Glad No Matter What
Transforming Loss and Change into Gift and Opportunity
New World Library Copyright © 2010 Sark
All rights reserved.
NOT GLAD TO ALL
It is as important to to occupy the "not glad" places as it is to be glad.
Society puts a lot of positive attention on feeling Good, Glad, Whole, Happy, Confirmed, Centered, Joy-Full, Exuberant, and Thrilled. These are all great feelings, and as we know, they don't and cannot last.
We will all experience the highs and lows and the rich, fertile middle spaces of our feelings on a continuous basis. Learning to navigate all the spaces skillfully and artfully will give us strong tools to reach for in all kinds of times. If we don't practice with those tools in advance, we won't know how or what to reach for when we need them.
Allowing yourself to feel "not glad" when you don will actually allow you to feel glad more often.
It works like this:
"I feel "not glad" but I will hide it repress it, substitute other things, deny it, lie about it, avoid it, make up stories to cover it up."
So "not glad" is not seen or head and has no choice but to get louder And "louder" looks like: Unhappier, lost, hopeless, low hum of sadness, crabby, off center, negative self-talk.
Even 1-5 seconds of acknowledging a not glad feeling will cause this energy to be able to shift and change. It looks like this:
"Not as bad as I thought, learning to accept what is, discovering new facts, asking for support, feeling a bit better than I did."
Most of us avoid even the 1-55 seconds why?
Because it feels familiar to be in paid and struggle.
We are more accustomed to these feelings and know All kinds of strategies and coping mechanisms: overeating or drinking, smoking, compulsive exercise or work, or just denying, avoiding lying or hiding.
These all work in the short term and we know it.
We don't know as much about the longer term or middle way, and it might feel mysterious or uncertain. Our skills here are just under- or undeveloped.
We all just want to "feel better," and this is good!
But habitually trying to avoid feeling bad leads us to feeling worse. Losses multiply, grief stacks up, and them we often "strike ourselves down" with illness, depression or other setbacks that we then blame on outside circumstances.
Go to the feelings menu in the front of this book, look up how you feel in this moment, and read from the sections indicated. You can just do this randomly. Remember that you might be feeling a combination of feelings. Of course, our feelings shift and change frequently — sometimes literally in the time it takes to blink your eye.
We don't trust this, and think if we identify or name a feeling, it could or will grow and crush some part of us to death.
Actually, the opposite occurs — if we can acknowledge our feelings, they can then transform. Sometimes feelings feel so excruciating, it seems clear that we cannot live with or through them.
If you closely follow a child, or the child parts in yourself and observe them feeling their feelings, you will notice a flow of feelings one to another — like movements of water.
Feelings are in motion this way, not stuck and obsessed over like adults 'feelings sometimes are. I like to call it "the raccoon feature" when we go over and over a feeling, holding it in your little paws like a raccoon, and we don't or can't put it down.
And then there's no room there for a new feeling to arise. In order to promote the flow of feelings ...
Start noticing and speaking of your feelings differently. See if you can consciously experiment with multiple feelings. For example, imagine a good friend changing a plan and your response being: 'of course I understand! I feel a bit disappointed that I won't see you, but I also feel glad to have some extra time for myself.
This way, you're honoring both feelings, simultaneously. So often, we don't acknowledge the disappointed feeling or the glad feeling. When we can experience and express multiple feelings, we are expanding our emotion capacities.
If you don't feel ready to share your feelings out loud, you can write them down and experiment with nuances or little bits of feelings and name them as soon as you can identify them. This will give you an expanded feelings language to work with.
As you experience the flow of feelings more often, you will begin to trust your feelings and make more space for them.
This will create a way for feelings to move and change more frequently.
As your feelings change, you will be in motion yourself, able to move gracefully from anger or despair to sadness to hope.
It's like an emotional dance party: some dances will be your favorites — others more awkward or difficult to learn. Some will be boring or make you mad. Some you will wish you never needed to do again. But AHA! You think. I will dance all the dances I can.
FEELING GLAD WHEN YOU DO
One of the great things about doing these transformative practices is the capacity for more gladness more of the time. Sometimes people get so occupied by other kinds of feelings. that they really don't experience gladness very often at all.
I created a daily — or sometimes — practice to help myself navigate through challenging feelings and allow the gladness too. It's called:
THREE PART HARMONY
You'll want to have a pen and paper, or if you write more easily on a computer, use that. It will take between 5-30 minutes, and 5 minutes is a good starting point.
