Before You React, Reflect!

This morning I came across a colleagues name and that reminded me that she had not responded to my last three emails, which were requests for assistance on something that she easily could have said no to.  I felt myself getting angry, and feeling dissed, and then my imagination began thinking up ways to trick her into responding just to prove that my emails were going through and she was purposely not responding.

Instead of doing something hurtful, I did some tapping, some breathing, and then I got the message below from my friend Madisyn Taylor of DailyOm.   This was exactly what I needed to be reminded of, just at the right moment, so thought I  would share it with all of you:

 “We have all had the experience of reacting in a way that was less than ideal upon hearing bad news, or being unfairly criticized, or being told something we did not want to hear. This makes sense because when our emotions are triggered, they tend to take center stage, inhibiting our ability to pause before we speak. We may feel compelled to release the tension by expressing ourselves in some way, whether it’s yelling back at the person yelling at us, or rushing to deliver words of comfort to a friend in trouble. However, there is much to be said for teaching ourselves to remember to pause and take a deep breath before we respond to the shocks and insults that can come our way in life.

For one thing, our initial response is not always what’s best for us, or for the other people involved. Reacting to childish rage with childish rage will only escalate the negativity in a situation, further ensnaring us in an undesirable dynamic. Similarly, when we react defensively, or simply thoughtlessly, we often end up feeling regret over our words or actions. In the end, we save ourselves a lot of pain when we take a deep breath and really tune in to ourselves, and the other person, before we respond. This doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t say anything, although in some cases, that may be the best option.

Some situations require a fairly immediate response, but even just a moment of grounding ourselves before we do so can help enormously. The next time you find yourself wanting to react, try to pause, and in that pause, take a deep breath. Feel your feet on the floor, the air on your skin, and listen for a response to arise within you, rather than just going with the first thing that pops into your head. You may find that in that moment, there is the potential to move beyond reaction and into the more subtle and creative realm of response, where something new can happen.”

If you would like more wisdom from Madisyn Taylor, know that she is a Billboard recording artist and international best-selling author and co-founder and editor-in-chief of the popular inspirational website www.DailyOM.com responsible for all its content. Her newest award-winning book from Simon & Schuster is: Unmedicated The Four Pillars of Natural Wellness which documents her journey through anxiety and depression and how she became whole again.

Wishing you love, laughter and magical kisses,

 Arielle

P.S. Meet Me in Chicago or Big Sur, CA– I will be in Chicago at the Infinity Foundation for The Soulmate Secret LIVE workshop Saturday, April 27th  and I will be teaching at the breathtakingly beautiful Esalen weekend of  May 8-10. Details here: https://www.arielleford.com/events/

Mindful Resolutions for a Happier 2019

Did you glide through 2018 with a big smile on your face?

Was 2018 a year of grace and ease under pressure?

If not, here are some amazing tips for a kinder, gentler 2019.

My friend Julie Potiker, author of  “Life Falls Apart, but You Don’t Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm In the Midst of Chaos,” offers super useful tips to make sure 2019 is a year of serenity and mindfulness.

  1. Take In the Good: In 2019, turn your focus toward experiencing the fullness of every beautiful, joyful, silly, fun, or wonderful experience you have. Savor the positive mental state for a few moments to create new neural bridges; what fires together, wires together! By letting the good feelings land, you are pushing the mental state into a neural trait, resulting in a happier brain.

 

  1. Label Negative Emotions: Practice R.A.I.N. When you experience anger, frustration, sadness, or any other negative emotion, recognize it by saying, “Oh, that’s anger” (or whatever the emotion is) coming up right now.” The mere mention of the emotion calms down the brain. Then allow it to be there for a few moments while you gently investigate why it’s there. Finally, nourish yourself by looking inward and asking what you need to hear or do right now to help yourself feel better.

 

  1. Do What Gives You Joy: Life is full of emotional chaos, but bringing it back to focused activities that give joy to your soul can mean the difference between making or breaking it day to day, year to year. Take a few minutes to write down a list of everything you can think of that brings you joy — little things and big things alike — then commit to doing one thing from that list every day.

 

  1. Get Grounded: When you feel anxiety ramping up, focus your attention downward and feel your feet on the floor. Breathe deeply, keeping your focus on the sensation of your feet (i.e., bare, in socks or shoes, whatever — feel it all, just as it is) on the floor. This is an instant tool to break the cycle of anxiety.

 

  1. Transform Suffering Into Love (Tonglen): When you experience suffering — whether from a personal tragedy, an international one, or anything in between — use the Receiving-Sending meditation to transform that suffering into love. Breathe in the pain and sorrow; breathe out love and compassion. Breathe in the suffering; breathe out peace.

 

This year, let mindfulness help you become more resilient. Feel your frustration or disappointment or whatever it is that comes up for you, then turn to one of your Mindful Methods tools to comfort yourself, as you would comfort a dear friend. You are that dear friend! You can enjoy the present more without ruminating on the past or worrying as much about the future.

I would suggest you print these out and post somewhere as a daily reminder!

Wishing you love, laughter and magical kisses,

Arielle

P.S. Julie is hosting at nonprofit retreat center A Ship In the Woods in Escondido, CA. She is donating all proceeds from ticket sales and onsite book sales to the A Ship In the Woods 501(c)(3) charitable organization.  Please visit: