Snow is like a weighted blanket, silencing the clutter of daily life. In this part of the world, we settle in to wait it out. Schools close. Groceries wait. Sports pause. Meetings cancel. In the stillness of the storm, we may lack stillness inside ourselves. We may binge Netflix. We may go on cleaning and decluttering escapades. We may bake-up a storm. We may organize, file, build, catch up on work, or get generally busy. Humans, by nature, are most comfortable with the familiar. Pausing may feel entirely unfamiliar and uncomfortable. We may be so practiced at filling up space that we don’t recognize how it feels to be still.
As we move into the coming snowfall, give yourself permission to pause too. Pick a window of time to pause (1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes). And simply notice. Notice what it’s like to be still.
Stay still. Drop down into your body and see if you recognize any sensations. Maybe you notice tension in your jaw, or tightness in your chest. Maybe you’re numb and don’t feel connected to your body sensations. Notice that too. Just breathe.
Notice any emotions that surface. Notice any temptation to cast aside or judge those emotions. Invite kindness, and self compassion. Remind yourself, I am human just like others and my spirit needs me to take a break too.
Be aware of anything that comes to mind. Familiar thoughts might start to pop up-This is stupid-I don’t have time for this-look at all that XYZ waiting to be done. Notice the thoughts. Observe them. Notice the tendency for fast-paced to creep in.
Notice your relationships. How do you feel in relation to yourself? When you invite self compassion, will it come? Does it struggle? Notice how you feel in relation to those around you. Do you feel closer to them as you take time to observe them? Do you feel more distant from them?
If you choose to try this, you will have used the BETR (body, emotions, thoughts and relationships) model (Black, 2017). BETR can be used to help bring you back into yourself and to bring increased awareness to anything you’re going through. This is post one of a short 3-part series. Next BLOG post, I will talk about the window of tolerance, which can help us to notice when we feel calm, and to notice those times when we move to staying busy or to numbing ourselves out.