There has been a lot going on recently. Being evacuated and not knowing if the wildfire was going to spread to our neighborhood. The death of a client. Getting sick. Feeling the loss of our dog Bella as at the one year anniversary of her death. But I wasn’t suffering. Even when I was experiencing excruciating pain with a UTI, I noticed I could be with the pain and not suffer. Previously it would have taken much less for me to be suffering.
There is a quote by Haruki Murakami related to marathon running where he says, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” Haruki makes a distinction between pain and suffering with pain being the physical sensations and suffering being caused by the interpretation or the judgment placed on the experience.
This makes so much sense to me not only for physical pain but for emotions too. I do not suffer when I am open and relaxed around my emotional experience versus resistant or reacting to it independent of what the feelings I am experiencing are. I used to think I needed to have good feelings in order not to suffer. Now I see that when I am open I don’t suffer no matter what my feeling quality is. It is natural, however, that we tighten up when we are scared. Instinctually, we mobilize when fear is present.
That is why remembering the unchanging essence of who I am and understanding the transitory nature of my human experience is what allows me to not be scared of my experience so I can naturally stay relaxed. I can’t force myself to be relaxed, but when I feel the well-being of my true nature it allows me to stay relaxed as feelings and thoughts flow through me.
It makes it more clear to me that all suffering is the result of resisting what is. It is possible to have a panic attack without suffering. It is possible to be in physical pain without suffering. It is possible to grieve without suffering. It is possible to feel anger without suffering.
And even though all of the above is possible, there are times when I do suffer, but my suffering is so much less than it used to be. I used to live in a victim mindset without knowing it. I felt helpless and powerless to create a different life for myself and felt like I needed outside support. Or more accurately, I wanted someone else to rescue me from my suffering.
I remember having a conversation with Steve Hardison when I was still in my victim mindset. He asked me what wanted to create. I told him I wanted to own a home but I did not have the funds to buy one. He did not see that as a problem. He suggested I start asking people if they had a home they wanted to get rid of for tax purposes. He suggested I ask people if they would gift me a home. He came up with numerous other ideas about how to own a home when you don’t have the money to buy one.
His ideas sounded crazy to me. I could hear my thinking screaming, “I can’t do that!” But I realized he had no limits. He was open to possibility and I wasn’t. He could absolutely do all of the things he was suggesting and more where I was horrified by the suggestions.
His world of infinite possibility shook me out of my delusion. Steve opened my eyes to possibilities that had not previously existed for me. His reality and what was possible in his reality was completely different than the reality I was living in. It was like getting a sneak peek into a video game at level 99 when I was on level 9. This impacted me. It had me question the solidness of my reality.
It woke me up to a different narrative than my own. It helped me to see that my story that had me feel less than and sorry for myself was just that — a story and not truth. In the seeing of this, I dropped out of suffering around not owning a home. The suffering was caused by me wanting things to be different. In my mind, life would be better when I owned a home. I would have arrived somewhere. I had numerous other beliefs like that too. Life will be better when: I make my first million. I publish my book. I declutter home my home. I exercise every day. I eat only healthy foods…
What is interesting is that as I woke up to my feelings of victimization and powerlessness being created by thought and not truth, without trying to change my life that realization was enough for things to shift. What I had been looking for outside of myself I now woke up to within. Rather than feeling like a victim around not being able to create more money, I moved into acceptance of what is. I no longer judged myself or my circumstance as not good enough or meaning something about me. I just let go of all of the thinking that was creating suffering.
I realized that I could be happy in the moment with things as they were. I could let go of the striving and the pushing. They no longer made any sense when I was already happy. And this was also very practical. It did not stop me from creating and being of service. In fact, I had more energy to do things. My business grew, and it was about a year and a half later when my husband Angus and I found ourselves buying our home. Not because I was desperately striving to make it happen. Simply because I was open to the possibility. We had literally given up putting effort into finding a home and then one fell in our lap.
There is a bigger unfolding and a divine timing. I have no idea if I can really get in the way of that. I doubt it. But what I do know is that I can relax and enjoy the moment more knowing that the unfolding is happening through me. Life is living me, and I am in service to that.
If you would like to experience your Authentic Self more fully, consider attending the two-day workshop I am co-facilitating with Barb Patterson New Year. Fresh Start. in January. Click here to learn more. And if you are a Solopreneur and would like to be part of a dynamic group as you take your business to the next level here is the link for our upcoming Mastermind. If you sign up for the Mastermind by December 15th, the New Year. Fresh Start workshop is included for FREE.
Rohini Ross is excited to present The Soul-Centered Series: Psychology, Spirituality, and the Teachings of Sydney Banks with the original students of Sydney Banks in Santa Monica, CA. She is passionate about helping people wake up to their true nature. She is a transformative coach and trainer, and author of Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1). She has an international coaching practice helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of well-being, resiliency, and success. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, watch her Vlogs with her husband, Angus Ross, and subscribe to her weekly blog on her website, www.rohiniross.com.