Ep #227: Turn Suffering into Joy
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Hey there and welcome back! Alrighty guys, I’m still on this same topic of this messy in the middle and suffering and all the human stuff, and that is what I’m going to talk about today. I want to talk about suffering, and whether it is optional or mandatory, you know, as part of this whole human experience. So, first of all, let’s determine what is suffering. Suffering is the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship. Pain, distress, or hardship is experienced or being subjected to something bad or unpleasant, wow, right? Well, there are a lot of things that are unpleasant and there’s a lot of feelings that are uncomfortable, that feel painful and distressful or even hard.
But what I wanted to talk about today is – what if we don’t resist the suffering? Then what? Like, if we knew that, in order to experience love, we would have to experience grief. What if we knew that, going in like, “okay, I love you and that means I will experience grief at some point, even if it’s in disappointment, there will be some sort of suffering”? Would you be willing to experience it with free will? Like, or if, let’s say, in order to have peace, you may experience chaos or conflict in order to get to the peace.
That’s actually my life’s work – 6th lines and Gene Keys, which is all about getting to peace as a teacher of peace. But there may be some conflict that stirs things up in order to get to the peace. Like there might be some actual chaos and conflict in order to get to the peace. Then would I be willing to experience that in order to experience peace? Like these are the sorts of questions that you can ask yourself: Is it better to be pained and suffer just to have loved? Because what if you went through a lifetime without experiencing love or joy or ease, which is the opposite of hardship? Right? Like what if you just knew going in, “It’s going to be worth it, even though I have to experience this”? Would you feel differently about it? Would you still suffer? Because I think how deeply we suffer or how long we suffer, I think that part’s up to us. So, yes, we’re going to feel hardship, we’re going to feel disappointment, we are going to feel distress or some sense of pain. But what if we leaned into that and knew that it was a part of what we wanted? Like we just volunteered for it, like “this is going to hurt, going in any way to get the good stuff.” Then we would be fully living, right? We could take off the limitations, we can take off the barriers and we can just like, open up our heart and go all in for love and intimacy and trust. What do you think? Are you in for it, or would you rather stay away from it?
Like I think of this, like I’m suffering when I think about traveling and not knowing where to go. I’m suffering because my mind has very scary stories. But what if I just, “okay, this discomfort comes with me in order to have the freedom, in order to have the experience, I have to bring these crazy thoughts and this anxiety and tension and fear”? Maybe, if I accept it, I’ll just have it for a moment. Maybe I won’t actually have to suffer because I’m willing to experience it, to get the beautiful sights at the park and to walk out onto the lake and to smell and feel the land because that brings me ease and calm and joy.
So, am I willing to cash in with a little bit of fear, a little bit of worry, a little bit of tension, anxiety, distress, pain, like? Am I willing to experience that in order to get that? Have you ever asked yourself these questions?
So, my mentor used to say life is 50-50 and so it was just kind of like the good and the bad. I actually see it as 50-50, but I see everything as the option to be in either of the 50s at any given time. So, in other words, if you’re like, let’s say, you are in grief, if you’re not resisting it and you go all the way into it, I bet way deep down in there you would feel the love that it came from. You know, I once heard that grief is love that has no place to land.
So, think about if you’re grieving, if you have that hole, you know that emptiness, can you go into the depths of it? Can you go into the darkness, into like way, way deep into that cave of grief and see where love is? And it might turn out that the love is for you, with you, who is still here if you’re willing to explore it.
I’ve been experimenting with this for a few years now, especially when I had the sciatica incident. That was like six months long, 16 weeks on my belly, so much pain. I’ve never felt such physical pain. It felt like my body was, like the muscles were being ripped off the bones. It was unbelievable how much pain I was in, and as long as I resisted it, I suffered. I suffered greatly. And then I just had moments where I went into it all the way, as close as I could get, as dark as it was, and I got into the nitty-gritty to try to understand it. I explored it without fighting against it, and that’s actually where I found healing. Who knew? But it was not what my brain wanted to do; it was not what my mind wanted to do. I could not get those suckers on board. It was the total opposite of checking out, avoiding.
