When someone comes to me with concerns, be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, the first strategy I recommend for coping and healing is to learn to meditate. When the body is sending stress signals of discomfort, when the mind is bouncing from worries to regrets and back again, when a person never finds the time look inward and discover the peace that is there, then the first thing to do is begin to learn to this practice. It makes everything else easier, enabling you to stand back and observe your life, your relationships and events from a new perspective, not shadowed by emotions and drama. The clarity one begins to see with makes solutions to problems more apparent.
Our normal operating mode is through our ego, which stores all of our memories and past emotions since birth. (Also functions of the left hemisphere of the brain.) If we operate solely from our ego, we find ourselves getting attached to positions, roles and ‘stuff’. Then, if anyone or anything threatens our relationship, role or ‘stuff’ we react emotionally without realizing we have a choice.
Have you ever been in the middle of an argument or unhappy thoughts when suddenly you ‘woke up’ and realized how silly you were being? What you have done is stepped out of your ego for the moment; you’ve awoken to your real self, the source of your consciousness. The expansive joyful self we were meant to be. (Some would say the right hemisphere.) When you have the ability to move out of your ego, you won’t be tripped up so often into feeling offended, angry, hateful, jealous, etc. And even if you do, you know that isn’t the real you, so it doesn’t hold as much weight for you. Your awareness is enhanced. With this enhanced awareness you can begin to address the other issues in your life that you want to change. What once seemed like a ‘big deal’ is reduced to a more manageable size. You know you are more; you are greater than the small ego that used to be your entire awareness.
One day, after meditating for a month or a year or two years you wake up and KNOW you can achieve what you want, you can heal, create, be, do and have your hearts desire. You begin realizing you have a choice on how you react to events and situations instead of reacting with the learned response of your family of origin, (your default behavior). As you notice people around you, you grasp on a deep level what is motivating them, and naturally have more compassion towards them. That is not to say all your challenges drift away and you are forever blissfully lounging on a hammock on some tropical island. One thing I have observed, as the students go through this process, is their the next challenge: that of discerning what in the world they do want and what their true purpose is! This will be your next quest.