October 27 2009 – Getting Unblocked #34

October 27 2009 – Getting Unblocked #34
December 11, 2009 Ann Weiser Cornell

something unfortunate happens–like an important computer file
disappearing–what do you do? Do you panic? Call yourself stupid and
worse? Give up? It doesn't have to be that way. Read on…

How not to panic and what happens then


Carol, who recently completed our course "Radical Gentleness," wanted to share this story:

couple of days ago I was dutifully updating a copy of the article I was
writing, from my flash drive to my computer, and somehow it
disappeared. In the past this would have sent me into sheer panic
mode… then it
would have become intense self criticism, and then a fury of anger at
everything and everyone… eventually I would have felt beaten down,
assuming that my writing career was simply not meant to be.

"So, instead, you know what happened? I said one unprintable word
and proceeded to calmly look for it; when I realized I couldn't find
it, I called my friend; when she couldn't help, I called my computer
guy (everyone needs one). He said he could find it. I went back to
other work. Later, my computer guy rescued
my article from somewhere (cyberspace?). And that's the end of the

"Ann, what a testimony to IRF and your course on Radical Gentleness.

"P.S.  I now have copies of my article draft in several places on two computers!"

We stay calm, we take action, we keep it all in perspective


much of the suffering we face each day can be traced back to getting
caught up in reactive emotional states? A lot… or so it seems to
me… and I've devoted my life to finding ways to relieve that
suffering, starting with myself of course.

It absolutely doesn't
work to try to stuff our feelings and impose calm. "Get over it."
"Think lovely thoughts." All those positive thinking methods share the
same problem: they ignore what is so. "What is not felt remains the
same," Gendlin says, and likewise for what is ignored.

But what we CAN do is turn toward what troubles us with a friendly quality of interested curiosity. "Oh, hello!"

doing that, we become what those panicky inner places need:
Self-in-Presence. Instead of taking over, they calm down. They're like
scared kids who need a hug and then they're OK.

It's not always easy– but it's truly that simple.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Sign up here and get your first lesson right away.

Thank you! Your first lesson is on its way to your inbox. If you don't see it in the next couple hours, be sure to check your SPAM folder (or Promotions tab in GMail)