Right, we run away from pain, we run away from distress, discomfort, and what I want to offer you this week is, could you get closer to it? And as you get closer to it and you go deeper inside of it, can you find the other 50%?
Can you find the other side of it, like the love for yourself when you’re grieving, the love of something missing or something else that’s gone, something else that’s sad? Like, can you give yourself the love and the compassion and the attention whenever you are feeling down or low or sad? What if you went all the way into it? I’m sad because I can’t have what? And then go into the what.
If you could go into the what and you can explore it and you can describe it and you can visualize it, you can actually have it in that moment. It’s crazy. It’s all inside of us; it’s all inside of our brain. It’s just waiting for us to tell it what to do. We just don’t know how to do it. Naturally, we weren’t taught that. We were taught to check out, or we experienced life from checking out, and we think that’s normal, and it’s not.
So, I want you to start questioning everything about suffering. Why are you suffering today? Is there anything inside the suffering? If you became the detective, is there anything there that you could explore that would show you the other side, and you could bring that to mind, even if you just explored it for a few minutes or even a few moments? You’re getting the opposite. You’re getting the other side of it in that moment. Is that insane? So insane.
I know I keep saying that, but it’s kind of all trippy. I’m thinking of anxiety, fear.
So, my body and my heart get really tight and tense, and it’s like, “Oh my God, what if something happens? What if something goes wrong? What if I get hurt? What if, you know?” And all those stories come up. And in that moment, I go into what if? What if I’m willing to experience this discomfort, this distress, and anxiety right now? What if I don’t check out from it? What if I get closer? What if I become the investigator? I’ll go all the way into it, all the way, penetrating the very center of my heart, and I find where it is bound, where it is tight. It feels like a squeezing, and I go a little closer into it and I begin to diffuse it, like I begin to break into it just by having my attention on it. And what happens is it begins to open and expand, it begins to let a little bit of breath in, and it begins to pulsate, begins to come back on board. And right there, as it’s beginning to expand and open, you’re not suffering.
The secret is to turn or transmute the suffering into something else. Now, I’m not saying to bypass it, I’m not saying to avoid it, I’m saying to experience it all the way through until it dissolves. Now you might have to do this several times a day. You may have to do it hundreds of times, but each time you do it, you are training that muscle, and you are teaching yourself how to do it, and eventually, it will become automatic. I get it. I watch it happen more often now than not, but in the past, it wasn’t that way because I was like, “Not again, will this ever end? It’s always coming back.”
I had these stories around it. And here’s why, and this is the secret to this whole episode, here is why it’s important. Because we think we shouldn’t suffer at all, we think we could permanently end suffering, and we make that our mission. And it’ll never happen. The time that you experience it will shorten, and so it won’t be as extreme, it won’t last as long, but it’ll always be there because we signed up for this. We signed up for this experience, we signed up for all of it. We can’t have love without the grief. We can’t have ease without the hard. We need the contrast, and so know that the contrast is an indicator of what is coming, which is the opposite.
I see this in coaching so often. Clients come, or even coaches that I train, and they want to never suffer again. They want to figure out this coaching thing so they can quit suffering because, at some point in time, there was relief that happened during a coaching session. That happens, and we get this dopamine hit because we get relief, and it’s from being seen and heard and someone holding space for us to move through it. And then we get this breakthrough, and it feels so good, and then our mind thinks that we can have that all of the time. It’s not true; it’s a setup. It’s a setup for suffering.
Listen, go into it, write about it, talk about it, sing about it, draw pictures about it. This is what pain feels like. This is what distress feels like. This is what anxiety feels like. This is what hurt and hard feels like and looks like. Take at least 90 seconds, just stay with it. If you can go three minutes, even better.
