Happy, happy Monday you guys.
I’m SO excited to be sharing this brand new MINDFULNESS series that sits so well with my soul I can’t even tell you. It was a total download that I had while I was drifting off to sleep one night (that’s usually when they come in – go figure) and I swear I just shot up and was like “YES. Thank you. This is right. This is happening.” Ideas started flooding to me when it came to things that I’ve personally been through, as well as topics and scenarios that we as humans can all relate to, but then I realized — I want to hear from YOU. I want to hear what all of you are personally going through, so that not only am I (hopefully) able to help with a current situation you’re in, but that others who are going through similar things can really feel like they’re not alone. That’s the WHOLE mission of this brand. To learn a new, balanced way of living amongst the chaos and the struggles, and to know full well that we’re not in it alone.
Isn’t that a freaking relief to read that and know in your very core that it’s the truth?
When I posted on my IG stories last week about asking for your questions, I got a few right off of the bat that were just so, so good. So instead of starting with one of my own or one of the more basic scenarios, I thought we’d hit the ground running with a reader’s question. So here it is:
“HOW DO I STAY MINDFUL WHEN I’M OVERWHELMED AND STRESSED IN ALL AREAS OF MY LIFE? HONESTLY, THEY’RE SMALL TRIGGERS AND I USUALLY FLARE UP WITH EMOTIONS, AND THEN I’M FINE.. IT’S STRANGE. FOR EXAMPLE: WHEN I COME HOME FROM A LONG DAY, I JUST WANT TO RELAX. I’M STRESS FREE IN THE CAR, AND THEN WHEN I STEP INTO MY HOUSE, I’M BOTHERED BY SMALL THINGS ALL OF THE TIME – LIKE DISHES NOT GETTING DONE, THE MAILING PILING UP, ETC.”
Raise your hand if you can relate. I mean, at one point or another all of us have been there. This was the story of my life back when I was in an unhealthy relationship. It was filled with resentment and being so far out of alignment with my insides, so I would allow myself to be triggered by the smallest thing. Now, hear me clearly when I say that I’m not in any way, shape or form suggesting that you are unhappy in your relationship, however, it’s evident that there’s something inside of you that needs to be seen so that you can gain the tools to let the feelings land where they may, mindfully.
Before we start with what those things might be, I want to just touch on what I mean by “letting the feelings land where they may, mindfully.”
Living a mindful life isn’t necessarily all about being calm 24/7, regardless of what the name of my brand might be. Rather, it’s about being totally, completely and utterly aware of your thoughts, your patterns, your cells, your vibrations, your emotions — learning to be so incredibly in tune with your insides that you can quite literally walk yourself through any given scenario. Here’s an example:
You’re in bumper to bumper traffic and you can feel the blood boiling from your toes up to the crown of your head. It feels like you’re going zero to sixty without skipping a beat, and all of a sudden you can’t take it. Your muscles are tense, your knuckles turn white from gripping the wheel, and you just start sobbing. But WHILE you’re doing this, you’re also tuning in. Your cry gets a little quieter, you breathe deeper, and you hear your intuition say, “I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in over 3 days. I feel so exhausted, and that disagreement that I had with ____ yesterday is not sitting well with me. I’m so freaking heavy.”
You’re going through the motions. You’re feeling it all through the white knuckle grips and the sobbing, but you’re being mindful of those feelings. Your naming them, giving them a place to land. When we do this, we not only avoid hurting others in our path (usually the ones we’re closet to), but we get to know ourselves on such a personal level when we can have those honest heart to hearts – when we let our intuition tell us what she needs. That, is mindful living.
And it’s a game changer.
So in regards to your small triggers, I want to offer up two loving suggestions:
GIVE YOUR HOME SOME GOOD JUJU:
It sounds like you might have some big home imbalances going on. When you walk into your house, you should feel JUST like you’re describing when you’re in your car. Stress-free. Even when things are out of order. Especially when things are out of order. Your home is your haven, your safe space, and it could be something as easy as partaking in some feng-shui (rearranging your furniture), hanging some new art that brings you peace of mind/makes you smile, filling your home with live plants, or going all out and redecorating entirely – new paint, furniture, rugs, etc.
Now my “woo-woo” side would also tell you to light some sage and take some laps around your house with it, take on the all-natural clearing route in conjunction with giving your home new life, but that’s just me and I know it’s not for everyone ;) Your home being off balance is clearly throwing YOU off balance whenever you walk into the door. Energy is energy, it doesn’t lie — and the energy you’re dealing with inside your home doesn’t sound like it’s where we need it to be to get you to your mindful state.
The next time this trigger hits when you leave your car and walk into your home, try and find a quiet space to sit with yourself and say: “is it really the dishes or (x, y, z)?” Listen to what she has to say to you. Even if you have kids hanging off of your legs, you can do this. Make the space. Go to the bathroom and shut the door if you need to. (more on that below)
CHANGE UP YOUR MORNING ROUTINE / TIME MANAGEMENT HABITS:
It also sounds like (and you mentioned this as well in your original message) that you have some control issues. Control issues generally stem from either lack of respect by those in your life, being disappointed time and time again, maybe some form of neglect somewhere in your life, or maybe from feeling a bit unworthy. The best way you can unleash this thought pattern is to fully understand that none of us, no human on Earth can control everything — nor should we want to. How exhausting does that sound? You’re not here on this Earth to feel exhausted, mama. I promise you that.
