Good morning! By now many of you will be building a habit of catching yourself first thing in the morning so that you can set your intention to make the day great. And if not, we can always start that process any day.
Our focus today will be a combination of hormones or proteins or one of the other building blocks of human emotion. We don’t need to worry about which ones they are, we already know them more directly, as feelings.
When people think of neurochemicals we tend to think of happiness, sadness, fear and anger. Then we think of a few others, but we often forget an entire group of feelings that mark the change from one sensation of life to another.
Today we’ll focus on one of those sensations; the feeling of ‘relief.’ It only happens when something bad stops, or something potentially bad is averted. In short: relief is good news. Every time we’ve felt it, we either avoided something bad, or something fortunate happened to us. It’s an underrated emotion.
We are always grateful to feel relief. And the objective of this COVID positivity series is to meditate on the many sources of gratitude. So it makes perfect sense to spend the day recalling as many examples as we can, of any times where we recall feeling intense relief.
Maybe it was finding out the two of you were pregnant. Maybe you found out you weren’t. Maybe you got the job. Or the date. Maybe your Mom would have killed you but…. Maybe you were the last student chosen for the team. Maybe you made it through the recital without any disasters. Maybe they do like you.
There are a lot of ways to feel relief. But when it happens we skip over it really quickly as we dive into the following feeling –the thing we’d been hoping/waiting for. So today is about lingering on the actual sensation of relief.
As today’s meditation, we should all recall how tense we felt prior to any news that was relieving. And now, rather than focus on what followed, our job is to spend time on that shift –on that period of passing through the feeling of relief.
In those moments we are that feeling. And we are wise to be grateful for that. It’s no small thing. Just a moment before we felt it we were perched above disaster.
Do this meditation and the next time you feel relieved, you’ll likely note it more consciously. That will allow you to enjoy it for longer before shifting. In that way, this meditation not only makes today better while we do it, but it sets us up for a new class of future positive experiences too.
What might have been. Could’a been ugly a few times. What a relief it wasn’t. What a relief. That’s worth thinking about.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.