What happens when we are feeling blissed out and peaceful, and then it goes away? Just when you found a place of contentment, you then realize that it left you. It could go something like this:
So there you are, feeling the peace. It’s the season for it so you are reveling in the oneness of all that is good in the world. Then there’s the feeling about having peace. You feel peace but you are also feeling like, ‘Wow! I’m feeling at peace!’ You have just made yourself go from experiencing your peaceful state, to observing that you have been having a peaceful state.
What happens next is that you start having the worry about the peace, like when it will inevitably end. You start thinking about how the peace might not be as peaceful as it could be. Other people’s peace seems, well, more peaceful. Why isn’t yours that way?
And there goes that peace you just experienced. Dang! And it was so great, too! Commence the second inner dialogue, where something in you tells you that this is evidence of why you are not as cool as everybody else, that you are somehow flawed and that your life will never be normal. You will always struggle to be at peace. And your breath smells.
What does one do?
1. Go back to your body.
You cannot have feelings without your body. In other words, the mind does not feel. It has other great gifts for you, but feeling is not one of them. If you have lost your way from feeling peace, sense in to your body what peace feels like. Check in with your belly, your chest, your eyes, your tongue. Drop down in to sensing parts of your body and invite what peace might be like there.
2. Go into the place of wordlessness.
Before we have words to help us articulate how we are, we go to the place where words are waiting to symbolize what is there. (hint: It’s in your body). You know you are there when it feels vague, and unclear and kind of like things could emerge from there. From there, invite yourself to sense into what is emerging. It might be the feeling of peacefulness. How great! And it might be what is wanting your attention before the peace can come. Okay! This is where it gets good!
3. Take a breath and say a hello
You may notice now, something NOT so peaceful. It’s maybe something sad, or melancholy or maybe angry. Whatever is there, breathe in to your body and feel your whole body take in your breath; your fingers, your toes, the sides of your abdomen, between your shoulder blades. Then, turn towards the feeling that is there and say hello to it. Yes, I know. It’s so elementary, yet one of the most important steps here, because it establishes that you are entering in to a relationship with yourself that includes all of you. There is a part of you that needs you to know something, and it is coming to you from the place before the peace. Visitors like this one usually come for some good reason. So be it! You are giving it some room to tell you something about it, such as what gets it so sad? Melancholy? Angry? You have made a space that can include it, not pushing it away. You are at the same time, holding the knowing that you are more than this melancholy. Yes, it might feel really big, but you are also more than this. Breathing in your whole body helps us ground in this knowing.
4. Stay in the pause, and let it show you
When entering in to this kind of inner relationship, one of the hardest things to do is to NOT do. We want to feel peace and this melancholy is in the WAY! Maybe that’s what part of you is feeling like and wants to do something to get to the peaceful place. Try pausing. Try not doing anything but rather letting it show you how it is. It will be unique to you and its experience with you. It has something to share and maybe wants you to hear it. So pause and receive what it is wanting to show you. It may be that melancholy reminds you of the holidays when you were a kid and it was hard. Melancholy is it’s way of wanting you to remember that, as if it doesn’t really want you to have to experience that again. So, maybe, from it’s view, feeling peace is the beginning of feeling those hard times. So, it’s trying to show you this for maybe a new way of resolution or healing or just coming back in to wholeness about it.
Sometimes, just the act of acknowledging what is there other than the peaceful feeling is enough to bring the peace back. It may also show you there is more that wants to be acknowledged and said hello to. There is a desire in you, a spark if you will, that wants you to come in to all of the goodness and love and knowing that you were rightfully born to enjoy and to grow. It comes from that vague place where words try to articulate it. It is dynamic and insightful and the place where you can find wholeness.
Want to learn how to do this with any of life’s stuck places? I’m teaching a weekend retreat on Whidbey Island, WA. January 10-11, 2015. I hope to meet you! If you want to learn more about the retreat and what I teach, please peruse my website, check out my video and feel free to email me.