So the best thing you can do for yourself here is to implement rhythms into your day and reprioritize your time. So lets take the dishes in the sink purely as an example from here on out:
If you know full well that having a clean kitchen helps to relieve your nervous system and helps you to relax, take the time in the evening to have everything done before you go to bed. Clean the kitchen, fill and run the dishwasher, prep however you need for the morning. But when you do this, have your diffuser running with some calming blends — lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, etc. Dim the lights in the kitchen, light a candle, play your favorite music. Make the mundane things in life an experience. Maybe that sounds cheesy, but I bet my life on it that it works (because it worked for me).
Now when you wake up, go ahead turn that diffuser back on, light a candle at 7 in the morning, play Backstreet Boys if that feels good to your insides, and empty the dishwasher. Get that off of your plate, but let yourself freaking enjoy the mundane process. Your life is meant to be light and fun, even when you’re doing the dishes (especially when you’re doing the dishes).
And yes, you may have to wake up a little earlier to make this possible, but isn’t it worth it to give yourself that calming, high vibe space that you deserve?
It’s a mind game, being mindful. (who’d a thunk?) You’re literally training your thoughts to relax, to be in a neutral state, to fall inline with your insides, and to help you understand why things make you feel the way they do. When you walk in to your home and you see dishes in the sink and it triggers you, instead of lashing out or getting frustrated, breathe. Go into the bathroom, and just breathe. Then ask yourself this one question:
“What is this really about?”
As I mentioned before, if you really listen to what your insides have got to say, I guarantee that your truth isn’t going to be: “The dishes in the sink are piled up.” If you really listen to your gut, I bet you’ll hear something like: “I feel unhealthy and malnourished”, or “I feel unheard or unseen in my relationship”, or “I feel over-committed this month”.
None of these triggers are really about the dishes, you see? They never were. They’re about your insides. Once you get to the root, you can map out the solution.
SO HOW DO WE FIX IT?
In addition to the above (giving your home a loving update and creating a new morning routine / time management strategy, for example)…
Write in a journal.
It can even be the notes section on your phone or a word document on your computer. Just give yourself a place to tune-in with reckless abandon and to write freely. You’ll do this every single day, especially whenever these emotions pop up. Make it a part of your routine when you wake up in the morning, sit down for your lunch, or when you come home from work. Whatever is most realistic for you. But please don’t skip this step.
Start paying attention to your breathing patterns.
(I don’t blame you if you’re rolling your eyes, but hear me out) When you’re in your car and on your way home, start paying attention to your breathing. Fill your lungs, hold, and let it out. Do this multiple times. It automatically helps to neutralize your nervous system and to calm you down. When you neutralize and bring yourself down to that sweet calm space, you get quiet enough to hear what you ACTUALLY need. You need to breathe to get that breathing room. Imagine that. :)
Talk to yourself. Ask yourself questions.
(I literally do this all day long — mostly to myself, but in the car you better believe it’s out loud) When you feel triggered, start questioning yourself in this pattern:
“Why do I feel triggered by ____?”
Listen to the answer. Then ask “Why?”
Listen to that answer. Then ask “Why?” again.
Keep going until you get to the root. I do this for literally every single hurdle that I have in my life, and there isn’t one single time that I’ve let myself down. I’ve always gotten to the real issue. (You may find that this practice flows much easier and quicker when you journal.)
The best part of this entire process? You’ll start to see things in a different light almost immediately, if you want it bad enough.
I’m speaking from experience. I was the QUEEN of triggers. I felt like my life was one giant trigger, and I’d always come back around to blaming it on something so far from the actual truth. What it really was — what it really came down to, was that I was unhappy. I was unwilling to do the work. I was unwilling to sit with myself in all of the muck.
It was only when I realized that by trying to control everything around me, I was losing control of myself. I was silencing my insides and pretending like my nervous system knew better.
The only way I was going to get out of this still in tact was by tuning in, so that for the first time in my adult life, I’d find out what I actually needed.
I don’t know you personally, but I want to hug the shit out of you, because I so badly know the root of this frustration. But if I can do it — if I can make the changes, you absolutely can, too. Start slow — like I’ve said so many times here on the blog and over on the Podcast, day by day, mama. Start slow, be steady, and don’t expect changes overnight. But you will begin to notice your strides — that your triggers become easier to digest, and that what bothered you then, doesn’t seem to bother you anymore.
Because you’ve given up control.
Now, you’re just living.
And so it is. x
If you’d like my .02 cents wrapped in some major, major non-judgemental love regarding how to stay mindful when it comes to scenarios relating to yourself, money, work, love, friendships/relationships, etc.. please don’t hesitate to send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a DM over on Instagram. (Your name will of course always remain anonymous)