What We Can Lotus Flower

lotus flower

If you are feeling lost and confused, frustrated or insecure, come back to yourself, back to what you’re doing today when you arrive, you will find yourself, just like the lotus flower that is in full bloom even in a murky lake, stunning and sturdy.” -Masaru Emoto. Masaru Emoto

Affixed to a card by an individual whose husband and father of their four year old son was suffering from stroke My yoga instructor Susan graciously opened the class. The card read: “No Mud, No Lotus”.

The remainder of class we practiced yoga poses of strength in surrender–like the lotus flower that emerges victoriously clean above murky waters–representative of how each of us can overcome life’s painful challenges. In many cultures the lotus flower is a symbol of cleansing of the mind, body and speech; of waking up and surrendering. It is a symbol of strength in the way that rain from dark clouds flows effortlessly off its petals before it is open to the sun which is followed. Each pose we practiced by observing with a keen eye and coming to peace with the dark under the lotus, our sadness, fear or anger as well as other uncomfortable emotions to release these. We felt the visceral arousal inside our bodies.

The muddy, murky waters of failure, loss and disappointment, as well as other negative emotions that each person experiences is not as easy as it sounds. How can we nurture our own symbolic lotus flowers to emerge triumphantly from your darkness? think? While I was contemplating the lotus and the lotus, it brought me back to the tasks I perform with my clients who I coach.

The key to managing negative emotions is to first observe

Instead of judging, stuffing and shaming, refusing to acknowledge the situation, yelling at or avoiding the unpleasant moment that has awaited us We can develop the ability to handle difficulties in a more effective way. An easy way to describe mindfulness is to be an “objective observer” of the present. It shifts us rapidly from the primitive, fear-focused portion of the brain, to the advanced higher-level brain, from which the solutions are created. This is crucial, as fear can rob us of vital clarity and energy to tackle our problems. It is possible to learn to concentrate instead on our strengths to solve problems which boosts our energy and resilience.

Being mindful can lead to truthful real life. It’s the first step towards transforming our negative thoughts in order to create a more positive life. When we face our emotions honestly our feelings, we are able to be compassionate towards us. Self-compassion is about adopting a mindful, balanced approach to negative emotions, so that they aren’t ignored or overemphasized. It is from this point that growth and learning take place.

Being aware of a negative feeling isn’t a reason to not like, expect or seek to achieve the possibility of a better outcome. It’s not a passive attitude to life. Rather, being mindful allows us to experience hard moments such as conflict, stress or failure–to learn and grow from these experiences–rendering them less acute and more manageable. Additionally, it assists us overcome our struggles in order to see the fullness of living in a much more positive way.

The “Undoing” Effects of Positive Emotions

Negative emotions are an integral part of the human experience. Some of them I consider “authentic”–because they can bring positive change and contribute to improvement. Certain I refer to as “counterfeit” which can be debilitating and causing unnecessary tension and misery. Once you’ve established the difference between genuine and fake the next step to “undoing” the negative emotion is to deliberately cultivate a positive one to replace it. Studies about”the “undoing impact” that positive feelings bring suggest that people can boost their health by invoking positive emotions in the right moments to manage negative emotions. Evoking a positive mood can help to release the grip the negative emotion has accumulated over a person’s body and mind. For instance, if you feel dejected after finding out that someone else won the job you wanted to get, you can develop the feeling (and strength of character) of gratitude while you choose to focus on other good things in your existence. This helps us learn to self-regulate and to bring our best selves to the forefront–strengthening our emotional health, our relationships with others, and making us more productive and content.

We can gain strength from people who triumphantly emerged from dark waters of loss and focused their attention on the things they “have” instead of the things they “lost.” One inspiring example is the blind designer Chris Downey. He began losing his vision after two days of the removal of a tumor in his brain after which, on the third day the tumor was gone completely. But, despite the numbing difficulties that followed, Downey claims he never ever thought of quitting his profession of architecture. According to Downey at the age of 45, awakening blind and with none of the smell sense (also dislocated in the surgery) was “quite honestly, it was really frightening.” However when asked about the development that resulted from his ability to create buildings that offer accessibility for blind people the architect replied “I’m 100% convinced that I’m a better architect now than I was when I was blind.” When asked if he was able to see again tomorrow could he continue to utilize his newfound ability to “feel” the designs he makes in his work? He replied “There’d–be some sort of logistical freedom to it. But would it enhance my life? I don’t know.”

Building Resilience

Resilience is the ability to find the meaning and significance in life’s “losses” and your life’s “successes.” It’s the capacity to bounce back and quickly recover from challenges or difficulties. It’s crucial to remember that it’s possible to build the habit of gratitude as well as other good feelings in the moments of tragic events.

