Recently I was invited to an event here in Pittsburgh called #PghHappy. It was sponsored by lululemon and my friend who works there invited me. There wasn’t much to the invite other than “Do you want to live a happier life and make Pittsburgh a happier place?” And my answer to that is always a resounding HELL YES.
So obviously I went to the event and had a wonderful time. Meeting new game changers in the Pittsburgh area, I felt at home with so many like-minded individuals in one beautiful space.
We spent time mingling + enjoying yummy food and then settled in for an hour of meditation and talking about how we can be happier!
The entire time we talked about ideas and tools to be happier, all I could keep thinking about is my blog and talking to so many of you amazing patients out there through social media. How it’s so EASY to just think “sure I want to be happy”, but when you’re coming from a place of pain, depression and fear, there are so many things that hold you back.
The individuals hosting the event have been certified in igolu principles, which are principles that are taught to the leaders of the lululemon. I hadn’t been exposed to these specific principles before, but they’re truly nothing new.
What does this mean?
When we are living above the line, we’re connected to our best selves. We’re positive, we’re compassionate, we’re coming from a place of love.
When we are living below the line, we’re disconnected from ourselves. We come from a place of negativity, anger, fear, aggression.
Referring to the photo on the right, this is an example of emotions and feelings we feel living above or below the line.
When we’re above the line we’re able to draw on others who are living above. When we’re living below the line, it’s harder to get help from others who aren’t living below the line. We seem to draw energy from like-minded individuals.
And that’s so true. I see it so often on twitter. Someone will mention they’re having a bad day and the another will chime in with a similar comment, which then spirals into more talk of pain, anger and talk of things being “not fair”.
I’m not saying we can’t vent. DEFINITELY NOT SAYING THAT. Venting can be sooooooo therapeutic. It can help us process our emotions and truly can help us deal with our shit. But, what we need to do is find people who can help us when we are in a place of doubt, guilt, fear, jealousy . . . someone who can help us recognize that we’re living below the line and help bring us up above.
Fielding Your Team
The wonderful thing we have as spoonies, is an AMAZING social network of other patients. Just jump on twitter, instagram or Facebook and you’ll find thousands of individuals in similar situations as yourself.
Back in November, I hosted an instagram challenge called Chronically Grateful. During this challenge, I wanted to help spoonies find that there are many things to be grateful for in our challenges of chronic illness. So many of your responded positively to the challenge and we had many wonderful discussions.
These are the type of people you want on your team. The people you can cry with when you’re having a bad day, but will also help you see the good in your situation. There is ALWAYS good. Sometimes it takes a little time to notice it, but it’s always there.
Once you’ve identified these people,
- Talk with them about how they can help recognize when you’re feeling below the line. Maybe there are a few choice thoughts you usually start feeling. For example, maybe when you’re in pain you start to lash out and start fights. Or maybe when you’re coming from a place of fear you immediately shut down and don’t want to face your responsibilities.
- Give your friend 3 tips to help you start to live above the line. Maybe it’s that they just allow you to vent to them, tell them to suggest you to go read your favorite book, or maybe ask them to ask you to go to a yoga class.
- And most importantly, give them permission to help you pull yourself back above the line!
This is not a judgement exercise.
You cannot judge others who are living below the line and don’t think that your friends are judging you when you’re below the line. Because guess what – judging is a below the line concept and it will just pull you further down!
Once you start down the negative train, you know how fast that train can start spinning down the track. We need to start catching ourselves quickly and have a plan. Let this be your plan!! Whenever you’re starting to fall down the line of feeling these below the line emotions, draw on these friends who you have on your corner. Use your resources to pull you back up!
If you’d like to listen to a podcast on the igolu’s principle Above The Line/Below The Line, check out this link!
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!