How to Overcome Difficult Emotions With Self-Compassion

How to Overcome Difficult Emotions With Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is a powerful antidote to difficult emotions such as anxiety and shame. It is a portable form of therapy that can be applied anywhere.

Many people think of self-compassion as a weak trait and shun it in their effort to act tough. And yet, self-compassion is hugely important to help us learn and grow.

It allows us to become more resilient because we accept the inherent possibility of both failure and success in all areas of life, instead of resisting it. Through the lens of self-compassion, we recognize that both failure and success are part of the process of life. Instead of hardening our stance in the face of setbacks, this recognition helps us to accept ourselves and our best effort as good enough in each moment. Even when we fail, self-compassion gives us the courage to try again.

The aspect of ourselves that judges, blames or shames ourselves or others, will be the slowest in evolving. Our least evolved parts are usually stuck in basic survival instincts, including excessive self-criticism, fear, hatred and shame.

By healing this within us, we are able to fully evolve.

Whenever we feel threatened by something outside ourselves, we automatically revert back to the primal fight/freeze/flight response for protection and safety. We lash out, self-isolate or avoid confrontation instead of learning how to effectively deal with challenges.

When danger is experienced on the inside, we go a step further: we internalize the fight/freeze/flight response and instead judge, blame or abandon ourselves. We devolve toward self-criticism, isolation and stuckness – the unholy trinity of woundedness.

A good case in point is the anxiety that many people experience around public speaking. According to psychologist and mindfulness practitioner Dr. Chris Germer, a public speaking anxiety is not an anxiety disorder; it is a shame disorder. At the root of the anxiety that causes us to fear failure or to choke up, lies deep shame.

When we internalize our shame, we create anxiety.

Self-compassion dissolves this excessive shame and self-criticism to bring balance thru self-love. In essence, the practice of self-compassion allows us to hold ourselves in the midst of shame, acknowledging that we are all imperfect beings and embracing ourselves nonetheless.

Many of us extend compassion toward others, yet have difficulty in holding compassion toward ourselves. We can be compassionate to others because we don’t feel immediately threatened by their challenges.

And yet, healthy self-compassion is a necessary prerequisite to master before we can offer true compassion to others.

Why is it so difficult for us to develop self-compassion?

Self-compassion is not our first response at the instinctual level of survival; it is a skill we need to develop from a spiritual perspective if we wish to break free from living at basic levels of survival and evolve into our fullest potential. Old conditioning of self-judgment, unworthiness and shame also make it difficult for us to practice self-compassion and block our growth. To continue evolving, it becomes essential for us to address these emotions.

Self-compassion can be seen as a melting of the heart in the face of difficulty – stepping out of judgment and into compassion devoid of judgment for ourselves or others. It allows the lower, denser emotions to dissolve in the higher frequencies of compassion and love.

When the heart starts to soften around an issue, we will re-experience some of the same emotions previously triggered by conditions: shame, guilt, pain, grief, disappointment and more. And yet, as we learn how to hold that space of compassion for ourselves, we become strong enough to hold our pain as well. By becoming present and acknowledging these buried emotions, they can finally dissolve so we can let go of woundedness in our lives.

Self-compassion gives us the capacity to hold ourselves in love while we process old pain differently and resolve it, instead of staying stuck in a dysfunctional coping mechanism. This practice allows us to become stronger and more resilient, and we grow in grace.

Even as life continues to offer us emotional triggers, our growing ability for self-compassion and understanding empowers us to hold that safe space of compassion for ourselves. It allows us to see ourselves as a work in process, holding our struggles and the messiness of our lives in compassion. I believe this is what pioneering psychologist Carl Rogers meant when he said: “When I accept myself just as I am, I can begin to change.”

Self-compassion becomes easier with practice. It develops our ability to extend compassion and forgiveness to all forms of life, and to offer more life-expanding love to others. Ultimately, it connects us intimately to the abundantly rich wellspring life.

Self-compassion is not self-indulgence; it means treating ourselves with the same care, love and support we would give another.

This inner stance allows us to ask ourselves what we need and then giving that to ourselves. It allows us to recognize that all people are imperfect – including us – and to admit that in ourselves at the very moment we feel we’re failing. It gives us the grace to accept what is instead of getting stuck in resistance and denial.

At the core of self-compassion lies mindfulness – observing things as they happen and being willing to stay present with difficult emotions. Mindfulness is a wonderful practice because it teaches us how to step out of the drama and practice compassion toward ourselves and all sentient beings.

