I catch myself with a different tone these days. I've always been pretty good about asking "How are you today?" but I realized recently that I ask it with a different tone of voice and a different intention than I used to. It used to be simply part of a greeting. Now it seems more of an invitation.
To be honest.
See the last few years have changed me, they've changed most of us and they've certainly changed our community. When we discuss "emotional wellness" we have to look at it through a different lens than we did a few years ago. We have to acknowledge that our lives, that our world, is not the same.
Today we catch our breath after a global pandemic and brace ourselves for the economic repercussions from our response to it. The great resignation has employers scrambling for employees and workers more in touch than ever before with how they feel about their work and what that means to their sense of fulfillment (or lack thereof). We hold our breath as world leaders posture against each other playing policy games and hope the tides of war wane. And while we can easily get sucked into the vortex of cynicism and negativity, many of us are simply...over it.
The psyche has a great way of making sure that we don't stay stuck. We lean to adapt. We learn to simply choose a different emotion. Have you ever had that experience? One day things are completely out of control and the next, despite the fact that little has changed, you simply feel different about it. Suddenly it all seems a little more manageable, your sense of overwhelm shifts to conviction, and you simply start chipping away at the to do list.
It's what I like to call "emotional flexibility" and now, maybe more than any other time in our lifetime, it's important. Read the news, ask the questions, keep up with current events...then turn off the inevitable concern in order to relax and enjoy a date night...how can we do that? Standing on the edge of so many big things going on in the world, how do we experience joy without feeling guilty about it? How do we remain happy and not seem insensitive to those in crisis?
Just like training our bodies to be flexible through stretching and exercise, we have to do the same with our minds. We have to train our emotions how to be in tune with those things that need our attention, our concern then within an appropriate time frame, with care and grace...leave them in their place. Not forever...just for the moment. We have to leave room in our lives to focus on the good things. We need to feed our souls, our friendships, our passions in ways that keep us going, in ways that give us meaning. We've got to pick up the pieces and enjoy the process of moulding ourselves into Whole Adults.
Whole Adults is a summer program provided by myself, Coach Jenn Gillihan in collaboration with Yoga on the Labyrinth & Mountain. It takes place each Thur morning at 9am at 1155 W 1st St, Casper, WY on the Labyrinth next to the Platte River.
Whole Adults Description: "Are your emotions all over the map? Looking to connect with yourself and others at a deeper level? Wanting to calm your "monkey mind"? Come join us as we explore emotional wellness together through an uplifting community focused on emotional growth and fulfillment. What to bring: a pen, a journal (don't worry, we'll have some extras if you don't have one), a yoga mat or chair if you'd like and mostly, an open heart. We look forward to seeing you there!"