There’s a reason why this Rumi poem makes the rounds: A lot of us operate on the mistaken belief that uncomfortable feelings and “negative” thoughts are “bad.” Perhaps it’s a result of misguided interpretations of the “law of attraction,” or what it means to “follow your heart,” or “raise your vibration.” Whatever the case, what we push away or ignore tends to keep knocking on our door, looking for attention, sometimes incessantly, other time taking us by surprise years later, long after we thought we’d moved on.

When we shift out of a protective, adversarial, or fearful stance into a strong, compassionate center, we can welcome those difficult feelings and ugly thoughts for the messages that they bring us. After all, our internal guidance system is not just made of of YES, but NO, and also MAYBE, and perhaps most frustratingly of all, NO ANSWER (yet). To be deeply connected to the Self, you must be able to discern when any of these responses well up from inside, far from your chattering mind and all the other opinionated voices in your life.

One of my students has been learning to sit with her NO and other uncomfortable feelings. She was recently rendered speechless—literally dumbstruck by her own inner wisdom—when she realized their value. She had spent so much time and effort being angry and pushing away that “bad energy,” and missing their messages. Once she started to open to them, she came to deeper truths on various matters in her life (and also solved the mystery of a recurring headache!).

I let her sit in silence for a few minutes during our call and suggested she take more time afterward to integrate all the energy opening up for her. She felt like she was letting go of all those old beliefs that were no longer true for her. She said it was “freeing” to remove those barriers, but also disorienting. Understatement of the year! This work is deceptively simple, but extremely powerful. Reach out if you want to experience it for yourself while I hold space for you!


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