“Perhaps all pleasure is only relief.”
William S Burroughs
For the last month or so I chose to remove the challenge of Brexit from my life because it was creating such feelings of anger and powerlessness that it was tainting all my life. I hadn’t been in a good place within myself and Brexit and all its’ associated angst and fury was embroiling me and taking me down deeper to a place I no longer chose and yet, within all that overwhelming powerlessness, I felt and knew I had to change how I was being in my life because if I didn’t, I would end up there.
So, I put a restraint on Brexit and the news in general. I’d already deleted my Facebook account, I barely looked at Twitter, I didn’t watch the news, though living the life I do, I somehow kept abreast of what was going on without actively choosing to focus on it, and it has changed a lot.
Yesterday Brexit occurred. Once more I chose not to extend any energy in that direction. This morning I took a quick look at the news and Twitter and interestingly found I wasn’t being triggered as much as I had been previously. Seems my month of embargo has let me strengthen myself to the point my energy was not flying out of me to all I was seeing, feeling and thinking about. Instead it was almost as if it paused and was choosing to make a conscious choice around how it would respond to what was happening.
My next blog was to be a continuation of what I’d started last week and while I will continue with that theme, this is not much of a diversion. Being triggered in our lives is challenging enough, where we may feel we do have the capacity to make choices, however what do we do, how do we continue living and making choices when we feel like we have no choice or power in what is going on?
My thoughts around Brexit have been very clear for me and whilst I am enormously saddened at the tragedy of yesterday, it’s happened and now I must find a way to live with what is going on. We can find ways of living with the consequences of our choices; how do we live with the consequences of choices made by others that we totally disagree with and often find fury in it due to the powerlessness we feel at being made to live what we didn’t choose? I’ve been furious at Brexiters; yet what they are choosing is what they believe they want, even though none of us truly know what is going to happen.
There’s been many times in my life where I chose what I thought I wanted based on what I imagined this ‘thing’ would bring to me and it’s only been after a long time usually I’ve come to realise I was wrong about that and what I was choosing was based on my own misguided beliefs about what this ‘thing’ meant to me in my life. On deeper evaluation when what I chose and my experience fell far short if what I’d imagined, I went back to the drawing board of myself to figure out where I had gone wrong, all the while living the consequences of my choices.
We don’t always realise the things we are choosing are not what we really want and sometimes it can only be in the having of them we experience this truth and this is often unpalatable to us in our own lives and choices, so how do we live through the consequences of choices that we feel have been foisted on us? How can we find a way out of the misery of what we feel is being inflicted on us in a way that stops us feeling powerless and caught in the trap of others making?
Something For You
Amid everything that’s happening in the world, I pulled together a process I’ve been using based on teachings from many teachers and cobbled together for myself. I hope it might help you find your way through whatever you may be going through, Brexit or otherwise; body, mind, heart and soul intact.
1) Acknowledge, accept and honour what you’re feeling about what is before you. Often when we are facing what we don’t choose or want, the anger and pain around it so prevalent, the whole situation gets caught up in it and we can’t really see what’s going on for us at all. Everything feels shrouded, nebulous and utterly fearful. Whatever you may be feeling about this situation, if this is how you are feeling, you must acknowledge and honour these feelings. Often, we say we shouldn’t feel this way. We need to choose a higher path. If we don’t face what we’re feeling, we can’t see the truth of it; we end up resisting it and we never move forward. We get caught up in unconscious anger that festers. Instead, feel your feelings for they are real for you. Accept they are stemming from what you are believing and thinking about this situation before you, and that too is okay.
2) Write down or share what you believe and think this situation means for you. In acknowledging, accepting and honouring our feelings, we give ourselves permission to feel and that’s important. With a level of acceptance, it also means we drop our resistance and in this, we allow ourselves to look at what is before us. When we’re busy fighting our feelings because we either think we shouldn’t be feeling them or doing something about them (don’t we hate feeling powerless?) we’re caught up in seeing what we think is before us, not what it might actually be when our resistance blinders are off. Once you’ve allowed yourself to feel all that you’re feeling, or whilst you’re still feeling them, take the time to write down or share with a trusted one all the beliefs and thoughts you have about the situation before you and what you believe this means for you and your loved ones. Gaining some clarity on what we’re feeling and why helps us in the face of something that may feel totally out of our control to experience a modicum of relief.
