Many people I know (including me!) get stuck in painful thoughts after a traumatic event such as loss of a loved one, a financial hit, sudden illness or injury, or a relationship breakup. As a spiritual healer, I release the negative energy around painful thoughts at the spiritual level, but I soon realized I also needed a specifically mental tool to be of greater service to my clients.
I discovered the PEACE Method® in the book Grief Relief in 30 Minutes by prominent grief counselor Aurora Winter. It has given me just what I needed to help myself and others when we get stuck in painful thought cycles. It’s easy to learn, remember, and use. I’ll outline the method below and share an example from the book to help you walk through this method when you need relief from your next painful thought.
This method can create powerful and lasting shifts in perception in 15-30 minutes. It is best to work with ONE painful thought at a time, and if you are working on your own, to journal your thoughts with each step. You can use the PEACE Method® as a daily journaling process to bring clarity and mental peace as you work through healing from any type of trauma that produces painful thoughts.
P – Present moment. Allow yourself to return to fully being in your body in the present moment. My 5-Steps Process that I teach my clients works well for this (detailed in SpiritWalking 101, available as a free gift to my subscribers on www.susansinclair.org); also, a short walk, a few words of prayer or affirmation, or even just a few deep breaths can bring you back to the present.
From here, notice if your problem is in the present, past, or future. You cannot change the past, and you cannot solve all potential future problems. But you CAN deal with this one problem right here, right now. The present moment is your moment of power to create change.
EXAMPLE: Agatha was grieving over the sudden death of her aunt and regretted missing the chance to talk with her aunt one last time. Aurora brought Agatha into the present moment with a brief meditation inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh, using breath and gentle words to invite Agatha back into her body, into the moment, and into a state of openness to receive clarity, new consciousness, and peace of mind.
E – Express your feelings fully. Talk the feelings out with a trusted friend, counselor or coach, or write them in your journal. You must FEEL it to HEAL it.
In this step, it’s important to realize the difference between thoughts and feelings. If you say, “I feel that….” or “I feel you…”, you are not expressing a feeling but a thought/judgment/assessment. True feeling words are words like sad, happy, lonely, afraid, etc. Even to say “I feel betrayed” is actually a judgment rather than a feeling. The real feeling is “I feel angry BECAUSE she/he did this…” So practice truly KNOWING your feelings and expressing those freely and fully in this step.
EXAMPLE: Agatha recognized that her thought of “I missed my chance” concerned the past, which she could not change, but only accept and forgive. She expressed tearful sadness and a feeling of being “really little.”
A – Acceptance. This means you stop making war with things as they are or were, and accept the current or past situation as it is. This releases friction and creates the possibility of momentum in creating a better future.
After acceptance, it is good to go deeper, into actual appreciation of the situation in some way. Some good questions to activate appreciation are, “What’s good about this that I haven’t seen yet?” “What’s right about this situation?” “How is this helping me grow?”
EXAMPLE: Agatha acknowledged that the thought, “I missed my chance,” was being in God’s business rather than her own. Thinking this was God’s business made her feel “lighter,” a good indication of spiritual truth. Agatha opened up to allowing the fact that her aunt was dead without making war on it—accepting it simply as useful information. Then she could actually appreciate that her aunt was no longer suffering physically.
C – Consider the Contrary. This is a powerful way to create a quantum leap in your consciousness around a situation. Suffering comes when the whole truth is not considered, with all possibilities. If you are suffering, consider the contrary of your painful thought. This allows your mind the chance to search for evidence to support your new thought.
Considering the contrary also releases you from thinking in “either/or” terms and opens you to see things as “both/AND,” which moves you out of the trap of duality and judgment. So create an opposite thought, and check to see if it actually feels “truer” than your original, painful one.
EXAMPLE: Agatha created a “consider the contrary” thought of “I DIDN’T miss my chance.” Then she explored how that contrary thought was actually true. Agatha believed that her aunt still lived beyond the body, that we are all connected, and that her aunt could still feel the love Agatha was sending her. Agatha also realized that when she shifted her focus from “I missed my chance” and the regret and pain that created, to “I DIDN’T miss my chance” and the TRUTH that she still had many chances, every day, to send love and appreciation to her aunt and connect with her in spirit–the result was that Agatha felt lighter and freer. Again, an excellent barometer of spiritual truth–that sense of feeling lighter when you state a belief.
E – Enthusiasm. This means to be inspired or filled with the Divine. In other words, once you have the clarity of insight gained from the first four steps above, decide on an action or state of being that will rekindle enthusiasm and joy within you.
One suggested question to help you open up to enthusiasm is: “What would make me feel better RIGHT NOW?” Other questions to connect you with enthusiastic action are “What would I really love doing about this now?” “What can make me feel significant here?” “What can I do to make me feel that time is just flying by?”
EXAMPLE: Agatha felt genuine enthusiasm for sending her aunt love, gratitude, and best wishes for where her aunt was now. She was led to send her aunt the Buddhist loving-kindness meditation, and follow it with her own personal words of love and thanks to her beloved aunt. Agatha felt a deep sense of peace and well-being, and was able to move forward in her life with new wisdom and empowerment.
I am very grateful to Aurora Winter for sharing this simple, yet profound PEACE Method® to help turn painful thoughts into peaceful ones. As Aurora counsels in her book, “Feeling good is not a luxury. It is an essential first step to achieving any goal.”
So allow yourself a 30-minute PEACE process and experience the difference it can make for you. Please know that, while your individual work in journaling the PEACE Method® can be highly effective, receiving the support of a spiritual counselor, healer, or coach is essential to ease and speed your healing process. Support in a challenging time is not just a “nice to have,” it is absolutely NECESSARY to help you create the life you desire out of the struggle you are experiencing.
For personal counsel and healing to release painful thoughts at their spiritual root level, and to receive more support in walking through the PEACE Method®, please visit my Intuitive Readings page, or contact me directly at susan[at]susansinclair.org.
I also offer in-depth complimentary consulting sessions to help you start to find peace from right where you are.
For specifically grief-related coaching, please visit Aurora Winter’s grief coaching website.
And click here for more information on Grief Relief in 30 Minutes.
Blessings as you create new peace out of old pain <3