Do What Makes Your Heart Smile

Photo: I couldn’t find one that said ‘Live a life that makes your heart sing’ !

Sometimes life gets a little complicated; a little busier than we’d like; a little more stressed or simply a little more uncomfortable for various reasons. When this happens and because we are human; we can find ourselves locked in thinking or behaviours that can often make the situation worse; most certainly don’t help us feel better and rarely makes things better. This is what stress does to our physiology. It’s harder to think straight and clearly. It can be difficult to see the big picture in a situation. There’s often a sense of urgency or overwhelm. We can become more irritable and emotional. It doesn’t feel pleasant!

It’s easy during these times to get frustrated and annoyed: at ourselves, our habits (or lack of them!) and at our own inability to ‘cop ourselves on’ and pull out of what is clearly not a useful mind-set. And then depending on our patterning, we do either of a few things. Some of us will give ourselves a really hard time – an endless chatter of how useless we are and how we should know better. There are those of us who go into ‘I give up’ mode as soon as things get a little hairy. This can evolve into behaviours of helplessness and powerlessness. And some of us go into ‘Head in the Sand’ mode; pretending it’s not happening and hoping that if we ignore things, they will simply go away.

Each of these ways of responding has an impact – in the world and on us and mostly in ways that don’t do us any favours in the long term.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a ‘Reset’ button? Some way that we could turn off the stress response and engage our thinking and body wisdom to deal with these situations more effectively. There is…


Photo: Knitting is NOT my ‘Reset’ button

I’ve spent the last few days doing something I love in the world…learning. If I won the lotto, I would spend the rest of my life having fun learning stuff (the technical term). I love learning about lots of different subjects but my passion is learning about human behaviours. Why do humans do certain things? What causes us to respond in the ways that we do? Why do we sometimes change those behaviours and yet at other times, keep doing the same thing over and over despite knowing it doesn’t work?

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
 Victor E. Frankyl

And the training I attended really excited me – because it confirmed to me what I already knew and saw in life but could now be ‘validated’ for me because of the biofeedback involved. Stress and incoherence in our bodies means that we are less effective than we are capable of. It also is a relatively unpleasant state to be in (although many of us have reset it as the norm / baseline so hardly notice). It means that our space between stimulus and response is tiny. Instead, we react and not always in the way that actually gets us the best result.

Yet we do have the ability to choose. Some days it happens with very little effort on our part. It’s as though we’re in the flow and that breath becomes possible and a different response emerges. And other days…we all know those days.

Being able to choose to move into a state of coherence (where the space becomes bigger)brings so many benefits, including that much talked about body and mind asset: resilience.


Photo: Learning (while having scones!)

Watch this space as I play with this new found tool in my own life and begin to bring the learnings, tools and skills to my worklife as well. In the meantime, go do something you love; something that makes your heart sing.

If not today, when?