Walking across Central Park one morning, the air was filled with a fragrance that I meet during the early days of summer each year. A group of trees, Silver Lindens, have blossoms, clusters of small flowers, that release a powerful, heady and, to me, enchanting fragrance that captivates me each morning as I pass them on my way to the office. The blossoms don’t last very long, which makes them even more special, and I—along with many other people—inevitably stop for a moment, bury my nose in them deeply breathing in the sweet fragrance.
One morning as I walked on, I began to think about the powerful effect scents have on our internal experience… Read More “678th Week: Finding Ease”
Recently, I found myself thinking about the complex infrastructure that allows us all to connect on platforms like Zoom, that allow us to have the internet in all its complexity. I also thought about the infrastructure that allows our communities to function with roads, bridges, traffic signals, and everything else that keeps us organized and makes the complexities of living together run more smoothly.
This also got me to thinking about our internal infrastructure. Physically, our skeleton is one form of internal infrastructure. All the other aspects of our physicality are part of the bodily infrastructure that allows us to be here. Then, there’s the internal infrastructure of our nervous system and psyche, the means by which we move through life grounded, regulated, and steady—or, at least we hope we are able to move through life in this way.
Just as we have to attend to the various infrastructures of living in our modern world, we also have to attend to the internal infrastructure that allows us to re-center ourselves when life serves up challenges and experiences we neither anticipated nor were prepared to meet.
For this week’s practice, I invite you to explore even more deeply the ways in which you orient to an internal steadiness, find your internal center of gravity, re-center yourself, and regulate your nervous system. All these practices help to cope with present-day life in which changes and challenges are normal parts of what any of us may encounter on any given day.Read More “860th Week: Nurturing Your Internal Infrastructure”
One of the things I often share with others, and have no doubt written about in these practices a number of times, is how our ongoing flow of self-talk is a form of self-hypnosis. We program ourselves with our self-talk and it’s worthwhile to notice how it affects, if not shapes, the quality of our internal lives.
This week, I want to take a particular orientation to tracking and engaging self-talk. Because our self-talk so deeply reflects our beliefs about ourselves and the world around us, for this week’s practice I would like to focus on the impact of self-talk that focuses on kindness. And, in the same way, to invite you to notice the quality of your internal experience when your self-talk focuses on unkind statements about yourself and/or others.
For most of us, the flow of self-talk is automatic and pretty much unceasing. It moves along on the stream of consciousness that constantly flows by and, even though we may not pay particular attention to it, this flow of self-talk affects the quality of our body-mind being from moment to moment.
And so, for this week’s practice in conscious living, I invite you to track your self-talk around the theme of kindness. Notice when you become aware of thinking unkindly about yourself or someone else. Have you noticed that we will sometimes talk to ourselves in ways we would never think of doing with someone else? That’s a key self-talk habit to change, by gently refusing to talk to yourself in ways you wouldn’t talk to someone else. In addition, I invite you to notice what happens when you talk to yourself gently, with kindness and comfort or encouragement. If what you say doesn’t feel authentic at first, that’s normal. Keep it up and notice over time how, when your heart becomes involved, you discover that you actually care about how you treat yourself.Read More “894th Week: Self-Talk and Your Worldview”