All I can think to do is write. I have just received news of someone’s deceitful actions, and I am angry and heartbroken. I am also achingly grateful for the person who delivered the message, as she was hoping to arm me with information and time to process before I must encounter the hurtful person.

Whenever emotional pain strikes, part of me enters observational mode: I am fascinated by the physical discomfort that arises as a result of anger and grief. Roiling around the edges of my heart, the tight squeeze of my skull, the search for security as I curl my body into a ball: That acute, palpable physical sensation immediately accompanies the sweep of emotions only serves to deepen my allegiance to nature- and spirit-based healing modalities. Our bodies, minds, and emotions are fully, undeniably connected, as evidenced by this latest experience.

What to do? First, I sat, stunned into stillness, and now I move toward my sense of spirit, God, and the Universe’s overarching guidance. Sometimes I wonder what I would do if I had no sense of anything other than this material earthly realm: What becomes of one, then? I judge not; I genuinely can not conceive of how I would have and continue to move through this lifetime without an abiding awareness of something beyond all of this.

I decided to post these thoughts, because although this piece arose out of a need to soothe myself, each and every one of us gets “hit” as a part of Life. As my aim for Everything Elsa is to share the variety of “navigational” modalities that I have been fortunate to learn, this particular instance exemplifies my process; even if it is not your approach, it may serve as a reminder that we have the ability to choose and temper our responses. In so doing, we can surprise and uplift ourselves—or allow ourselves to be uplifted—in the midst of pain.

So, what comes next as I begin to internally address my simmering mind and weeping heart? As I begin to attend to my pain and observe the shifts in emotion and perspective, I am going to note each step as the moments unfold, so that you can pull bits and pieces that resonate with you; then, you can modify or expand upon them to suit your needs and sensibilities.

First, I thought about how to rally and rise: comfort, steady, and bolster. I wanted to bathe my emotions just as I might sink sore muscles into a hot tub; I brewed herbal orange tea to soothe and warm my sensitive heart. Then, I sifted through my mental “kundalini catalog,” so that I could practice a healing, fortifying kriya. These small steps were “my way,” but they point to the essence of the process: Discern a source of comfort, be it movement, music, conversation, or a warm bath; set your foundation, and build from there.

At this juncture, I checked in on myself: Although I was beginning to feel more aligned with what my spiritual beliefs would decree for me in this situation, I was not fully confident that I would maintain my composure in the face of my challenger. Further, I realized that although I was focused on transforming my thoughts and feelings, part of me also held to a desire that I recognized as the true culprit in my unsettled soul: I somehow, somewhere inside of me, held to a hope that in turning my attention away from “The Manipulator,” I could change what had happened. Of course, I can not, and I am able to offer a small smile to myself for the child-like thought .

Today’s process resurrects the oft-quoted paraphrase of Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see.” And yet, today I find myself reading the phrase a bit differently than I have in the past. Previously, I would have envisioned “change” as the way I wanted things to go; however, today I suddenly read the words as partner to the (also paraphrased) Yiddish proverb: “We make plans, and God laughs.”

As my thoughts began to take me in a direction unforeseen, I simultaneously noticed that the earlier emotions and sensations had melted and spread away from my heart center. This flow outward, toward the peripheries of my physical and spiritual being, signals what can only ever be—for me— the one true hope: To travel always in the company of God and the Universe. As I detach from needing things to go a certain way, and from expecting others to behave a certain way, my strength returns.

Again, today’s entry was written in “real time,” a near stream-of-consciousness: However, the “consciousness” deepened through observation, patience, and faith. My process unfolded in this particular situation in accordance with my background, the specifics of the circumstances, and in resonance with the cosmological energies of this moment in time. Our progressions and regressions are unique to each of us, and they may not always take us where we thought they would; and yet, ultimately, I believe that we proceed exactly as the Universe intended all along.

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