In my case, the physical discomforts started the night before; there were chills, aches, sweats, and insomnia. With a compromised body comes a flood of thoughts and emotions, similar to when one is hungry or hasn’t slept. In these situations, the mind seems to go on overdrive.
In unhooking, we label and name the thought, and we do that over and over and over again. For example, my thoughts (label) were “I must have finally gotten this thing” (name). Also, I had a feeling (label) of being scared because of the pain I would go through (name). These are just two examples of many, many thoughts and emotions that I noticed last night. The key idea here is that we have to notice these are just thoughts and feelings and return over and over to labeling and naming – Unhooking.
Grounding means anchoring yourself in a storm. Imagine a thunderstorm with rain and high winds; how can you anchor yourself to the ground? We can use this same metaphor to ground ourselves from the thunderstorms with rain and winds of thoughts and emotions. In grounding, we push our feet into the ground, extend our arms out, push our hands into each other, then pick out three things you can smell, hear, see, touch, and taste. For example, last night, I repeatedly extended my arms, pushed my hands into each other, and felt my sheets.
Acting on Values
Acting on values means to choose something meaningful and do it. For example, I value meditation; therefore, last night, I returned to the meditation over and over until I fell asleep. I also value yoga, so this morning I did a very easy 12-minute yoga exercise. When we act on our values, our lives take on a purpose, and we feel fulfilled, alive, and accomplished.
Being kind to yourself and others is an excellent value to act on. Evolutionarily, we often do the opposite, it kept us alive and evolving. Therefore, if we want to act on this value, we have to do so consciously. I could have told myself last night that it was unwise to go out of the apartment and not be careful, but that would not have solved anything, and more importantly, I wouldn’t be living my value. Therefore, I was kind to myself and treated myself with compassion; I was also kind to others who were concerned.
This is probably the most difficult of the tools above, at least for me it was. Making room means making room for the thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, memories, and discomforts. Making room means we don’t need to struggle with these sensations, just make space for them, so we can go on and act on our values. Last night, there were painful bodily sensations, thoughts, emotions, memories, and thoughts about the future. I chose not to struggle with them, but to make room for them and not engage with them; instead, I acted on my values.
Hope this helps, Marcos Quinones