Something really remarkable happened this morning...
It must've been around 5am. I'd not been asleep too long with having had a late night and the blistering heat and complicated night-time decisions about open/closed windows, the air-con, the fan and the duvet... I woke up, as I often do here, to find myself scratching a mosquito bite - oh God! If you've ever had mosquito bites you'll know what I'm talking about; no amount of scratching relieves it - you stop scratching, the itch returns with a vengeance and this can carry on for hours. My usual plan of action is to scratch and scratch until I'm exhausted, or get out of bed and run the bite under the cold tap, or apply some tiger balm to soothe it but, this time, I decided to try something new...
As you well know, there are many things in life - mosquito bites being one of them! - that go against our ideas of what's "right" or "good" or "perfect" and when one of these things comes along it can really upset the apple cart. What I've been learning are various adaptations of a basic technique that allows us to handle these apparently negative life events in a way that prevents us from suffering. Thing is, as life has been going pretty well for me lately, I've not really had an opportunity to try it out. But the itching mozzie bite provided me with just that...
Here's what I did: I relaxed and allowed myself to feeeel the itching without resisting it. Without dialog, without giving it a label, or a history, without analysing or blaming - I just surrendered to the itching; felt it fully. In my head I sat right in the middle of the itching. And the incredible thing is, the more I did this, the less the itching bothered me.
Then, after about 30 seconds of this, in my imagination, I "peeled back" the itching to see if there was an emotion underneath - I found anger! Again, I didn't think about the anger, try to reason, justify or explain it, I just allowed myself to feel it fully; to sit in the middle of it.
And you know what? The itching stopped and I fell asleep - the whole process took less than a minute! A bit later, I woke again to find myself scratching a bite and so I did the process again and again it worked like a dream.
This probably sounds like nonsense to you - who cares that I did some sort of "mind over matter" thing to stop some itching, what's the biggie? But, it IS a biggie, my dear friend! Because this technique can be applied to anything and everything that upsets us, irritates us, angers us, makes us feel terrified or desperate or isolated..! If, instead of trying to numb, ignore, "treat" or push away the "negative" feeling, we allow ourselves to feel it fully but without attaching a story to it, no reasons, explanations or blame, just embracing the fear/sadness/anger/whatever and then let any other feelings come to the fore, again without a story, eventually the pain subsides and we come to our source; grace; peace - ultimate freedom!
This cessation of suffering through surrender is explained in The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and, I'm told, there is a similar technique used in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).
I learned a fully comprehensive process based around this technique, called The Journey by Brandon Bays. The Journey utilises this concept of feeling (and therefore releasing) trapped emotions that cause misery and sickness, in order to become happy and healthy and move forward with our lives. A practitioner did a full Journey process with me and, in 45 minutes, I got over a huge issue that had been shadowing my life since I was a child.
So, when I say something remarkable happened this morning, it was the realisation that I can do this myself, at any time, with any issue. I'm not saying it'll always be easy but at least I know it's possible and therefore something to aim for - how amazing!