Developing mindfulness and awareness during a crisis can be like riding whitewater rapids. It’s easy to talk about, but actually doing it requires inner strength, stamina, and a firm resolve.
If we are accustomed to living a "good life" of relative privilege, we can tend to be ashamed that we're afraid of epidemics, terrorism, and climate change. This unfortunate combination of feelings makes it difficult to develop a good course of action.
A big part of the transformational process is challenging negative self talk (mean and nasty internal dialogue). Again and again we need to look at, see, and then cut through the roots and causes of self hatred.
If we feel upset when things go wrong or something unpleasant and unexpected happens, we’re not exactly unique in this world. But if we develop the habit of holding on to these upset feelings, we may resort to drinking too much, using drugs, or overeating (using food like a drug) in a futile effort to try and feel better.
What would you say if I told you, “Everything that distresses you is irrelevant”? Distress, worry . . . irrelevant!? Most people are puzzled and annoyed by this proposition –– some folks get very angry!
Do you ever get an anxious feeling . . . followed by a fearful thought that something must be going wrong? Then the thought that something is wrong makes you feel more intense anxiety .
These instructions were created for people learning to conduct a hypnotherapy session to eradicate a client’s phobia, but you can just as easily use them to work with a phobia (yours or someone else’s) on your own.
Anger comes from a creeping sense that we are small and in some way lacking. We’re usually unconscious of this sense of smallness, but it makes us cling to what I call “lower self qualities.”
More than anyone else, my Buddhist teachers taught me how to relate to questions and questioning. They taught me the art of inquiry which led to what I now call Therapeutic Inquiry.
A couple came to see me once, and they were very grumpy with each other. They’d had a big fight the previous week, and it was so bad that the woman’s husband had actually packed his bags and was ready to go out the door.