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The Transformation Of Suffering And Discomfort

Brad Stevenson

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In our human existence we are comprised of Body and Mind. Our day to day experiences leave so many of us moving at such a rigorous pace that it often diminishes our connection from these 2 components of self. Think about it! How much time each day is your mind busy in resentment, judgment, criticism, rumination, worry, projecting negative outcomes, obsessing on issues you have no control over, or focusing on troublesome events that have already come to pass. Now think about your state of body! How much time do you spend living in anxiety, fear, anger, frustration, worry, annoyance, overwhelm, hurt, sadness or general suffering? How much is your life diminished because of physical aches and pains or limitations?

The truth is that there is nothing wrong with any of our thought or feeling states. They are all a part of our human existence. It's the holding on or pushing away of these thinking and feeling states that create our suffering. Out of this holding on pushing away process, a multitude of individuals engage in unhealthy, self destructive behavioral patterns that not only hurt and perpetuate personal suffering, but also hurt others. These behavioral patterns can range from isolation, withdrawal and moodiness (acting in) to driving recklessly, addictions or even violence (acting out). They are all attempts to diminish our suffering.

Whether it's standing in line at the bank or the grocery store or waiting for a red light to change, it is fascinating how our minds and bodies can so quickly be predisposed to discomfort or suffering. It's as if that red light is out to get us, or the bank teller is incompetent because he/she is taking too long in our opinion. The external world of people, places and objects operates independent of our permission. We can all get caught up in the control, the judgments and criticisms which create suffering within our minds and bodies.

It has become increasingly evident to me that the world at large doesn't often cooperate with my beliefs, wants and desires. Consequently, all I am left with is to either suffer when life isn't working on my terms, or promote some peace of mind around the circumstances I have no control over. For years I have lived with chronic back pain, sometimes to a point where I am in bed, immobilized. Depending on what I do with my internal landscape, the feelings and the self talk, will determine whether I have some peace of mind or engage in the suffering. I am not suggesting the pain goes away, only that I have some ability to choose how I deal with my experience of the pain. When I surrender to the pain, and don't push it away or fight it, I am more peaceful. And quite honestly, the pain often diminishes.

I am awed at our ability to find peace of mind within the pain, and how through the diminishing of our suffering, pleasure increases. Once we move away from the goal of getting rid of pain, and move towards the goal of how not to suffer, pleasure is enhanced and pain is diminished. It is through letting go and not resisting that we find the peace we seek.

Look at your own reactions to people, places and objects when the world at large isn't cooperating, and you'll quickly see how readily your mind gets hooked into a thought pattern that makes you a victim of that experience. You'll also find that your body gets hooked into having a feeling response as well.
The Power of THANKs (Trustworthiness, Honesty, Authenticity, Neutrality, Kindness, and Surrender) will blow you away!

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have some tools, some mastery over our thought and feeling responses? Wouldn't it feel empowering to you to have some peace of mind and an open, loving heart in the face of challenges and adversity? Throughout the millennium, there have been many practices and disciplines developed as a means of achieving quiet, peaceful, loving states of consciousness. They range from a wide variety of meditations and breath work, to practical behaviors, such as exercise, writing and healthy eating, to very rigorous spiritual and religious practices. In our modern day world, many millions of individuals turn to doctors for anti depressant and anti anxiety medication for the same purpose: to relieve discomfort and suffering. I do believe in the value of medication for those who suffer. I also believe that working internally in conjunction with medication is what offers greater potential for an enhanced quality of life.

It is clearly evident that all of us want to suffer less and be at peace more. The evidence is staggering when we look at the massive abuse of alcohol, drugs, food and cigarettes along with a multitude of other addictive processes that are used to decrease suffering and discomfort. And why do so many people over indulge? It's because they are suffering in mind and body and want some relief. Unfortunately, the substance and process addictions used to promote the relief, is the exact thing that generates greater suffering for those who are addicted. This is why so many people have success in 12 step recovery groups. They learn to surrender vs. control, hold on or push away. The group support also takes them out of the isolation and the silent suffering.

If you are one of the 10s of millions who find yourself in mind/body suffering and discomfort, I implore you to take some steps to alleviate some of your suffering. Below are some suggestions that could give you some ideas on where to turn.

1. If you suffer with an addiction, attend a 12 step support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Over-eaters Anonymous or Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. All of these support groups can be found on line.

2. Seek out some counseling for yourself.

3. Engage in a daily mindfulness practice such as meditation or breath work. Take a meditation class to get some guidance.

4. Participate in a Yoga class.

5. When overwhelmed, focus on an object intently (a Kleenex box, a bottle of ketchup, any object) and study its shape, size, dimension, colors, etc. Absorb the object as you breathe in and out slowly, verbalizing out loud what you are seeing and studying. This will shift your body/mind experience. Try it sometime just for fun. You'll find that you can be fully present in that experience and diminish any self talk and feeling that is bothersome.

6. Get out of your own discomfort by doing something kind for someone else.

7. Journaling. Each day write down your thoughts and feelings as well as positive attributes and accomplishments.

8. Seek out some personal coaching for yourself.

My theoretical framework focuses on both the internal and external world. We are dedicated to the development, growth and success of individuals and organizations. Through the practice of mind/body exploration, coupled with the necessary behavioral and environmental changes that promote success and well being, we know without a doubt that quality of life increases and discomfort/suffering decreases. This way of life is near and dear to my heart, so please don't hesitate to contact me if there is anything we can do to facilitate and promote your quality of life. Live well and be well.

Brad Stevenson and Bob Sugar of Trans-World Dynamics’ (TWD) mission is to guide individuals, couples, executives and businesses toward the practice of-

Trustworthiness, Honesty, Authenticity, Neutrality, Kindness, and Surrender (THANKs®).

As these sustainable principles serve to guide individuals in all areas of their lives, the rewards that we have seen CEOs, companies, executives and individuals experience are unprecedented.


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