Okay, everyone, repeat after me. We are good and wonderful people —even WHEN we feel like hell.

I woke up with the blues the other day, and had a profound experience of finding my way back to some good and loving self-kindness.

Here are the steps I took. May they serve you well the next time you feel back to black.

1. Call a friend. Really, we were never meant to slog through this life alone – whether we are with a soul mate or not. Furthermore, those who care about you do want to help. So resist the urge to go off and lick your wounds alone. Generally that just makes things worse, right?

2. Remember you have no perspective. It’s your life, so generally you can’t see the forest for the trees. Just like Mark Twain thought Huckleberry Finn was a piece of trash, and Michelangelo said, about the Sistine Chapel, “I am no painter.” If you’re doubting your self worth, keep in mind your perspective is not reliable. (Then see #1 above.)

3. Expect the occasional s**tstorm. Because that’s how life is. You will know suffering just as you know joy – even sometimes at the same time. Not only is suffering a reliable life experience, but it will ultimately become your post powerful teacher. Because that’s how it is in this mortal coil.

4. Know you will be fine. Think about it. Even when times were bleak, you came out of it okay, if a bit dinged up. You always have been fine, and you always will be fine. And then one day you’ll die. Job completed. Mission accomplished. Discomfort always, inevitably leads to something better.

5. Expect a miracle (or ask for one.) Even if you don’t believe in a great spiritual organizing principle in this life, why not give it a whirl? No matter what, your mind will be soothed, your body will relax, and you will feel protected. Which ultimately leads to … yes … miracles.

6. Ask for guidance to ‘Bless it or Block it.’ This is a little trick a friend showed me who has a profound faith in a higher power that guides us all. When you are really feeling uncertain about which course to take – or so scared you literally can’t take the next step – ask Spirit to bless or block your endeavor. The answer usually follows.

7. Remember the stuff that is working in your life. Somewhere in your dark stew of an existence, there are soft, clear, sweet spots. Perhaps that’s a beloved friend, or a special place that makes you feel wonderful. Maybe even a treasured letter or photograph. Possibly it’s your work, or your health, or your kids. Name it now and thank it profusely for being in your life. Then see if that doesn’t give you a bit of a shift.

8. Know that this, too, will pass. Tomorrow you will wake up with 232 billion new cells in your body. That, alone, is reason for hope. Your life is constantly changing and evolving towards what is just ahead. So this place you’re in right now? By tomorrow, it will probably be gone.

9. Above all, believe in your own perfection. Yes, you are already perfect, just as you are, and this experience or uncertainty or doubt or dilemma is perfect, too. Easy for me to say, right? Yes! And … it’s all happening for a reason.

The key is to trust that you have everything you need, here and now, to resolve anything you must resolve.

Not only do you have everything – you are everything. You were born whole and complete, and you will die whole and complete. We were designed to be enough, and have enough, every minute of every day. Even when it doesn’t feel like it.

Once you even begin to wrap your head around this truth, the next one falls neatly into place.

10. Give back and know peace. The ultimate game changer is service, given from the heart. Try it, even if you don’t want to. What is your special gift you could give someone today?Go give it, and immediately, you really will know peace.


  • Suzanne Falter


    Suzanne speaks and writes internationally on the subject of self-care and the healing power of crisis. She's the author of The Extremely Busy Woman's Guide to Self-Care (Sourcebooks) and has contributed to O, The New York Times, SELF, Tiny Buddha, and many other publications and blogs. Suzanne is also the host of Self-Care for Extremely Busy Women podcast.  She lives in Oakland, California.