It’s all in the AND

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Sarah Parker

Change coach, therapist, human being, and founder of Well of Being.

Beau the Dog

Two weeks ago, Beau, one of our dogs, was unwell so I took her to the vets. What we discovered that day, to our shock, was that she had a life-threatening condition which needed urgent and potentially very risky surgery. The surgery was scheduled for the next day.

I left her in the care of the vets and returned home in a state of shock and fear. My mind was showing me every frightening scenario possible, and of course I felt anxious, frightened, sad……… I’m sure you can imagine.

For the next 10 days I made regular phone calls to the vets, leapt out of my chair whenever they called me, and generally experienced an awful lot of anxious, fearful thinking.

You see, we, love Beau dearly. We love having her in our lives. She’s a funny, cute, characterful little terrier with a personality so much bigger than her small stature. She’s a little girl with attitude.

The fear I was experiencing was a sure sign my mind was jumping ahead into future what-ifs. My thoughts created scenarios and stories that looked frightening and when they looked true, I experienced fear and anxiety.

AND throughout all of this I deeply knew I was resilient and could trust that resilience to carry me through whatever happens. In the times my mind was quieter, I fell back into peace of mind and calm. I didn’t try to predict the outcome or fear it.

You see resilience is within us always. We don’t need to develop it – we are born resilient. It’s true, we sometimes don’t experience a feeling of resilience when we are caught up in a busy mind. That’s not because we have lost our resilience – it’s simply that we have lost sight of it. Losing sight of resilience doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with us. In fact, when we don’t feel resilient, that’s a really helpful guide to let us know we have stepped deeper into our busy minds. Fairly usual, normal behaviour for most humans!

And that brings us to the most important AND of them all. We are human. Humans who believe what we think, get caught up in stories and innocently judge experiences as good and bad, ok, or not ok. AND we each have innate wellbeing, resilience, peace of mind that sits deeply within us. You might call this your gut feeling, intuition, spirit, wisdom, deep-down. Whatever we call it, it’s that magical connection to a shared energy that is always guiding us.

We will never not be human, but our experiences of life, of joy and of distress can be entirely different when we come from our innate wellbeing. From that place, whatever happens in our human experience can be observed with a little distance. Watching the stories in our minds rather than living them is like watching a scary movie rather than believing we are in the scary movie. Of course, we feel the fear, the tension, and the anticipation, but we don’t fear those feelings because we know they are related to a plot line rather than reality.

Our minds are always only ever creating plot lines, even when they look like truths. When I believed thoughts that Beau would die and she would not return home, I felt devastated. When I forgot this was only a plot line, I deeply experienced the devastation as real and was, at times, frozen in grief. I can say with certainty that it was a plot line because the photo is of Beau, taken yesterday. She is home and recovering well. She’s getting stronger and her little body is healing well.

We believe our minds because we are human, and thoughts are very convincing. AND when we fall into our wellbeing, we watch what our minds do and no longer fear the feelings we experience.

We do not need to change anything. What is infinitely helpful, however, is seeing how our experience is created. Our minds will create stories, habitually think the same things, AND innate wellbeing is always there for us as soon as we see beyond the limits of thought and to the infinite wellbeing available to us all.

With love, Sarah

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