The next time you notice that you’re attacking yourself, caught in a looping storyline about how you’ve failed, how you’ll never get it right, how there is something just fundamentally wrong with you …
When you’ve become lost in a repetitive narrative about how someone has misunderstood you, how you are not being seen in the way you’d like, or when find yourself complaining about your life or another person …
When you find yourself under a waterfall, sinking into quicksand, in a cascading of claustrophobia, urgent, hot, sticky, out of control emotions...
Slow way down.
Before you abandon yourself and leave your immediate experience, parachuting into the unstable waters of rumination, shame, and blame, just slow way down. For this is no ordinary moment. You are being asked to care for yourself in a new way, to cleanse your perception with space, with kindness, with compassion – to pause and to encode a new pathway.
With the ally of the breath, shift your awareness out of the overwhelming narrative, for it is no longer safe there. It is not serving you to travel down the conditioned rabbit hole of unworthiness and self-abandonment any longer. These are the leftover grooves of an earlier time, and ache to be reorganized by way of empathy, attunement, and embodied presence.
Conserve your precious life energy, remove it from that which is no longer working in your best interest, and direct it into your belly, your heart, your throat. And ask: what feeling is wanting to be met now? In what way am I being asked to care for the vulnerable, the tender, and the shaky within me, to no longer project it outward in the movement of self-abandonment and self-aggression? How am I being asked to tend to myself in a new way? To touch the erupting, raw, achy life that is surging now for holding.
Look carefully, with curiosity, patience, kindness, and compassion and see the ways you leave the embodied world of pure feeling, bailing on your vulnerability as you escape back into the conditioned narrative of complaint, resentment, shame, blame, and self-attack. Return home.
While it may seem you are longing for something outside you, in these moments you are only longing for your own presence. For you need yourself now more than ever. This world needs you now more than ever.
Photo by Ester Marie Doysabas
Our annual spring retreat will take place April 22-27, 2020 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, with myself and Jeff Foster. Please stay tuned to our websites, Facebook pages, and this blog for additional information. Tickets will go on sale on January 1.
My online community, co-facilitated with Jeff Foster - Befriending Yourself: Meditative, Nondual, and Depth Psychological Perspectives - is currently closed to new members. To learn about the program and put your name on the mailing list for future re-opens, please visit the site here.
My most recent book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is available in both paperback and Kindle editions.
My next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Ourselves in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True in 2020.