Soothing and Inner Demons


And how easily invited in hell is. There I was lying, slipping slowly into awakeness at 6am and touched by the peace, the quiet, the infinite. Then the mind. It arrived announcing some problematic angle. Immediately anxious. No thank you, not right now, I say. Im not going on that train this morning, Im staying here. It is safe here without my fears.

I breath back into the utter tranquility, so comfortable and relaxed I don’t feel Im in a body. Sleeping naked has become a healthy habit. More animal like.

Been mired in stuff recently…one of those cycles when I can see my multiple character flaws and insanities and detestable qualities, all at once it seems. Im staying a little in the background as this takes place.

Okay so I can be cruel, vicious, hateful, revengeful, nasty, aggressive, cowardly, selfish, greedy, offensive, ugly, defensive. I could go on. And its all true, not that Id put them on a dating profile haha. I do have all these qualities in plentiful supply.

And there’s no avoiding anything on this path, got to look everywhere and face what is there. Without flinching. Well eventually maybe.

Yeah yeah I know I can also be kind, loving, helpful, generous, creative, enthusiastic, sincere, honest, and more. A mixed bag, its all in there, every human quality pretty much I think.

The trick is to be able to face all these things and not take it personally. So often ‘self esteem’ is dependent on us having a positive self image, remembering all the good in us and ignoring the less than palatable. Maybe some are nicer than me, purer, so they have fewer monsters to slay.

Did I say slay?! No no no, its a big hug all this hate and nasty greedy offensiveness benefits from. Admit. Embrace. Allow. Under absolutely all of it is one thing. Fear. What do you do with a kid who is scared? Embrace, listen and reassure. These are wayward kids inside. Part nature, part nurture. Mal-adaptions to a dangerous set of conditions in early life. And they are also wired into our brains as part of the biological inheritance.

If we are lucky we come from families who have the emotional intelligence and wisdom to teach us how to sooth the primitive fight flight responses our brain is triggered into. For most of us though from what I have observed, the parents can be a source of danger themselves and don’t teach soothing.

So we have to learn to sooth ourselves if we don’t want to spend our lives easily triggered by fear and in a stressed state regularly.

My mainstays of self therapy are

  • Very regular walks in nature, and that means nearly daily. I need topped up being around trees, feeling the breeze, smells of the changing season, the feeling of mud underfoot, the sound of the birds and the river.
  • Very regular exercise. Again daily is required for me. I have extended the morning swim these last weeks to include an hour fairly physical workout in the gym at the pool. Weight machines, rowing machine, treadmill and Im loving it.
  • Eating 95% healthy food. No biscuits, crisps, not much meat, very little bread.
  • No hanging out with negative people who focus on what they are angry about politically, or are mad and unstable, are on drugs or heavily boozy or are full of problems that never seem to be solved. Pretty much nobody it means for me lol.
  • No mind altering substances. Very important for me to find ways of soothing and relaxing that don’t involve the quick fix. They only take me back where I started and they don’t build resilience. I’m a very occasional drinker now, and my stability has benefitted tremendously.
  • Gratitude. If I remember, I like to think about what I am thankful for. I thank everything. I thank the tree and the birds (good for humility), thank the house, the people who built the roads I enjoy, this computer, the tea Im drinking, the people who picked it and so on. There’s so many, and its a beneficial place to focus attention.
  • Generosity. Give more a voice whispers. Why the heck not. I have found the more I give the more I get anyway in a metaphysical sense. And theres no separation between ‘us’ and ‘them’ anyway, and we are giving to ourselves.  It could be argued that the giver gets as much if not more than the getter. It cheers us all up too and is anti scarcity mentality, the universe provides. In a spirit of discernment too of course.
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