My thoughts are with all those affected by Hurricane Irma.
When, out in the world a huge physical storm has/is affecting millions, it can feel crass to talk about internal mental storms and yet when you’re trapped in one, it can feel overwhelming.
Lost. We panic and desperately look outside for a life vest. We reach for anything to avoid feeling the feelings: talking, alcohol, medication, arguments, meditation, running, drugs, reality TV, Facebook, whatever your opiate of choice.
Not understanding what the storm is and how it gets created, we don’t realise the life vest has been inside us all the time. This is a short post about how my experience of those storms is evolving.
I see the mental storm begins when I innocently go into battle with myself. There’s a feeling and I don’t like it. I don’t want to have that feeling.
So I beat myself up about having that feeling.
Beating yourself up mentally is exhausting.
If they did Doctorates in this, I’d have one.
Once you’ve come across the Three Principles and been impacted, it can get worse.
It goes something like this.
If I understand crappy feelings are internally generated then I should know better and not feel this.
Down goes the mood even further.
I can wallow around in this for hours, sometimes days, distracting myself and ‘getting on’ as best I can.
Slowly, slowly like a particularly obtuse slug, it dawns on me,
There is nothing in the content of this mood of any use to me.
This mood isn’t real (though it sure feels real).
This mood actually wants to pass on through without having pitchforks thrown at it.
When it goes it may take with it, stuff that no longer serves me
So eventually I stop. Withdraw from the battle I created. Remember the life vest I have, have always had and will always have.
I get quiet. Get still. Be open.
Let flow whatever wants to come through.
On the other side is quiet, peacefulness and from that place, life flows again with a little more understanding, a little more grace, ready to help me through the next time.
My relationship to low moods is evolving little by little. Nowadays quite a few float through without too much bother but every now and then one gets under my skin. The good news is: the intensity of the battle with those ones is gradually reducing. From being in full scale Lord of The Ringsesque fighting orcs with all the attendant drama and exhaustion to a quieter nonetheless unpleasant mental swamp, to noticing physical alerts that things were off, and a lower level skirmishing, war of attrition, rumbling with the occasional flash of lightening rather than an all out storm. Grateful for this evolution, the awareness, the understanding, the bouncing back quicker.
Slowly, slowly dawning on me, all I ever need to do is settle down, settle down, settle down, let wisdom arise.
(I’ll probably forget again, but each time, the intensity is coming down a notch or two and for that I am grateful). Universal mind, wisdom, whatever you like to call it, that’s the Life Vest. There in the stillness. Always there to guide and support us.
I’d love to know what you heard in this, what you recognised or what’s new or made you curious.
Juliet Fay based in West Wales, UK, is a Marketing Geek and Three Principles Facilitator. Facilitating conversations in person and online with individuals, groups and teams to point people towards more ease in life and work. She also writes poems, articles, essays, prose and short stories. Contact Juliet via the Solcare website. To get email updates about new writing, events, programmes and meets ups, sign up to the e-mailing list here.
To learn more about the Three Principles ask to join Love Your Life Again, a Facebook group hosted by Juliet Fay of Solcare, for individuals social care workers and social entrepreneurs experiencing mental stress (or serving those that do). A place to look towards a deeper understanding of who we are and how our experience gets created. In this group you can connect with others and share insights into a new understanding of how the mind works known as The Three Principles as first articulated by Sydney Banks.This is an extension of the work Juliet does at a local mental health charity facilitating conversations with members, staff and volunteers. Please ask to join. Once you are a member you can invite others into the group.