I lost a dear friend of mine Sharon L Cuffeld. She was my neighbor and we grew closer as friends over the past year or so. She’s the one true friend that I’d been able to make in the 10 years living in the Philly area.
Sharon passed away in December 2018 while I was trying to get her to the hospital. This was a trip that I had made with her successfully before, and one she had made with another friend before too, when something just didn’t feel quite right. She had heart by-pass surgery in June 2018 and had returned back to work in August.
The horrific events of that day: calling 911 while zipping through traffic, giving her CPR at the side of the road, the paramedics taking her in the ambulance and arriving at the hospital in shambles not knowing if she was dead or alive, will be with me forever.
After that there were many mornings when I woke up in fear. With an overwhelming sense that I was going to die of a heart attack the way Sharon had. I’d feel the panic pounding in my ears. My heart racing. My breath short. Fear pouring out in my sweat.
One particular panicky morning, the thought crossed my mind… just think of all the things you have to be grateful for. I’m lucky enough to be able to work from home, and it is one of the things I treasure most in life. I cherish the ability to wake up naturally and get up when my body says it’s ready. I work when I need to work and take time off when I feel it’s needed. So that morning I let the gratitude of enjoying my life wash over me, and instantly became aware of how the fear subsided.
I invite you to take a moment and investigate the feeling of gratitude. Think of something in your life that you are completely grateful for: your Mother and/or Father, your children, your Love partner, and for us really lucky ones, your career. For me the feeling is one of: shoulders instantly drop, followed by a deep sigh of relief, then the feeling of comfort and release. Doesn’t that sound like the complete opposite of stress??
Now whenever I find myself in fear, I shift into gratitude. Feeling grateful by how much I’ve been Loved in my life. Grateful for the opportunities that have come at just the right time. Comforted by my faith in all that is good.
Feeling your inner consciousness is a skill. Sit quiet & calm. Focusing on your breath and inner world. Feel the emotions of Love and Gratitude, and allow the experience of the shifting emotion. Release the unwanted and feel awashed with the new. I practice it daily. Whenever I find myself feeling an emotion I don’t want. It makes a remarkable difference.
Gratitude is the perfect place to start when trying to release grief, pain or stress. When I’m not able to connect to any other feeling, it’s the feeling of gratitude that is the most comforting.
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