When things go wrong, what helps?

Cover for What Helps border“We’ve been filled with great treasure for one purpose – to be spilled.” ~ Yoko Ono

When we are unsatisfied with our lives or when things go wrong, where can we find the best wisdom?

It’s a funny old thing, wisdom. There are infinite amounts available out there. When seeking it you can choose from reading thousands of books from throughout the ages, asking your friends, listening to Dharma talks, studying at Universities, attending groups…

And yet… We are often more resistant than we think to new wisdom, which threatens the status quo. Sometimes wisdom is like the drip drip drip of water which, over decades, wears a deep hole into rock. Sometimes it is like a big old pile of snow on the roof above us which suddenly envelops us with a SWOOSH!!! Sometimes it is like sweet rain that never penetrates our umbrella and rainproof clothing (which we think are keeping us safe), not even a teensy weensy bit.

I have been filled with great treasures over the years. The rain falls on me in my ongoing psychotherapy training, my own therapy sessions, and my sessions with my own clients. It has flooded me through my experience in 12 step groups. I have bathed in it during my adventures as a spiritual seeker and as a Buddhist Priest. Lots of it has run straight off me, but I’ve managed to soak plenty up.

I’ve poured whatever I can into my new book, ‘What Helps: Sixty Slogans to Live By’. The book is my attempt at distilling everything wonderful I’ve ever been given into a few dozen short phrases. It also contains clutches of questions you can ask yourself, stories about my own patchwork experience, and generous helpings of inspiration, consolation and hope.

The book will be out soon, and I can’t wait to pass what I’ve got on. In the meantime, what wisdom do you think you might have been resisting? If you stopped deciding that certain people/books/places didn’t have anything to offer you, what might you receive from them? What treasures do you have to pass on, and how do you already do that? (to your children, your work colleagues etc.) How else might you pass it on?