3) Look at the situation from the ‘witness’ perspective. Once you’ve emptied yourself out of all that you’re believing, thinking and feeling about the situation in front of you, have a go at looking at it from the ‘witness’ point of view. This can be challenging, as often we don’t realise how much we’ve allowed the situation to enmesh with us. By creating a little distance between us and the situation, we can see what we hadn’t been able to see before. A way of practising this is to try and imagine looking at this situation as if it had nothing to do with you at all, as if nothing about it could impact you. What do you see, notice now? This is tough as I said, but it’s a brilliant way of bringing a level of clarity to something that previously you couldn’t separate yourself from and from this place, the next step becomes a lot simpler.
4) Ask yourself ‘how true is any of this for me right NOW?’ Clarify how much of the situation is impacting you right NOW, as in you must do something about it immediately and how much of it is about either the past or the future. This is critical because we as humans spend most of our time living either in the past or the future, very rarely in the present and yet all our power is only ever in the moment we are in, NOW. Make two lists and be clear about them. Put the ‘NOW’ list to one side, we’ll look at the past/future list first.
5) How does it feel to keep looking at all that which may have been, is not yet or may never be? From your list of what’s in the past and future, ask yourself how it feels for you to keep focusing and expending energy on that which has already happened or that which has not (& which may never do). Be clear as you can how it feels for you to give energy to that which is not happening right now.
6) Choose in this present moment of NOW not to extend any further energy to that which may have been or is not here now. If it feels okay for you, decide that whilst all you feel might be true for you in relation to this situation, in this present moment of NOW, this minute, hour, day whatever feels right for you, there is nothing you can do about it and so you’re going to choose to let it go/be. Just for now, and if it keeps coming back, as they often do, simply keep choosing not to give any energy to it and move your focus to something that makes you smile, however small it may be.
7) From a moment to hour to day point of view, choose to focus, give energy to that which you feel you can do something about and do it from a place of finding and feeling relief. From your list of what you feel like you can do something about now, firstly make sure it is yours (you’re not taking responsibility for something that is not yours at all, otherwise you will feel overburdened and exhausted) and then make a decision that you will take action only when you have found a place of relief in taking that action.
The energy with which we approach anything impacts what we create; if you’re approaching the thing you need to do from any semblance of fear, this is the energy it will embody, and it won’t ever feel truly good. Our lives reflect the energy of our beliefs, thoughts and emotions – all this emitting from us in every moment of every day – it’s impacting us in all we live. As Abraham Hicks say we may not be able to go from fear to love but we can find a better feeling thought and that’s all you need to do. Find a thought that gives you some semblance of relief – if you feel yourself breathing out when you have this thought, you’ve got it – and use it to take care of whatever is before you.
8) Choose where your energy goes in every moment that you can and when you forget, simply focus on the moment at hand and choose again. It takes practise in consciously choosing who and what gets your energy. At the end of last year I decided I wanted to feel better and the only way I could was to consciously choose who and what got my energy, because if I kept focusing on that which made me angry and fearful, that’s all I was feeling and it was what I was bringing to my life, so no surprise why everything felt so awful. By choosing to embargo certain things, I practised choosing thoughts of relief, whatever they were and no matter how small and after a month I have noticed a difference. I can bring distance, clarity and a feeling of empowerment in the face of what might be disempowering. I’m no longer focused on what’s outside of me in isolation; I’m looking at what it is and making a conscious, relief-filled thought and choice about how I approach it and the rest of the stuff in my life.
Whether we like it or not, our lives are not lived in the past or the future, they are lived in the present moment. It’s such a cliché and yet when we realise the impact of expending our energy on all the things we can’t control and then realising we’re using the same energy with the things we can control, it becomes clear that not only are we offering very mixed energies, we’re constantly attracting more of that to us. By making a choice to choose what we focus on and how we feel moment by moment, those moments become our life and if we’re choosing relief, better feeling thoughts, things that make us smile and possibly even feel happy, then this is what starts coming back, even in small doses.
I have felt more moments of real, true happiness, abundance and love in the last month, where my cells jumped up and down in the feeling of them (is this the feeling of vibration – very cool!) with actually a lot less ‘stuff’ in my life than I have ever felt before. The experiment continues…. 😊
Till next time,
“For fast acting relief, try slowing down.”
Photo by Radu Florin on Unsplash