Lasting transformation comes not from just understanding the process of self-compassion, but putting it into practice as a personal way of living.

Here are a few guidelines to help you live from a place of self-compassion:

  • When you find yourself failing or suffering, bring mindfulness to it – acknowledge that you are struggling to validate yourself.
  • Remind yourself of the common humanity of the situation – this is not just you; it is part of all of life. Struggle is a part of life.
  • Speak some words of kindness to yourself; comfort yourself and give yourself the encouragement that you would give your best friend.
  • Cultivate the habit of practicing lovingkindness to yourself and all sentient beings in all circumstances – especially the challenging ones! An excellent place to start is with the Buddhist Lovingkindness prayer, one version of which you can find at Buddhagroove.
  • Commit to a daily practice of self-compassion. In the flow of life, a self-compassionate response means honoring the pain of seeing what we’ve done; recognize difficult situations as areas in need of healing, acknowledging the experience and its related shame in love, and then opening our hearts with forgiveness and compassion in the midst of shame.

When more and more people commit to practicing self-compassion, we create a culture of kindness in which everyone can heal and grow. Together, we can become a force for healing in a broken world.

About the Author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

A Fresh Perspective For Uncertain Times

A Fresh Perspective For Uncertain Times

The great leveler has arrived. As Covid-19, the latest coronavirus, sweeps across the globe without regard for individual status, power or influence, it is showing us that all of us are equally part of the process of life on this planet.

Viruses don’t discriminate based on skin color or political alliance. Our choice is not about whether we participate, but how.

Our planet is starting to awaken out of old consciousness. The cleansing that is sweeping the globe at this time will affect every human being before it is done. Circumstances are forcing us, individually and collectively, to set aside political and religious differences, and to reach out to our fellow humans in support and compassion. Nations are forced to redirect trillions of dollars spent on war toward the support of humanitarian efforts so there can be hope renewed for the weakest among us.

The call for action is clear – but will we respond from faith or from fear? As awakened souls, we can intentionally expand coherence on this planet, starting with our own lives and realities. By choosing to focus on opportunity instead of fear, we can anchor the energies of expansion to minimize suffering and support the awakening of many.

And, as always, we are called to be the change we wish to see in the world; we are asked to start the journey by healing within us that which is not truthful and pure, so we can hold a pure space for others to awaken and reach their potential.

The global time-out offers humanity an opportunity to reflect on our true purpose, both collectively and individually. It is a pause that allows us to disinfect ourselves from viruses of both mind and ego that have infested our world. This time of uncertainty is also a time to heal, reflect and focus on the world we’d like to create. Instead of going into fear, we can focus on perfecting our inner journey, and hold a shared intention for the birthing of an outer reality that honors all forms of life.

During these times of uncertainty, denial, avoidance and resistance are plentiful but they are not helpful.

Rather, we need to identify and release all dissonance within ourselves, so we can dissolve the fear in the collective. Energy flows from resonance to resonance. As we identify and release within ourselves whatever lower levels of consciousness such as fear and anxiety that lurk there, we are able to hold a space of peace and light, uplifting the levels of consciousness on the planet so others can awaken, too.

Fear is a natural human reaction to uncertainty and change, but we do not need to live there! This is not a time to succumb to fear, but a time to remember that we are deeply loved at all times and under all circumstances. We may not be able to replace defunct systems – yet – but we can begin by purifying our own beings, so that our light can illuminate the way for others.

When we focus on feelings of uncertainty, fear or lack, we add to stress levels, both in our bodies and in the collective.

Fear feeds stress, which raises cortisol, inflammatory markers, adrenalin and inflammation, resulting in immune compromise. Uncontrolled stress can lead to panic and a loss of rational thinking and behavior. Therefore, we must reverse the escalation from fear to stress to panic.

Fear is not dispelled by going into denial, or by applying a superficial Band-Aid of positive thinking. Fear dissipates when we become fully present in each moment.

When we become still and go within, we’re able to surrender our resistance to what is. We choose to simply be with unpredictability and observe emotions that arise.

Notice fear, doubt, confusion, anger or even panic arising? These are scraps of our individual woundedness that resonate with the fear in the collective. Healing starts by acknowledging each of these dissonant thoughts and emotions. Then, we release them to Spirit, so we can center our minds on peace. The more we release these dissonant emotions, the greater our capacity to remain in a place of inner stillness and calm, regardless of the storm raging around.

