Sometimes people ask me if the tips I give about inner peace in challenging times can help even in really tough situations.
Such as long-term, serious physical challenges. The kind we’ll probably all face eventually as we get older… but some of us are facing them now.
We’re bound to have reactions to these kinds of changes… but it’s what we do with those reactions that really makes a difference to our inner peace.
I am in awe of people who find ways to live with serious physical limitations AND still find their way to inner peace. And that’s why I want to tell you about Carolyn.
Carolyn has MS — multiple sclerosis. She’s also legally blind. She gets around using a wheelchair, and she’s pretty good at navigating the world she lives in.
But using a new kind of software or figuring out a new kind of tech is one of her biggest challenges. And that happened recently.
Carolyn wanted to participate in a webinar — one of mine, actually. Although she managed to get into the webinar and hear what was going on, she wasn’t able to type a message as the others in the webinar were doing.
Not being able to type a message to the group left Carolyn feeling lonely, frustrated, and disappointed because she couldn’t join in (and she felt like that was somehow a failure on her part).
In fact, Carolyn started to feel enormous grief and shame at being different and at not having the ability to connect in the way that other people were. I can so understand that!
But because of what I was teaching in the webinar, something different happened for Carolyn.
I was talking about being Self-in-Presence, which is the name for the state where YOU can be OK and at peace even though PARTS OF YOU are in distress, upset, frustrated, and so on.
I invited the participants to feel the grounding of their bodies… to get in contact with the support beneath them… and to rest into that support.
I showed them how to use the language of “something in me feels…” to acknowledge and welcome their feelings… without getting taken over by the feelings but also not pushing them away.
Carolyn really appreciated getting grounded in Self in Presence. That already felt better. Then she said to herself, “Something in me is feeling grief and shame at not being able to do this the way other people can.”
Remarkably, she felt that part of her ease up and relax.
And into Carolyn’s whole being came a knowing that SHE was OK… even if her parts were still having a bit of a hard time.
From that larger perspective, she was able to remember that she could feel safe in the world, even if the world doesn’t know how to accommodate her limitations.
When Carolyn told me this story I found it really moving and beautiful. It’s deeply inspiring and also humbling — to know that what I teach can help someone like Carolyn to live in a more present and peaceful way.
And that’s proof that this process works with the hard stuff, not just the little things…
You can be Self-in-Presence… which means you can be grounded and present as your bigger self… no matter what challenges you’re facing. You can turn toward the painful emotions you are feeling, using the language, “something in me feels….”
And when you do that, you naturally access wisdom that comes from your whole Self, like “I am OK, and I can be safe in the world even if the world doesn’t know how to accommodate my limitations.”
The wisdom of your larger Self is there waiting for you. It’s not something you have to tell yourself. It’s something you already know!
You just need to acknowledge and turn toward those more challenging feelings so that you are bigger than they are.
And how do you do that again?
ONE: Pause. Notice that there ARE stressful feelings. Always step one!
TWO: Feel the contact of your body on what you’re sitting on. Just rest on that support.
THREE: Acknowledge the stressful feelings using the language of “something in me” — as in “Something in me is having a hard time right now.”
For an extra boost, add the words “I am sensing” — “I am sensing something in me is having a hard time right now.”
Try it and let me know how it goes, OK? I look forward to hearing.So here’s to you… having a more peaceful life.