A powerful, albeit slightly quirky visualization technique that I use during meditation has the ability to make me feel amazingly small and insignificant. Like a speck.
Now I don’t always enjoy feeling small and insignificant, but sometimes it’s what’s needed when life (or life in my head) gets to be too intense and overwhelming, and I find myself walking around feeling depressed, unfulfilled, and plain old tired of my circumstances. (A pointless backpack of emotions to carry around, weighing heavily on you.)
Time is better spent working on improving your situation than burdening yourself with feelings and emotions that deplete you. Usually, when languishing in your self-made negativity pool, the best thing you can do for yourself is to sit down and close your eyes.
This visualization technique I’d like to share came to me in the unlikely form of a 2010 Prius commercial that simply delighted my inner child. I’ll share it with you in a moment, but before that let me explain why feeling insignificant is something you even want to consciously pursue.
Your Wellbeing is Directly Tied To Your Thoughts.
In order for you to have true health, one that encompasses both physical and mental wellbeing, your brain has to be a team player. It must realize that for your body to feel amazing, for you to bounce out of bed in the morning, happily walk into work, or sit back at the end of the day beaming with joy and full of gratitude for another beautiful day, your brain has to be all in on this. Otherwise, it won’t work. You can’t joyfully do any of that if you’re thoughts are focused on overwhelm, depression, or stress.
There are plenty of days I begrudgingly get out of bed, mind already racing with overwhelm. Or at the end of the day, I’m exhausted from running around, feeling like I’ve accomplished jack because I didn’t get everything done, or I did but I could have done it better. I’m crabby and grouchy and want to curl back up in bed and forget it all.
That’s when I know I’m spiraling, and need to take a step back. To dimish the bigness of these negative emotions, I need to put things into perspective so I am no longer the one on center stage, but instead, the small speck in an infinite universe. Becoming that insignificant turns the spotlight outward and away from my attention-hungry ego.
This is what I lovingly refer to as my Prius moment.
Visualizing a happier (and cleaner) world
There’s more to life than what goes on in my head (despite what my brain may think) and the visualization that this commercial inspired helps me to see myself as this tiny little speck that’s part of a massive and amazing ecosystem. (As I said, it’s a quirky visualization, but the impact is solid.)
I begin by visualizing myself floating in outer space on a yoga mat, with legs crossed. (Weird I get it, but stick with it.) There I am looking at this amazing world that’s full of all the beautiful colors of the rainbow, overflowing with flowers and rivers and sunshine that spans the globe. (Much like the commercial.) It creates a lighthearted visual of the world.
Everything flows in tandem, all the beauty swaying in the breeze with ease. From my vantage point, I can see all of North and South America, top to bottom and the world is slowing, effortlessly rotating.
Within all this beauty, life is flourishing all around. It’s like you want to roll around and be free in it.
From so far away, it’s impossible for me to see myself down there. I’m nowhere. I’m so tiny I can’t be seen from my vantage point and that’s when I have to zoom in. And zoom in, and zoom in some more until I can finally see my state. There’s still so much going on that I have to zoom in even more. And then I see my town, and then my house, and then me, in the house, sitting there like a fool obsessing over how I don’t feel good enough. (No not really, that would ruin the happy space that I just created!)
Instead, what I see is me, with all this amazing life going on spanning thousands of miles and I can’t help but instantly understand how small I really am, and that there is so much more to life. So much more going on.
This quirky visualization pulls me out of my head and makes me realize how much I’m missing out on by walking around feeling stressed, overwhelmed and depressed.
Slow down and accept where you are right now in your life.
Nowadays we put way too much pressure on ourselves to keep moving at lightning speed. We have full schedules that keep us busy and an even fuller schedule for our children. Then we question how or why we can’t seem to get ahead in life or why we feel so unfulfilled.
We’re drowning in to-do lists and digesting social media posts for breakfast that portray motherhood as sacred and glorious as the second coming. If you’re not “doing it all” and your kids aren’t picture perfect then you must be doing something wrong! Talk about feeling like sh*t. (This feeling has been lovingly referred to as “compare-schlager” by a mentor of mine, Marie Forleo. It’s similar to that horrible hangover you get after drinking one too many shots of Goldschlager. Too much comparison and you’re destined to feel like a loser!)
With all this self-inflicted stress we endure day after day, it’s no wonder we’re running on fumes. It’s as if we’re in an endless cycle of self-sabotage.
Wouldn’t you rather walk around in a Prius kind of world?
Today, slow down and see the goodness. Understand the enormity of this planet we’re walking around on and let’s get out of our heads.
Take a stroll, walk in the grass with no shoes and let yourself realize how pretty awesome you are. Don’t try to fix anything. Instead, accept it all. The good, bad, the ugly, accept it all.
Then let it go.
Whatever attachments to your situations you’re creating, just let them go. You’re good enough as is. When we battle or arm ourselves against an invisible enemy (stress, perfectionism, keeping up with the Joneses) we fail to be true to ourselves, and girl, life is too short for that sh*t.
Give yourself a break
When you stop focusing on yourself, and the many faults you think you have, you allow there to be space, space to just be. Turn the spotlight 180˚ and see all there is to see in this big, crazy world. Understand that you’re ok and that you don’t have to be perfect. Stop comparing yourself to others and instead chill for a second so you can see what’s beyond your front door.
Life is big, so much bigger than we can even comprehend so don’t overwhelm yourself with the things you feel you need to accomplish, that you think will make you “happier”.
(Here’s a hint: no one but you can make yourself happy. Or feel accepted. Or feel loved. That’s all within you, you’re in the driver’s seat. But that’s a whole other post!)
Sometimes, taking a step back and turning your attention outward can be just the thing to save you. Yes, we all have problems and life situations can be intense, but every now and then you have to change your focus to give yourself a break. You’re an amazing, talented, beautiful human and it’s ok to not have it all figured out.
Turn around, look to the horizon and take a moment.
It’s when we slow down that we give ourselves the best chance to survive and thrive. (And to not be so hard on ourselves.)
Today is all about nurturing yourself and taking the time to notice where you are in life, to really stop and notice because life moves friggin fast! One minute we have little babies and the next time we look up, they’re off to high school or college! Take the time to enjoy where you are right now in life and try not to be so hard on yourself. You deserve better than that. (Sometimes it takes a quirky Prius commercial to remind you of that ;)
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AM Costanzo lives in Westchester NY with her two rambunctious boys and her all-around awesome husband. She is a motivational junkie, loves a-ha moments, and works hard to help women feel strong, powerful and downright fabulous in body and mind!