Choosing Peace in Uncertain Times

Choosing Peace in Uncertain Times

Sounds a bit like an oxymoron!

I struggle to be at peace when the world around me is so uncertain, so tumultuous and so unpredictable. I find myself challenged by my feelings and thoughts and the relentless pace of change within me and without.

As I have said before, I am a perfectly, imperfect messy human being … just like you. And although I have a great deal of experience in the paradigm of cause, I have my blind spots, and deeply ingrained ways of thinking, feeling, and doing that often run contrary to everything I know.

When things get bumpy and I don’t know what’s going to happen, I am tempted to go down the rabbit hole … feeling scared and uncertain and frustrated and powerless. Then I start agreeing with my infernal ego mind “Just figure out how to fix this/stop this/prevent this/change this … and then you will feel ok”.

This strategy can bring some temporary relief … yet it doesn’t ever deliver the experience of inner peace I actually seek … no matter how many times I go down the rabbit hole!

Over this past year, I have become more aware of this pattern and have taken conscious steps to intervene BEFORE going down the slippery slope of agreeing with my thoughts and feelings.

I know I do not control my external reality, and I also know I do have some control over the thoughts I think, the feelings I feel, the choices I make and the actions I take.

So whenever I catch myself about to slide down the slippery slope (and it’s not every time!) … I stop and take a breath and acknowledge what I am choosing to think, what I am choosing to feel and what I am choosing to make it all mean …
then I remind myself it’s ok to think these thoughts and ok to feel these feelings and I can choose to keep doing this … or I can choose again.

So I choose peace.

I choose to remember I am ok, even when I don’t feel ok; that whatever has happened, has happened and I get to choose, right now how to respond from love.

Love Lorna

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So Long 2022 and thanks for all the gifts | Lorna Patten

What an extraordinary year it has been … again!

The gift of uncertainly has certainly been the main one for me and I bet for many of you too.

I have also received many other gifts – often disguised as challenges or conflicts – and yet when I remember and recognise the inherent love and wisdom in everything, I have accepted the gifts and am glad I did.

In all of it I have been loved, supported, nurtured and challenged by my fabulous family, my amazing friends and by my extraordinary clients and my dream team:
My Personal Angel Maxine, my bookkeeper Jane, and my cyber queen Rae.

Without all your love and support I would not have been able to do what I have done this past year … so from the bottom of my heart … thank you much.

I wish for you and yours, a festive season filled with laughter and love and gorgeousness. And a new year ripe with possibility, creativity, deep inner peace and love, love, love.

See you again in 2023!
Love Lorna

It’s NOT a Breakdown

It’s NOT a Breakdown

I cried the other day.

Not for any particular reason other than I felt sad … so I took a deep breath and let the tears flow.

It was uncomfortable and not easy at first … I kept breathing and reminding myself “this is a feeling, let it move” and as I allowed myself to feel the feelings, to allow the energy-in-motion, emotion, to move through me, I felt the tears on my face and the ache in my heart.

I became aware of my thinking mind and how tempted I was to tell myself a story about WHY I was crying. I wanted to find a “good reason” to justify my tears and yet I knew, I didn’t need a reason because I was already feeling sad.

Once again I took a deep breath and I reminded myself “focus on the breath and keep letting go … keep letting go … keep letting go.”
After a while my breathing slowed, the tears stopped and I began to feel less constricted … more spacious.

When I reflected on this experience I realised that in the world today we tend to view someone shedding tears (particularly in the public domain) as a “breakdown”. Given the definition of the word means failure, malfunction, crash et al … categorising any public display of tears as a breakdown implies that there is something wrong with the person expressing sadness, pain, hurt, grief hence the oft used “sorry” which accompanies tearful displays of sadness.

Well guess what? I didn’t have “a breakdown”, I let myself feel and let the energy flow and although it was uncomfortable, it was also liberating,

There is nothing wrong (or right) about expressing your feelings. Every human being feels things and the key is to accept that when you feel something, it’s ok to feel it.

Feelings are not facts … they exist to be felt and they let us know what we are feeling about whatever is occurring so we can respond. This means we can change our mind and think something different, we can breathe and allow and let go, we can cry and laugh and sit and be still … and we can feel.

When we can feel, we can heal.

Love Lorna

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An Experience Over Which I Will Never Get …

An Experience Over Which I Will Never Get …

I first heard this after a particularly powerful personal development seminar I attended in 1983.

I didn’t get it.
I just thought it was bad grammar!

Since then I have had numerous experiences that have shown me time and time again what it means … to me.

And nothing I have ever experienced comes close to last weekend.

It was an experience so powerful, so deep and so profoundly loving that it blew my mind.

I had the great honour and privilege to facilitate a client Leadership Retreat over 3 days, with 40 people (mostly men) in the rainforest … in the pouring rain.

