HALE ‘n’ HEARTY: Choose Wellness NOT Worries

By Daniel Rudolph

Lately a lot of the new ideas and book suggestions that I have been working with have come from the Embodiment Conference.

The Embodiment Conference was a HUGE virtual event that gathered the topmost professionals from various fields: dance and movement, trauma and healing, breathing and meditation etc. The overall intention of the conference was to build a sense of community, and a safe space, for people to explore theory and practice focused on improving our well-being.

The intention of this series is the same. Each article will share the ‘key points’ of an influential figure in the ‘Health and Wellness’ world, my personal experiences/views on those thoughts, and suggestions for books that you can explore to dig deeper, on a more personal level.

Rick Hanson is a very well respected, experienced, and wise researcher and practitioner. The talk that will be summarized, and reflected upon, in this piece will focus on ‘Embodied Well Being’ (resilience).

The information that will be shared in this article can be helpful for people to gain a better understanding of how individuals, and communities, can act to build greater resilience for dealing with challenging circumstances.

Given the increased suffering that has been caused this year, as a result of COVID-19, as well as the forecasted challenges that lie ahead, this information can be very helpful for becoming more grounded amidst chaos and uncertainty and for working with whatever challenges confront us.

After summarizing the ideas that Rick shared, I will also share the simple, but powerful, embodied practices that can enable us to bring these ideas into our daily lives.

There were many ideas that Rick shared that caught my attention. Here are a few:

  • How do we grow self-worth? Inner peace? Freedom? Grit? Grattitude? Compassion?
  • Resilience — the capacity to recover from adversity and pursue your goals despite challenges — the ability to ‘dare greatly’
  • The harder the person’s life the more important it is to have inner-strength.
  • The majority of inner strength is acquired – ⅓ inherited / ⅔ we can decide
    • No one can stop us and no one can do the work for us”
  • Reflection Question: What do you wish was more present in your mind? How can you bring more of this into your mind?
  • There are 2 Stages for growing these resources:
    • activation (having the experience – state) → installation (making it part of you – trait)
    • Often we give more attention to activation and not enough to installation
    • Reflection Question: How many experiences lead to lasting change?
    • We have the ability to get better at installation … :  )
  • HEAL — “Have it, Enjoy it”
    • H – have beneficial experience (activation) (state)
    • E – enrich the experience — mobilize, take time to be mindful of an experience/accomplishment
    • A – Absorb – feel the sensations that this gives you, let it settle
    • L – link to other experiences (both positive and negative)
  • Focusing on installation of our positive experiences can increase our ability to: cope with stress, recover from trauma, pursue our aims, become less vulnerable to manipulation

Practice: 3 breathes

  • Take a breath(s) – Feel you chest as a whole (left side, right side, front, back etc.)
  • Take a breath(s) – Think of a time when you cared for someone (appreciation, camaraderie, love) (you can put your hand over your heart if you like)
  • Take a breath(s) – Think of a time when you felt like you were cared about

My Views: 

We have the ability to build our resilience everyday by simply taking a little bit of extra time to let the positive experience soak in. We can also intentionally bring to mind previous positive experiences, of feelings that we hope to feel more of in our lives, by reflecting on past experiences. The world is so divided right now. There is so much separation on an individual, and community, level. We are overloaded with negativity, conflict, and divisiveness (news, social media etc.). The ability to limit our negativity biases and give increased attention to the positive things that are happening in the world around us, enables is to bring more of that positivity into our lives. Once we become experienced, and embody well-being, we have the potential to spread it in all of our actions and interactions. It is important to reflect, “Am I perpetuating separateness, and violence, or am I perpetuating togetherness, and peace?”

Daniel Rudolph

Daniel Rudolph

About the Author

Daniel Rudolph is freelance innovator and global creative. He is passionate about forming community, and building public spaces for meaningful, transformational gathering. Currently he is spending a lot of his time learning juggling and facilitating gatherings. He also enjoys writing and sharing poetry. He lives in Utica, New York, United States. He may be reached at : [email protected]

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