Hopefully you have not had the experience of being pulled over and asked by the police how fast you think you were going only for them to tell you exactly how much over the speed limit you were. We all know the obvious reasons and the necessity for this… To keep us and others safe! The new trend to around town even provides you with a lit up sign called radarsigns telling you how fast you are going just in case you happened to be daydreaming about the wonderful dinner party you had last night or what you are going to say this time to your teenage son to motivate him to keep his room clean – instead of paying attention to your speed. So, just as radar, speed limits, and radarsigns act to keep us in check with our driving boundaries and keep us and others safe, so does our body act as radar for our boundaries with others to keep us safe and help us to maintain healthy connections with others. Here is how it works:
Step 1 – Firstly, we need to be willing and listen to our own personal radar in our body. The body is wise in gauging how comfortable we are or uncomfortable.
Step 2 – Have you ever found yourself doing something for someone when you did not really want to? We all have. But doing things we do not want to do or are not willing to do is not paying attention to your body radar and we in a sense betray ourselves and the relationship with the other person by doing so.
Step 3 – Be honest with others with regards to what you are and are not willing to do. Not only will your body radar thank you but you are then deepening your relationship with the other person. Being transparent, authentic, and consistent is reassuring for ourselves and for others as they know what to expect and you feel safe. They then feel safe with you too.
The fear may be setting in at this point as you think I could never do that and upset someone. Take another look at Step 3. You are right in that people may be upset or angry but we are not responsible for other’s feelings and behaviours and if they truly do value the relationship they will come around and understand the importance of all three steps for a healthy nurturing connection. If they don’t…. Well, it then becomes your choice to abandon your body radar and continue to do things you do not want to do and your choice to sit in the resentment of it all. Or you can adhere to the three steps and keep you and those you care about safe all the while enjoying the amazing ride of the beauty and depthness in your relationships.
I love snow. For me it signifies a sense of calmness, clarity, comfort. I know that some of you may be wondering what is wrong with me and I completely understand as when Vancouver does get the odd snowfall during the winter it can (and has) at times almost shut the city down, and I do hope that if you experienced the past week of snowfall here that you were safe and faired well in the fluffy wet white stuff. Growing up partially in Alberta I am used to it and I also lucked out in that it happened to be winter when I received my driver’s license and so I learned how to drive right out of the gate at sixteen in the mist of a blizzard on Vancouver Island. Driving was my passage to freedom (as it must be for any teenager getting his or her license) and the snow was not going to stop me or prevent this freedom. Last Monday morning when the snow heavily began to fall I stopped what I was worked on, bundled myself up in warm clothes, made a cup of tea and went outside and sat on my porch to take in how breath-taking it was. As I sipped my tea I could not get over how snow falling creates a mesmerizing welcomed soft void of silence. For many moments I could literally not hear anything and I took this in with such vigor that I tangibly could feel the calmness and the sense of my whole being slowing down and feeling safe and comforted. Just me, by myself, enjoying the moments as the snow continued to fall. Peacefulness and fulfillment moved over me. Here I was taking time to just be and to be with myself and allowing myself to take this time in the midst of falling snow. It was truly wonderful… Thank you snow.
I truly enjoy having my kittens often act as my muses, and within my deep love for them at times they do inspire me in writing my blog. Oh Piper… Some of you might remember the vacuum fiasco back in the summer where he came high-tailing it around the corner only to encounter head on me and the vacuum and in pure instinct mode picked up the pace and used my foot as traction (I now have a scar on my left foot from my little guy). Well… I decided to buy my kittens a new and quieter vacuum as the aforementioned incident I felt quite bad vacuuming but it is both necessary for a clean house and to maintain the ghost like clumps of long hair that are constantly being extracted from Piper and Prue. As it turned out the quiet vacuum became solely my gift and Pipey still lost it and climbed the curtain right to the top and held himself there in desperation. I put the vacuum away and coaxed my little man down. Once he had shimmied himself half way down the curtain I was able to catch him and slowing placed him on the ground. His poor little heart was just racing a hundred miles an hour so I put my body over his and hugged him and felt sad that at last we had not solved the vacuum dilemma with a quieter machine. Sitting with Piper until we managed to get his little system back to a state of equilibrium, it took my thoughts to doing this for ourselves. Paying attention to our own little systems and slowing the body down when activated for whatever reason. Similar to my soothing with Pipey, when we are noticing and paying attention to what our bodies are doing we can give the body what it needs. Running away, ignoring, or getting angry with ourselves only exacerbates what is happening in the body. Listening, noticing, and being with the body and holding ourselves is what the body wants. The body will thank you and release and calm down just as we did with Piper.
Immersed wholeheartedly into the first week of this year, have you made any commitments or goals? Do you make New Year resolutions to eat better, exercise more, be better organized, or to spend more time with those you adore? Although these are all noble acts to obtain and movement towards better health; notice that they are all external to you. This could very well be why by the time February rolls around other things absorb your attention and the resolution(s) fall by the wayside. How about trying something different this year that will inevitably lead you to those external goals. A movement from inner commitment to outward commitment. Spending time nurturing your inner self. Paying attention to your body. Noticing when and how you are breathing. Catching the tightness in your stomach or the tension in your shoulders. Just being there for you. Making a conscious decision and choice to notice, pay attention, be there for you. A commitment to dive into the richness of nurturing and extending your relationship with yourself. By doing just this it will take you towards openness and depthness in your relationship with others. It will move you up and willingly to want to exercise, eat well, take pride in doing a good job, and wanting to take time to play and relax. The depthness of your relationship with you. After all, you have nothing to loss and so much to gain this coming year by being with you.