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Going to my church Mass, singing and praying and focusing on the homily usually brings me much peace.
Stop. Look. Go.
Pray – usually Lord’s prayer.
Sing (or hum if I’m in public) – usually a hymn.
This is a tough question (I have been struggling a lot with it). I try taking moments to “ground” myself and bring my attention to “now”. I also try not to worry about things that are out of my control (honestly, what is the point of that besides putting us in an anxious/suffering mood, when the outcome we think may happen is something we create on our minds, and they have little to no chance actually to happen). I think I am doing much better on this as I am getting older and developing myself while navigating depression/anxiety.
I read spiritual passages.
I remind myself to breathe deeply.
Happy Beautiful Sunday All……✨🙏🏻❤️
I have a few techniques:
Pray and have a beverage ☕️
This too shall pass
Face it, enter it with courage, and then wash my hands after the experience and remember what was learned about me
When things get difficult or chaotic,
I try to remember to breathe. This is
when my breath centered meditation
becomes very practical.
I go to my breath, then ask, “Where are your feet?” to ground me further to the here and now.
In chaos I always go to prayer. Prayer is what helps me to the next step….and if I can remember to take a deep breath, stop my mind chatter and walk to the next step in prayer…that will help the chaos within and around me.
By a pause, standing or sitting still, and be in tune with my breathe. Gentle weekend to all. 🍁🌻🍂
I have not been very good at creating peace lately. I have let fear reign. For me, that always leads to chaos in both mind and body. That monkey Joseph speaks of will not shut up and it rules my mind taking me out of the moment and into the “shackles of should.” My body becomes so tense that the pain I am already experiencing feels unbearable and I want to “give up instead of give in.” A ridiculous bargaining with life begins. Yesterday morning when I awoke after a rough night, I actually found my self uttering, “I need a miracle.” Almost immediately, I found my body relaxing and the pain becoming bearable. I sighed with relief.
Then I thought: What just happened? Where did that come from? I knew my utterance came from desperation but it felt like a prayer and it came from deep within. I knew it was not a thought. Was it a moment of surrender? I didn’t say “I want a miracle.” I said “I need a miracle.” I wasn’t trying to fight or flee. Honestly, I don’t know where the words came from but apparently I was blessed with a moment of clarity. It was not a moment of “This too will pass.” It was the realization that it might not pass but the strength I needed to bear it was available to me.
For me chaotic moments occurs when I revert to my egoic fears of losing control and failure. My 12-Step sponsor use to remind me that “The opposite of fear is not courage, it is love.” It is acceptance. It is willingness.
This morning I perused my journals for the word chaos and found this entry from 2007. I share it for those who may have time to read it.
Cycles…life is filled with seasons: some joyful, some sorrowful but all challenging us to be open, willing and fully alive.
When I was in my early thirties, I played 16 year old Luisa in the musical “The Fantasticks”, I was very convincing in the part but the power of that play was really beyond my conscious awareness. I understood that the first act was fantasy and the second act was reality but I did not connect that fact to the importance of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and willing to accept life on its terms. I certainly had not gained that depth of awareness in my personal life.
Luisa sings in the first act, “I’d like to swim in a clear blue stream where the water is icy cold. Then go to town in a golden gown and have my fortune told. Just once, just once, just once before I’m old. I’d like to be not evil but a little worldly-wise; to be the kind of girl designed to be kissed upon the eyes.”
Yes, we all want fantasy but perhaps the “kiss upon the eyes” is the kiss of awareness. The play’s narrator, El Gallo, literal translation…the Cock…the rooster…wipes a tear from Luisa’s cheek and leads her toward awareness. He gives her a mask and from time to time challenges her to remove the mask and deal in reality.
When I saw the play in Greenwich Village several years after I played Luisa in a community theatre production, Luisa was like a robot when she had the mask on…a mechanical doll with rigid movements that appeared to be programmed. Whenever the mask was removed, she was vulnerable but also alive! The director of the Greenwich Village production understood that vulnerability is necessary if Luisa wants to grow in awareness. His brilliant direction really brought home the fact that we all tend to limit ourselves when we allow others to program us and refuse to be vulnerable enough to experience true intimacy. When we are not willing to see and face reality, we exist but we do not live.
The song, “Try to Remember”, keeps bringing the audience to that vulnerable place which paradoxically is the point where we feel the most alive, the most harmony and wholeness. The world may be in chaos, our bodies may be failing us; but if we remember our birthright embracing that natural grace that gave us life, we will be responding to the song’s call to follow…follow…follow our hearts – for it is the heart that puts feeling into our thoughts and thoughts which are filled with feeling manifest.
But if they are fear-fueled thoughts, they create a fire that burns and chars instead of warms. They create a battle within that keeps us in the lobby of the theatre…missing the second half of the show. Most people live in the first act, the fantasy, and many die at the intermission. Then they exist ‘til their body fails and the energy of the spirit that seeks intimacy departs and moves on to try again…to manifest in another personality with the hope of resurrection…the hope of an ending which reclaims the tree of life…a resurrection that scriptures call paradise.
Creation is One and its evolution thrives on true vulnerability. Dogma often gets in the way of our vulnerability and we become tribal. We revolve instead of evolve. But if we realize that life is trustworthy and continuously invites us to “come and see” be present and thrive. It invites us to be open, willing and vulnerable enough to say, “Here I am.”
Julie Andrews performs the song “Try to Remember” from the musical “The Fantasticks” at the link below. I like to think of the word, REMEMBER, as RE-Membering, reclaiming the oneness of creation and honoring it.
It’s good to hear that you have been able to smooth your difficult path a bit, Carol. May you continue to tend yourself in the best way possible.
Thanks…your words are appreciated.
Maeve, you are most welcome.
Focus on the breath. Slow down what I’m doing if possible. And if it’s mental chaos, I try to think of three things that I’m grateful for.
Meditations. They really help me. And music is another gift I use to add calmness to chaotic moments and days. But first, sometimes, I need to just say BREATHE and that is enough.
the breath – bring attn to your breath.
Someone may choose not to think about suffering to stay in peace. For me, whenever I’m during chaotic, I think of my mom’s suffering and how she overcame it. That creates peace in my mind. My mom thinks about her children creating peace in her dark moments, and I think about her creating peace in my darkness moment. Overall, love creates peace in my chaotic moments.
I have not had any chaotic moments of late. Not sure how long, but it has been quite a while though. I have created chaos in my life for myself and 0thers due to my excessive use of alcohol. During this past 20 months of abstinence chaos has been mostly absent. Living with awareness, staying in the present, expressing gratitude, practicing meditation have all helped me to calm moments, in the not-so-distant past, that would have been fuel to the fire of events and/or emotions that would have spun into chaos for myself and others around me. When the monkey in my mind begins to emerge with incessant chatter, I no longer numb him out. I invite him into my lap. This also helps to decrease the accelerations of chaos.
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