My Deep Funk
In the past, summer was hard for me. I think it had something to do with a change in routine and a less strict schedule (something I always thought I wanted). Or maybe it’s the heat in the south. Or the inevitable comparison of all the “fun” things everyone had scheduled, but I never seemed to be doing.
A few summers ago, it was worse. Much worse. I was in a funk…a deep sadness that I hadn’t felt in years. I couldn’t seem to surface. I was functioning, but just barely. There were a few very long weeks of disconnect and despair. I felt lost. I was dissatisfied, unhappy, and didn’t know where to turn. This was after the birth of my second child when I had lost touch with many of my spiritual practices (and didn’t know about coaching) while caring for my two boys. It was a deep funk and I needed help.
The Turning Point
One day I landed on an email that would change my life. It was advertising a course with one of my favorite spiritual groups, Living Compassion. I don’t know what made me click on the link that day. Or why I listened to my heart and signed up for that email class. But I did. And it changed my life. The class taught me how to do something called recording and listening. And it was a game changer. I was transformed from miserable to joyful in just a few days. I went from feeling utterly hopeless to hopeful at how life really could be. I wanted to take care of myself again and I saw possibilities and freedom again. In fact, nothing changed– my situation and circumstances were the same– but my heart opened once more and I was downright happy and FREE.
Recording and Listening
So what is this magical tool that pulled me out of despair? I started recording my voice reading inspirational quotes. Or love letters to myself. Insights and awarenesses I was having as I went through the day or while I was walking (I started exercising again). I was being supported in my email class and instead of writing an awareness in a journal, I was recording and then LISTENING. OFTEN. Basically I was re-wiring my brain to think different thoughts. In neuroscience, this is making new neural connections in the brain. In yoga this is called pratipaksha bhavana or thinking the opposite. After life coach training with Dr. Martha Beck, I realized that in the process of recording and listening, I was dissolving old beliefs and create new and more positive belief patterns. It also taps into that part she refers to as the essential self which she describes in this fun video. Ultimately by recording and listening we are able to tap into our inner wisdom or true self.
How does it work?
The fantastic folks at the Living Compassion believe in this process so much, they dedicated a separate website to learning R/L. There are lots of great excerpts from Cheri Huber’s books that describe how to get started with recording and listening and I would encourage you to go there and take a look. Just to give you a taste, I’ll describe some of the ways I got started.
1) Set up a time of day when you will record. Make it a habit.
2) Find a quiet place. Commuting, in the woods, or in the bathroom (seriously the only quiet place in my house :)).
3) I found it easy to start with recording inspiring quotes.
4) If you have a question or are working on something you can also record. For example, here’s what I recorded when I wanted to get to sleep earlier because it helps me feel better.
“It’s ok to rest. I feel so good when I go to sleep and I really want to support myself to feel good. When I feel good, I’m happier. Let’s try it one night and record how I feel the next day.”
5) Then the trick is, to listen to the recordings. Before a big meeting, when you are feeling down, right before bed, or even while you are commuting to work.
6) Repeat! I listen everyday. Every. Day. It helps for me to receive a constant stream of positive information in my ear. Re-wiring the pathways in the brain with positive thoughts. It’s like having a best friend whispering encouragement in my ear all day long. Freedom.
How do you support yourself? How do you keep a stream of positive thoughts flowing? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Peace and Positivity,
p.s., I just developed a new program called Instant Relief program for busy stressed out folks! It includes recording and listening along with some other tools! Learn more here or sign up for a free 30 minute Find Relief Strategy session.