Originally posted at Medium
In this article, I want to show you how I, personally, handle difficult and stressful situations without losing my calm.
Everything here derives from personal experience, so perhaps some points won’t apply to you. Still, I believe you may find something useful here.
This entire exercise consists of visualizing your own mind as a temple, and different rooms in this temple will help you in different situations.
So, before we start with the method, we need to first “build” this temple by visualizing it’s different rooms. After that, we will learn how to use this temple we built to face the hardships of life.
Visualize a temple inside your mind.
This temple is a safe space, and is where you go when you need to think, recover or generally to be in peace.
This temple may be as magnificent or as simple as you like. You just need to feel safe and be comfortable in it.
This temple also needs to have, at the very least, three rooms:
- one made of stone, where you will protect yourself from the storm
- one made of cloth, where you will absorb the storm
- one made of nothing, where you will ignore the storm
Each of those rooms has a weakness you need to be attentive to.
You must be able to transit freely between those rooms. We will discuss this further on.
The Hardness of the Stone
Let’s talk about the Stone Room. It’s strong and imposing, and overall hard feeling.
The Stone is hard and tough, and doesn’t allow anything to go through.
The Stone gives you stability, security and strength to face the storm.
I also like to call this room the Combative Room. In this room, you stand your ground and fight against what you believe must be combated.
The problem with this room is that, if you stay there long enough, the rain will erode the stone and you will be left defenseless.
The Malleability of the Cloth
Let’s talk about the Cloth Room. It’s soft with lightweight cloths hanging from the ceiling.
The Cloth is malleable and adaptable, and things entangle in it.
The Cloth gives you flexibility, and it absorbs the rain.
In this room, you stand and listen to the storm, you learn with it and you evolve with it.
The problem with this room is that the cloth can be easily ripped apart, and you may also lose yourself amidst the hanging cloth.
The Ephemerality of the Nothing
Let’s talk about the Nothing Room. It basically doesn’t exist.
The Nothing doesn’t exist. It has no meaning or importance.
The Nothing let’s all the gale pass and go.
In this room, you put yourself above the storm, and you ignore what you acknowledge can’t affect you.
The problem with this room is that you may end indifferent and disconnected from yourself.
Locus of Control
For you to have free transit inside your temple, you must first inhabit it’s interior.
For that, you must assume full responsibility of your life, your actions and it’s consequences, and you must be the only owner of yourself.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
After awhile, passed several storms, you notice a lake has formed in the center of your temple.
This lake brings you calm, serenity and peace.
This lake is where you will reflect after the storm, where you will bathe to wash away the rain and the dust.
This lake is your essence, and it transports you somewhere else, out of this world and inside yourself.
You’re only able to access this lake because the storms you faced created it, drop by drop, and brought you closer to understanding yourself.
Inside this lake, all the sounds of the storm outside are muffled, sounding like distant echoes, too far away for you to care.
Now that your temple has been erected, let’s learn how to use it to face difficult situations.
Localize — Where do you need to be?
Before losing yourself, understand the situation before you.
In which way does it challenge you? Do you need to defend yourself from it? Use the Stone Room.
What does it demand? Can you learn from it? Use the Cloth Rom.
Does it have real importance? Do you need to worry about it? Use the Nothing Room.
Pick your room, transit between them if needed.
Breathe and trust, this shall pass.
Dive — A deep dive in yourself
Every day, when you wake up or just before you go to sleep, dive in your lake.
To do so, imagine yourself levitating above the lake. Go to the center of it and turn yourself into a water drop.
Drop into the lake, making it ripple. Become one with the lake.
You can also dive in your lake if you are unsure about which room to pick before a situation.
Inside the lake, think and reflect.
What did the last storm brought you?
Why it happened?
Could you have avoided it? If so, should you?
In silence dwell all the words.
Emerge — Back to reality
After reflecting, emerge from the lake.
You will have calmed yourself, and your thoughts will be clearer.
Observe what damage the storm caused to your walls, and rebuild them if needed.
To rebuild your walls, you will need help from your friends. Go out, talk, play and have fun, and you will eventually notice that your walls are renewed and stronger than before.
You are in control.
Breathe and trust, this also shall pass.