The art of not freaking out

Getting mugged in Paris was a lot like having breast cancer. I could have freaked way out, but I didn’t.

I realised again last week that I’m pretty good at not freaking out when others would expect me to. I was on my way to the first ultra sound I’d had since the lumpectomy and although I had been nervous about it that week, as we walked to the hospital I realised I was totally peaceful. It wasn’t that I was thinking about it or not, it’s just that my mind had found a space of silence and I was sitting in it.

In this space of silence, I wasn’t thinking about ‘What if the results are bad? What will happen then?’ as many do. We worry about the future before it gets here, but what I know is that it doesn’t help to wonder ‘What if it doesn’t work out?’ Better to ask, ‘What if it does work out?’

But on that day I didn’t even get that far. I wasn’t being stoically silent or pushing feelings down. I was just present.

Forest walk in Switzerland

PRESENCE will set you free.

At the age of 24 I didn’t feel very free. My mind was caught in this loop of thinking about the past. One of my ex-boyfriends even told me I was ‘lost in the past’, always bringing up old memories and wishing things could be that way again. Then came another ex that I couldn’t let go of and I knew I didn’t want to be this way anymore. The jealousy was corroding my insides.

Just at that time a book called Absolute Happiness arrived in my life and then a trip to India, both of which taught me how to  quiet the cacophony of voices in my head. I was tired of the commentary. I wanted peace & quiet.

The period of my life that followed was truly golden. The most amazing opportunities showed up and life unravelled before me in a magical way. Life was a big adventure – for real.

This is what happens when we’re present.

Fast forward to last year and my homesickness. What happens when you’re homesick? You’re always thinking about the home and therefore, living in the past. I was in Switzerland, but in my mind I lived back in Perth.

I thought of this recently when reading a quote from my favourite Caroline, a medical intuitive with 30 years experience,

I have seen people spend 40 years coping with some remark that was made in three seconds. People can wake up every morning and spend vital energy just managing their personal history. Their past is more real than their present, so they keep recreating it. So what’s left over to run their present lives is an inadequately small percentage of their overall electro-magnetic field. They are often living in 40 different time zones simultaneously. That’s why people like this can’t make anything happen. They are eternal nouns, with no verbs. That’s what being dysfunctional really means. They are under a spell. When they finally wake up and ask, ‘What am I doing this for? I have to let go of this.’ Once they can forgive, then their energy comes back and they lift off. Finally they have put a noun and a verb together.

– Caroline Myss, PhD

It was the ‘living in 40 different time zones simultaneously’ that got me. I had been living in 2 timezones at least, but having made the choice to come back to Switzerland with my husband after 3 months in Perth following my operation, the work is now living here and not freaking out when it rains so much.

When we are completely living in the present moment we are most powerful.

And how do we do that?

There is a space between the action and the reaction and when we sit in it, the space grows wider.
Secret Garden in Ascona

Having the necklace ripped from my neck and my dress torn in the Paris metro was shocking and disappointing (I’d taken two hours to get ready!) but at the same time I wasn’t going to let that guy ruin my photo shoot. I went back to the hotel with the photographer to pin my dress and then as we travelled to the shoot I just sat in this space of presence. There were no thoughts that it shouldn’t have happened and nor did I think about the thief.

What I did do after I’d come back to the hotel was I got support. I was encouraged to talk about my feelings (which took some digging until they were found and released) and to forgive and we also spoke about a deeper meaning to it – another reason I liken the experience to having breast cancer.

This deeper meaning is essential in not seeing yourself as a victim. When you view your life symbolically, you know that nothing happens ‘to you’ but ‘for you’.

So that’s what I did.

And then I let go of it.


Mireille Parker active healing coach

Are you ready to set yourself free?

If you would love to learn how to heal the wounds, release the victim and start living with presence to create a more pleasure-filled life, book your free discovery call today. 



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