Finding your direction in life: the lighthouse
Life has many facets, many turns and many storms to navigate. Sometimes we make these shifts from facet to facet in a smooth way, sometimes life puts us in these situations without previous notice, and we are almost obliged to change the course. We needed to STOP (see the blog entry NAVIGATE MINDFULLY: How can mindfulness create change in your life) and rethink because we may find ourselves in a difficult job situation, or after a divorce, or losing someone important in our life, or not satisfied with the life we are living or the ones we are becoming. We may notice that a change is needed, a new course, but we may find ourselves not knowing where to head. We just know that the old harbor is not the one we want to navigate.
This is a place of uncertainty. We may feel that there are many options, and it is difficult to choose one, or we can find ourselves with no energy to even think about a new harbor. We might just see fog, feel numb and empty; sometimes we do not even have words to describe how we feel. At that point, it is time to explore our heart. Would you like to try this exercise?
I invite you to find a sitting position to keep for 10 minutes. Give yourself time to ‘meet’ yourself, as a way to say ‘hi, how are you today?’ to yourself. Notice your breathing without changing it. During the exhalation, be aware of the gravity acting on you, and allow the parts of your body that can follow it and still keep the sitting position. Find also a second of stillness after a full exhalation. Do this during three breaths. Then, during the inhalations, start pushing down with your sit bones, is like pushing against the gravity and notice that this soft push may generate a force upwards: sit bones, pelvis, and sacrum. Next, move upwards, vertebrae after vertebrae, further to your head and through the back of the crown, up to the ceiling, as if the crown would like to touch the ceiling in the same way the sit bones are pushing the chair.
Now, feel these two forces, the gravity and the wonderful one that keeps us upright, thriving and growing upwards. Observe how this soft traction generates a space in you, a space to breathe and be in your body. Notice this feeling and describe it for yourself. Now, I invite you to follow the air into your left lung and notice the movements that this lung generates in your chest and rib cage. Be aware also that your left lung massages your heart in each breathing, giving it power and energy.
With curiosity, enter your heart and look around, what do you see? An organ, a feeling? A color? Can you notice that there are many rooms inside it? There is one particular room were you dearest secrets are kept. You enter that room and look around…. What do you see? How is it decorated? And in one spot you see this very special little coffer where the deepest of you is kept and you move slowly towards it and open it. And there you find what is most important for you, the meanings of life, the reason for living your life here on the earth now, your essence and your values. What is important to you? What do you want to stand for? And how do you ACT when you do what is important to you? What do you do and how do you do when you are in contact with these values, what is your posture? How is your facial expression, how is your voice? Describe it for yourself.
Now take a piece of paper and a pen and write down your observations on the following questions:
- Focus on your heart as you breathe. What is your heart whispering to you?
- What feelings do you notice?
- What needs or longings do you have?
- Is there an action you value that you’ve been putting off? What step can you take to approach it?
This exercise can be done every day. Even if, in the beginning, you cannot easily see what is important to you, keep on trying every day! Once it is clear to you, it will help you to maintain the course in your life, by choosing actions that are in line with what is important to you.
Many of us come up with important relationships, important things we have been putting off or with something we really want to change or contribute to in this word. Some of them can feel unreachable at first sight, but the secret is to start preparing the sails and the boat to this new course in life.
Preparing the sails, the boat, and the supplies
Behind every trip, there is a lot of planning, preparation and checking that the basics are on place. This is the area where we sometimes need more knowledge, more guidance or caching from those that are skilled sailors. This is what we offer you in our program “BeMindful&ACT.”
Behind every trip, there is a lot of planning, preparation and checking that the basics are in place. This is the area where we sometimes need more knowledge, more guidance or coaching from those that are skilled sailors. This is what we offer you in our program “BeMindful&ACT.” Please contact our experts for further information on the program (see the contact section).