I recently hosted a Coronavirus meditation to teach people how to create emotional boundaries around things outside of their control. In less than thirty minutes, participants authentically shifted their state from fear to love. I want to share how I constructed the meditation to facilitate that reaction, so you're empowered to relieve yourself of emotional pain, regardless of the situation.
I validated their pain
I started the call by asking everyone to share which emotions they were feeling as a result of the pandemic, and they ranged along the fear-based spectrum from uncertainty to anxiety, worry, confusion, and distraction. I reassured everyone that biologically speaking, they were responding perfectly to the virus, given our brain:
Is wired for survival, and health risks threaten our safety
Prefers certainty, and doesn't like situations it doesn't understand
Relies on predictability, and doesn't like surprises
Favors control, and doesn't like compromises
In my research, I've found that by helping people recognize their emotional pain is the result of their biological design, it indirectly validates their pain, and often results in a relaxation response.
I revealed control's role in their suffering
Quite possibly the most significant expenditure of energy I see is not in the physical ream (not drinking enough water, poor food choices, lack of physical activity, etc.), it's in the mental realm of worrying about things outside of our control. To expose this reality, I asked participants a series of questions, and my strategy was two-fold: 1. The questions had to relate to their perception of what was causing their pain, and 2. The answer to each had to be NO (exposing the need for control):
Is the spreading of the Coronavirus within your control?
Are the lives taken by the Coronavirus within your control?
Are the businesses closing down within your control?
Are the empty shelves in the grocery store within your control?
Is the loss of your income/investments within your control?
The key understanding here is if we don't learn how to create boundaries around situations outside of our control, we'll live in chronic states of stress, we will be unhappy, and our health will follow. Following was another series of questions revealing the situations in which they had control over, where the answer had to be YES:
Are there things you can do to minimize the risk of being infected?
Can you make an effort to stay informed on best practices?
Rather than worry about what you no longer have access to, can you practice gratitude for your health right now?
Can you invest this time to explore some aspect of life you've been putting off because you were so busy otherwise?
Is there something you can do to help someone else in need?
The takeaway here was if you're going to be upset about anything, let it be something within your control that you could be doing, and chose not to. This is a big pill to swallow, and accountability is our path to a different way forward.
Reveal control's antidote: Surrender
By this point, we've exposed control needs as the culprit of suffering. When we surrender our need for control and meet the nature of Reality, we collapse back into our natural emotional states: Peace, Love, and Joy. Resting in these states is what it means to experience heaven on earth! The challenge, of course, is that surrender feels like losing; in fact, to the ego, it feels like dying. Letting go is a lifelong practice, and if you look at it properly, it's a privilege, something you get to do. As we learn to bask in these emotions, we:
Improve our immune response
Are more constructive and creative
Experience more secure and stable emotions
Surrender was the last step of a 3-step process I shared during the meditation: Observe —> Accept —> Surrender. At the end of the meditation, I asked everyone to share the words that described how they were feeling, and they spanned the love-based spectrum from relaxed to settled, lighter, peaceful, clear, and calm. I pointed out what I have always considered to be the magic of meditation; they were feeling better, yet nothing had changed. The Coronavirus didn't go away, no one came back to life, they didn't get their jobs back, their investments didn't recover, and yet their pain subsided. To be fair, while there was no physical change, there was a cognitive change in where they focused their attention. This is why gratitude practices are so powerful.
Every day I wake up, I say out loud: "I don't need Reality to be any different than it is for me to be happy." Acceptance of Reality is what it means to be free. I hope you found this helpful, and if you did, I would appreciate it if you shared this post.
"Life is a balance between what we can control and what we cannot. I'm learning to live between effort and surrender." Danielle Orner
On Sunday, May 3rd, 2020, we are kicking The 2nd Whole Person Project. The first one was an outrageous success. Members rediscovered their YESness and, as a result, improved self-esteem, lowered expectations, reunited with joy, released grudges, and took initiative. They all learned freedom is on this side of their goals, not the other. Mark your calendars, freedom is around the corner, and we're slashing prices to make it more accessible!
One member said:
"Since the start of The Whole Person Project, I discovered I was struggling with the mental/emotional exhaustion that comes from needing to prove myself, not only to me, but everyone around me. While it presents as a physical symptom (exhaustion), it is a protective state that helped me avoid uncomfortable situations. Thanks to the program I have learned that I have nothing to prove and nothing to lose and that has been extremely freeing." Kim