“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat any time.”
~ Hermann Hesse ~
Every morning I wake with the uneasiness of cortisol coursing through me and layering thoughts about what I need to achieve in the day ahead. It’s not my fault – it’s just how my brain is wired, and I know that many of you have a similar experience. And so I have developed a ritual of practicing Stillness and Somatic Self-Compassion as a way to ease my morning experience. Rather than get out of bed annoyed and wired with cortisol and stress, I give myself the gift of fearlessness and tend to myself first.Here’s a Stillness practice I do while laying in bed:
- I remember to notice that my mind is busy and that it’s causing me stress (remembering can be the most elusive part about informal practice);
- I bring my awareness to the fact that I have a choice about how I tend to that busyness;
- I bring in some perspective and remind myself that my thoughts are not facts;
- I remind myself of my intention to be kind to myself;
- I bring awareness to my body, who is always in the present moment (!);
- I allow myself to linger with the awareness of a body at rest;
- when my attention moves back to my mind which starts to get busy again, I move my awareness back to the stillness in my body;
- I savor the experience of being immersed in stillness.
- Notice that my body is feeling unease either because of temperature, uncomfortable posture, or lack of feeling nurtured;
- Bring in an attitude of kindness and self-care for myself;
- Ask my body what it needs in the moment – movement to a different posture, more or less bed coverings, to use the restroom or have some water.
- If there is unease in my mind, I move to a posture that nurtures me using the affiliative system:
- I snuggle into fluffy bedsheets,
- I roll onto my side and hug a body pillow,
- I tuck my head in and bury the side of my face in a pillow,
- I hold something fluffy and warm in my hands,
- I rub my limbs against my bedsheets as a way to self-soothe,
- I rub my skin with my hand to self-soothe,
- I hold myself in an embrace.