Every day I hear stories that break my heart. I’m so sad about what I’m hearing.
I’m also hearing hopeful stories and those are the ones I like to share with you. Especially if there’s a nugget of wisdom that can be helpful for the challenges that YOU are facing.
In this episode, you’ll hear about my student Lucas and how he found his way from triggered to calm when a neighbor challenged his inner peace.
So this is the story of Lucas, who’s been feeling increasingly stressed by the world crises we’re all facing now: the coronavirus, the racism, the increasing danger from climate change. Plus, Lucas lives in a place where the government is failing to provide leadership that helps him feel safe… which adds to his sense of stress.
Facing his feelings of anxiety, sadness, and hopelessness, Lucas did what so many people do these days — he went on the internet! And he found me. Specifically, he found my five day free e-course called Get Bigger Than What’s Bugging You. He did the five lessons, and he wrote one phrase from each lesson on a post-it note that he put on his mirror.
He wasn’t sure if doing those five practices made any difference for him, until one day something really dramatic happened…
The way that Lucas works during the quarantine means that he goes to bed quite late, and sleeps late as well. He’d only been asleep for a few hours when his neighbor started banging on something with a hammer. He woke up really really angry.
He was so triggered by the loud noise that he felt sure the neighbor was doing it at him. For a moment he thought about getting an egg out of his fridge and throwing it at her window. That’s how mad he was.
But then he looked at the mirror, and he saw the five post-its, each one with a phrase from my e-course.
The first note said, “something in me.”
So Lucas said to himself, “something in me feels very angry,” and almost magically in the very next second, his body took a deep breath and he felt a warm relaxing. Wow!
Another post-it note said: “Let a gentle hand go there.”
Lucas put his hand on his forehead, where he was feeling the anger and he noticed that he started to feel really sad. He said to himself “something in me feels very sad,” and again, his breath deepened. He put his hands over his heart and looked at the post-it notes again.
Another one said, “Say hello to it.”
Lucas said “I’m saying hello to my sadness and my anger” and remembered what I said about not judging your feelings but just noticing they are there.
The loud noises continued for about 20 minutes. For Lucas, it was a really long time. But he stayed calm. And the kinds of thoughts he had about his neighbor began to change.
He thought, “Well I’m sure my neighbor has a good reason why she’s doing that, maybe she hired someone who could only come that early, or maybe something got broken and she had to fix it right away.”
Lucas felt so calm that when the noise stopped, he went back to bed and was able to sleep again. And when he woke up later, he was still calm!
He told me that he didn’t think these steps would work but they really did. And they worked on something so small, but something that made a big difference throughout his day.
One thing I really love about this story is the change in Lucas’ thoughts about his neighbor. When he was triggered, he took it personally, and felt like the neighbor was making the noises in order to hurt him. After he used my tips to become calm, he found himself taking a compassionate view of what was going on without even trying! Wow, I would so much like to live in a world where more people see each other in this way!
Here’s a reminder of the three things he did.
ONE: He said “something in me” about his own feelings, as in “something in me is really angry.”
TWO: He let a gentle hand go to the place where he felt those feelings.
THREE: He said Hello to the feelings of sadness and anger.
And then he felt the difference that made.
You know, things do trigger us! And when we’re stressed already by world events, the “last straw” is a lot closer! But you aren’t the victim of what happens to you. You can shift how you respond. That’s why I love sharing stories like this one.So here’s to you… having a more peaceful life.