When the mind is at peace, we are open and available to higher frequencies of healing and transformation. Ultimately, then, it is more helpful to have a quiet mind than a superficially positive mind.

With our own practice of clearing and healing in place, we can become fully attentive to the needs of others. This is not a time to judge and criticize, but to extend the hand of friendship and compassion to others, remembering that we’re all in this together. We can use this moment as an opportunity for individual and collective awakening, connection and renewal.

Never before have there been such amazing technologies and opportunities to support one another around the globe. Even as we are physically separated and isolated, we can connect to our worldwide tribe through technology, and to Spirit through our awakened consciousness.

When feeling discouraged, think how it must feel to live out one’s entire life in solitary confinement, as many prisoners do. Remember how the victims of the Spanish Flu epidemic did not have the internet to check on the well-being of loved ones? And during the Black Plague, many comatose patients were buried alive in mass graves along with corpses because of the lack of medical technology.

Despite the discipline imposed on us to curtail our freedom for a season, we have so much to be grateful for!

Balance, alignment and flow are key in these times and beyond. Remember that one person functioning at the level of consciousness of 500 on The Hawkins Map of Consciousness counterbalances 750,000 people who are not yet spiritually awake and operate below 200.

This is a time where compassion outweighs opinions, where love trumps fear, and where faith allows us to move with confidence and trust into the unknown. Let’s accept the assignment we came here for, and let’s make our presence count!

About the author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit http://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

Your Life Is Your Message

Your Life Is Your Message

Gandhi, that great peacemaker and inspirational leader, applied a simple motto to his life. It read, “My life is my message.”

Gandhi understood that we communicate with everyone we encounter each day; our lives are the books read by others, and our message is shared through our attitudes, values, beliefs, thoughts, words and actions – everything that drives us daily.

The message of your life consists of three very important components. Through it:

  • You guide yourself to what is possible;
  • You guide others about what is most important to you and what they can expect of you; and
  • You affect and influence the larger environment around you.

What does your life message say? Your message will always communicate what is most important to you. For your life to have positive impact, it is essential to cultivate awareness of the issues that occupy your time and attention.

You shape your life through the power of your attention before you even make a choice. Whatever you pay attention to, think about, dwell on, talk, worry or obsess about, will increase and multiply until it affects who you become.

  • If you constantly think about what frightens you, you will become more fearful.
  • If you constantly think about how unfair life is, you will see more reasons to support this view.
  • If you believe you are worthless, your choices and behaviors will reflect that belief.
  • If you feel entitled to be angry, you will find more and more to be angry about.

Likewise, when you pay close attention to what is positive, hopeful, supportive, uplifting and encouraging, your life and sense of self will inevitably reflect that.

You have the power to choose what you cultivate in the inner garden of your mind!

Whatever your circumstances, you can direct your attention to what will most positively affect your attitudes and actions. Your personal attitudes and values can lift your spirits or dash them far more effectively than anything outside yourself can!

The power of consciously focusing your attention also sets the stage for personal empowerment in your life. To the same extent that you harness your focus to practice self-awareness and self-knowledge, personal happiness and inner harmony become available within. Self-knowledge helps guide optimal choices, so the more self-knowledge you develop, the more self-empowered you ultimately become.

True self-knowledge allows for an honest assessment of strengths and weaknesses – not to judge or avoid the weaker aspects, but to allow for their healing and integration. This process is at the core of all personal growth. It ultimately empowers you to call on inner strengths and capabilities to meet life’s challenges, instead of making excuses for your woundedness or fear. Each time you strengthen or heal an area of woundedness, you become more integrated and more resilient to make empowering choices.

Over time, self-knowledge fosters trust in yourself and in the choices you make. There is no short-cut to true self-knowledge; it is developed in the thick of living where it grows from keen awareness and attention to the unfolding process of your life.

Your life is your most powerful message to others, and self-knowledge allows you to fine-tune that message. By observing your life and actions, you can cultivate the attitude and skills necessary to fulfill your life purpose in the most optimal way.

Here are a few pointers to get you started on honing your unique message:

Observe your impact on other people. Put yourself in their shoes. See yourself from their perspective. Listen to yourself. Get to know your emotional terrain and how it affects everyone around you. When you don’t like what you see, change it!

Listen carefully to your own stories. Your stories shape your character, temperament and sense of what is possible, so know what your stories are. How do you habitually describe the impact of life events on you? What themes do you emphasize? Which stories do you keep harking back to? When you see the impact of the stories you tell, you can change your habitual stories for more optimal outcomes.

