Finding certainty in uncertain times
It is a psychological need of ours to feel certain, to feel safe, to feel secure. We need these things. And for others who are living in New South Wales Australia, like I am, in the past 6 months we’ve experienced record breaking drought, unlike any we’ve seen before, extreme out of control wildfires and now there is this coronavirus pandemic. And that’s just in the last half a year. There’s been a number of these things happening externally that makes it challenging for us to predict and plan what’s going on in our environment.
When we’re used to relying on our environment to provide us with a sense of safety and security, this is when we feel unstable. Because we’re trained to look externally. And sometimes the environment provides this, and sometimes it doesn’t. But when we learn to take 100% responsibility for Self and we look inward, then we can always access that sense of security.
This season whilst so many others are in panic around me, I notice that I don’t even have the slightest bit of tension regarding the coronavirus. I see it as I do all things – a gift. This is a time where I consider myself very blessed to have to have grown up with an emotionally erratic parent. Having had a temperamental father that was hot and cold from one day to the next, I recognised that having grown up with that in my childhood it will have had some impact on the way I perceive the world. Attachment theory reveals that what we are exposed to at a young age will affect the way that we behave in relationships. The people we’re drawn to, and those we avoid, all of this will have its roots in our attachment styles from childhood.
Having recognised that, I intentionally wholeheartedly invested myself into the process of rewiring my attachment style by partnering with someone who was similar to my father in terms of temperament – also very emotionally erratic.
When I felt triggered by his behaviour, as an adult, I could practice returning to centre – turning inward to find stability in myself. For five years I was exposed to not knowing what kind of environment I would be met with, and just learning to look inward. Again and again I turned to Self/Source for steadiness and safety.
“Don’t look out there, look to me,” I was regularly told by my Wiser Self in meditation.
Because of this training, I’ve grown really comfortable with uncertainty and not knowing what’s going to turn up. And recognising that if I think I know how things will turn out, and I attach to some concept of how someone will behave, I suffer. And my commitment to myself is to be in awake to the divine unfolding – the brilliance and perfection of it all.
So I want to share with you some of the practices that I use that really support me in feeling centred, stable, grounded, no matter what the circumstances are.
- Plant your feet firmly on the floor and put pressure into your feet. It doesn’t matter if you are wearing shoes and you’re doing this at your desk and feeling the rug under your feet or if you’re barefoot in the garden – it’s the act of feeling the firmness of the ground underneath you. Bring your awareness to the feeling of your feet on the floor and feel them supported by the Earth underneath. And as you direct your awareness there, feel the steadiness when you press your feet down into the Earth – that support.
- Take your right arm and cross it across your body and bring it to your neck on the right side. So your fingertips are on your neck and just hold your neck and shift your attention between the feeling of your fingertips pressing into your neck and the feeling of your neck pressing into your fingertips. Just feel that feeling of support on the back of your neck. And whilst you do that, continue to ground your feet into the Earth.
- And now layering some even breathing; bring your awareness to your breath and count the inhales and the exhales so they’re the same length. And just feel the air moving in and out of the nostrils or the mouth if that feels better for you. Rotate your awareness from the breath to the feeling of the fingertips in the neck the feeling of the feet pressing into the Earth.
Doing this for just two minutes, you can notice in your body the feelings of anxiety start to fade as your nervous system comes into balance. You can feel more calm and relaxed. That’s one way that we can bring ourselves more fully into this moment and remind ourselves that here now in this moment we have everything that we need. We have the air in our lungs and the support the earth underneath us. And the loving gentle touch of our own hands on our own body. And that I find to be a very powerful practice that brings me back to peace no matter what’s going on in the world around me.
Give it a go and let me know what your experience is like.