Stress release

Know Yourself Beyond the Thoughts

Last week I was in Greece at the Know Thyself retreat with Eckhart Tolle.

He is warm, compassionate and surprisingly funny. He is a weird and extremely wise human being, and yes, he still has an ego.

I didn’t really know what to expect from the retreat but my intention was to deepen my consciousness.

I have never taken fewer notes in a retreat or seminar than I did on this retreat. I have always taken a lot of notes but this time I wanted to stop focusing on my notes, over-achieving, and instead focus on being, breathing and allowing it soak in.

It was part of the practice and it worked well.

I got a great reminder of why I started doing the work I’m doing today. It all started from the present, through my own, not that gentle experience, of awakening.

With all acceptance of and detachment from my past, I have to say it could have been a lot easier if I hadn’t resisted the change so much but listened to my inner voice.

It’s very common for people to say life or universe, higher powers, god, however you call it, doesn’t want me to do or have this.

Or they think the universe needs them to go through something the hard way.

It’s not true, the limitless, abundant universe wants all the best for you.

Each and every moment we create our reality; the manifestations are based on our choices: from thoughts and feelings to reality.

Most people are just not conscious about it. They don’t want to stop to see it, as their unhappy repetitive stories keep them stuck in their minds and resisting their goodness.

I can relate.

For years I was waiting for the “sign” and the right time and in the meantime I kept suffering. I didn’t see there were signs all around me. It was roaring in my ears while I kept myself struggling.

I lived in denial without the ability to face the challenges and the feelings I felt, trying to shut down the calling and my desires to become a creator. It all made me feel that I was living a trapped life.

I learned that becoming aware of your thoughts and you can then recognize the mind patterns.

For me, spirituality means and is one important part of us, it’s part of humanness. It’s not a religion, nothing that someone has or hasn’t, it’s awareness about the essence of the self. It’s a key to happiness and contentment.

Once you become aware of the awareness, presence and the conditioned self, you become free.

It’s the learned old beliefs and emotional concepts that keep people in the cycle of self-sabotage.

To have a life you love, you have to create it consciously.

Getting over obstacles and challenges, that will never go away completely, becomes a lot easier when there is self-awareness and non-judgemental unconditional acceptance.

Acceptance (and forgiveness) is the key to releasing and changing anything. Accepting our situation, ourselves, and others are the keys leading to consciousness and sense of self - being you requires no time at all.

At any moment peace can be found in the presence, connecting with it by breathing and sense of self.

The more open we are to receiving, the easier it is to make good choices and put in the conscious effort that will open up more possibilities for us.

The answers and creative solutions can be found from stillness, behind the distracted mind.

Learn to listen.

Practice being present and learn the habits of becoming aware and connecting with the self. Life is not satisfying if the spaciousness is missing.

My biggest takeaway from the retreat was the “hurry slowly” practice that became part of my days.

I’ve been balancing between the high-intensity energy, creative bursts, that have kept me in the doing mode, thinking about the next thing in the future, and the total being mode when nothing happens.

Hurry slowly means that I consciously connect with the presence, checking my thoughts and feelings and the space behind it. I want to balance the yin-yang, push-pull feeling and bring more being and doing together.

How to do it?  

Set the timer and stop for a couple of minutes every hour to check in and do nothing, think nothing and just breathe.

Breathing, which is automatic and a gift itself, connects with the consciousness, our higher selves and the body.

You breathe is always with you. That’s the way to create more time too. There’s no time in presence. Or there’s as much time as you need.

We don’t have to be totally zen or aim to attain complete thoughtlessness or egolessness. Our mind also protects us, keeps us safe.

We don’t need to meditate hours daily, sacrifice our sleep, or over-achieve the spiritual practices, or do years of soul-searching.

Little things matter, you don’t need time to find the best version of yourself. It’s already there: you are here.

Connect behind the cacophony, and enjoy the yourself. You deserve goodness and happiness, now.

Becoming free from ourselves requires conscious awareness:

Learn to recognize your thoughts and feelings to let go of the past with unconditional acceptance.

