letting it be

In my perpetual search to find remedies for my own "suffering", which I put in quotes because I feel like a whiner given that my issues are relatively minor -- aches and pains, eyestrain, obsessive thinking, financial concerns -- I've come up with yet another experiment.  Or I should say it came to me on my morning walk.

When and if I notice I am trying to wish something away (which can take quite a while to come to my conscious attention), instead of springing into immediate action and googling for solutions or natural remedies, here's what I'm gonna try:

Fully accept that the issue is happening. 
My head aches. 
My vision is blurry. 
I am worrying about the future. 

Remind myself that
Even though this issue is happening, I want to love and accept myself anyway.

Take my awareness right into the issue, instead of trying to distract myself or escape from it. Feel the ache in my head, or fully experience the blurry image without trying to change it in any way.

Shift my attention to the edges of the issue.  Notice how it interfaces with the rest of me.  Is there space, light, or relaxation around the borders of it? 

With my attention on its boundaries, allowing it to exist exactly as it is, see if anything wants to shift or release.  Play with it a little. Gently invite it to move if it wants ... maybe it can expand a little bit, or diffuse itself into that extra space.  Maybe its edges can soften to let the space, light, or relaxation permeate it a bit.

If it doesn't want to move, let it be.  In fact, I think I'll actually sing Let It Be to the issue.  And I'll try to treat it nicely, like a guest.  These things never stay forever anyway.  Besides, those well-researched 'remedies' I come up with often end up creating additional problems for me.  Might be worth just waiting until the issue shifts by itself rather than trying to hurry it along. 


Kate said...


I love this.
Why is it so darn hard? When I am in the moment, I am all caught up and tangled. I tend to forget what I already know, misplace the skills I have to cope and soften.

This may be my lesson this life time or, at least, one of them-- how to remember.

thanks Karen!
with big love,

karen alonge said...

I wish I knew why it was so darn hard. I comfort myself at times by thinking maybe it's like climbing a mountain -- a lot of work on the way up, but the view from the top is so worth it.

And then the next time I start out toward that destination, I know what to expect, and I know it will be worth it. So I won't gripe as much.

I wonder how much of the difficulty lies simply in my resistance to the unknown ...

karen alonge said...

a reader sent me this lovely Rumi poem in response to my post. I've always loved this one:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.