Children are sometimes smarter than adults. In addition to seeking comfort in rocking motions, most kids go through a phase of finding solace by sucking on one or more fingers, a habit that parents often try to discourage before the child matures enough to develop alternate coping skills. Most often it is the thumb, or the index and middle finger together. These fingers are believed to represent worry, fear and anger according to the Japanese healing art of Jin Shin Jitsu, which encourages holding these fingers to help the energy flow when it is stuck.
Life is challenging and we all need ways to sooth ourselves. A lack of healthy ways often leads to taking on behaviors that appear soothing in the moment, but often have long term negative consequences. Many of us have used alcohol or drugs or shopping or gambling to ease our way out of troubling feelings only to find we created additional problems. So how do we take care of ourselves in healthy ways; how do we soothe our troubled minds?
Repetitive motion, gentle touch, and harmonic vibrations of sound and energy tend to invite a sense of well being and allow us to feel connected to something outside ourselves. Walking on the beach, listening to water fall in nature or in a fountain, yoga, planting a garden, riding a horse, massage, swing chairs and hammocks, knitting, weaving, dancing, drumming, and other similar activities evoke a sense of surrender to the moment, a letting go of intrusive thoughts that allows us to find our inner harmony in collaboration with external vibration.
I recently took up spinning wool and discovered that it has a much the same effect as my old rocking horse escapades. It puts me in a relaxed, meditative state of mind that leaves me feeling peaceful and refreshed. Mahamata Gandhi was a strong proponent of spinning fiber. He encouraged the people of India to spin cotton, both as a source of economic independence and as a pathway towards both inner and world peace.
While spinning fiber may not be your thing, look around for an activity or place that invites you to feel peaceful, connected, content, soothed. In a way it is like rebooting your computer, resetting your operational programs to optimal functioning. Make room in your life to soothe yourself and provide comfort on a regular basis and you may find yourself smiling more often.