Technology enables us to accomplish many things with ease and efficiency. However, sometimes I feel as if there are 500 tabs open in my brain and all of those projects are clamoring for my immediate attention. When we are overwhelmed with a mountain of unanswered e-messages, sometimes we can overheat and shut down—just like our electronic devices. Naturally the holiday season and end-of-year project deadlines add an additional layer of complexity and depth to our to-do lists.
I have a confession to make and it’s kind of embarrassing. For decades, I fancied myself as a “ninja-level multi-tasker,” constantly juggling family and career obligations. Truth be told, I was proud of my stamina, task accomplishments, and agility. However, recent research has conclusively shown how incessant multitasking stresses the central nervous system and reduces immunity, productivity, and long-term accomplishment. Pausing to integrate micro-moments of simple and focused self-care practices into each day can give the mind and body a chance to relax, rest, and recalibrate.
I’m excited to share one of my favorite self-care rituals, which is a healing SOARING Imagery exercise called: Resting in a Fluffy Cloud. Here’s how it works:
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Gently close your eyes. Breathe out, releasing any stuck feelings or stress from your body.
Now, breathe in. Imagine you are inhaling a beautiful, crisp, clear, blue sky.
Now breathe out. Breathe in.
Now breathe out letting go of stress. Breathe in.
Imagine yourself nestled in an enormous, fluffy, white cloud. Feel the sides of your mouth turning up in a gentle smile. Feel your head, your shoulders, and your upper body relax into the bouncy, comforting cloud. Feel the stress flying away from your body. Now experience your thighs, calves, and feet being held and supported by the gentle embrace of the cloud.
Spend a moment connecting to any messages, feelings, or sensations you are receiving.
And, when you’re ready, you can open your eyes.
This exercise was inspired by one of the most popular team-building exercises from leadership development retreats where individuals are instructed to literally fall backwards into the waiting arms of co-workers in order to build trust. When I pause to take a moment to experience the healing sensations from the Fluffy Cloud imagery, I am trusting that it’s a wise idea for me to take a few minutes to step away from that ever-growing to-do list. I know that I’ll feel calmer and more at ease when I emerge from the other side of the imagery. I’ll feel lighter, and less activated.
And the best part is that there’s absolutely no internet connection on this cloud!
I’m sending you strength and love,