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Disclaimer: I am not a brain or brain rewiring expert. I am simply sharing my personal journey and my personal understanding as it makes sense to me.
Learning to Allow More Light In
One of the many gifts this brain rewiring journey is giving me is learning the importance (and the ability) to elevate my mood. Replacing dark emotions with light has never been something I’ve been able to easily pull out of my back pocket. It still isn’t. I am grateful, however, for learning how to make joy an increasingly more natural state of being.
While transitioning to joy directly from a somethin-somethin state of mind isn’t something you can expect from me, I can say that tools I now use are helping to (sometimes) prevent those somethin-somethin states from occurring or accelerating.
I can feel the change, even if it is a slow and gradual one.
The tools this journey is giving me is helping to make this choice of joy an easier one. Our brains don’t like change– but bit by bit, by making subtle intentional choices here and there, this shift away from the drama that my brain has always preferred me to be in is getting easier.
One thing that has helped me is by simply turning on my chosen morning playlist of songs while cooking breakfast. I don’t always do this, but turning up the music and dancing for a few minutes in the morning gets my momentum going in the right direction from the start of the day.
Getting outdoors, and more specifically, getting out onto hiking trails, is another choice that increases my mood. Nature elevates me in a big way. A recent hike not only elevated my mood but had me realizing something we all do all too often.
Another Analogy Coming Your Way
As I sat down to write this morning I realized that I’m getting ready to do what I did in my last post: share an analogy. Hang with me, you’ll see what I’m talking about. At first glance it may seem that I’m simply sharing a hike I recently took. But it’s so much more than that.
My husband and I recently enjoyed a little getaway to Branson for a few shows. We were told about this little hiking trail with beautiful views so decided to check it out one morning.
There is something so peaceful about being surrounded by trees. I could almost hear my brain telling me, “thank you.”
I get stagnant sometimes — maybe too often — in my day-to-day. Getting out on a walking trail and soaking in the views resets my inner mechanisms. I can feel the tension that I didn’t even realize was there just wash away.
The blue sky. The pops of yellow spread out through open fields. A red leaf here and there. It is a time that I allow the peace to settle in. I allow the emotion of gratitude fill me as I enjoy the beauty that nature gives us.
It always feels so good to breathe it all in.
The Light Naturally Fills Me
I could feel the light as it entered through the cracks of my being, spreading itself throughout my body, resulting in peace and joy.
A Rocky Path
Eventually, the trail started to get a little rockier. There were places where I had to take my time, finding the best spots to get up or get down from rocky steps.
The increasingly rockier path caused me to keep my eyes on the trail until I found that I was only looking down, watching my feet. And I soon realized that I was so focused on not wanting to miss a step that I was missing the views.
Stop, Pause, Breathe
So I chose to stop. I chose to pause every now and then and look around, breathe it all in, and appreciate the moments.
How Often Do We Do This?
And here’s where the analogy comes in. Life. We get into our routines, our day-to-day, going through the motions. We too often forget to stop, look around, and find appreciation in the moments.
It doesn’t need to be grand. It can simply be gratitude for the air conditioning, the sound of a bird, or the fact that you found a quarter on the sidewalk.
Let light into the moments of your day and feel it flow throughout your body. As you intentionally practice these moments, you just might eventually find more and more reasons to feel gratitude throughout your day. And you just might find gratitude to be an increasingly more automatic response.