My client (coach, colleague and friend) gave me the space and permission to BE all that I am and to DO whatever I chose to DO in Love. Another client/coach (buddy and colleague) held the space in the room and assisted me with everything from tissues to hugs.

I chose to create a liminal space where everyone could make the choice to open up, let go and accept, allow and appreciate all of WHO THEY ARE … whatever happened.

I focussed on BEING rather than doing, a truly ontological space of remembering WHO I AM and WHO YOU ARE and it was wonderful.

I let go of having to do anything in particular or prove anything, or make anything happen and allowed myself to BE there fully … open hearted and willing to say what I saw, to share what I know without any attachment to being right.

The more I opened up and told my truth, the more each and every person there did the same. Old wounds were acknowledged, feelings felt and expressed and then….enormous relief and endless love filled the space time and time again.

I was humbled and moved by each and every beautiful, messy human in the room, myself included.

It took a willingness to feel uncomfortable, courage to sit in the discomfort and the choice to let the energy move and release … and boy oh boy … we did it wholeheartedly!

Blessed I am to BE who I am and DO what I do.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Love Lorna

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Resistance is Futile

Resistance is Futile

This year started with a bang for me … a big unexpected medical event that saw me admitted to hospital not once but twice for a total of 4 surgeries over 14 days. It was shocking and amazing and very, very challenging in many ways.

What I experienced was a roller coaster of feelings … both emotional and sensory yet all the while I KNEW I was ok.

I had a serious infection and yet I had no pain, no fever, no soreness.
I wasn’t sick … I was wounded.
And wounds heal … if I let them heal.
What was required was patience …
I know “infinite patience produces immediate results”.
Yet I felt anything but patient.

I recognised that when I felt angry, upset and/or scared it was because I expected things to be how I wanted them to be and not how they were. I was impatient for things to be different.

For example (and there are many!): At night I expected it to be quiet and dark and cosy so I could go to sleep. Now if you have ever stayed in hospital overnight, it’s not quiet or dark or peaceful. Maybe it would have been different if I was in a private room in a private hospital but I wasn’t. I spent time in Emergency and two different surgical wards, some time in an 8-bed ward and some time in a single room.

What I realised after many long days and nights was that resisting the way it was didn’t help.

First and foremost, it didn’t help my healing. In fact, it did the opposite … while I was spending energy being angry and resisting the way it was, the energy I needed to heal was being used to fuel my anger.

I remembered (again!) that whatever I resit, persists. That when I push against whatever is happening, it pushes back … harder. When I accept what is occurring and allow it to occur, I can then appreciate the purpose and the loving intention behind every single thing that I experience.

Coming home from hospital was a huge relief yet I also knew I had a way to go in my healing process. I have had several months of regular in-home nursing visits as well as follow-up appointments with various doctors and various tests and I have continued to ride the roller coaster … although not quite as often as before.

Now I am nearly at the end of this part of the process. “Only 1mm to go.” said my nurse this week! Being patient during this last little bit is very hard.
I feel well, I have more energy and I think “I should” be doing more …

Then I remember … resistance is futile.
So I choose … infinite patience.

Thank you to all the people at Royal North Shore Hospital who cared for me and were instrumental in my healing process. My surgeons were simply the best and the nurses, support staff and others were there for me all the way. I am so grateful to live in a country where excellent healthcare is available to all. Blessed I am.

Love Lorna

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Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

Communication …. a simple word which literally means to share.

Add a few distinctions and things start to get interesting in terms of meaning and understanding and how we share what we share.

Take the current Covid-19 Pandemic in our country and in the world.

So far what I have observed and experienced is a lot of confusion when it comes to getting everyone on the same page with what’s actually happening and what will happen next.

One of the biggest issues is our leaders’ unwillingness to simply say what’s so without spin. And it’s the extra stuff of spin that causes a lot of confusion and often strong feelings rather than clarity and understanding.

I get it.
We are in a global pandemic and we don’t know what we don’t know.

No-one likes uncertainly so rather than say so, we fill up the space with lots of spin and half-truths and stuff that doesn’t help.

If you want people to get what you mean, you need to explicitly and distinctly say what you mean.

If you are afraid to say what you mean, you end up filling the space with a whole lot of words that don’t help to provide clarity or comprehension.

When you are concerned about how people will respond/react to your communication the most powerful thing you can say up front is exactly that … then say what you want to say and say what you mean.

When you attempt to hide your discomfort, when you are not willing to admit you are scared and you don’t know … things get very confused and confusing for everyone involved.

First say the purpose of your communication … give CONTEXT … then you can say all the content. This first crucial step is what many miss in an attempt to get all the content out. And when you fail to explicitly and clearly give CONTEXT then the receiver will simply make up what they think you mean in the gap. Misunderstandings are simply failure to give explicit context and clarity in the first place.

So when you want to be understood, when you want the other (or others) to get what you mean … just say so!

Love Lorna

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