you feel!
The greatest challenge for most people is to truly connect with their hearts wisdom. We are closer to feeling OK about ourselves when we are connected, truly connected, to our hearts.
So how to connect? Here are some ways….
1. Be grateful. Gratitude is so important at so many levels. Consciously look for things for which to be grateful – even in the chaos and discomfort. Discomfort is usually an indication that you are growing. Sometimes it feels really hard to find something for which to be grateful and at times like that – I have even had to focus on feeling grateful because I am breathing – and at times even that seemed a negative! Seriously! But I consciously chose to stop that and look to nature for my gratitude. I was grateful for the sunshine. The warmth. The birds. The beauty of flowers.
2. Be still and listen to your heart’s wisdom. It’s always there, waiting for you to hear its gentle whisper. Slow down, breathe, feel your heart, move out of your heads constant chatter (judgment!!).
3. Be in nature. Ground yourself by walking or standing barefoot on the ground – grass, dirt, tiles, wood – anything that is natural and on the ground. Earth or grass or sand by the ocean is a wonderful way to ground yourself and renew the balance of electrons in your body. It’s a true bioelectrical exchange!
4. Focus on the good in your life. As David says, ‘life is full of monotonous goodness’ – meaning in every moment, there is good happening. You woke up.; breathed; experienced you child laughing; had a magnificent flower to admire and smell; a car that worked and so on – look for all the good that surrounds you.
5. Be kind – to yourself and others – use this as your compass. My mentor and great friend David Martin (www.davidmartin.world) and I are working together on an online program. We are designing a compass by which you can navigate your way through and to your best life. True north is marked by your answer to the question ‘Am I being the person I want to be in this moment?’ This is a conscious choice we make – moment to moment. But unless we are aware of the question, and tune into our hearts, we react to reflexes rather than behave in a way we would like to.
This brings me to the final point in the exploration of ‘Am I OK?’
6. Are you treating yourself the way you want to at this moment? Are you being kind? Are you connected to your heart and accepting this experience you are having or are you judging yourself harshly with no compassion for your efforts?
On this R U OK day be kind to yourself – be loving to yourself and love for others will automatically flow!