Know your strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps even more important than your strengths, is the awareness of what challenges you. Both strengths and obstacles have lots to teach you. True authenticity is found by being aware of your weaknesses and working to improve them, yet choosing to reach for your highest potential.

Find out what matters to you. What do you talk about most persistently? Where are you focusing your time, money and attention? If it does not bring you the outcomes you desire, perhaps it is time to shift your focus.

Notice what makes you happy. What makes you feel genuinely excited and alive? What inspires and moves you? What fascinates you? Focus on these things, and they will surely expand to enrich your life.

Notice what dampens your enthusiasm. What are the thoughts that drive your fearful thinking? When you become aware of the thoughts that trigger your emotions and spin you into fear, anxiety or depression, you can exchange them for positive ones. Emotions  are driven by thoughts, not the other way around.

Notice how much you learn from your mistakes. There is no failure in life; there is only learning. Cultivating this attitude will save you from repeating self-destructive behaviors. Adopting an open mind leads to learning and growth; it also allows you to let go of habitual defensiveness and fear because you increasingly act from self-awareness instead of ignorance.

Learn from other people. It has been said that smart people learn from their experiences; brilliant people learn from the experiences of others. When you appreciate the experiences of others, you do not need to repeat them for your own learning; instead, you can avoid pitfalls and focus on optimal actions.

Get to know your inner world. You are the only companion you have for life. By getting to understand your own dreams, hopes and wishes, you’re able to support yourself in the best possible way to reach those goals while maintaining a sense of inner harmony.

Stay curious. Children are wonderful teachers because their minds are not cluttered with value judgments of good and bad. The more curiosity you cultivate about life, the more you will move out of judgment and into the field of possibilities from where miracles happen.

Your life is indeed your unique message and contribution to the world. Self-knowledge is the key to unlock that message so you can communicate most effectively with yourself, others and the world around you.

About the author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit http://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

Living As a Mystic in The Mainstream of Life

Living As a Mystic in The Mainstream of Life

At times, it can feel as if the demands of physical life keep us so busy struggling to survive that there is no time for the mystic pursuits of spirituality. And yet, there is a way to live as a mystic in the mainstream of life, dancing gracefully between these seemingly opposite worlds.

We are not just physical bodies rushing through life; we are timeless spiritual beings experiencing life in the physical realm. And to thrive, we need to learn how to operate in both worlds: the world of the unseen Presence and the world of manifest physicality. We need to learn how to coexist in the realm of the timeless Now as well as the realm of linear time. Together, these realms offer us boundless gifts and opportunities for personal growth.

Shamans refer to this interface between realms as walking between the worlds: learning to live in both the realms of the timeless invisible and the manifest world. Walking between the world implies action, for it is not an abstract intellectual process. We come to understand life by experimenting and experiencing, not just by passive intellectual pursuit.

How do we become better at this process of living as mystics in the mainstream of life? Here are three guidelines to consider:

  1. Review and integrate the learning from your experiences so far.

Making peace with the past is important because it can empower and orient us in the present. A periodic review of our path offers the chance to release what is no longer appropriate in order to make space for the values and actions that can empower our future.

This process requires us to be ruthlessly honest and vigilant with ourselves. Where have we excelled? Where can we improve?

One of the subtle pitfalls on the spiritual journey that requires vigilance to purge from our lives is entitlement. You know, that sense of false righteousness that demands that Spirit bestows on us the things we desire, because we think we deserve them. We don’t even need to be followers of the prosperity gospel to fall for this trap, because it appeals to the ego in all of us.

Entitlement is an egoic illusion! Life gives us what we need, not necessarily what we want.

Spirit knows exactly what we need for our learning and growth. Entitlement, on the other hand, operates from the false premise that we know better than Spirit what we need and that we cannot trust in the loving care of a benevolent Creator. It is driven by fear and arrogance instead of trust and faith.

Because entitlement is driven by ego, it insatiable and cannot lead to long-term happiness. The key to happiness is not entitlement, but gratitude.

We are not our neighbors; therefore, the things they need for their growth are not the same as what we need. To fully trust, we need to let go of what we want, and to instead learn to embrace what we are given with gratitude.

2. Clarify and prioritize what is most important to your life right now.

Your unique life, in this very moment, is all you have. What is it you desire to accomplish with this precious gift? What is the legacy you wish to leave behind after you have passed from here?

So often, I hear people saying that they want to have more joy and happiness in their lives. They think that once they have more joy, they will be more grateful.

