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Okey Dokey Smokey | Happiness Practice 22

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 I can’t believe the year is flying by so quickly.  I love the holidays, don’t get me wrong. But for so many of us, holidays can mean CHAOS.
This past weekend we went to 4 parties. 4! With so many social engagements and to-dos, we can forget how to actually enjoy this time of year.
We keep saying we will enjoy it when…we get farther on our to do lists, get through the bake sale, plan the menu, book the travel…and on and on.
But around every corner there is a new hurdle, disaster, or drama. You know it’s true. If you want to enjoy yourself in the midst of the holiday storms all around you, you have to realize one thing:
Even if life doesn’t calm down. You can calm down. You can feel ok, no matter what is happening around you.
I call this feeling “Okayness.” Okayness is a state that you can cultivate. Today’s happiness practice will teach you how to cultivate okayness anytime, anywhere.

The aim of this exercise is to show you that you can untie your inner and outer worlds. You can feel okay, calm, solid, and grounded even when chaos and drama are all around you.

But even when you see this in a theoretical sense and agree, to actually practice this takes a bit of work. To put this into practice means to purposefully cultivate a sense of “okayness” randomly throughout your day. It’s an exercise that anyone can do at anytime.
Okayness Steps:
1. Realize it’s a good time to practice
This, in itself, is an act of getting present and shifting your vibration to a more positive place of expansion. You are deciding you want to do something for yourself and that simple decision will shift you.
2. Shift your body
The feeling of okayness lives in your body first and foremost. Shift your body and your brain is 1000 times easier to shift. To create a feeling of peace and calm in your body, you must activate your parasympathetic nervous system. While that sounds complicated, you can do it instantly by letting go of your belly and relaxing the entire front of your body. Then take a few nice slow breaths from your lower belly and diaphragm. Keep relaxing and breathing.
3. Find Gratitude “in” the moment
Now follow your body shift with a thought shift. You can bring to mind a number of things to create a sense of okayness. My favorite way, and a way I found most effective for me at least, is to find gratitude “in” the moment.
We traditionally think of gratitude as something we are grateful “for,” like our house, family, favorite pen, etc. That type of gratitude is wonderful. But a more powerful type of gratitude exists: Gratitude “in.”
I like to refer to as “gratitude in spite of.” It’s the feeling that you can find gratitude separate from your circumstances.
No matter how bad things get, you can choose to not allow those circumstances to control your inner world.
One of my podcast guests, Kayla Aimee, said it best when telling me about the gut-wrenching 6 months she spent in the NICU with her micro-premie daughter, born weighing less than one stick of butter. She said in the darkest times, she stayed afloat by finding a sense of gratitude in every breath her daughter took. Nothing in her life was good,  but she found a tiny bit of gratitude anyway. That gratitude was her lifeline.
Gratitude ‘in’ is a state. It’s a feeling that, as long as you are still here, as long as breath is going through your lungs and your heart is beating itself, therein you can be grateful. You are cultivating a positive vibration inside yourself and that will open a door to peace.
So step three is to find your gratitude “in” this moment, right now.
Follow those three steps anytime and in any moment. Just drop your belly, breath slowly, and find your gratitude “in”.
The more often you practice it, the easier it will be and the faster you will be able to move through anxiety, worry, fear, overwhelm, or any other difficult state.
Eventually you might find, as I have, that the more you cultivate your okayness, the less often you struggle with those states. Things that once felt insurmountable become smaller issues. It’s a fun and fascinating practice.

 

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