It’s not a secret that our attitude towards things that happen in our life, to our life in general and to ourself is a critical factor. The question is how to actually use it. We have to take it from a fuzzy concept to something that is measurable and thus becomes something we can act on. In order to do that I suggest approaching it via the qualities of Softness and Hardness. These can be felt and directly experienced in our mind, emotions and body through different levels of tension/relaxation. We can learn to recognize detrimental states through Hardness in our self-talk, emotions and physically in our body. This hardness primarily manifests through tension and it can be experienced like: rigidity, coldness, contraction, uncomfortableness, fearfulness and doubtfulness. Softness appears as relaxation and can be experienced as flowing, relaxed, warm, gentle, pleasant, fresh, expansive, open, happy, carefree, joyful. These is my experience so you can ask yourself and find out: How does Softness or Hardness manifests for me? How can I recognise it? How do I experience its properties? Can I remember recent situations
Now in order to move towards more Softness you begin by developing an awareness for theses states/attitudes in your life. Realise they are occurring throughout your day in your body, mind, emotions, communication (how you talk with yourself or others), See when there a feeling quality of hardness present. See when there is tension. Try to feel it and explore it. Don’t try to change it at that point but just learn more about it. On the other hand also feel the openness and expansiveness, joy and happiness. Notice these moments. This way you will realise the contrast throughout the day and that you may spend more time in unbeneficial states than you may like. This will motivate you to change.
What can you do when you notice Hardness as tension? Just notice the tensions that arise in your mind or body and relax them (it is a simple step but it has to be repeated many times). A great place to start is your attitude towards yourself. This is a big source of stress for many people. Unlike things in the outside which may vanish from our view, our relationship to ourself is ever present. So that makes it even more important! Watch out for Hardness and Tension there and see how you can bring more Softness and Relaxation into your relationship with yourself! What is your attitude with yourself, how do you talk with yourself? Filter through the qualities of Softness and Hardness and it will be easy to recognize a harmful attitude. Other things you can do to bring more Softness to your life are to try the Smiling Meditation or you can have a look at Metta (Lovingkindness) Meditation which I like to practice. Again the process is simple. First you get clear on what Hardness and Softness means for you. Then you observe them in your life and this will give you the motivation to develop more Softness in your life (because you can feel the benefit!). The last step is to implement the change in your life and find ways to go from Hardness to Softness more easily on your own.
Here at the end you can find the worksheet (5-10 minutes) which I mention in the video. Answering its 5 simple questions will let you go a bit deeper on this and help you start to change your behaviour.
When you practice recognising Hardness and moving towards more Softness and Relaxation then you are actively engaging in Self-Love. You do have a choice. When you become aware of that choice you can choose wisely more often. I hope this was useful for you. See you next time!