In reality, it works the other way around. The root of joy is gratitude: It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful!

We have thousands of opportunities every day to be grateful: enjoying good weather, having a good night’s rest, being able to walk and talk and express ourselves, having a functional body, having enough food to eat… night and day, life rains down gifts on us without us even asking. Had we been more fully aware of this, we’d be overwhelmed by gratitude!

Instead, we often shuffle through life in a daze until we are jerked back to reality by the loss of things we’d taken for granted. A power failure can make us aware of what a gift electricity is; a sprained ankle lets us appreciate the freedom of walking; an illness renews our appreciation for health; a sleepless night brings appreciation for the gift of sleep.

Instead of noticing the gifts of life only when suddenly deprived of them, we can bring awareness to these things and cultivate an attitude of gratitude instead.

3. Identify what is yearning to emerge in your life and take appropriate action.

When we fully live from the present moment, where we are aware of our place in both the seen and unseen realms, miracles can start to happen.

The soul’s yearning for more can be heard whenever we turn inward to listen.

We can let this yearning find expression in our lives by looking for what is meaningful, what we need to actualize our potential.

We can support the unfoldment of our potential by leaning into life and becoming an active participant in the process.

Along the way, we can cultivate an attitude of gratitude to keep our hearts open and to avoid the pernicious trap of entitlement.

We can remember that we are on this journey to experiment, experience and become – not to win or lose!

And we can muster the courage to follow our passion, knowing that through the failures, setbacks and challenges of the journey, we are evolving into our full potential.

About the Author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit http://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

Honoring The Grace Of Small Things

Honoring The Grace Of Small Things

Sometimes life calls us to become still, to be quiet, and to pay attention to the Divine nature of everything around us. In that stillness, we come to acknowledge the beauty of song and the openness of the bruised, the magic of the insignificant and the terror of the unknown.

And from there, we bring the message back to others to, in turn, shake themselves awake and start looking at life again as if for the very first time.

It does not matter what brought you here, or which path stripped away your protective layers to leave you trembling before the awe of life. You are here now, and so I wish to share with you a vision of things that touch our hearts. I want to gift you a glimpse of the intricate and miraculous web of life and see the recognition light up your eyes, even as these things stir the deep memory of endless possibilities to love despite the vastness of an incomprehensible universe.

Today, I awoke to the symphony of birds whose names I’ll never know and marveled at the incredible complexity of their harmonies as they exuberantly welcomed the arrival of a bright new day. It spoke to me of joy.

In the street, parents walked their children to school, small hands swallowed up by theirs, smiling as they inclined their heads to hear stories bubbling from those rosy lips and downy cheeks, excited at the possibilities of a new day, and it spoke to me of hope.

I remembered the way a sloth wove slowly through the branches of a tree hanging upside down so her baby could cling to her belly without fear of falling, and I felt love.

At the base of the stairs, the fern finally succeeded in breaking thru the stony cracks to unfurl its tiny fronds to the warm sun, and it speaks of courage.

The way young people lean eagerly, expectantly into their future even when they don’t know what it holds, and it speaks of confidence.

And the way the old dog stretches out to let the morning sun warm its stiff joints and surrenders to each present moment.

And the way the car hesitates for a moment before the gear engages, reminding me of my own doubts.

And the way the grackles peck at the green oranges in the trees, carefully grooming themselves with the oils and then announcing their gleaming handiwork with loud caws before flying off to what they do next. And I am reminded that self-nurture precedes all service.

And the way a sentence can leap right off the page to pierce your heart with its honesty and truth, so you need to stop for a minute to experience the awe and beauty of it.

And the way you sometimes glimpse someone in a vulnerable moment and see right inside them to the soul that’s there, and your heart wells with compassion and love for its innocence.

Yes, I know that there is a lot of pain and suffering in our world. Good things end and bad things linger on, we fail and struggle and get hurt, hammered by loss and accident and tragedy until, some day, we slip away into the darkness beyond it all.

But I also know that we carry awesome potential and our experiences can make us kinder and more loving if we let them. I know we have a choice in how we respond to life: either dismissing dissonance as nonsense and huddling behind walls, or embracing the things that touch us even when we do not understand their full meaning.

Life speaks to us in a myriad of ways that cannot be measured or understood unless we listen carefully, and then are able to accept the messages of love, courage and hope. I know that life can be a beautiful dialogue with our souls, and for that I am deeply grateful.

