life coach rona 16 05 01 tree face

 

Not long ago I was at the acupuncturist. Once the needles were set the acupuncturist left the room. As I lay there, I noticed an itch. I became concerned. I was afraid to move because I thought the needles would fall out or dig into me and hurt. I had not had a lot of experience with acupuncture so the needles still freaked me out a bit. I started to feel anxious. This somehow seemed to intensify the itch which increased my anxiety about what to do.

I decided to meditate to calm myself. Rather than wishing the itch to go away, or feeling the need to “fix” it by scratching, I decided to BE WITH the itch and observe it objectively: What was its sensation? Did it have a shape, color, or density? As I continued to observe and question it in a curious way I noticed it’s intensity lessen. And then, the itch was gone! I was surprised—and oh-so-relieved. ?

As I lay there (now rather blissfully), it occurred to me: That itch is not unlike our thoughts and feelings. When we have a worrisome, painful, or anxious thought or feeling our inclination is to panic, push it away, fix it, or run from it. All of these things tend to increase its intensity and paradoxically keep us engaged with the unwanted feeling as we fight to be rid of it.
But there is another way.

We can learn to BE WITH the feeling. We can process it in a healthy way by observing it with curiosity: Where is it located in my body? Does it have density, color, or shape? Where did it come from? As we do this, just like the itch, the intensity of the feeling will lessen and the energy of that feeling will begin to dissipate as it moves through and out of our body.

Part of being human is to experience the full spectrum of emotion. As we learn to BE WITH our feelings—even the unpleasant and painful ones—they lose their grip on us. We gain confidence in knowing we can handle the tougher emotions and this frees us up to get to the good ones—and somehow, even those seem to increase in intensity!

 

 

life coach rona 16 04 24 drop

 

Several years ago my husband was diagnosed with cancer. The initial prognosis was not a good one. I remember picking up my daughter at elementary school during that time–sunny days, children’s laughter, moms talking intently among themselves, my daughter excitedly running toward me. I greeted moms and teachers with smiles and polite small talk. All the while...I was falling to pieces inside.

Today, my husband’s prognosis is great. But the poignant memory of the contrast between my inner and outer world stayed with me as this was imprinted on my soul: “You never know who among us is falling to pieces.”

Carrying this thought makes it is easy and desirable to positively touch every person I encounter. It’s simple: eye contact and a smile, holding the door, small talk, a compliment, an understanding glance at the mom whose child is acting up, buying a coffee for the person ahead of you at Starbucks.

You’ll find that the more you do this the more you will want to do it. It creates of virtuous cycle that promotes lasting happiness–not to mention the positive energy that reverberates throughout our planet as a result of your actions. ?

So go out there and get your kindness on!