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Let's Talk About Your State of Being

From a political, economic and health (both physical and mental) perspective, 2020 has been the most challenging year most of us can remember. We’ve been faced with a crushing mix of uncertainty, loss and isolation that has left many of us with a creeping sense of dread. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been able to relax since late 2015.

So, when will it be 2015 again?

It won’t.

Even if a vaccine arrives soon, the pandemic is likely to last another 12 to 18 months. And the economic impacts of it are only just beginning. And some industries, such as travel aren’t likely to recover for up to 36 months.

The world will be what it will be.

I’m not telling you this to scare you. I’m telling you because at some point, grinning and bearing it may not be enough. And that’s why it’s time to talk about your state of being.

Are you angry? Sad? Fearful? Anxious? Nauseous? All the above?

Yeah. Lots of people are.

And you know what else? We lend and borrow state of being from each other. Anger begats anger. Fear begats fear. Nausea begats nausea.

So, let’s think about what you could be.

Hopeful? Calm? Nurturing? Determined?

Not sure?

Hmmm… try this:

I mean literally try it right now.

Take a deep single breath and with that breath, release all thoughts and thinky-think-thinking. Close your eyes, or stare out into the middle distance and just take a breath. That’s all.

Having trouble?

Okay, try this:

Sit with your back straight. Feel your feet on the floor. Sit up tall, extending into your full length. Keep your shoulders down - no hunching. Shift your weight from side to side to find your center. Feel your chair supporting you. Take a deep breath all the way into your belly. Move your consciousness out of your head and down into your body.

Hold your hands out in front of you. Feel the energy (your life force!) running through them.

Take another deep breath.

Good. Now we're going to try something slightly different.

Inhale. Exhale. Then notice the pause after the exhale before taking another breath. Just sit there for a second without a thought.

Do it again. Inhale. Exhale. A pause after the exhale.

Okay. Try it again... take a full thoughtless breath.

Feel that?

Eckhart Tolle calls it “spaciousness”. Martha Beck (the woman who invented life coaching) calls it “wordlessness”. Buddhist nun Pema Chodron calls it “stillness”. Memoirist Glennon Doyle calls it “the knowing”. I call it “surrender”.

We all have words for the thoughtless spacious, wordless, still, knowing, surrender because it is critical to figuring out who we really are and what we really want to do. Only when we stop thinking can we start being.

Now take a few more thoughtless breaths.

Let's return to thinking for a moment. Think about what your state of being could be in (hopeful, calm, nurturing, determined, joyful, curious, etc.).

What does that state of being mean to you?

For example, my current preferred state of being is “grace”. To me, grace means equanimity, patience and joy.

Can you imagine yourself in your preferred state of being?

What does it feel like in your body? Is there an openness? A warmth? An activation? Which parts of you are energized and which parts are quiet?

When I am in a state of grace, I feel grounded and open and relaxed.

Stay in your preferred state for a moment.


How was that?

If you liked this brief moment of being, you might want to consider making it a daily practice. There’s a saying in the world of somatic coaching – We’re always practicing something. And we become what we practice most.

How can you work this practice into your day?

Can you do it for five minutes when you wake up? When you get out of the shower? Before lunch? After dinner? Before bed?

Any time will work. As long as you do it.

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