For the last few months, I’ve been referencing an article about 6 moral precepts from the field of bio-ethics. The article suggested we hold on to some ways of being together as we enter these times of environmental collapse.
The 6 suggested moral guidelines are:
- Work hard to grasp the immensity of the change
- Cultivate radical hope
- Have a line in the sand
- Appreciate the astonishing opportunity of life at this time
- Train your body and mind
- Act for the future generations of all species
I’d like to draw our attention to one of these every month. This month, it’s the fifth precept of: Train your body and mind.
This one I’ve thought a lot about because I co-authored a book about stress and conflict. The more stressed we are, the more we act in ways that come from our lower natures, or our reptilian selves.
So, I know the importance of training our minds and bodies to be resilient, resourced, calm. We need to be able to do so to problem-solve well.
One easy practice from Emotional Brain Training is to check in multiple times a day to rewire our brains, hearts and bodies for more resilience.
You can start by deciding how you are going to do these check ins. Did you want to set an alarm on your phone 5 times during the day? Did you want to tie in a reminder with something like washing your hands or making tea or walking through a doorway?
Find a way that you can remind yourself to take a pause multiple times a day.
This pause, or check in, can look any number of ways. This is the one I’ve been using lately that I’ve adapted from Emotional Brain Training:
- Breathe. Taking a pause to breathe deeply signals our bodies that we are safe. Experiment with how many conscious breaths you want to take and at what rhythm. A common one is to breathe in to a count of 4 and breathe out to the count of 10. Breathing out longer than we breathe in engages a relaxation response
- Adjust your body for a state of power. Again, this need be no longer than one or two breaths, to simply adjust your body so that you can feel more powerful. This can be moving your shoulders back, your head up, a slight smile on your face. You are once more signaling to your body/mind that you are well, that all is well.
- Warmly observe yourself and radiate love to yourself and to others. This step is also reminiscent of the work of the Heartmath Institute. Basically, you can imagine yourself looking back at yourself with kindness and love. Then once you can feel the love, say some kind nurturing words to yourself. “You are loved.” “You are safe.” “You are awesome!” Then radiate the love outward to others and all living beings.
Take this practice and when you do it, know that you are doing it for yourself and for all of us. We will need each other and such practices more and more as our physical environments continue to devolve. Let’s be calm together and help lift each other’s physiology through our collective intention to stay connected to our higher selves.
“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” —Pema Chodron