Spiritual Baby Steps

"Doing" spirituality in the real world

Archive for the tag “Fear”

Brand New Day

After blogging pretty much every week for over a year, I just stopped. I’m not sure it was on purpose. I just got busy and skipped a week. And then the next week was really busy, too… and pretty soon, it had been a month. And then two. And then… well, you get the picture! It’s been 4 months since my last blog post. It feels like an eternity. I’ve been seriously wanting and meaning to blog again for the past month or so… but a funny thing happened. All of a sudden I shifted into all or nothing thinking and couldn’t keep myself from getting overwhelmed at the thought of blogging every week again. Apparently, if I’m going to blog, it needs to be every week!

So anyway… here I am. I have to admit on some level it’s a bit of a forced activity. When you’re blogging every week there’s a bit of a rhythm that ensues. Not so much has happened in a week that you can’t narrow it down into a topic of choice. With 4 months… it’s a bit daunting. On one hand, there’s a lot I could write about. And on the other hand, I kinda want to say there’s been this major transformational experience… I mean, it’s been 4 months for cryin’ out loud!  Surely the Universe gets a kick out of our ego-centric naiveté!

I’ve decided to keep this post short and sweet. Partly because there is a part of me that wants it to be perfect… the big comeback post (with that transformational epiphany we talked about earlier!) and partly because of a new concept I’m trying to embrace, which I’ll talk more about in future posts (how’s that for a teaser?!).  In the meantime, remember that today is a brand new day! Carpe Diem…

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Simple… but not easy

 I heard the phrase, simple but not easy, quite a few years ago. I can’t remember exactly what the circumstances were at the time… but I can tell you that I’ve considered that phrase so many times since. For the last few years, I’ve been reading the blog Zen Habits by Leo Babauta. He also has a blog on minimalism, which is really interesting. In both cases, there are often times when I think about how much happier my life might be if I were to simplify. If I could learn to minimize… slow down… commit to less… enjoy more… breathe deeper, longer, and more consciously. These are very simple acts… and yet… somehow so elusive.

Upon further reflection, I realize that the elusiveness comes from the difficulty in implementation. Minimizing means throwing things away. Things I like. Things that might have sentimental value. Things I think I might need some day. Or, on the other hand, not buying things in the first place. Things I like. Things that are calling my name! Slowing down means not everything gets done. Committing less means letting people down. It means saying no, for crying out loud!

So, how do we make these simple acts easier to do? Well… I definitely can’t say I have this down! Lately I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed, cluttered and chaotic. I’ve recently been reminded of an approach to behavior change that rings true… slow but steady wins the race. Leo Babauta has a program he calls “Sea Change” where he leads participants through one dedicated change each month. You spend the entire month committed to gradually building up the habit of that one change. BJ Fogg, a behavior change researcher, contends that pairing a behavior change with an engrained habit can produce great results. You might try committing to 5 minutes of exercise every morning after brushing your teeth. Now, you might think 5 minutes is not enough time to really see the benefits of exercise. The argument is that committing to do it, using the teeth brushing as a trigger, and following through… even if it is only 5 minutes… is the best start you can make toward change. Eventually, maybe even right away, you will exercise for more than 5 minutes. But for now, it is the art of commitment and follow through that you are branding into your conscious habit.

Given my current state of overwhelm, I’m not going to attempt anything so lofty as exercise… 5 minutes or not! I’ve decided that breathing deeper, longer and more consciously is a beautiful act that I would like to practice more. I’ve already been trying to do it more lately and it feels good. It offers a taste of joy. My plan is to use the tactic above to make it easier. Every morning when I first get into the shower, I’m going to take a long deep breath. If the moment strikes me, I may take two. But the committment is one long, deep, conscious breath. Stepping into the shower is the habitual act that is already in place, that I do every morning. Maybe I’ll put a sticky note on the shower door to help me remember.

Now, before I finish, I’ll let you in on a little secret. In all honesty, this committment seems small. It seems almost irrelevant. It seems to dwindle in comparison to the big goals of losing weight, exercising more, committing to less, slowing down… and the list goes on. But here’s the interesting part… I get really overwhelmed when I think about those lofty goals. Here’s what I know about taking one deep breath when I step into the shower tomorrow… I can do it! And I think that’s part of the equation we’re looking for… a very high confidence level that I can make this happen. SO… I’m committing to one very small act… and I invite you to do the same. Be sure to let me know how it goes.

Love and laughter to you!  ~Rashel

Tapped In or Tapped Out?

I took a class on Meridian tapping, also known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), last week. It was very cool. If you’ve not heard of it, you tap specific points on your face and upper body as you repeat certain phrases having to do with any issue you’re having in your life. The idea is that as you tap on the meridian points and bring up emotions, the tapping will release the stored emotions from you body. Supposedly it will work on physical pain as well as emotional pain. Cool, right?! (one link… http://eft.mercola.com/ or simply google EFT)

Well, I’ve been tapping ever since. I’ve been tapping when I wake up… I’ve been tapping before I go to bed… I tap when I’m driving and when my kids are driving me crazy. I think it’s helping but, here’s the problem… I’m not seeing dramatic results. I didn’t lose 15 pounds instantly. I didn’t wake up this morning and find an extra 10K in my checking account. I didn’t get a call from Oprah asking if I could be in a new series on OWN television. So I’ve already started questioning what I’m doing wrong. Maybe it’s just not going to work for me. Perhaps this is not an effective method at all? I must admit, the skeptic in me is alive and well!

Hold on a minute here! Why so quick to judge? Why do I immediately think that I must be doing something wrong? Why do I expect things to change instantly when they certainly haven’t been instantaneous in becoming a problem in the first place? What kind of vibration am I holding when I expect instant results and then get disappointed when they don’t happen? Somehow I hold a belief that if a new belief is true, it must be instantaneous, complete and transformative. It’s not the first time I’ve been disappointed in something that may very well have been beneficial. As I was thinking about this topic earlier today and realized that I have, in fact, seen some results. I tapped on my congestion when I was fighting a cold earlier this week, and although the cold did not disappear, I woke up completely clear of congestion (which when I think about it now, is exactly what I was tapping about!).

I guess at this point all I can say is that the verdict is still out. This is where I usually lose traction… if I dont’ get instantaneous results, then I don’t continue. It would be very easy for me at this point to conclude that tapping doesn’t work, and stop doing it. It would also be easy to conclude that I don’t know for sure that tapping does work, and stop doing it. Instead I am hoping to continue tapping and pay attention. Are there small ways, here and there, that tapping is making a difference? Even if it isn’t the miraculous cure that I was hoping for… and truth be told, that is often marketed and bragged about in the media on tapping…  are there small improvements that I can notice that over time, just maybe, can make all the difference? More to come!

Happy tapping!  Love and laughter  ~Rashel

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