How is your Holiday Season 2019 coming along?
If you read my previous newsletter, you know that I am a huge (HUGE) fan of Brene Brown. In fact, I credit her work for changing my life.
This is a LONG one, (because I care so much and I have a lot to say... ) please bear with me! I hope at least it is entertaining, and gives you something to reflect upon.
A concept in Brene's more recent work that stands out for me is her concept of
Whole hearted Living means living from a place of WORTHINESS. This means knowing, deeply and truly, that YOU have value in this life and this world. That you have a place, that you are deserving, and that you are loved. (See Brene's definition in the image below.)
This sounds really nice, and I can almost see all of your heads nodding. We want to agree. We can intellectually get it, of course, amen! yes! That's it!
But life, as long as you agree to live it, will continue to challenge your ability to actualize Wholehearted Living. There will be challenges and trials, you will experience times of applause and times of shame. Times of celebration and times of sorrow. And through it all, how are you doing with LIVING WHOLEHEARTEDLY?
There is help! Brene offers 10 Guideposts for how to Live Wholeheartedly. Here I wil focus on:
Play and Rest.
Cultivate an Attitude of Play and Rest.
Sounds nice again, and I can almost see your heads nodding in agreement. But are you DOING it? Do you know how to actualize this?
See, Brene says, we need to cultivate an attitude of Play and Rest because our world/ culture/ society is set up to value do-do-doing to the point of exhaustion, and that is where we try to derive our worthiness... our value. "I am valuable because I DO so much. Do you see how much I DO?" And to be quite honest, this cultivates narcissism... see me, I do so much, therefore you should appreciate and yes, value me! (hard to swallow, I know...)
But flip it around. Play and Rest. Let's break it down:
REST is required... it is a non-negotiable. Every sleep scientist and neuroscientist will tell you, sleep is imperative. Your brain cannot function without sleep. But it goes beyond sleep. Rest. Rest is what happens in the pause between the activity. That moment.
Try it now:
Sit or stand taller. Take a deep breath in ... exhale fully. Now notice the inhale ... Now notice the exhale ...
Now, notice the PAUSE at the top of the inhale ... Now notice the PAUSE at the bottom of the exhale.
Do this for 3-5 minutes.
That's it! REST. Notice how you feel.
Rest is required in order to PLAY.
Play requires full, active engagement. This is Presence.
So now that you have your Rest, Let's break down PLAY:
Play... full, active engagement, presence. Play requires CURIOSITY. Curiosity is interest with openness and kindness. Curiosity is what the child brings to the world, actively engaged in every moment. Indeed, in it's purest form, it is
Wonderment. (pause... how does your body respond to that concept?)
Got that? (Heads nodding...) OK, let's go a bit further.
PLAY (Curiosity) brings us into UNCERTAINTY. Hmmm... how are you with uncertainty? With the gray areas? The things that cannot be explained?
When curiosity is lacking, we show up as Judge, Teacher, or Adversary.
Yes, when curiosity is lacking, we show up as Judge, Teacher, or Adversary.
Just think of the last time you had one of THOSE political discussions ... Yes, were you CURIOUS about the other person's stance, and why they needed to hold it so close? Were they curious about yours? NO? Hmmm...
In order to approach the world (life, a situation, a relationship, a person) with PLAY (curiosity, interest with kindness) you must feel secure. You must know your FOUNDATION.
Consider the child running towards the playground to Play. At some point, the child looks back, "is mama still there?" Security. Foundation. They must be there for the child to play.
We as adults are no different.
The work of the child is PLAY. The PLAY of the adult is work ...
And yet, PLAY allows us that degree of levity, which must be there to move through the challenges of life. Those dark times, when we are afraid it will never end, never change, and the weight is so heavy we can barely open our eyes to see the sunlight.
Can you be CURIOUS about even these times? Allow yourself to create some degree of PLAY in the darkest of times?
The ticket to Wholehearted Living ...
Cultivate an attitude of PLAY and REST.
And, as Brene so knowingly says, "Let go of exhaustion as a status symbol, and productivity as self-worth.
So now, as we enter Holiday Season 2019, how will YOU cultivate PLAY and REST in your life, and discover that your Worthiness not in all that you DO, but in all that you ARE.
I LOVE YOU!
Be Well, in ALL Ways,
If you feel compelled, please contact me. I am available in many ways! Just a chat, a bigger conversation, an individual yoga therapy session, a couples therapy session, a public yoga class or a group! I am available because I care.
FB: Kristen Boyle
IG: Yoga Therapist and Somatic Life Mentor
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Kristen is a certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist and Life Mentor. She offers online and in-person healing sessions. She lives and teaches in Denver, Colorado