Pema Chodron sees the resistance to accepting the truth of uncomfortable situations as demanding a reality retool it because “It should be like this” thinking. Reality is more like a river, impermanent and forever changing. We cannot step in the same river twice. Our thoughts and feelings are constantly changing like a river. When things are not going our way, we resist what is happening. We get this feeling of contraction and pushing. She indicates that we need to feel this contraction fully and even exagerate the contracting feeling. This is suggested in order to get past the inner tension and go into expansion/acceptance. Physically open up your arms to expand, smile, exagerate the sense of contraction -then release. Follow with kindness and warmth to the contracted self (mind). Additionally, she suggests placing the fearful mind in the cradle of loving kndness. Develop a kindness and unconditional friendship to self. All you can work on is yourself. When we stop the limiting, we open the naturalness of ‘limitless’ to come in. She emphasizes that there is nothing wrong with falling apart. We need to stay with it because it is not a problem. She states that we need to be willing to feel your heartbreak because heartbreak is part of the love. It is natural to have heartbreak. We want to reject that thought and have our way. We want to take the off ramp. Do not stress if there is no ramp or if you missed it. If you see there is something you can do, do it. There is no point to sit and fume in traffic. Watch your fixations. We fixate on wanting it one way. This is often a way we have to find security and comfort. Train yourself to open toward fear, working directly with anxiety. Drop the story line. Listen to your tone of voice. If it is harsh, contracting, you may want to take a closer look and see the critical voice. Look at the value of disappointment. And that is the portal.
NOTE: This distillation is from notes taken at a Pema Chodron event in Rheinbeck, New York May 2013.