Staying in the Present in Times of Transition
“Suzanne, I need your help – I got rear ended several days ago and I cannot seem to shake it off. My neck and back are still in pain, even though it was not a high impact event. At the time I was rushing, late for a wedding, having gotten stuck in traffic.”
With these words we dived into our phone session. It helps me to know the larger context of what is happening, so I asked how she was doing otherwise. She got quiet for a few minutes, and then out came this interesting story of contrasts.
“I may be feeling badly right now, but I had an amazing experience last week which was just the opposite. I went to visit my daughter – a ten-hour drive – at the end of a very busy week. I hopped into my car and just headed out. Since my energy tank was so empty, I was very careful to pace myself and really stay present as I drove. I was gentle with myself – listening to my favorite music and audio recordings, grounding and filling, eating good food I had brought along, and stopping enough to not get stiff – everything I know about staying present.
And – here is the remarkable thing – I arrived at my daughter’s house full of energy! Had a fabulous weekend with my granddaughter and daughter and headed back down here for this wedding. Several hours from the wedding site, I hit bad traffic. My composure and calm disappeared as my worry about the wedding escalated. I found myself out in the future imagining all kinds of disaster scenarios around being late for or missing the wedding, that compelled me to get on the phone trying to avert them. The next I knew, bam! I had been rear-ended and my neck and back were really in trouble.”
Being who I am, I was fascinated by the contrast of presence and non-presence and the outcome of each of these.
When she took the time to be present, even in a transition like a long drive on a major highway, she was able to continually fill her energy reserves, allowing her to arrive fresh and ready to play.
When she found herself in traffic and the worry set in, causing her to be pulled out of the present and into future imaginings, the end product was a system that lacked resilience. So a minor rear-end accident had stuck with her.
To shift this and release the pain in her body, she began by dropping back into herself, grounding and filling. Then we traveled back to the moment of impact to see what would happen if we could shift her level presence in that moment. She dropped into the sensation of driving in in traffic, except I asked her to feel the way she felt on the other drive – the one when she was so full of energy and present. This was easy for her. Then I asked her to let the memory camera roll and have her experience the accident from this new resilient place.
When she did this, she could feel her neck and back soften around the impact, allowing it to roll right on through – not getting caught there at all. She was astonished. And here is the even better outcome. It released the tightness from her back and neck in the current moment as well.
Her story is a huge reminder that presence, even in transition times where we would normally go on autopilot, can be a powerful agent for good. It gives us resilience and energy. And, it can help us deal with the unpleasant things that can crop up as well!
Please Note: Every session or interchange described by Suzanne in this blog has been done with the express permission of the individual(s) involved, or has been changed significantly so as to protect the person’s privacy. Where a person’s actual name is used, it is done with their full permission, often with a link to their own blog post about the session.