The Proper Use of Your Middle Finger
So, here we are, halfway through the ‘Give Yourself a Hand’ practice. If you missed the last few emails, this is a Mind/Body exercise that is used to shift your mindset from agitation or overwhelm to presence and focus.
In review: if you make a fist, your thumb looks like a periscope. When you look at life through your periscope you will mostly see consequences. What is dangerous? What will be too much?
I encourage you to take a moment to recognize the value of having a good periscope. Being aware of consequences is essential for a healthy and happy life. However, it is even more important to be able to put the periscope down, or at least keep in your pocket. Without your periscope, you can start to look for positive opportunities like connection and change.
When your periscope is down, it is time to whip out your pointing finger of judgment. Life is serious and we need to know what is going on! We need to be in control or start to feel that we are losing control.
This finger also has the patience to look deeply into life with discernment. When something needs to change the one deciding better know what they are doing.
Is something missing in your life, or in you?
Does something need to change, but you just don’t know what it is?
The magical and helpful index finger is also like the nose of curiosity and play. Where is something new? Who do you need to have a meaningful conversation with? When is the next time you know you are going to have fun?
Just point your finger and go!
So, we covered your thumb and your index finger…, let’s see…, what is next?
Yep, your middle finger.
Your middle finger holds a lot of power and it can be used to mean a lot of things. It covers everything from “leave me alone,” or, “we need to communicate better.” It can also mean “You can join my tribe, but keep it on the down low.”
Here is another way to experience any of those moments that make you want to flip off the world in some way. Your middle finger gets a special power too. Imagine this; your thumb-iscope is down, your pointer finger is getting you where you need to go and yet your middle finger keeps summing up your day with words that start with an F.
Believe me, it happens to EVERYBODY!
If that feels true to you, then you need to re-define the big old middle finger in a new way. For me, the middle finger means HALT. HALT is an expression for Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. It is a quick reminder for people with PTSD, addiction, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and some people with PMS make sure that they never feel more than two of these feelings at the same time.
I think this should be taught to kids in grade 3. Never feel more than two of those at the same time. Imagine living like that since you started to really become you.
That is your birthright.
And sometimes life asks us to slow the ‘middle finger’ down.
If you get Hungry, but especially if you get low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), your brain chemistry will become very fragile and/or intense. No, that is not fun, not at all… In fact, there is a condition called Reactive Hypoglycemia, which can make people crazy enough to actually kill someone. Just sayin’. You calm your middle finger with a bowl of soup and recognize your metabolism needs some help.
Feeling any form of ANGER or hostility produce enough stress hormones that it takes at least 20 minutes for them to leave your body. Most hostile people are jerks who seem to really piss people off. Which keeps them angry. When I turn into a jerk, I just keep finding reasons to get into conflict. It seems to be going around. One of the Tenets of Emotional Intelligence is, ‘Respond instead of React.’
Stay connected with the process. Your periscope is down and your pointing in the right direction. Now you want to become oriented to your state. Do you need something to eat to feel grounded and available? Focus on your state. focus on right now. You can fix your metabolism next week. Can you settle into wisdom and discernment? Now is the time to learn how to apply patience. The less impatience and aggression you feel, the more you can cultivate a relationship with awareness and connection.
Feeling LONELY runs the world. Humans need enough connection the same way primates need enough grooming. If you feel lonely enough to feel sad reading this, start finding ways to reconnect with friends and family. Go slow at first. If you feel like starting with a new tribe of friends, join a class and get to know some people who share an interest. Speaking with a counselor is a great way to reconnect with connecting with people.
I am personally astounded and terrified at how many people spend so much of their lives alone.
TIRED people make impatient choices. Enough said. Get more sleep and rest. If you have ANY trouble sleeping look into sleep hygiene practices, avoid sugar, caffeine, and alcohol and play more.
Yes, some play is essential to your health, especially your sleep.
I hope you can use your middle finger as a yield sign before starting arguments or ending friendships. If you are having a hard day, have a healthy snack, talk out your feelings and/or take a nap. Do this every day for a few days and see what happens. This is just about getting grounded and becoming aware of your self and your environment.
Part Four: Would you Marry Yourself?