The Dude Abides

In my professional work with clients , I teach them a technique for releasing pain and stress. When you approach health from the individual's own experiential perspective, there are things than we can do for ourselves that promote self healing. When you go into the felt sense of things directly, powerful forces are released within you. This is about one such method.

I owe this to an early professional career mentor who conducted groups with psychiatric patients. As I see it anyway, one contributing factor to psychological distress is habitually thinking about an issue/problem. The simple solution is, "Don't do that". True, but useless when you are all balled up in your head. Try telling the man who rushes into the emergency room at the hospital screaming, "I can't breathe! I can't breathe!" that the simple fact that he is screaming so urgently is proof that he can breathe.

The trick as the good doctor pointed out is this, "Find a feeling". A feeling in your physical body. Any feeling. Whatever shows itself first. It does not matter at all what it is or where it is. It's there. Now, LET IT BE THERE. Nothing else to do. Just abide, dude. Oh, and yes, LET IT BE ENDLESS. Because, "Until it ends, it is endless".

That last point is critical. This may look simple in words. In actual fact it takes practice. We are so conditioned to always be managing our experiential world. Keep what you like, remove what you don't. When it comes to pain and stress the thrown tendency is to get rid of it, or at least manage it to whatever extent possible. "Take a pill" is what the profiteers spend so much marketing money trying to convince us. (Just remember, as Mr. Chris Rock once said, "There's money in the medicine. Ain't no money in the cure".)

Now don't get me wrong here. There are some pains that are just too big or too sharp to simply sit with. You know when you need attention. I'm here talking about those everyday pains and stresses that are part of living and over time become chronic features of who you identify yourself to be.

When you develop some confidence with this technique it becomes a tool you can rely on for life.

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