All posts in Life in the Positive Possibilities

How to Heal from the Resentment That Brings Pain to You and All Life

When we have been hurt, sometimes the idea of letting go of resentment may seem dismissive of the pain we suffered. However, healing resentment is never about minimizing or dismissing what we experienced. If you have been hurt, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally, the pain you felt was real. Healing resentment comes as we open compassionately and see it in full, so that we can ultimately ease our suffering. We first began to touch on resentment last fall, as we investigated the “blame trap” and how it kept us from inner peace. Now, for the sake of our own healing as well as peace in the world, let’s look more deeply into the nature of resentment. Since my first language is French, I find myself reminded, each time I hear the word “resentment”, of its Latin root: Re – to do over again Sent – to feel Resentment is like a broken record. We feel painful emotions over and over again that keep us tied to our past. For some reason, our ego has us convinced that this is a good thing to do. It may give us a sense of temporary power. It may feel as though we are somehow getting back at someone we feel has hurt us. But as we re-sent, feeling painful…

Read more

How to Find the Light Again When You Feel Hopeless

Last week, we explored the landscape of depression and the inner messages it brings for us. Beyond depression is the serious condition of despair. Despair calls for a clear, thorough and active response. We feel the hopelessness of despair when we co-create in the impossibilities to such an extent that we are now in undertow. When this happens, we need to immediately redirect our thinking. How do you know if you are feeling despair rather than depression? In depression, you may sense the possibility that your unhappy perspective can change. You just feel unable to find the zest to reactivate and engage with that possibility. In despair, however, you don’t feel possibility. When you are depressed, life can seem like a movie going on in front of you. You feel out of the picture, unsure how to re-enter the fullness of life. But if depression becomes despair, you don’t even believe in the picture, and don’t care to re-enter it. Whether you see it or not, you are constantly held within an intelligent, loving whole. You are not an isolated island, but a vast interconnected being. Depression leaves you temporarily unable to sense this interconnection. It is as though you are under heavy clouds. Though you may be looking for the sun, you cannot see its…

Read more

How Honesty Can Help You Find Freedom From the Weight of Depression

In light of what is going on in the world today, as people break into rage at injustices, out of lockdown in rebellion, or feel paralyzed or depressed in the face of the extraordinary disbalance in our world, we need to ask what cultivating inner peace looks like. Recently, we have been considering how anger’s explosive energy, when acted out externally or stuffed down internally, ravages our lives and those of others. But there is another, more passive way that we can suffer and feel disconnected from the moment. When we ignore or judge what we are feeling, we often find ourselves sinking into depression. This week, we will look at that more deeply, as we consider depression’s passive, heavy energy and how we can find relief. The primary focus here is the occasional depression that we can all feel from time to time. Clinical depression is a mood disorder for your doctor to diagnose, and requires medical attention. Yet whether you suffer from a medical condition or a passing case of the blues, we can explore together the landscape of depression with care and attention, on top of any additional support you may be receiving for your particular situation. When we are depressed, we become listless, and have difficulty activating. Why do we get depressed?…

Read more

How To Keep Your Heart Open In The Face Of The Unimaginable

There was no one else in the building who could see or hear when I was tackled to the floor and strangled almost to death by a man twice my size. As I lay pinned down and unable to breathe, let alone cry for help, I was blessed with profound insight that has forever changed the trajectory of my life and my understanding of the power of inner peace. Though few know I had this experience, it feels relevant to share today as part of our ongoing “Finding Your Inner Peace Sanctuary” workshop. Last week, we began to investigate anger as one of the shadows we must work through. Many may ask how to manage anger at being violently attacked. This week’s post is a deeper exploration of this sensitive question. Faced with what I thought was the end of my life, I saw in the man on top of me a soul so ravaged in pain that all it knew was to seek more pain. I instinctively understood that even the slightest bit of antagonism from me would trigger the fire of his pain and rage into an unstoppable deadly inferno. I was fortunate enough to already have a steady meditation practice. I had learned how to go to a neutral place of internal spaciousness,…

Read more

How to Release the Heat of Anger Before It Burns Your World

You can see it in the record-warm Northern Hemisphere winter that failed to bring enough ice back to the Arctic Ocean, through the exceptionally hot Southern Hemisphere summer that fed devastating wildfires in Australia – and in the fevers that have ravaged the world during an unprecedented pandemic: our world is too hot. When you become quiet and listen deeply, perhaps you can sense the unnatural heat that pulses through all things. For the sake of our inner and outer peace, we must each come to terms with the ways we fuel that heat with the fires in our minds. Last week, we began to explore the emotional reactivity that harms our personal and collective wellbeing. All of this is part of the shadow work that this workshop offers to help you find inner peace. We are digging into the unseen territories of our minds and hearts, the aspects that keep us in cycles of suffering. Stick with it. I promise there is light at the end of this journey. And I am with you in every step. Our culture tends to praise those who push themselves hard. We justify this by saying these people are the best at what they do. But perhaps we do so at the expense of our greater well-being. In the…

