Thoughts on Stability
Welcome to Week One: Stability. This week you will focus on establishing some baseline practices that you will maintain throughout the course. Stability means building a strong foundation so you can grow. Without a stable ground all our other work will be less effective or impossible. Grounding is a slow, cumulative process and it is a daily practice. We can never do too much of it.
Trust or mistrust is the basic element of your stability. Trust allows your body to escape survival mode, to have the possibility of emotional well-being. The way to begin to build trust is to reconnect with your body and honor its basic needs: feeding, warmth, physical comfort, sleep. We can do for ourselves as adults what we could not do as children and often what we did not do for ourselves in our addictions.
This week you are concerned with self-care in the most basic sense: meeting your core needs so that you can receive the gifts of your work, building trust with yourself by doing the daily practices and the homework. And beginning to connect to the essence of stability in your body through meditation and the homework assignments.
I am so honored to begin this work with you. Enjoy, have fun, and trust the process.
Watch the Lecture
Be sure to watch the lecture before doing anything else!
Write for 10 minutes or one full page of free-hand writing (NOT typing) first thing in the morning (I do it with my first cup of coffee), no agenda, no worrying about punctuation or grammar, just a mind dump. If you don’t know what to write, write I don’t know what to write until something comes. This is an every day practice.
Energy Grounding Meditation by Brandon Alter (6:12) - Do this once a day.
The mantra for week one is: It’s okay to be afraid.
Write it down in your journal each morning before you begin morning pages.
Put it as a reminder into your phone to show up at noon each day.
When fear comes up, repeat it out loud or in your mind.
1. Go find a playground.
Pick two different things to do: slide, monkey bars, jungle gym, slide, merry-go-round.
Answer these questions in your journal.
What did you go on (slide, merry-go-round)?
What do you remember it feeling like when you were a child?
What does it feel like now?
What did you learn about yourself by doing this?
2. define your non-negotiables.
As explained in the lecture, determine your non-negotiable practices for stability. These are simple, accessible things you do for yourself on a daily or near-daily basis.
Reference: Non-Negotiables: The Foundation for Everything Else
3. Foundation Exercise
Check your house for things that are off balance, wobbly, squeaky, unstable (chairs, tables, beds) and when you find something like that, take a picture of it or make a note of it.
Examples: Kitchen stools that have a wobbly leg, a table that has uneven legs and rocks, a bed that squeaks, a toilet that’s not fastened down, a too-tall vase that always tips over.
Answer these questions in your journal.
What did you find?
Do you see any correlation to these things and the general stability you feel in your life?
Is there something you’re willing to fix? Why or why not?
Earthing + Yoga Poses
What the hell is earthing, you ask? Learn a little bit about it here. Basically, you go outside, take your socks and shoes off, and connect yourself with the earth. It can be done on any natural surface: grass, dirt, beach, anything. If it’s cold where you are, you can wear socks. Practice walking around with bare feet and practice the following two poses.
1. Mountain Pose
Step 1 - Stand with the bases of your big toes touching, heels slightly apart (so that your second toes are parallel). Lift and spread your toes and the balls of your feet, then lay them softly down on the floor. Rock back and forth and side to side. Gradually reduce this swaying to a standstill, with your weight balanced evenly on the feet.
Step 2 - Firm your thigh muscles and lift the knee caps, without hardening your lower belly. Lift the inner ankles to strengthen the inner arches, then imagine a line of energy all the way up along your inner thighs to your groins, and from there through the core of your torso, neck, and head, and out through the crown of your head. Turn the upper thighs slightly inward. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and lift the pubis toward the navel.
Step 3 - Press your shoulder blades into your back, then widen them across and release them down your back. Without pushing your lower front ribs forward, lift the top of your sternum straight toward the ceiling. Widen your collarbones. Hang your arms beside the torso.
Step 4 - Balance the crown of your head directly over the center of your pelvis, with the underside of your chin parallel to the floor, throat soft, and the tongue wide and flat on the floor of your mouth. Soften your eyes.
Stay in the pose for ten full breaths. Try doing a few breaths with your eyes closed.
2. Tree Pose
Step 1 - Stand in Mountain Pose. Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, keeping the inner foot firm to the floor, and bend your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle.
Step 2 - Draw your right foot up and place the sole against the inner left thigh; if possible, press the right heel into the inner left groin, toes pointing toward the floor. The center of your pelvis should be directly over the left foot.
Step 3 - Rest your hands on the top rim of your pelvis. Make sure the pelvis is in a neutral position, with the top rim parallel to the floor.
Step 4 - Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Firmly press the right foot sole against the inner thigh and resist with the outer left leg. Press your hands together in Anjali Mudra. Gaze softly at a fixed point in front of you on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away.
Step 5 - Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Mountain Pose with an exhalation and repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed.
Watch or listen to the live class
Stability Live Class #1
Stability Live Class #2
Resources: Live Class #1
Pema Chodron: Getting Unstuck
Anodea Judith: Eastern Body, Western Mind
The Truth About Lying by Laura McKowen
The Pregnancy Principle by Laura McKowen
Ep. 12: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
Ep. 14: How To Say The Things