If you or a loved one is facing a health challenge, relationship crisis, or any situation in which you experience emotional suffering, you may find it useful to learn to understand and remedy what you unconsciously do that makes your situation more difficult. You can learn the way to realize a timeless inner power and be restored to a sense of deeper trust in yourself. You can learn how to access the universal energy that immediately enlivens you whenever you are completely present.
Transmute a sensation now
Today in all of my seminars, I teach this capacity to transmute sensations and feelings by bringing awareness to them. You can explore this right now if you like. Start with any sensation you are noticing in your body. Turn your attention toward it steadily and gently, and at the same time let yourself relax. Notice the way your thinking mind wants to describe this sensation – the words you are using to describe it to yourself. Let go of the words and try to experience the actual sensation.
Be particularly alert to how your ego may make you think that you have felt this sensation before. This is how your ego takes control and keeps your mind in the past. So recognize the assumption I have felt this before, and imagine that you are feeling this sensation for the very first time. Look at it like a naturist in a tropical rain forest who has discovered a flower she has never seen before. She is studying it very carefully, but she can’t name it yet. She is examining its unique characteristics: colour, petal arrangement, number of branches off the stem, and so on. Look at your chosen sensation in the same way. Be focused and open at the same time, and observe what happens. Does the sensation change? Do you notice any change in your overall state of being?
Of course, it is difficult to feel good in yourself when you are in chronic pain. At the same time, pain is not only physical in origin; it is supported and intensified by your state of mind, and that is created by your thinking. Being more present changes your experience of physical pain, usually lessening it. The converse is also true: the more in the past or future you are, the more likely you are to feel increased suffering. Your body is highly intelligent and will do its best to bring you to health in whatever way it can.
I am not suggesting that it is inadvisable to try to learn the cause of your illness if that can give you a plan of action to regain your health – but I am counseling against seeking answers in a way that keeps your mind in the past or keeps you looking toward the future. It is not helpful to dwell on what was in a way that makes you resent or resist your circumstances. The only moment in which you have the ability to make new choices and the power to create greater wellness is this one.
If you pause to look from this vantage point, do you see your current healing strategy creating stress in the form of urgency, worry, or fear? Or are you relaxing into presence and discovering the greater aliveness that is awaiting you in the Now?
Uncertainty about the future is one of the most stressful states, especially when you are in a health challenge. It is entirely natural to want to know what to do next; you want a plan, a sense of direction. But whenever you have linked your health and well-being to any healing strategy, you have done only half of the work. It is good that you have a strategy, but you must also let go into the present and be nourished from this living current.
When you are not anchored in the present and experiencing your innate state of wholeness, watching for signs of improvement and waiting to see what the tests will show is often the tensest and most distressing part of the healing journey. But until the results are in your hand, your energy field and emotional state will be far more spacious and supportive of you and everyone else if you are just living in the present.
Even bad news does not need to throw you into a fearful future. Tests are only a momentary snapshot, never the whole picture. So stay rooted in the Now – otherwise, your ego will exhaust you with thoughts and alternate back and forth between those that create fearfulness and others that create hopefulness. The simple and profound truth is that there is no sense of security or well-being outside of the present moment.
This doesn’t mean that you should refrain from listening to your doctors or following their strategies or your own program of healing. What it means is that you are more than the life your ego imagines and re-imagines. Your fundamental responsibility is to be here now. Who you really are is ultimately a mystery beyond statistics, and what is important – and can sometimes vastly improve the statistics – is what you are living right now.
If illness is a form of suffering that stirs you out of complacency or motivates you to learn and grow, then the gift of your illness is its potential to wake you up. Once you are awake, the gift you give yourself is the quality of attention you give to your experience in each moment. Illness does not come along in order to change you, but consciously living the experience of it can and will change you. In the choice to start to live in the moment, a new reality is created.