Bernadette Petrie tells us nothing in this life is permanent.

As I sit down to write my column, I am a day late, having wasted precious energy fretting over an estimated utilities bill, which sent me into a total head spin. Ironically, I’m also on the eve of publishing my first self-help book – Permission To Shine. But with my deadline looming and a head full of angst, I feel far from shiny. But as my soon-to-be published book appeared in my in-box, I scrolled through and trusted I would find the self help I needed, to hear myself again. 

As I read thought no 37 ‘Nothing in this life is permanent’, I heard my inner wisdom whisper; “What will make you feel better?” I believe this is one of the most important questions we can ever ask ourselves. As spiritual beings on a human adventure we came here to feel our way. Our time here isn’t permanent, as we will move on to another adventure after this one. Death isn’t permanent. We will emerge again and again. The futures are infinite. However, we are on this earth now, and we only ever experience things in the here and now, so when things are feeling tough we need to reassure our minds that the next now might not feel the same. 

Take a look at how the thought; ‘nothing in this life is permanent’ could help you shift on a daily basis. “None of my family and friends understand me – nothing in this life is permanent.” “My boss is horrible – nothing in this life is permanent.” “My jeans are too tight – nothing in this life is permanent.” “I hate my job – nothing in this life is permanent.” “I feel so ashamed – nothing in this life is permanent.” “I will never get over this – nothing in this life is permanent.” “I don’t know what I’m doing – nothing in this life is permanent.” “I’m so broke – nothing in this life is permanent.” “I feel rubbish – nothing in this life is permanent.” 

When bad things happen, we wrongly believe things will not change and this belief causes so much suffering. But, actually, we have two choices. We can believe the thought, feed it and make sure that it lasts longer than it needs to – as I did yesterday. Or we can focus on the thought; ‘nothing in this life is permanent’. Focus on what we can do, in the here and now, to feel better, then repeat and repeat. 

Don’t judge what it looks like. If you feel angry, it might mean standing on the top of a mountain and screaming your lungs out or punching some pillows. If you feel lethargic or ill, it might mean some tender loving care for yourself, taking a nap with a hot water bottle. If you feel afraid, it might mean sharing those fears with someone you trust or taking steps to do the thing that scares you, so fear doesn’t win. 

That to me feels exciting, being present with it all. It certainly feels better to acknowledge that on a daily basis, things  happens to throw us into a tailspin – but it will pass, and we always have the resources inside and around us to navigate through.

This column is an extract from Bernadette’s first book ‘Permission To Shine’ published May 2019 

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