PART I OF THE HARMONY IS MAD PAGES
@ Across the top of a piece of paper write any and all words to describe challenging feelings you may be having right now: worried, scared frustrated, furious, overwhelmed, anxious, angry, intolerant, annoyed, irritated, confused mad, and so on.
* i uses recycled paper or backs of paper for these
@ Then, make a fast of everything you can think of that's causing you to feel the feelings you listed, small to large. Let yourself get very dramatic and theatrical. Use lots of exclamation points.
They love to be over used
Underline things: Abbreviate. Don't think about it. Just write. Get it all out. Write until you can't think of one more thing. It sometimes takes me 6-8 pages. Sometimes less You're not going to share these pages with anyone, so don't censor yourself.
@ When you're finished, take 3 deep breaths. Fold the pages and address them to the universe, or god, or whoever you think is larger than you.
@ This action is often enough to begin transforming these kinds of thought. It "clear the way", and when they return, they won't have the same impact of velocity — because a process has occurred. You've let them "speak," and in that space From your head to the page, they can change shape. Humor can enter; equilibrium can return.
equilibrium loves to return
PART 2 OF THE HARMONY IS WISE PAGES
@ I like to write "wise voice gladly speaks" across the top of a piece of paper
@ Your wise self is the same as your higher self, nurturing part, good parent or higher spirit. It's the part that's with you all the time: reassuring, reminding supporting encouraging — pure positive energy presenting unconditional love.
@ Take out your mad pages and let your wise self respond to each item you're written
Your wise self is very kind and knowing and sees you only with benevolent eyes. Write reassuring, comforting and supportive comments.
Let your wise self really "speak" to you through the writing, and you will be surprised at all its has to offer. At first, you might feel like you're making things up, and that's perfectly fine. The words will have a good effect either way.
As you gain experience and practice tuning in to your wise self, you will have greater access to this part all the time, even when you're not writing your feelings, moods and responses to yourself and other people.
I use endearments when writing as my wise self, like: Honey darling angel face, and I can feel its transforming my mood almost immediately.
After your wise self has responded and reframed everything on the mad pages, you can rip up and recycle those, because the thoughts and feelings have now shifted.
Save your wise voice pages to reflect on later.
I keep a special folder for my wise voice pages
PART 3 OF THE HARMONY IS GLAD PAGES
You could call things grateful, good things, happy times, or just glad.
@ Write across the top of a piece of paper all the delicious emotions you can think of: elated, joy-full, thrilled, happy, lucky, great, overjoyed
@ Make a list of everything you feel glad or grateful for. I also include things that are in the process of transforming, such as certain kinds of sadness that I'm glad about feeling.
* remember that you're practicing weaving together multiple feelings simultaneously
Doing parts 1 and 2 of the three-part harmony clears the way for noticing and welcoming more gladness. This three-part harmony practice sets you up for feeling gladness more often, more pretty, and more clearly. Then when other kinds of feelings arise, you have a way to alchemize and transform them.
Instead of saying "feel better" to yourself and others, say just one word:
Help the world by being glad
Give Lovingly And Daringly
People wonder all the time, "How can I help the world?"
One of the very best ways to be glad. Glad people give more, and give more creatively.
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive And then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who come alive"
Dr. Howard Thurman
And as you know this does not mean being glad all the time, but glad more often.
After a huge earthquake happened in Haiti, a 7 years old boy in London spoke from his glad heart and said, "I want to help, in Haiti and raise money by rising my bicycle." He had raised]BL 500 when a news station gladly picked up the story.
A week later, he had raised 250,000.
There are literally countless glad hearts stories, and I recommend reading them, steeping yourself in them and reminding yourself that they're always going on, and that you have a glad heart too.
We want to hear what your glad heart says
Your idea might first appear to be as unlikely as an upside down elephant and turn into something just as substantial.
The real story of pollyanna
All my life I've heard people say to me, "Oh, you're just even a pollyanna." Pollyanna is thought of a smoke kind of positive ninny who natively tried to disregard "tough times."
The truth is, Pollyanna is the fiction story of a young girl who parents had died, and she was seat to live with relatives she didn't know, in a small town. She invented "the glad game" and relentlessly found something good in every situation, even though she was living through her own tough times. By doing this, she transformed the town.
Finding gifts and gladnesses in every situation does not mean disregarding pain, sorrow or suffering.