Just go, don’t make it a contest, but give yourself at least a taste of it before you give up. And if you need help, call a friend, hire a coach, get someone to help you as you explore this, and I guarantee you this is the path out of so much suffering. You’re still going to have moments of it. You’re still going to experience the other 50% because we got to have the shadow to have the light. It’s just how it works. But that thing can last moments instead of years or moments instead of months. And even if you just taught yourself to hop out and get a taste of something else and then go back in just to build a muscle, then that’s okay too.
I would love to hear your experience of suffering, and maybe you disagree with me. I would love to know what you think is the answer to it, or why you think you suffer. I wholeheartedly believe it’s because we resist it; if we allowed it, if we watched and witnessed and then allowed it to pass through. Nothing lasts forever. The only thing that is certain is change. It has to change, and so if you can pass through it, then you come out on the other side, and you get the light side, you get the higher version side. But if you keep resisting it and you keep pushing against it and you quit disliking it and hating on it and fighting against it, then you continue to suffer because you are in the fight. When you allow and you let it be there, you acknowledge it, you have compassion and empathy and love and expansion for yourself. It just goes away. It’s fascinating, not easy, not easy.
There are moments of hardship in life, but if you want ease, you have to experience those difficult times. That’s how you’ll learn the difference between the two. If I want to experience more ease, then I have to allow all the uncertainty and discomfort that comes with it. I might have to sweat it out, pound it out, cry it out, or write, journal, or walk – whatever works for me. For me, it’s mostly talking. When I feel like this is a great time for me to record a podcast or teach about it, or work with a client, it helps me process it because I’m in it and with it.
However, when I try to avoid these difficulties, I see it in my clients when they’re growing their business. The hardest days are when they don’t get the results they want, when they’re not making money, when they don’t have clients, or when someone quits or doesn’t sign up. Those are the days with the most suffering. It can be daunting, heavy, and incredibly challenging. Sometimes it makes me think, “I don’t want to do this anymore. I hate it. I’m confused.”
All that stuff comes up because they want things to be different. They don’t think they should suffer at all and believe that clients should come easily. That’s where we set ourselves up for disappointment. But what if that’s not true? What if clients shouldn’t come easily? What if money shouldn’t just appear out of nowhere? What if it’s not easy? If we can accept that it’s not easy, we can be willing to go through the challenges and experience them to get what we want. It’s about embracing the mess in the middle.
The cool part is that we can take ourselves there with our minds. All we have to do is close our eyes, squeeze our toes, pull ourselves down into our bellies, our hearts, and bring it into our bodies. Then, use our breath to anchor ourselves and imagine the thing we want, visualizing it until we feel it. That’s how we train ourselves out of suffering. We transmute it, pivot out of it, and change our trajectory into what we want. So, we take the suffering and use it as fuel to propel ourselves to the other side, to where we want to go.
The suffering of disappointment from not having the business you want is actually the signal to take you into the imagination of clients who are happy and satisfied, and you being satisfied and making money while offering something valuable. You can imagine this, right? It’s what I offer. The world has immense value, and I profit and live an abundant life because of that, serving and offering value in exchange for support and monetary compensation. It feels so good; I feel so satisfied. My clients are so happy. You can take yourself there.
I promise you, if you need help, come to the More Than Mindset Facebook group. If you know someone who needs to hear this, share it with a friend. Make sure you sign up for Wellness Week. Five days. We’re going to talk about this. We’re going to discuss mind, body, wellness, and all things related to less suffering. Got it? Have a great week and really embody this. See where it takes you.
Just go get yourself a brand-new journal or notebook and start writing about it. As you’re writing about it, start drawing the thing you want and talking about the thing you want, and you will feel this come alive in your body. You will feel it happen. And then, when you’re feeling that, what will happen is you will start to attract those things into your life. They’re magnetized.
Alright, let me know how it goes.
Thanks for listening to this episode of More Than Mindset.