Calm. The Very Best Superpower.
(A 3-minute read)“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” ~ Pema Chödrön
Have you ever watched time-lapse photography of clouds? An entire day, captured in mere minutes. It’s fascinating to watch clouds come and go. See how they thicken and grow dark? Just as quickly, they become pale and thin to nothing. Their shadows glide quickly over the face of the earth below, creating patches of dark and light as they pass. It’s a good piece of imagery. Something to ponder when grey clouds roll into your thoughts.
“Calm is a Superpower”
I saw that on a poster or a tee shirt somewhere, I don’t remember which, but I embraced it as a personal slogan along with my often repeated “This too shall pass.” And you know what? You don’t get calm by slipping into your super-hero get up the way Clark Kent did when he disappeared into a phone booth, donned the cape, his big red “S” and out came Superman. Too bad. Wait, it’s probably not all bad because where would you find a phone booth these days?
Unlike a super-hero quick change, calm is a strength that can be learned but it must be cultivated and developed. For me, it’s a continuous work in progress. And, I do mean work. It’s not always easy to bob, cork-like above situations and circumstances, but I keep trying.
Here are just three little nuggets I’d like to pass along. I sure didn’t invent them but I’ve learned to use them when my insides start to churn and my gears are stripping.
One day at a time
Let it Go. So many of the things we stress about are a.) never going to happen or b.)completely out of our control or c.) aren’t as bad as we can imagine it. Learn to live as Dale Carnegie described, “If you want to avoid worry, do what Sir William Osler did: Live in “day-tight compartments.” Don’t stew about the future. Just live each day until bedtime.” The more we learn to live in the present moment, the less stress and worry we will experience. Yesterday is over, tomorrow will take care of itself.
Put a spin on it
Reframe it, Rename it. Let’s talk about words. Each word has a subtle energy, a slant on what we’re naming. Problem? Nope, insert “issue”, “situation” or “challenge”. Scared? Worried? Not a good state of mind but we can say “concerned” and change the way it feels pretty fast. Angry or furious can be softened to “annoyed” or “irritated” and suddenly the flames cool down. Dreading? How about “curious” or “anticipating?” You get my drift. So many ways to say it, choose the one that puts you in the driver’s seat.
Put on the brakes
Stop the runaway brain train. Once we get ourselves worked up and stewing about something, it’s like sandpaper on our emotions. The more we let it grate on us, the more wounded, raw and vulnerable we become. In that state, we’re like a toddler who needs a nap. It’s time to distract yourself and focus on something else. Put yourself in time-out. Do something, anything, to get out of that thought track. It’s like quicksand. A little snooze, a healthy snack, some music, inspiring words, stretches or some fresh air can help press reset.
Calm is a superpower but it takes patience and practice just like anything worth learning! Wisdom takes a long time to develop but is worth every ounce of effort! See life with new eyes!
“You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.”~Timber Hawkeye