It means that you choose to see the gift in every situation, and believe it's always there.
And it's joy practice! If you choose to find and see "the bad". you will.
It really is that simple.
People practicing and sharing gladness are gifts to the world, no matter what circumstances are happening.
I choose to live life as a "real" polyanna and to share a life made of goodness and gladness.
I've been happily engaged in this all my life and its a life full of miracles
I invite you to join me if you're not already practicing this.
Here's a badge from 1913 that you can cut out or copy, and wear.
"Dance till the stars come down with the rafters; Dance, dance, Dance till you drop."
W. H. Auden
Screen of Contemplation
@ redevelop your inner capacities for feeling
@ do this by assessing your current feeling capacities and making changes that inspired you
@ practice by talking about this and experiencing with your new strength
Quotes for change
"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end"
"Today I open my hearts hand to allow the touch of hope"
@ Prondia is the antidote for prondia rob bezzy
@ This time i dance! Tam Kieves
@ Stumbling on happiness Daniel Gilbert
@ Broken open Elizabeth Lesser
@ Pollyanna Eleanor H. Porter
@ Happy for no reason Marci Shimoff
@ Be yourself, everyone is already taken Mike Robbins
@ Living Juicy Sark
@ Pass it on Joanna Macy
@ Good news network.org
@ Other kinds of resources
@ play the transformation game "A game about the way you play your life" innerlinks.com
"The aim of life is to live. And to live means to be aware. Joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware."
Waves of Love
Exquisite self-love and care especially during times of loss and change
The subject of self love is often misunderstood. It's usually thought of a egotistical or self serving.
In its purest and most simple form, it is you loving you so that you can truly love others.
We are all in long-term relationships with ourselves and have an opportunity to practice loving ourselves the way we wish others would love us.
We are not taught or guided about how to actually feel self-loving. We're just expected to be able to do it without examples, teachers, role models or permission to support ourselves as self-loving souls.
Certainly we're not supposed to talk about it!
If we hear someone say, "I'm so in love with myself," we might I think that they're narcissistic or self-absorbed or selfish. We might even laugh nervously because it's so unusual.
If more people declare themselves to be self-loving, it will become marvelously common and everybody will begin doing it. When we talk about self-love, it can multiply and exposed and spread to others.
Consider asking someone"
"How well are you loving yourself today?" I asked my mail carrier How well he was loving himself, and he smiled widely, put down the mail, and just stood there reflecting. After a few moments, with a little self-loving smile, He said: "I am so glad you asked me that today! Now I'm going to get myself a little gift after work."
I walked away smiling and feeling love from our exchange.
During a radio interview with 2 hosts, I spontaneously asked How well they were loving themselves. One of the hosts laughed and immediately responded:
"I'm loving myself so well! I'm just completing a 30 days yoga challenge, and afterwards I walk through a park and share love with as many people as I can reach."
I felt uplifted and rather amazed by the answer, and kind of relativity asked the second host the same question. He said: "I'm practicing loving all the parts of me. I'm doing mirror work right now and sending love to the parts of my body that I have previously ignored or even hated."
I felt amazed by this answer
Practicing self-love can be infinitely more challenging when we are impressed in sadness, loss, change, or if we're feeling frantic, out of control of scared of letting go.
Many of us will discontinue self-loving practices — if we ever had them — at that point. We might retreat into isolation, addictions, or other strategies to avoid or try to "wall off" loss of grief.
and no wall is lasting
Some part of us knows this doesn't work, but sometimes we can't help it.
Establishing a foundation of self-love practices in advanced gives you tools to use during times of loss or change.
Practicing self-love will work also in the midst of loss or change. I will share a menu of self-love practices, and you can try the ones that resonate with you.
When you don't feel self-loving at all
The point is not to feel self-loving all the time. The point is to practice loving yourself as consistent as possible, in all kinds of conditions. We tend to idealize new systems and think things like, "loving myself — that sounds good, I shall do that." And the minute we fail, falter or lose our grip we judge that we're not being self-loving enough
It's not true! It's all part of the practice. Isn't it odd that when we love others, we know that they'll disappoint or uses us along the way, but we don't give our very selves the same leeway?
What about when we experience self-hatred, self-neglect, despair, deep loneliness, or self-avoidance? It really is simple. (Continues...)
Excerpted from Glad No Matter What by Sark. Copyright © 2010 Sark. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.
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