Turning Pain Into Peace

3 08 2010

There are many things in life that can cause us to spiral out of control. Our boss can snap at us, we break a toe, we lose our wallet or delete the thesis we’ve been working on for the past 3 months. Life has many surprises. Some feel great like a surprise trip to Hawaii or an unexpected party we’ve been invited to but more often than not life hits us with a death in the family, divorce unexpected, a loss of job, a diagnosis of a disease and many more stories that can cause us to spiral into a pit so low that we can’t fathom how we’ll get out if it.
I’ve had many such stories happen to me. When I was seven years old I woke up early one summer morning to find my father crying over the kitchen sink. I asked him where my mother was and his sobs became stronger. I got scared and began to back away, when he told me that my mother had a stroke. My seven year old mind could not comprehend what was said to me but i knew it was serious. He told me that she was very sick and was unsure when she was going to come home.
A year and a half later I was reunited with my mother. A new shock had entered my life on that fateful night. As I helped my mother eat her slice of pizza but cutting into small bite size pieces and helping it into her mouth I realized that our roles were reversed. I now was her caregiver. This early trauma was one of many that I experienced which I go into detail in my upcoming book The Power Within Me. In my early years I viewed each shock or trauma that I went through as a slap in my face. I felt alone and victimized. I kept rehashing the events that took place before the fateful day and pondered what I could’ve done different to prevent the painful experience, or I future tripped and fretted over what my life will be like because of the perceived horror I endured. There was one thing that took me out of the pain and brought immediate peace, no matter what the situation was.
Presence has always been the tool which took me from pain so deep it left me gasping for air, to being enveloped in peace and love I was able to feel in the deepest levels of my soul.
Since my early life altering experience with my mother, during many other challenges such as divorce, incurring Diabetes and the loss of my own children wanting to be with me, presence has been the tool I’ve used to center myself and move through the pain.

You see, if you really put all of your attention onto the present moment no pain exists there. Everything is truly perfect in the present moment. In this moment your problems don’t exist, just the idea of them. Our problems reside in our mind, as we break down our situation over and over again, asking what we did wrong or how we can fix it. If we focus on what’s right in front of us, perhaps our dinner, a bird on a tree, the carpet under our feet and put our full attention on it, nothing else exists and peace enters in that space.
Presence was something I had to learn. I spent years in hellish pain, unsure how I would survive the next day. Discovering the power of presence is what changed my perceived problems into bliss. By being present I began to see opportunities, rather than pain in my new situation. I stopped thinking of my life situations as problems and started to view them as opportunities. By doing this, opportunities arrived daily.

If something in your life is causing you tremendous pain, practice presence. Start by going for a walk, preferably in nature. Notice each blade of glass you walk on, notice the birds in the trees, walk slowly, one foot in front of the other. Notice how each foot feels as you place it on the ground. This level of presence will slowly shift you from your pain into peace. I encourage you to make this a way of life. Don’t save this exercise just for when you experience a painful life situation. By making presence a practice your whole life begins to shift and you’ll experience is presence. If all you experience is presence then all you’ll experience is peace.

If you are experiencing a painful life situation and need a guide to help you through it. My transformational coaching program can do this for you. Email me at EstherAdler@EstherAdler.com, subject line coaching and I will extend to you a free hour consultation.

Resources:
A great book on presence is,

The Power Of Now, by Ekhart Tolle.

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One response

3 08 2010
Glen Depke

Great post Esther!

I will add the I also love Tolle’s work.

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