Few years ago, my youngest asked me what would I wish for if I could be granted only one thing? I answered that I would wish to have a peace of mind. Then he gave me a very astonished look and said: “Only one piece of your mind??? So you will be dumber than you already are??????” and could not stop laughing the whole day….
Yes, he definitely has 100% of my genes… to his may or his dismay…….;)
With everything happening in the world right now, peace of mind is becoming more and more an “endangered species”. Some of us may even find it hard to believe that peace of mind actually exists, as it may have been shredded into pieces for many. Would it be even possible to grant ourselves a peace of mind in times like these, while going through issues like Covid-19, elections, future uncertainties, environmental changes, income instability……?
Maybe we can start with the exploration of our expectations, in order to understand how will we know that we are experiencing a peace of mind. How or what do we expect to feel? How long do we expect it to last? What do we do then???
Or maybe starting with the exploration of our feelings. Checking in with our own feelings is never a simple mission, especially in times of world’s chaos. It is always a challenge to separate between the feelings that rise up due to our anxieties and the feelings that are genuine ours and represent our deep aspirations. Can we make this separation?
Or maybe starting with the understanding that our peace of mind cannot depend on the events around us. When we think that our peace of mind will come when something will end/begin, then we really turn our peace into pieces (which will prove that my son may have had a very valid point in his statement..). How can we create an independent sense of peace?
In April 2020, while we were quarantined in our homes, I accepted a very generous offer from Lou Weir, to participate in a free retreat of The Diamond Approach, which he organized together with Sue Moen. This retreat was a whole-weekend zoom event and had been a very new and refreshing experience for me.
Since my understanding of the theory behind The Diamond approach is less than minimal, I will share here only my experience with the practical side of this approach in the retreat and afterwards, as Lou Weir generously extended his offer to weekly meetings through the quarantine era. These classes have helped me stay on the ground and understand what are real matters and what are just noises in my life.
The retreat and weekly classes contained, among many other things, a repeating question (an inquiry), which means that someone is asking you the same question for 5-7 minutes, again and again and you need to come up with an answer. The question is never an easy one. It could be for example: “What is right about not feeling your feelings?”. In the beginning, your answers are more superficial. But as you are asked again and again, you start to dig inside, and many time touch issues that are not inviting. Or as Lou Weir put it in his beautiful words: “Starting from a place of not knowing and allowing ourselves to be touched by the question. When we start to feel the impact of the truth, we are taken to a much more fundamental place. This is a live realization, not only spiritual”
Experiencing this “live realization” brought on some deeper questions: How often do we allow ourselves to feel these uncomfortable feelings? How often do we attend feelings that we don’t like? Probably never for most of us…. We would likely go and check a physical discomfort, but many times we would just hope for an uncomfortable feeling to simply disappear. Unfortunately, these feelings do not just disappear. And ignoring them would not make the issue resolved. They will keep lingering and go somewhere deeper in our body, where it is easy for us to un-feel them. But they will always be there to “blackmail” us into spending our energy to hide them. Acknowledging these feelings, and allowing ourselves to sit within the sensations they surf, can make them harmless. Allowing ourselves to go through any emotion that arises, regardless to the way our emotions are perceived by society, will liberate us from this grand liability that we often carry without even paying attention.
Would that be a step towards achieving peace of mind? Of course!!
Would that be a fast and easy process? Probably not.
In our fast moving era, we got used to seeking fast superficial solutions, without exploring deeper causes. We may have forgotten that when something is easy or fast to achieve, we tend to appreciate it less. Peace of mind is an expensive asset. We have to appreciate and put some work in the process of achieving it, in order to realize its value. The question now is – Are we willing to invest in our own peace of mind? Moreover, would we be able to do so when the whole world is on fire?
I believe that we can do everything we set our intention to. In a fast pacing era, we might move through life so rapidly that we tend to miss the opportunity to set an intention. In order to be able to set any kind of intention, we have to shift our body and mind’s state to a different mode – allowing them to slow down and deeply relax. We have to remove our mind and body from the state of perceived war. We have to find a way to convince our body and mind that the war is over and peace has arrived.
There are so many ways to do so, but as you already know me, I remain loyal to the one that has shown and keeps showing amazing shifts in our nervous system state: Castor oil packs – Applied daily on abdomen, and now through the Covid-19 era, also applied on chest. I have written about the wonders of castor in my blog, the real reason I love castor oil packs, but would like to add here another benefit which may not be emphasized enough: Touch. When we apply the castor oil (or any other oil, salve or cream), we have to use touch. The Covid-19 pandemic has stripped us from touching, which is a very important component in maintaining our health. We have to bring touch back into our lives.
Thinking about touch, we tend to associate it with an action done by another person. However, we cannot forget the power that resides in touching our own tissue. The most beneficial touch would be a nourishing touch – a gentle unconditional loving touch, resembling a parental touch. Our tissue might have been compromised or even insulted by an injury, any type of condition/disease, or even a medical intervention. When we learn to create this contact between us and our tissue, we are starting to communicate with our body. Cells feel that they are being heard. Imagine how you feel when you are in distress and someone hugs you. Same is true for our cells, except the fact that they cannot express what they feel in words. The cells express it by loosening up and releasing anything that don’t serve them (or us) anymore. How awesome would this be to give ourselves the permission to let go with a “petting” support and no judging? In time, we might even realize that the kinder we are to ourselves, the kinder we become to others. We might even learn to listen to our inner world, and maybe stop for a moment to check why a certain feeling have arise. And it would be perfectly okay just to make the observation. We don’t need to have the answer. All we need is to allow the thought and the feeling to be out in the air. Spending our energy in hiding or disregarding them is preventing us from allocating these sources to being in peace. Peace of mind can come out of kindness to our own selves. Peace of mind can come when we allow our tissue to be open and relaxed regardless of any perceptions others may have.
Only when we are being kind and true to our own nature, to our own feelings, to our own wishes and hopes, we can grant ourselves the luxury of having a peace of mind.
Would it be easy? Of course not!!
Would it be fast? Of course not!!
But, Would it be worth it??????????????????????
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