This episode explores how being cheerful... grateful... happy is not about suppressing the things that make us feel sad, hurt or angry.
It's about noticing and accepting all the things that are happening around us, to us, and experiencing them consciously.
It's through our conscious awareness that we are able to make choices - and that includes choosing how we feel. There are three key themes to this week's reflections:
- The role of negative emotions and why it's important to honour them
- How gratitude extends to what challenges us
- How our focus and attention is core to enabling change, neurologically
Eckhart Tolle says that "Choice implies consciousness... a high degree of consciousness. Without it you have no choice". I think the role and value of consciousness and presence is intrinsic to creating deep and lasting change - and integral to a full sense of caring for ourselves. And it's a theme I'll be exploring further in future podcasts.
There are two books I reference that you might enjoy:
- Self-Knowledge, from The School of Life
- How Pleasure Works, by Paul Bloom
In this episode I also include a self-reflection exercise. I explain the detail and am sharing the core elements here, for your ease. It's a beautiful and illuminating exercise that I use with clients - and have found to be beneficial for myself too. (In fact, everything I share is something I've been through in some way!)
Thank you as always to Angus at changomusic.com for his music and production - and the loan of his womb-like airing cupboard for this recording!
Draw a circle and divide it into 10 sections (like a wheel) - label each section:
- Love & romance
- Family & Friends
- Health & fitness
- Personal growth & creativity
- Well-being (physical, mental & spiritual)
- Physical environment
- Fun & recreation
Imagine that at the centre of your circle is 0 and the outer edge is 10 - draw a line across each section to mark how SATISFIED you are with each of these aspects of your life. Being conscious about what arises for you as you think of each one.
Then, draw a line for how you WANT to feel. Stay conscious. And see what the experience tells you, without judgement.