Our natural human flow is one of unconditional neutrality, or in lay terms of being OK. This feels loving, balanced, it is simply being who we are .
This is our true nature from the minute we are born. A way of being that just ‘is’.
Some of us may have experienced this space inside - it feels peaceful, free of worry.
when we live in this space we are not judging or blaming, we aren’t resisting or living in dread.
It is a space that has the same feeling of being AT HOME.
Why then, do we deviate from this ease?
The clue is in our own way of thinking, when we are not paying much attention to life, it seems to gain a gentle momentum, we feel at ease and notice small things that bring joy - the way the dog acts, the birds in the garden, our lovely partner or that first snowdrop. We are aware of things around us.
This state of mind alters when some small fearful thought begins to impact our day. in pops the should type thought. I should have worked yesterday; I should have marked those books; I should have tidied my desk or classroom on the last day of term.
And we feel it, like a nagging heavy feeling, or a punch- like thud in the pit of the stomach. A lurch.
WE DON'T HAVE TO STAY HERE OR EVEN LIVE in this mind state
The Key to our own health in 3 simple parts
As teachers, we work with our intellect, a simple input output logical problem solving model. This really helps us to plan, travel, create lessons, answer emails. Intellect cannot solve feelings too well.
1. Understanding the inner wellbeing THOUGHT machine
Dread, fear, anxiety is triggered by one single thought. It’s a 'variable' a switch from simple holiday thinking to work thinking. It can happen when we wake, when we are at play, when we are doing mundane chores. It pops right up and blows a thought raspberry in our faces.
That thought, in turn triggers a feeling and the brain goes yes, I have more of this anxiety memory from other dreads. By now we might have a school of dreadful thoughts inside our head, all with feelings that are heavy and worrisome.
2. Knowing where to turn, your inner navigation
You do not have to live in your dread or fearful thinking. I repeat, you DO NOT have to live here!
You know this, because most of the time you don’t. Even if you are going through a hard time there will be glimpses of neutral thought.
We have around 80 000 thoughts a day that flow through like a buoyant stream. We can really tell when we are in the flow - life just happens and it feels OK and better. Holiday mode. Resilience mode.
This inner space of no resistance is always available, we were born with it. This is the key piece - our very own inner navigation through emotions. It is within us. We already have everything we need. Nothing external can hurt us when we understand this paradigm.
When I am coaching teachers and leaders who have such worries and anxiety, a story of what is happening for them, I listen, hearing beyond the anxious thinking, seeing who they truly are - a fantastic human being having a sad experience. When I provide a space of calm where thinking can slow down - the dark stormy shadows settle and we always know what can be done in this space, always.
3 The final countdown
Being on twitter over the last few days I can see there is a sense of the good times running out and a focus on work dread building up. The January unknown or the what if thinking, the build up of guilt and dread and insecurity and we haven't even left home yet. And hey . . . It is perfectly human to have fluctuating thinking, OK one minute, worrying the next - just don’t trust the insecure stuff! Either party with it, leave it in the corner and be with it, or talk to a really good friend. (Lots of blogs are there to help, some on my website www.hlsgroup.net and a You Tube video below). You can also book a coaching session on my site, without waiting if it is an emergency and within a day or so if it isn't.
When we resist life, or we worry or maybe experience more guilt than usual, we are triggering our body’s natural fear responses and access to our mental resources begin to diminish temporarily. I say temporarily, that depends on you. Yes YOU!
The longer we choose to look in the direction of worry, the more we will filter it into our day to day reality.
If you feel STUCK in a thought pattern, like a snowstorm or raging fire, reach out for help. Talk to someone you trust, ask them to listen without fixing ( you are not broken) and without judging you.
TIP Do NOT believe your every thought., do believe the neutral unconditional thinking.
Thoughts ( and the feelings that tell us what we are thinking) are transient. This does not mean we don't remember the hard times (I have lost 2 family members a dear friend's young daughter and another friend since September). It means we have hope that fuels the way we can choose to be.
I am choosing to be whoever I am today, not resisting any sadness, noticing any worry. I certainly will not be prepping for Monday its sunny out there! Do whatever you can to support YOU. Make the decision whatever that is and enjoy it. YOU MATTER. As @FloraBarton reminded us - you are your best resource for the return to work.
Wishing you peace and joy all weekend.
Anni. Wellbeing Warrior, Curiosity Coach and human being (with lots on my human doing list if I let it grow!)
Simply Being YOU