I let myself sleep in this morning. It wasn’t my intention to actually sleep. I wanted to use my semi-awake state to do some healing work with myself. Whenever I woke up, I iterated through my new BEST CARING acronym, test driving that resource.
B = Body/Breath. Let the body lead, don’t let the freaked out nervous system or the obsessive thoughts lead. And breathe.
E = Environment. Be aware of what is safe, supportive, unsafe, un-supportive in the physical environment.
S = Support. Create images of the support from people and communities who care about me, call on those images even if I can’t palpably feel the support. Also includes the support of Divine beings and of objects, like a roof and a locked door and a bank account.
T = Thoughts. Coach my thoughts. Intentionally think supportive and reassuring thoughts: “You can do this.”
C = Contact. Touch my own body, my arm, leg, or heart. Or make contact with another person or animal who is safe and supportive.
A = Allow the expression of anything that is organically arising from inside myself (but not from the freak-out, from deeper in the system.) The Dark and Light poetry process can also fit here
R = Respiration. Breathe. Notice my breath.
I = Image. Bring up images of things that are pleasing and comforting. For me: flowers, bunnies, waterfalls.
N = Nice. Image is a subset of this. Think of things that are pleasing. Look around and find things in my visual field that are pleasing to look at. Do things that are pleasant (drink tea, walk outside, take a bath, play music, stroke my own hair…)
G = Gratitude. Give Thanks.
I had cycled through that process a few times, coming in and out of sleep. I noticed that when I got to Environment, I felt some distress about the clutter and disorder in the room and throughout the house. And when I got to Allow, I had feelings about that disorder that wanted expression. I don’t think I ever got to N and G, I must have fallen back asleep each time to Images of flowers and waterfalls.
After eventually waking up and writing some notes about my last dream, I noticed a spark of eagerness show up in my chest. And I realized that in my dream, while there had been purpose and action, there had been no eagerness. And I noticed that this sensation or quality that I was feeling in my chest felt faint and fleeting. But as I could feel it, a sense of hopefulness and possibility, it felt like a lantern lighting up the cavern of my day and my life. A lantern against the enduring backdrop (cavern) of seriousness, effort, difficulty, uncertainty, and dread. My inner life seems to hold a constant quality of seriousness and dread.
With this lantern of eagerness turned on, I could see that the dread was not truthful. There is no inherent quality of dread and difficulty in my life. I FEEL dread, but it’s not the truth!
So I want to capture that quality of excitement and eagerness, and translate it into an image. I picked – or saw in my mind – a bluebird, like a Disney animation. It seemed hokey, but getting lost in pop culture critical analysis does not seem useful here. So I’m accepting the bluebird. Maybe I’m the Disney Cinderella.
My intention for today is to continually return to the image of the bluebird, and to move through my activities with the posture and energy of eagerness and hope – whether or not I can actually feel eager or hopeful. The additional intention is to make a study of what will tend to evoke those feelings. I know that posture can have a huge impact on feelings. So in addition to an internal posture of hope, I will adopt some physical postures and gestures: holding my head up and shoulders back, smiling, lifting my arms in gratitude. I will take on these physical postures as I can remember to, and see how it affects my emotional and neurological state. And I will look for other physical postures that both represent and cultivate eagerness and hope.
Update from 2 days later: The bluebird worked for that day.
But the following day it did not work. I tried to access the image and I couldn’t remember and it didn’t help me. On bluebird day, the sense of eagerness arose spontaneously from my body. The next day, it was a leftover image with no juice.