CI099: Pause, breathe, slow down with Ellen Katz

CI099: Pause, breathe, slow down with Ellen Katz

“And, of course, we know that futurizing is literally a recipe for anxiety. So, whenever we start wondering what we’re going to do, and we’re facing so many unknown variables, it’s an impossible task, right? So we’re setting ourselves up for constant agitation. The cure for that, of course, is to continue to come back into the present moment.” 

~Ellen Katz, MS, MFT

Leaving this episode here, in the productivity-hack and to-do list-free zone. 

How are you feeling? No, really. In between Zoom happy hours and virtual house parties, how much time have you taken to check in – with yourself? If the thought of sitting with all those feels makes you hyperventilate, you’re not alone. 

That’s why Ellen Katz, MS MFT, is back, to help us get emotionally sober. How? By gently talking us through why we’re (rightly) feeling anxious and what we can do to coexist with our emotions in the time of COVID-19 and beyond.

She’s even created an acronym for that (but, you’ll have to listen in to find out what it is).

Continued below…

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Article Continued

So think of it this way: the grass is growing, even if you can’t see it. No matter what’s going on, the buds are still coming out on the trees today…As we bring our gaze, our inner gaze, to this imagined reality, which is..out there, it’s real. It’s palpable…life goes on. Then we are connecting with that life-enhancing kind of vibration or source. Spirituality is wisdom, the wisdom that brings us beyond our intellect, beyond our immediate experience or our life experience…It’s going to help us feel better, feel more empowered, basically feel more at home in ourselves, in our bodies.

~Ellen Katz

In the meantime, take this opportunity to return to the present moment. Yeah, you’ve heard the expression before and, for good reason. It’s wisdom passed down for millennia, a mantra in many forms found throughout the world’s religions and spiritual practices.

And, for some of us, it’s ridiculously tricky to access when we need it most. Like now, when the world is bombarding our brains with discrepancies. People in masks. Too many people not in masks! No traffic noise. Too much traffic noise! The constant drip-drip-drip of disparities between what is normal and what has become the new normal is enough to trigger an overproduction of cortisol and other stress hormones. 

Fight-or-flight is evolutionary armour. Without it, our species would’ve folded long ago. There’s a caveat that comes with the internal bells and whistles.

Admitting vulnerability calms our nervous system down enough to more clearly assess our situation and access solutions to ease our stress. Humans are built to solve problems but we’re all feeling less capable right now. That’s ok! 

We are, collectively, resilient beings.

Not perfect. Not immune. Resilient. Ellen urges us to lean into that resilience by turning down the volume on our need to futurize all the problems. You only control your actions, your responses. Your inner wise person wants you to know that, in this moment, you are safe. Your feelings are valid and you can thrive alongside them in this new normal. 

BONUS: If you’re looking for additional resources, Ellen shared with us a few of her favorite sources for wisdom – Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, and Byron Katie.

Connect With Ellen

Ellen Katz

Inner Balance

The Bhakti Caravan Kirtan band (with Ellen and Andrea)

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