Elevate your thinking, rise above the obvious.

Ask questions, don’t believe the old stories you tell yourself.

Get support.

When you are willing to change and are ready to heal, it will happen. What you want wants you.  

How can you deepen your consciousness? How could you listen to yourself better?

I’d love to hear from you! Ask questions, or comment below what habits or changes have worked for you!


Much love, Jenni

P.S. Sign up for my weekly newsletter and get more inspiration, practical spiritual guidance and free helpful resources here.

If you find this helpful, share with your friends!

6 steps to break a worry habit

A while ago I noticed an unhealthy pattern had sneaked in my life. It was a reminisce of my years in the corporate world, but I hadn't felt it for years, and the old familiar feelings rang my health and wellness alarms.

I don't play with health or happiness anymore, so I looked into my habits (of thinking and behaving) to understand what was causing it and to know how to make changes:

I had a productive phase going on and I was producing a lot of new content. Long to-do list made me minimize the meditation and writing time in the mornings. I worked late and then stayed up late spending "my time" in Instagram and reading work-related books and articles late in the bed.

It was hard to get up in the mornings as I was awake at some point during the nights. I felt tired in the middle of the day. To keep myself going, I had started drinking coffee on the afternoon. I felt tired and wired at the same time.   

I was overdriving myself so that at the end of the week my brain was foggy and my body was over-heated, meaning I felt the blood pressure and cortisol levels were high.

I told myself it's temporary (and at the same time I was afraid it was not) and then I stopped: I don't want to do it this way, no matter what it is - I have a choice.

When I saw all these things and it was clear: I was suffering adrenaline fatigue. I lacked downtime and boundaries. 

In yoga, there is a rule that after an inversion pose it's good to rest the same amount of the time that you have been upside down. 

The same rule works in life: during the busier times, it's important to recharge the batteries - physically and mentally - all the time.

Creativity and productivity - both - require space and time. It's tough to create new ideas and be focused when your mind is full. 

What I did to fix it: 

The moment when I realized what was going on, I wanted to take responsibility for it.

I did the clarity exercise below and reduced all the unnecessary worries - there were not that much left after it - I felt at ease. 

Also, I booked time for acupuncture, scheduled a sweaty yoga class, took a herbal path and did nothing but relaxing for a couple of days - I planned time to relax. I observed my mind carefully and skipped everything that was too overwhelming and making my brain buzzing. I changed the bedtime routines: no more mobile time or work-related reading. Instyle magazine makes me snooze in five minutes. 

In the long run, adrenaline fatigue can create diseases as the body responses to mind’s constant overwhelm negative chatter and requirements.
 

Get to know your stress-factors and know your habits:

  • What habits of yours do you like, why?
  • What habits do you want to change? 

We need to keep track of our habits and know how they affect us - it can be very unconscious. If we don’t know what is creating the stress, we can’t react and respond it.


6 steps to releasing the stressful chaos and worries:

Take a pen and paper or open your notebook, and start answering the following questions:

  1. How do I feel now - in the body and mind?  

  2. What issues are stressing you and causing this feeling? Write them all down no matter it's 99 issues and worries. 

  3. What are the worries that you can't do anything about? The future is not in your hands, the now is.

  4. What can you do to your list? Prioritize them. 

  5. Plan how and when you get those things done (please don’t overplan and exhaust yourself as you can do only three foremost things per day).

  6. Ask yourself why have you chosen to do it? Remind yourself about your what you accomplish when you get there and finish the sentence:
     
    “I am doing this because…” and decide to be excited about it. You need to decide it if you don't feel it.

There you go - now you have a clear plan and you know it's doable and you can affect.

This gives you the motivation, as we all have to eat our shit sandwich as Elizabeth Gilbert calls it: no matter we follow our passions, we still need to do the work, and often it's challenging. 

When you choose to struggle for the things that matter to you and are important, it's not that bad at all as you know it is meaningful to you.   

The worrying thoughts won’t take away tomorrow’s problems, but they will take away today’s joy. 

If you liked this post, please share it, tweet it, pin it, like it!

With love,
Jenni