Inner Peace: By Dorre Ray — Have you noticed feeling worried, irritated even angry throughout the day about finances, work issues, relationships and responsibilities?

Have you noticed feeling worried, irritated even angry throughout the day about finances, work issues, relationships and responsibilities? What I've discovered is that when my emotional/mental upsets are experienced and discharged I come to a sense of peace with myself. I need emotional/mental hygiene just as I need physical hygiene. Then, forgiving myself, others and life situations is much easier. Accepting our human nature with all the different or opposing energies together allows me to claim my whole beingness. I have explored a path to inner peace that comes from using a do-it-yourself daily practice which empties out/discharges the negative emotions.

Growing up, I experienced intense internal conflict. I felt shame, guilt and embarrassment about all the negative thoughts and feelings I experienced. It never occurred to me that as humans we have this negative polarity along with the positive. Denying and repressing feelings forced a false self and false beliefs to emerge. I didn't know how important it was at the time to fully experience and accept my true self emotionally.

While at university, I was attracted to the philosophy of George Hegel as he focused on arriving at the truth by union of the opposites. This meant that I could accept the truth that I am both weak and strong.

I continued to look for my happiness externally. One day I woke up and realized it was my responsibility to make myself happy. The only problem was, I had the revelation but no tools to help me change my false beliefs (past programming) regarding myself and life such as: "I don't fit in; It is not safe to express my feelings; Life is such a struggle."

As a chiropractor, I had difficulty with personal boundaries. I took on others' pain, causing myself excessive stress. Only when I came to a sense of helplessness and not being able to make my life work did I begin to turn inward.

One day I was feeling particularly frustrated and overwhelmed. One friend accused me of being "needy" and another one commented on how insecure I was. I couldn't think of a way to defend or comfort myself. It occurred to me to try surrendering, move down inside myself and fully experience the intensity of feeling needy and insecure. I sat down at my desk, closed my eyes and sank down into the bad feelings and my embarrassment of them. Within a fairly short time, I noticed the feelings seemed to dissolve. I was aware of a space of unconditional acceptance and inner peace, which felt like my Higher Power.

This amazing experience was the beginning of learning that if I was willing to choose to be present with this part of myself, and feel the worst of these feelings, a powerful support and resource emerges inside that results in a feeling of openness and clarity.

Over time, I developed a system called Selfhood that includes a daily practice. The vision I've been given is that "Selfhood" is the liberated state of being and living the wholeness we already are, with our Higher Power in charge. The practice, using a physical tool, focuses on feeling the emotional/mental truth of the moment. This practice has four steps, which guide one through a process that empties out negative emotions in private. You no longer judge your feelings and make them wrong. The practice encourages the negative feelings to be experienced, expressed, forgiven and released. Learning to be with and accept different or opposing energies, together, has helped me to be more willing to be openhearted/minded, flexible, inclusive and more accepting of our human nature. Having my Higher Power in charge full time, I finally experience peace and trust. The practice provides a way to align and focus my energy and action today with what matters most.

With a chiropractic and teaching background Dr. Ray offers private sessions, workshops and is presently completing a Selfhood Kit for personal use and growth. Contact: dorreray@charter.net or 488-1658.

Rogue Valley residents may submit an article about Inner Peace of 650 to 700 words, to Sally McKirgan at innerpeace@q.com.