Read more

How to Stop Controlling Your Feelings And Learn to Trust the Flow

In recent weeks we have been doing powerful work together by understanding, witnessing and releasing the sorry stories that interfere with our experience of peace. Thank you for your courage to go to places that may not feel comfortable at times. We can see this as a sort of spring cleaning of our minds, hearts and souls, a way to let go of that which no longer serves so that we make room for the new. This week, we turn a corner as we look at how our emotions—and our relationship to them—affect our inner peace. Being honest and present for how we feel is key to finding our inner peace sanctuary. When we consider emotions and all the colours they express, we may feel that they are antithetical to the calm we seek. Inner peace may conjure a sense of being in a neutral state where we are unaffected by anything within or around us. We may avoid or suppress our emotions, hoping to somehow escape their waves. Yet, we will not find peace this way. Emotions are like a river or an ocean, energy in motion. Whenever the waters gets dammed or pent up, it needs to return to healthy flow. Blocking the fluidity of our emotions ultimately desiccates the calm, clear lake of…

Read more

Mother’s Day And Mother Nature: Beyond Give and Get to Balance Within The Whole

Happy Mother’s Day for those of you who celebrate it! It is a day to take pause and give thanks for motherly kindness, generosity and care. Over the last few weeks, we have been looking at the sorry stories we enable that keep us feeling less than who we are. We have put into practice the three steps to transformation— understand, witness and release—when we see a story playing out in our thoughts and actions. This week, as we cultivate inner peace, we look at how to go beyond the idea of give and take and consider instead how to live in balance within Mother Nature’s compassionate whole. A Mother’s love for her child is one of the strongest bonds in the universe. Willing to overcome adversity to protect her young, even at the expense of her own life, a mother’s internal compass that leads her to secure the wellbeing of her offspring is as deep and innate as the power of Mother Nature herself. Though we can clearly see it in women who have children, this force is not limited to the female gender, or even to those who have offspring. As an expression of Nature and our connection to her, we could say that this compassionate force exists within us all. Nature’s force of…

Read more

How to Heal Your Heart and Your Life by Braving the Depths of Entitlement

It seems as though our world is moving into a new stage in the coronavirus pandemic as some restrictions begin to lift. I am left with the question: have we learned the sobering lesson Nature has given us that we must honour its rhythms for our collective health? Have we listened to the urgent call to reawaken our interconnection as the foundation of our shared wellbeing? Are we willing to meet that which is with open hearts, ready to serve the greater good with courage and compassion? All of this begins as we choose inner peace, moment by moment. In support of this, let’s continue healing the sorry stories that keep us from inner peace, so that we may love ourselves, each other, and the world. Like the feelings of “no room for me” or “I gotta get it right”, the sorry story of “I suck” can creep into our minds and leave us feeling disconnected from the world, as though we simply do not deserve to be a part of it at all. We may rationalize or minimize the tendency, thinking that negative self-concepts are better than being excessively proud, or that they only hurt ourselves. But neither of these is true. There is essentially no difference between “I suck” and “I’m so great”, because…

Read more

How You Can Go Beyond the Perfection and Control of “Gotta Get It Right” to Find Peace and Lasting Happiness for a Healthy World

“I gotta get it right. I will never get it right no matter how hard I try, but I have to. If I don’t they’ll hate me. Everybody wants me to fail. They think I’m wrong. I gotta prove myself. I’ll show them. If I don’t I’ll die.” Such is your whispering inner chatter if you struggle with the “gotta get it right” sorry story. This painful tendency, like any other, does not live in isolation. As they say, misery seeks company. The need for perfection feeds off other self-deprecating thoughts, such as, “I am ugly, I am stupid, I am disgusting”. They in turn create and sustain the circumstances in your life for a voracious feeding frenzy of control, as you put all your effort into proving yourself beyond those negative ideas—and therefore “right”. Immersion in this type of thinking is often at the root of many people’s unhappy lives, and can even be at the core of addiction. Born of difficult childhoods and traumatic past experience, the “gotta get it right” sorry story is a hidden motivator for many successful and prominent people, as well as those who are frustrated feeling like they are struggling in the shadows of their true potential. While this tendency can drive people to be at the top of…

Read more

You Have Always Been Good Enough. Now is the Time to Feel It In Your Bones.

Not good enough: most of us have felt that way at some point in our lives. For many, it is an ongoing undercurrent in their moment-to-moment thinking and day-to-day experience. Like a weed whose roots reach underground to choke our garden of confidence and courage, it impedes our ability to grow into a sincere sense of fulfillment and happiness. Why do we feel not good enough? Where does it come from? What can we do about it? Let’s take a look at these and more, this week, on our “Finding Your Inner Peace Sanctuary” workshop. Feeling not good enough is one of the many “sorry stories” that we need to address as we cultivate inner peace. At first glance, we may think that we only display feeling not good enough through the choices we make that seem less than ourselves. For example, perhaps we do not feel worthy of submitting our resume for our dream job, or asking the person we have been crushing on for months out on a date, or going for that little extra to polish ourselves up so that we feel at ease about the way we interact with the world. Feeling unworthy and choosing to hold back from life as a result, are indeed expressions of feeling not good enough. However,…

Read more