The final Soul-Centered Series starts this Friday, and there are just a few spots left. It is with curiosity and excitement that Angus and I await to see who is going to complete the group of this final class.

I can feel the energy moving inside of me already. I always feel like the program starts as soon as you sign up for it, and Angus and I signed up for this back in April when we decided to do it one last time!

In the midst of the final preparations, I noticed that my habit of picking the skin around my fingers has flared up. I know this is a reflection of my state of mind, and for the first time ever, I am grateful that this is showing up. There have been more difficult times in the past where my state of mind would be reflected back to me in other areas, in particular, in my relationship with Angus.

I used to be blind as to how the difficulties I experienced in our relationship were a reflection of my own state of mind and nothing to do with our relationship. I used to fixate on how to fix and improve our relationship when I was scared and anxious thinking if I could just figure the relationship out my suffering would go away. Of course, it would just tie me up in knots and leave me feeling very ambivalent about our relationship, with no diminishment of my suffering whatsoever.

As unappealing as skin picking is, I do recognize this as progress. And for the first time, I am feeling genuine compassion for myself around it. I feel room for the humanness of my feeling overstretched. I don’t have to have it all together as I show up in the world. Getting everything done, staying on top of things, preparing the container for the program, it is stirring up my anxious thoughts. I might not be that aware of it, but the state of my fingers lets me know.

Our coping mechanisms can seem so removed from our experience of anxiety and fear. They can seem completely unrelated. I have no idea why my wisdom had me start chewing my cuticles around age 10 as a way to soothe myself, but that is how it showed up for me. It also showed up in a myriad of other ways throughout my life such as perfectionism and fault finding in my intimate relationships.

What is it for you?

What are the coping mechanisms that give you feedback about your state of mind?

I ask because what I have found is that when I see my coping mechanisms as an indicator of how much I am caught up in my ego’s perceptions of separation and fear, compassion is the natural response. Instead of judgment, shame, and repulsion, kindness appears. 

Are you open to seeing your coping mechanisms this way?

Not because it will change them or stop them, but simply to allow yourself to become more present with yourself. Can you see the coping mechanism for what it is — a cry for help? Seeing this allowed me to get present with the cry and actually see more clearly what would be helpful.

Previously, when all I could see were my judgments, the by-product was shame. This provided more fuel for the behavior. This time, in my witnessing, I have room for my emotions. I have room for the level of consciousness I am at with its unenlightened limitations. I have space for my fear. And in my presence, I am not consumed by my fear or my coping mechanism. In being with my experience, there is love. There is compassion. There is a feeling of being held and supported that is beyond my personal self. That is wellbeing.

Sharing my imperfections goes against the grain of all my conditioning. My ego screams in dismay, but the gift of the understanding shared by Sydney Banks has me not be that bothered by this. I don’t mind my ego’s grumblings. Its strength and influence have shrunk considerably. I am grateful for the inner freedom I experience from being pointed in such a simple way to my spiritual nature. It is a way that is embodied and experiential. I am so thankful for all of my mentors who have loved and supported me along the way. 

There is no one way to experience who you really are. In fact, there is no way — there is just what is. Right here. Right now.

It is the acceptance of my humanness that opened my mind to experience more fully who I am beyond thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

I encourage you to look in the same direction. It is through being with what is, as it is, that you can fall into a deeper experience of who you are. Your coping mechanisms are not a problem, they are the best solution you have in that moment to bring you back to your Self. 

Coping mechanisms are not rational. They are spiritual. They are your guides. Can you listen to them with an open mind and an open heart and let them guide you back to your source? 

From looking in that direction, your coping mechanisms will take care of themselves. Some of my coping mechanisms no longer show up at all. Some disappear and are revisited once and awhile like the picking. What I see is that it is through leaving the coping mechanism alone and looking in the direction of my true nature that I find wellbeing. In that experience, no coping mechanism is needed. And when I find myself using one, it is the reminder to point me back to source.

I never knew I would have such gratitude for my picking. I didn’t realize I could love me with the behavior. I didn’t know that it was for me. It never occurred to me it was part of the oneness and not something to be eradicated so I could feel worthy.

I share openly with you in the hope that it will point you in the direction of your wholeness exactly as you are — all of you!

If you want to learn more about Sydney Banks’ teachings from his original students, click here to access a resource page. 

Rohini Ross is passionate about helping people wake up to their full potential. She is a transformative coach, leadership consultant, a regular blogger for Thrive Global, and author of the short-read Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1) available on Amazon. You can get her free eBook Relationships here. Rohini has an international coaching and consulting practice based in Los Angeles helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of well-being, resiliency, and success. She is also the founder of The Soul-Centered Series: Psychology, Spirituality, and the Teachings of Sydney Banks. You can follow Rohini on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and watch her Vlogs with her husband. To learn more about her work go to her website,