The practice of soaking in the good was introduced to me by Rick Hanson, PhD whose work is accessible on my Resources page. What I love about this is the simplicity, effectiveness and endless opportunities to put it into practice. All it takes is to pause and notice something you appreciate, then really take it in.
Here's what that means...
Next time you notice something that simply makes you feel good:
Let Be - Be with your experience. Name it, for example, warmth, beautiful blooms, fresh scents of spring, ...
Let Go - Decide whether it serves you better to hold on to thoughts and feelings that accompany your experience, or release them.
Unwelcome thoughts and feelings can be like dark clouds. The good news is we can dismiss them as quickly as they come to mind. I find it helpful to contact what makes me feel grounded and at home. Breath and sound are great anchors for this. Inhale and exhale slowly, letting go, releasing with each exhalation. I love the song of birds or spring rains as sound anchors. Whatever it might be for you, let your feelings flow without holding on.
If you contact any inner conflicts, remind yourself that they usually feel real, but aren't true - they're just part of a story line. Rest in open awareness and the spaciousness this offers, let be and let go...
Let in - Well-intentioned sensations that refill your well, make you feel like your needs are being met. The sense of inner joy releases natural opioids that sooth and settle us.
Something that might help this process along is to bring to mind three or more things you're grateful for. It could be anything from the feeling of a spring shower to having a roof over your head. Soak in whatever makes you smile. Also, connecting with someone you like, or a pet, either directly or in your imagination (the brain doesn't register a difference!) Let yourself feel cared about, and recognize your own warm heart. Let in and really soak in the qualities that fill you up. Rest here and drink it up!
If you're wondering what the proper dosage is for this tincture of goodness, just 20 seconds works. Frequency, duration and intensity matter - "mo' betta". So how often, how long and how powerfully you experience it, the better it sticks. I like to use three nourishing breaths (slow and deep) which for me takes about 30 seconds. Lengthen the exhalation more than the inhalation to further calm and relax.
Perhaps the best part about this is it doesn't take much effort! It feels good, opportunities are abundantly available, and it's hard to beat the "mo' betta" ROI!
May we all choose to notice the gifts of spring and marinate there - for good!
Visit my Events page for information on my workshop June 23rd to learn more about hardwiring joy, resilience and well-being !