We’re coming to the end of another strange year. It’s been tough, tough, tough for many and some of you might have had moments of deep despair. I know I have. Many of us have faced grief and loss, loneliness, fear, worry and more but I’m hoping that, like me, you have also felt glimmers and glimpses of hope coming through the darkness.
There’s still so much uncertainty, still so much fear. The world around us at times feels like a very alien place – is it safe or unsafe? I can’t answer this. Neither can our politicians, the government, scientists, or health professionals. Fear can stop us breathing – ironic given that we’re still in the thick of a respiratory pandemic – but it can also stop us living our everyday lives in the here and now. It stops us sleeping, feeling, appreciating, smiling. It stops us feeling happy and grateful. It stops us feeling safe.
As we approach Christmas and the end of the year, I invite you to start looking for safety in a different place. For too long we’ve looked out there for our answers. It is time to start looking within. More than ever, with all the chaos around us, we need to cultivate the ability to do this.
Right now, wherever you are, stop and feel your feet on the ground.
Read this now then try it: close your eyes, breathe in for three and out for five, silently count those numbers as you breathe. Simple – in for three, out for five. Do this for a minute or so.
How do you feel now?
Simply do this when you feel the fear/worry/guilt/anger/frustration/ …. (substitute your own) bubble up. Don’t get caught up in thoughts, dramas, stories about why you’re feeling what you’re feeling. Simply allow yourself to feel it…and breathe.
The more you do this, the more you will come to realise that right here, right now, in your body, in your breath, resides true safety.
The more you do this, the more you will start to recognise a connection being made with a place within you. I’m not going to label this place. I leave it to you to find your own label.
What I do know is that this place is free of the noise of opinion all around us. It’s free of the divisiveness, fear and blame. It holds solace and peace. It holds inner safety. And you can come here anytime you choose.
I recommend you come here first thing in the morning, before you open your eyes, before you look at your phone – just take three breaths – in for three, out for five. Do it a few times during the day, before you go to sleep. Then notice how differently your day unfolds. You might even sleep better too.
In a world that can feel overwhelming and unsafe, inner safety resides within us all. We just have to reach in and find it.
And I’m delighted to share with you that my fourth book, Finding Inner Safety – the key to healing, thriving and preventing burnout is being released by Wiley publishers, serendipitously on my birthday next year – 7 April 2022!! Watch this space – there will be a book launch! This is the book that I started crafting almost thirty years ago and then writing 15yrs ago so it’s about time I celebrated.
In the meantime, take care of you and your loved ones. There is so much we can be doing to enable ourselves to thrive right now. Breathe well, eat and drink well, move well, sleep well, live well and love well and the magnificent 70 odd trillion cells that make up your intelligent body won’t have any choice but to thrive.