Let others do their own work, and stop denying them their self-autonomy.

It’s difficult to see someone close to you struggle.

Ask yourself why you feel so compelled to have to fix their pain. It’s out of a desire to help, but also it’s a desire to end your own pain around it (or maybe something else) and to feel like you are doing something about it. Remember that just because they share their pain with you doesn’t mean they want you to fix them.

What we end up doing is distracting ourselves from our own work, and we deny the other person the opportunity to grow in their autonomy. We also give the message that they are not capable of doing their own work, as well as that there is something to fix in them, or that there is something wrong with feeling pain.

Pain wakes us up, and when given the space to work through it without the micromanagement or unsolicited showering of suggestions and opinions of others, and when harnessed, it allows us to grow from the inside out – out of hiding from our own brilliance – and into becoming who we really are.

What we can do is sit with them, feel the pain with them as you already probably do, but without the compulsion to react or give advice, and be with their pain in a similar way you would share their joys or celebrations (you don’t try to change or analyze anything in those moments, do you?). And through body language, by listening and holding quiet space, let them know you are there as a sounding board, or to hear their requests should they need anything from you, giving them the opportunity to learn to ask and receive at their own readiness.

Don’t worry

because has it ever helped enhance your quality of life anyway? It can only serve to attract the very thing that you are worried about- what we pay attention to grows. Instead, do what you need to do to not worry.

And then there’s this:

‘Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?’

‘Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.

Piglet was comforted by this.

-A.A. Milne

Learning to trust yourself

I often get asked how one comes to trusting oneself.

The first thing to get is that this question comes from fear of owning the decision, so the answer doesn’t necessarily make the process feel any less scary until you accept that the answers to the important questions in your life are already inside of you because your soul knows. Your soul is not bound from the limitations of our ego, or of time and space, and is therefore spontaneously connected to Truth. Also, you can’t really make the wrong choice. This statement is debatable until you drop the learned judgments.

You learn to trust yourself by trusting yourself.

It’s like building a muscle. It takes regular practice to turn this into a habit and into something more “natural”.

When I’m in front of a client, I put both my hands out with elbows bent at my sides, palms facing up, and I explain that I think of my yes/no question. Then I clap one hand into the other. By the time the hands come together, if my yes isn’t resounding, it’s a no. Any more thought put into it is my ego stepping in to analyze, justify, and back peddle into the comfort zone.

That’s it.

Getting hooked isn’t allowing you to get unhooked.

Instead of getting hooked into your story, your tantrum, your suffering, get curious. What happened before this particular moment’s experience of falling into the same pattern? Ask with curiosity instead of blame. What would happen if you let go of the story, the tantrum, the expectation that creates the suffering you find yourself in? What would happen if you just watched yourself continue through either your usual way of being or if you changed it? Whichever path you take, what would happen if you owned it, and decided next time you’ll do it the same way or differently, but without the story, the tantrum, the expectation of how perfect you (or someone else) need to be? Take a deep breath. What’s the worst thing that can happen?

Listen for it. Your body knows.

Forget about what others will think of your decision, or what it might mean for your identity that you so diligently built over the years and have a love-hate relationship with, or any imagined scenario that typically follow.

Close your eyes and listen with your body for your first answer. When you are quiet and still enough, you will hear it. Before the noise. You will hear it.

You’re not crazy

That part of you that you are inspired by but keep inside—

That part of you that you imagine would off-balance everything in your life but you come to again and again as a daydream (or as who you are in a parallel universe)—

That part of you that cannot be compared with what others are doing because you’d pretty much be paving the road for it; that you protect so mightily from judgment and failure, so it can only come up as a lump or an ache somewhere in your body, or as a feeling of loss, anxiety or of being cheated—

That’s who you really are.