The most important ingredient to build resilience is to place our self-concept into the core strengths of our personality that define our individuality. Positive psychology has identified 24 strengths as the fundamental elements that define our uniqueness, psychologically speaking. Each of us has each of them in different levels and combinations. These strengths, which are widely admired all over the world, can be classified as positive qualities that benefit oneself as well as others. They can lead us to happier feelings, relationships and to fulfilling and meaningful activities in our lives that allow us to flourish.

Recognizing your strengths as a person will increase your confidence to face any challenge you face. Nobody can anticipate the future, and we frequently cause stress by focused on and worry about the possibility of what “might occur.” Although we can’t forecast our future events, we are able to be grateful for our strengths, which will increase our confidence and capacity to handle whatever challenges the future may bring.

The self-concept you create around your strengths helps build your capacity to stay strong no matter where you go, regardless of the circumstances that affect you. Individuals like Chris Downey are examples of not just the ability to overcome challenges, but post-traumatic growth. Research shows that post-traumatic growth and resilience have the following characteristics:

  • Better relations ( kindness, love)
  • The willingness to explore the possibilities of new ideas ( curiosity, imagination, love of learning)
  • Appreciation of the present ( appreciation of beauty, gratitude, zest)
  • Personal strength (bravery, honesty, perseverance)
  • Spiritual development (spirituality)

Additional research on the development of resilience indicates that bravery is among the traits that are which is strongly linked to resilience. It was discovered that courage was associated with the recovery of satisfaction with life after physical ailments, and also to post-traumatic growth. Resilience also requires the development of bravery, which can be described as the ability to take action in situations where you are feeling fear or trepidation (i.e. bravery). People who are brave don’t shy away from danger or challenge or suffering, and can face difficult situations with more ability to withstand the pressures of life with greater.

Connect, Care, Create

Everybody experiences difficulties and disappointmentsTherefore, negative emotions are a normal aspect of life. In my book, Authentic Strengths, I have synthesized evidence-based techniques to manage negative emotions into an easy to remember, three-step tool that I call: “Connect-Care-Create.” This tool can help you process common negative emotions associated with personal and professional disappointments, losses or failures.

In the first place, since our brains tend to overstate the significance of a single incident and become stuck in a never-ending cycle of doubt The three-step procedure of the Connect-Care-Create tool starts with focusing mindfully on our body, and then observing the emotions, which can help end the rumination by providing our brain something fresh and objective to concentrate on. It also encourages the self-care and self-compassion, by helping us recognize that emotions that are negative are normal part of life and that we aren’t “singled to death”. Thirdly, this process aids us in dissolving the negative emotion making use of our strengths as a lens through which to tackle the issue, thereby creating a positive outlook or emotion to reverse the negative effect that the negativity has on us. It is known that memory and emotions that are attached to them are able to alter[8] shortly after being recalling them, and especially in the next hour.

In short this is the method:

Connect Locate a peaceful secure and safe area, then get into a comfortable sitting place. Take a moment to relax and breathe a couple of peaceful breaths. While closing your eyes “connect” by taking a moment of silence and looking at a negative emotion that you feel or experienced in the past, you are comfortable to explore at this moment. Pay attention to every aspect of the feeling without being judgmental, shameful or trying to avoid it. Let yourself observe the emotion objectively while being gentle and understanding towards yourself. Be honest about the emotion, without blame anyone or anything like, “I feel anxious and scared.” Which part of your body are you feeling the emotion the most (your shoulders, stomach, back, chest or back, etc. )?

Care: Practice self-care. Relax the place where you hold an emotion that is negative. It may be beneficial to put your hands on the area of your emotional reaction with a healing intent. Each time you exhale, think of it dissolving in the area of your body. It will dissolve as a ice cube warm water. Give yourself a hug by reminding you that everyone goes through tough moments, losses or failure, as well as mistakes. Remind yourself that everything will be well, and that you’ll provide yourself with the help you need to make it through this difficult time and you’ll make the necessary changes to improve the situation. It’s also beneficial to engage in a positive routine that helps release the emotions like talking to a friend who is compassionate to you, going for a walk or doing yoga, praying and meditation and listening to upbeat music or reading something inspirational and writing the emotion down and putting the paper away and taking a shower etc.–whatever helps to boost your spirits.

Creator: Recognize that you can choose and are able to handle this difficult emotion in a new and creative way. Find a strength in your character like hope, forgiveness perspectives, courage and creativity as well as self-kindness and others, gratitude and more. To aid you in changing the negative emotion and bring about a positive change in your outlook that will benefit you. What can you gain and develop from this incident? What are the new positive emotions you feeling right now? Watch the negative emotion slowly disappear and then lose its influence over you as new positive emotions develop to replace it. Feel free to celebrate this by taking a break and enjoying a relaxing exercise.



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