Janet Pearlman

Living in the Stream of Yes

Processing an Upsetting Incident


We all have experienced making a mistake and feeling strong upset as we discover the situation. Feelings of panic, fear, guilt and shame rise up and grab our attention—and with it a strong bodily reaction, perhaps pounding heart or ache in the stomach.

How can we live into our empowerment and reduce the time we are suffering?

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  • Notice the Condition
  • Accept the strong emotion underway inside of us
    1. In those early moments of responding, we might go into the common pattern of reviewing “what went wrong.” Sure, we want to learn what we can.  Good to make note that this “study” involves thinking about what we do not want and going more deeply into it.
  • If we feel awful, and then review the awful, we get more awful! Oops. There is momentum created in our thought patterns… in this case toward discomfort.  We want an alternative.
  • Let’s make where we are ok. It’s really the wisest course. “But I am suffering!” we say to ourselves, feeling miserable. We can tune into the big picture of Life, breathe. This is temporary. When momentum of unwanted is rolling? Pushing against anything just makes more of it.
  • Shifting the Tide
  • Put our mind on something or some activity we love to do will help.

One friend enjoys riding a horse. Another woman goes out to pull weeds from her garden. Others might take a run, watch tv, make a special dish in the kitchen. Infinite possibilities for having some fun.  

  • As we distract ourselves and some time passes, we feel somewhat calmer.

 A Story Elaborates: Background

One evening near her bedtime Davina discovered she had neglected her personal bank account such that she missed notices of overdrafts. Fortunately D’s bank used funds in a savings account resulting in a fee – but all her bills were in fact paid. Davina had a strong emotional reaction to this error she had made.

What did she do?

First, she got sufficiently calm to figure out what had happened and to move money into the appropriate account.

Then our heroine telephoned a sympathetic friend and shared. Both women admitted how overstressed they both felt. As the call unfolded, both had laughed and made it ok to miss some details and to be human on this journey.

Soon D wanted to turn in for the night and get refreshment.

As she lay there, her mind still shaken started to review her error and stimulated the strong recent upset.

Now how to become relaxed enough to sleep?

She had realized that there was no imminent danger. She had made corrections. The guilt and shame D was feeling were old habits and were not the truth of her value.

Yes she feared what horrible thing she might do next. Letting all kinds of thoughts rise in her mind, stirred the pot of “what she did not want.”  The thoughts running were alarmist and not a reflection of reality.

Davina had training in Jin Shin Jyutsu, art which specializes in assisting with a return to balance. D put hands on herself in the positions for “extreme emotional distress.”  D put her right hand on her left side where her neck meets her shoulder.

Held that  for a good chunk of minutes. Then laying on her left side, she put her left hand on the middle neck and her right hand on her right sit bone.

After many minutes, our star felt soothing vibration, relaxing and then an ability to sleep.

Best she could, she called up memories of times she received love and comfort, others helping her.

She knew it was ok to be upset and it was ok that winding down took some time. The momentum of the upset did not release as quickly as she would prefer. We are ok if we are human and allow ourselves the time it takes to rebalance.

Take Away Message

A human cannot go from feeling awful to radiant and delighted in one sweep. Make it ok to feel it and ok to allow recovery. In our culture it is common to deny the feeling and put a smile on your face. Instead, it is more effective to find the blaance bit by bit and then to move gradually into coming back to ease. Offer yourself gift of some time, Flow with the momentum and enjoy the returning to calm and to joy. Flow with the momentum and allow recovery bit by bit.

Have some experience with this you would like to share? Please comment! Have a question?  This author will respond 😊

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