Illuminate

Whatever you do, shine.

Perhaps better spoken is: shine unto others what you wish they shine unto you.

Right now, you are projecting your feelings, thoughts, and energy outwardly. Internally, you are either in a state of ‘flow’ or ‘turmoil’, and the choice remains yours, as always. By choosing conversations, relationships, activities, and a lifestyle that are consistent with who you are and what makes you feel great, you are allowing yourself to be in a state of flow. By taking time each day to reflect upon and observe your own behaviors, feelings, or thoughts, you are also allowing yourself to exist in a flow state.

And when you’re in a state of flow, you’ll naturally feel energized, ‘lit up’, or illuminated. You’ll notice you’re walking around with a default smile, you may have a bit more bounce to your step, and everyone around you seems happier after they hang with you than before you arrived.

So, the obvious question is: how do you exist in a state of flow at all times, or at least nearly all the time?

I recommend three steps to go from feeling ‘funky’ to ‘illuminated’:

● Step 1: Observe any negative emotion you are experiencing, but without stories or judgment. You may attach a story about ‘why’ you’re justified in feeling this way — typically linked to someone else’s actions, words, or gestures — and this deepens the emotions you are experiencing. It makes it more valid for your mind, which creates a physiological response in your body and results in a fight or flight response. The key is to simply observe the feeling exists, but without attempting to validate or invalidate it.

● Step 2: Choose a different feeling, based upon the emotion you desire to be experiencing. Link any memory you have of your favorite emotion to your thought process and do your best to envision this memory — with all five senses — as you convert any negativity into a state of love and tranquility. The more clearly you are able to relive a positive memory, the greater the physiological response in your body to calm stress hormones, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate; and, the easier it is to reverse any fight or flight instructions your body has received.

● Step 3: Observe how you feel and repeat as needed. Often times, you might feel better after about 30 seconds of step 2, but not 100%. This is because you’ve handled ‘one’ of the layers of your emotional experience, but there is a layer underneath. Simply, rinse and repeat.

Remember, when you shine light outwardly, it means you’re illuminated on the inside. It means you’ve taken care of yourself, your own emotional state, and you’ve made yourself the priority. Only then are you able to project your best onto the world and share your light.

Today’s thought exercise: what are your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs surrounding “putting your own oxygen mask on first”?

Sent to you with love, compassion, and gratitude,

Kareem


Originally published at drkareem.com on September 6, 2017.

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