Stop, Drop &...
Article by Kimberly Poppe, 21 July 2016
Stop, Drop &....
Kimberly Poppe has been immersed in Buddhist study and practice for the last 20 years. She has received personal instruction and training from some of the greatest Tibetan teachers of our time, and was encouraged to teach meditation. Kimberly leads meditation workshops and retreats around the world. It's our pleasure to have her at the Inner Peace Conference, and so we asked her to share 3 tips with us on how she (re)connects to her own inner peace.
When I was asked to write this piece, the brief was to share three tips that help me re(connect) to my own inner peace. What immediately came to my mind was a phrase that I had not thought of for many years, since I was a little girl in primary school. It was a phrase that we were taught in the unlikely event that we (or our clothes) physically caught on fire. An obvious connection, right? Isn’t it funny how our minds work? Anyways, the saying, which must have been catchy since I still remember it, was: STOP DROP & ROLL.
Luckily, I have not caught on fire literally, but there have been myriad times in my life when I have mentally or emotionally caught on fire. Reflecting on what helps me the most in those times (when I remember to do it!) is this:
Physically stop. Stop moving. Stay still. Stand still. Sit still. Lie still.
Drop doing. Drop your computer, your phone (maybe not literally). Drop thinking—speculating, ruminating, worrying, re-hashing, catastrophising. Drop trying to “figure it out”, or “fix” it, or make it go away.
Simply be aware of whatever is happening in the present moment, whatever sounds you hear, whatever you see, whatever you feel physically, your breath. You don’t have to think or have an opinion about any of these, or try to change anything about them. Just simply be aware of what is actually happening right now.
Simply notice how you feel mentally, emotionally. You don’t have to think about how you feel, but just allow yourself to simply feel however you feel in that moment.
Just be, with whatever is happening. Without trying to change it. Without trying to make it go away. Without trying to make it be different or “better”. Without judging it. And if you notice you are trying to do any of those things, then just be with that, just feel that.
The real trick or tip is not to apply “being” as a technique or a method to try to make something uncomfortable go away, which has an aggressive and suppressive quality to it, but to really be willing to be, whatever happens.
For me, this word allow is so helpful because so often we, or at least I often feel, that I’m not allowed to feel how I actually feel or that I “shouldn’t” feel how I actually feel. When I allow myself to just be how I am, it brings me a tremendous sense of space.
This doesn’t mean that then I have to act out on how I feel in a harmful way or wallow and indulge in the feelings for a long time. Rather, it gives more space to see more clearly, to make wiser decisions, to move through things.
Just being is a real act of love for oneself and when we start to find this for ourselves, then we can give this space to others also, by just being present for them without trying to “change” or “fix” them.
It is from this inner space that we can find more inner peace, no matter what is happening.
So… Next time you catch on fire (not literally): STOP, DROP, BE. Try it out!
Learn about more ways to (re)connect to your inner peace with Kimberly!