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How will you be Mighty Kind?

June 30, 2014

MightyKindness

Welcome to Week 5 of Summer of Well-Being! I love sharing what I learn on my own well-being journey, and I’m THRILLED to be taking all these juicy tid-bits of great information our guest bloggers are sharing with us and applying them to my daily learnings, and ultimately, my very own evolution. If you’ve missed our first four weeks, you can find those blogs here. I’ve already seen this week’s vlog by Livia Stabile, Vedic Master certified by Deepak Chopra, and a Registered Mental Health Counselor, and you’re going to just love it! I appreciate her knowledge, wisdom and love for helping and teaching others. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it!

Have you done the same for yourself? What growth in your well-being have you experienced so far? I always enjoy hearing from you, so feel free to share below.

Stuck

I just enjoyed a wonderful long weekend with some of my “besties” in New Orleans, and just as the plane was about to land in Miami, I experienced one of those moments that we can either grow from or shrink from. Here’s the quick 411: just moments from landing on time, our plane is sent to Fort Myers due to storms. We are told that as soon as the airport re-opens in Miami we’ll be one of the first planes to leave. We are in a holding pattern for several hours. Finally, we are informed that the flight will be cancelled due to the pilots’ shift ending. There are no more planes or pilots. The flight was cancelled and we were STUCK (or at least my initial reaction was one of feeling stuck and powerless). We are told that eventually a bus will be available to take us back to Miami.. The only thing I could think of was, “I have to get home to my kids! My kids are expecting me.” Even though they were in a safe place, my “Mommy guilt” was on overdrive.

Grow or Shrink?

I have to be honest,  I wasn’t sure which way I was going! Was I going to grow from this or shrink from this? Looking back on it now, I vividly see the cycle that I went through, which was launched by my thoughts and was followed by my emotions. The pattern continued until I reached a point of clarity. And, since I don’t believe in coincidences, I’m grateful for observing the book one of my seat-mates was readingEmotional Intelligence 2.0 which quickly reminded me of Lina Acosta Sandaal’s post and the steps she offered for being either receptive or reactive. I knew that the choice was mine.

You know this cycle…

1. Stressor hits.
2. Thoughts go wild! Fight or flight!
3. Emotions erupt and body floods with Cortisol and Adrenaline.
4. Reactivity strikes. Usually not good reactions!

So how do we stop this cycle?

In answering this question, I’m reminded of a quote from the book Ask and It Is Given, which is all about understanding our inner power, how it is connected to a greater source of truth and power, and how we allow our natural well-being to come forward by accepting this power we all have. It goes like this:

“You now remember that you are free (in fact, you are so free that you could choose bondage), and that everything that comes to you is in response to the thoughts you are thinking.”

Self-Compassion and Safety

Martha Beck, coach and contributor to O Magazine, shares in one of her articles that when anxiety strikes, we should try what poet, Rumi, calls “Mighty Kindness.” I just love this term! By offering kindness to ourselves, we are creating within ourselves the safety that we need to stop our negative emotions from firing uncontrollably (lack of emotional intelligence). She offers that we can speak to ourselves like this: May I be healthy. May I be free from suffering. Or, in my scenario, May I release my fear of not getting home to my children, or May I feel safe.

The bump in my travel schedule put my emotional intelligence to the test. It also allowed me to see the stress cycle in action. Finally, in the end, I understood that I had a decision; which path would I choose? Because I always ask “What was the lesson here?”, I also realized how helpful it was to understand that I was not alone in this. There was an entire plane filled with individuals experiencing the same feelings. I met a couple who married that day and wouldn’t reach their honeymoon destination. I met a recent college grad who had an interview of a lifetime the next day, and many others who all missed their connections.

We are not alone.  

A big part of well-being is our connection with others and communicating our feelings. My seat-mates and I, although strangers initially, supported each other, stayed together, and helped each other stay more on the responsive side. Situations like these stink, but are wonderful teaching opportunities for us all.

This week we will have an opportunity to learn more about meditation—one of the many ways we can support ourselves daily, and during stressful times, like the one I shared above. I can’t wait to share Livia’s video with you on Thursday. Look out for it!

If you’re enjoying Summer of Well-Being, why don’t you share it with a colleague, friend or relative? Share the love; pass it on. “-)

Namaste,
Monique

Photo courtesy of mehmet nevzat erdoğan

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