Karen Horneffer-Ginter
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EMBRACING DIFFICULTY:

Staying Present a Moment Longer

I've always loved Pema Chodron's teachings around the importance of staying with ourselves when we experience difficulty. She points out how easy it is to leave ourselves in challenging moments, either by blaming others or getting caught up in the storyline of what happened. Instead, it's helpful if we can stay present to the emotions we're feeling, noticing, with an intention of compassion and mindfulness, what sensations they create in our body, and what chain of thoughts they kick off in our mind.

Because we can be so adept at not being present with ourselves, it can require practice to build our hardiness to stay. Sometimes, I think of this as being similar to what's involved in running or lifting weights, how we might add some extra distance to each day's jog, or attempt an extra repetition with our bicep curl. It's worth trying this same approach in staying with ourselves in moments of difficulty.

The next time you're confronted with sadness, or anger, or irritation-- before acting on it, or responding in a typical way-- see if it's possible to simply stay with the feelings themselves. Notice if any benefit comes from this willingness to fully feel what you feel.

More Articles...

Nov. 1, 2012:  8 Ways to Ease Emotional Pain
Sep. 1, 2012:  Rediscovering the Art of Offering Blessings
Aug. 1, 2012:  Be Nice to Yourself
Jul. 2, 2012:  Naturally Arising Kindness
Jun. 4, 2012:  Staying Present a Moment Longer
May. 1, 2012:  Inspecting our After-thoughts
Apr. 1, 2012:  The Importance of Feeling What We Feel

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