Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Holding Your Ground and Responding Strategically to Situations in 2022

Do you find yourself responding unintelligently during moments of frustration? Do you cave to anxiety during a conflict? Being controlled by emotions so often robs us of the power to find clarity and make intentional choices. When we develop inner strength, however, we are able to step back from our emotions and think strategically.   When we are in synergy with the universe, we hold our ground with confidence even during intense situations.

Let’s try an exercise.  

You are walking on a beach in the Caribbean, Florida or Mumbai, strolling along in ankle deep water, barefoot.  I suggest you stop in a place, both feet firmly grounded in the sand, water splashing around your ankles.  Close your eyes and just be in the present, mindfully present.  Listen silently to every sound around, crashing of the waves, conversations of people around, blowing of the wind and whatever else.  Feel the water, feel the wind and smell the freshness around.  Stay grounded and connected with the universe in mindful coexistence.  Watch your breathing.  Breathe normally, just be aware and enter your inner space with the breathing in.  your thoughts and emotions are all traveling in the inner space, the space of consciousness.  Just watch all these thoughts and emotions without giving them any energy.  Not need to process them. Some of these will try to attach to you and even hijack you.  That’s okay.  Come back to watching when you realize that.  No need to worry about what other people are thinking.  Just stay grounded and in mindful co-existence for 10 minutes.  You can start with 2-5 minutes and extend to 10 minutes.  Open your eyes and carry the peace with you as you continue your walk along the beach.

Don’t be surprised if other people ask you later what you have been up to.  They may even join you in the practice. What did you just do?  How did it help you and where did the peace come from?

Connecting to inner strength through Grounding

Grounding, also called earthing, is a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth. This practice relies on earthing science and grounding physics to explain how electrical charges from the earth can have positive effects on your body.  .

The idea is to stand barefooted on the earth, grass or floor of a house and try to make contact with the earth from inside, forcing the whole being to flow to the ground. Take a few moments to “land” where you are.  Feel your feet on the floor.  Feel the support of whatever is beneath you.  Feel the contact that your skin makes with whatever it is touching. 

Becoming mindful through Intermittent Silence

My mission is to bring mindfulness into the mainstream through an advanced form of meditation called Intermittent Silence. In fact, it is better to say that silence is part of meditation; meditation only happens in silence.  The inner strength needed to gain control over your emotions can be achieved through just ten minutes of Intermittent Silence each day. During that time, you will follow four steps, and all those four steps were part of the practice that you did on the beach:

  •       Close your mouth and be without words. 
  •       Close your eyes and allow visual pathways in your brain to rest.
  •       Listen silently to the sounds around you.
  •       Watch your thoughts silently and allow them to pass through your mind without judgment.  

I love to practice Intermittent Silence while hiking or walking on the beach. I lie down on a rock and close my eyes or stand on the beach and listen to the rustling leaves, the wind blowing, waves crashing, and the birds chirping. 

A beautiful setting is ideal, but you can practice Intermittent Silence anywhere, and you only need ten minutes. Once you are mindful of your surroundings, you can silently watch your thoughts. Allow thoughts to pass through your consciousness without judgment. If you notice your mind wandering, simply draw it back to the present moment. 

Building inner strength through mindful coexistence

When we are mindful, we are fully present. We are aware of where we are and what we’re doing. At the same time, we are not overwhelmed by things around us. 

Regularly practicing mindfulness develops inner strength. This inner strength enables us to react strategically when under pressure. Mindfulness should not be considered a luxury; it is rather essential. Mindfulness is an essential aspect of mind; the other part being minding.  While minding can be in the present, past and future, mindfulness can only exist in the present.  

It helps us deal with emotions, keeps our brains healthy, supports self-regulation, enables effective decision making, and protects us from toxic stress.  Mindfulness can be integrated into our daily routine or practiced as a form of guided meditation. When we sit down, breathe, and choose to be mindful, we gain self-control and become calm. Self-control is strength, and calmness is mastery. 

Enjoying the benefits of Intermittent Silence

When you practice Intermittent Silence regularly, two things happen. First, you start enjoying the silence. After that, you truly begin to experience your surroundings. 

Slowly, the inner strength you develop during these ten minutes starts staying with you throughout your day. At that point, someone may say something confrontational. Instead of responding quickly, you will step back and observe your emotions. 

As you practice Intermittent Silence, you will develop the ability to pause before reacting. This will enable you to give a strategic response rather than an emotional response.

Eventually, your mood will be less and less affected by the actions of the people around you. The things around you will not control your emotions, and your emotions will not overpower your intelligence. 

Using mindfulness to deal with emotional storms

The other beautiful part of developing mindfulness through Intermittent Silence is the ability to cope with emotional storms. Emotional storms are not in your control. Usually, they happen when you least want them to. 

When you feel yourself becoming angry, depressed, frustrated, or anxious, try seeing those emotions as opportunities to practice Intermittent Silence. You can find a quiet place, lie down, close your eyes, close your mouth, and watch your thoughts and the intense emotions. All those things are in your control. 

Over time, the practice of intermittent silence gives you a separation from those emotional storms. You can watch the emotions from outside rather than being overwhelmed by them. You can simply observe the feelings and become aware of how they are affecting your body and mind. 

Once you can see emotions objectively from a distance, you can deal with them. You will see what is causing you to feel this way, identify the issues in the conflicts around you, and respond strategically.

Sometimes showing emotion is appropriate. At these times, the key is to remain in control. For example, you can show anger without allowing anger to control you. 

There is a reason silence is used as a negotiating tool. Silence has power. During moments of high emotion, it is easy to react quickly without taking time to process the things around us. The more you practice stepping back from your emotions, the more you will be able to call on this inner strength during your day. For tips and guidance in the practice of Intermittent Silence, try the Relaxx app.

Once you are grounded, you can hold your ground.  Once you are silent, you cannot only hear the noise better, but you can also see the silence and the noise in others.  This provides the inner strength and the wisdom to respond strategically rather than reactively.

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