Flip Over and Float

Written by Terri Cole

When you read the words Flip Over and Float what image comes to your mind? What feeling comes into your body? Relief? Expansion? This concept of Flipping and Floating comes as a result of 14 years as a licensed psychotherapist and coach in NYC. I repeatedly witness clients sweating the small stuff like traffic or rude subway riders and then making the choice to let that constriction (which, by the way, is always fear even if it is wearing a different disguise), dictate the rest of their day and in some cases the rest of their lives. It’s like watching someone struggling to swim up stream, expending a ton of effort in the wrong direction and, in the process, missing the beautiful view.

I realized a few years ago in my own life that there was an easier way to achieve all of my goals. That it did not have to all be so damn hard.  I was raised in a family with a protestant work ethic so I revered hard work and achievement. I was never unhappy working hard. As my career exploded I became more constricted and stressed about time management and that did negatively affect all aspects of my life. I was under the illusion that time was happening to me and there never seemed to be enough of it. Since I did not realize I had a choice, I felt un-empowered to change.

The beginning of becoming un-constricted, more joyful and more successful came with a committed meditation practice. This created space, possibility and relief in my mind, body and life. Along with meditation the incorporation of present moment consciousness accelerated my happiness and success.

What makes up the quality of your life is your daily existence, not only the peek experiences or significant epiphanies. It is my belief from observation and experience that the connection between, being constricted/fearful and NOT having the life of your dreams float into your lap like a feather, is direct and undeniable. So let’s get to how this can impact your life. Choose from the list below to get clarity on what constricts you on a daily basis.

List of Daily Constrictors:

  • Traffic/Commute
  • Not enough time
  • Not enough money
  • Unsatisfying job, marriage, health, financial life, social life, and family life
  • Other

Now create a second list of alternate actions and feeling states you can choose when you start to feel stress around each item on list one.

List of Alternate Actions and Feeling States:

  • Bust out Lavender oil. Take 3 deep breaths. Release.
  • Repeat Mantra, “I have exactly the right amount of time.” Breathe and release.
  • (Create what works for you.)

For example, if you sit in traffic daily, you have a choice of how you will experience that time. Unchecked, your Fear Mind (or Mafia Mind as I like to call it) will start it’s negative script about the idiot driver in front of you or your chatty office mate who made you late, creating constriction. This is your chance to do something different. The moment the script starts to roll, you must be present enough to say out loud, “Stop and breathe.” Then take three long deep breaths directly into the constriction that your thoughts have created in your body and on the exhalation release it while consciously relaxing your muscles. Just decide to let it go and float. This action strengthens your ability to BE HERE NOW. The more you practice this the faster and easier it gets. Time in traffic can be restorative or just suck. You decide. For bigger issues becoming calm and un-constricted is where effective problem solving begins.

The above exercise is one small action that will create change if you do it. This is not to say that deep breathing will fix your marriage, your job or shut your co-worker up. It is to say that being constricted makes all of those situations worse and robs you of your present moment joy. It comes as a total surprise to most clients that they can choose their feeling state in most situations. Your feelings are not happening to you. If you choose to stay constricted with excuses and justifications, it is still a choice. Changing conditioned responses can be challenging just like anything else worthwhile. You don’t get the ass of your dreams by going to the gym once.

So I challenge you to try this exercise and see what happens in your life. Open your mind and your heart to the transformative power of your intention. Take it from this former Type A constricted control freak, if I can become un-constricted and joyfully present in my life, so can you.

So here’s to Flipping Over and Floating and the joyful abundance that comes with it.

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