About the Author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit http://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

Chaotic Life? How to Find Inner Peace Amid Chaos

Chaotic Life? How to Find Inner Peace Amid Chaos

“Anyone can build a house of wood and bricks, but the Buddha taught that that is not our real home. Our real home is inner peace.” – Ajahn Chah

How can we possibly experience inner peace at a time when humanity and our planet appear to be tumbling deeper into chaos? Can inner peace even co-exist with chaos?

I believe the answer is Yes!

In fact, spiritual practices such as mindfulness and Buddhist teachings show us how to cultivate inner peace in any situation.

The only time we have is the present; tomorrow is not guaranteed. This present moment, therefore, is the perfect and only time where we can find inner peace. This inner peace, which is also known as equanimity in Buddhism, cannot be found in the outside world. And yet, the potential for inner peace exists in the mind and heart of every individual, so each one of us can learn how to create the inner conditions for experiencing lasting peace within.

One of the perennial wisdom teachings encourages us to view peace as the result of letting go: letting go of clingy attachment as well as letting go of its opposite, which is aversive resistance.

This process of letting go is simple, but not necessarily easy to practice. It requires self-discipline. And so, we tend to shop around for easier ways toward peace, running the risk of getting confused by external voices promising instant bliss and freedom from the human condition.

You see, random information without context leads to overwhelm and confusion. Instead, we need to discern what is truly useful for us at any given time. We also need to distinguish between the louder presence of random information and the gentle presence of inner equanimity, because that is how we liberate the mind. In the presence of equanimity, the mind is not hijacked by attachment or aversion.

Equanimity further grows when we recognize that all things are inherently neutral; it is simply our thinking that bestows meaning on things so we can then either attach to them or resist them. It is not the facts, but the stories about the facts, that hijack our minds into value judgments and positionality.

In Buddhist tradition, equanimity is seen as a central quality present in beings who have developed deep inner wisdom and alignment with truth, free from hostility and egoic will.

Equanimity relates to inner poise and balance because it rests in a place of non-attachment; centered between attraction and repulsion. It poises in a calm place of neither clinging to nor pushing away from things. Finding that neutral resting place within offers us a higher perspective over issues rather than getting stuck in the egoic interpretation of what’s happening. The more we develop equanimity, then, the more inner peace and spaciousness we experience in life.

Each one of us can develop more equanimity by practicing mindfulness in our lives on a daily basis and using an inner inquiry process to help us unpack emotions as they arise. Here are five steps to help with the process:

1. Set a clear intention to stay mindful

Setting a clear intention reminds us to step out of the ego identification of attachment and aversion; story-making and drama. It is the first step in cultivating true inner awareness.

2. Recognize the triggers

When a trigger arises, we may try to avoid feeling our emotions around it. Instead, we may distract ourselves with shopping or work, or we may attempt to numb our emotions with food or other substances. If we truly want to discharge the impact of the trigger, we absolutely need to become aware and look at it. Sometimes, the simple act of clearly seeing allows our reaction to the trigger to dissolve so we can replace it with equanimity.

3. Become curious

When we feel lost in reactions of anger and frustration to triggers, it is helpful to recognize that there is a desire hidden there, way beneath the frustration or anger. There may be attachment to a wishful outcome, or a craving for safety and security. It can be helpful to ask questions about where the attachment or aversion came from, what it is attempting to accomplish and what needs to be done with it to help us dissolve inner dissonance. We can also investigate the ways in which we distract ourselves to avoid feeling pain or avoid accepting reality.

4. Let go of attachment and aversion

By bringing compassionate awareness to these inner emotions and processes, we can separate out truth from our colored interpretation. Next, we need to ask ourselves if we are willing to let go:

  • Am I willing to let go of control?
  • Am I willing to let go of my attachment or aversion to what showed up in the past or in my present?
  • Am I willing to let go of the way I think things should be?
  • Am I willing to let go of resisting what is?
  • Can I simply let go and allow things to be as they are

5. Embrace peace

Letting go of attachments and aversions offers us the opportunity to return to our innate state of peace. As we let go of these things, we create space for equanimity.

Equanimity is the final result of this deep inquiry process that helps us dissolve inner dissonance, become aware of areas where we are distracting ourselves, and come back into proper alignment with truth and peace within, free from attachment and aversion.

After practicing this inner inquiry, simply bask in the stillness of awareness, allowing the radiant heart and mind spaces to open. Allow life to unfold in its fullness, expanding and contract with each heartbeat of life so you can know the peace of observing all without attachment, and in so doing, find inner peace.

About The Author:

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit http://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.