By Jewel Safren, LCSW

No, I am not a magician. But I have learned that I can be at two places at the same time — and so can you.

Normally we are so caught up in the circumstances of our lives. We are so caught up in our feelings and thoughts that it’s kind of like we are drowning in our experience. If we are upset or having a hard time we get totally consumed by it. It seems our well-being comes in fleeting random moments, those almost-blissful moments where we have an experience that “everything is OK.” It’s almost like we’re either standing in a storm, or we find ourselves standing for a minute in a sudden calm.

What I want to talk about with you now is the possibility of standing in two places in your mind at the same time. You can be upset about something, and at the same time you can have an inner knowledge that everything will be all right. I like to picture this as the eye of the storm — which I hear is totally calm. Or like the bottom of the ocean, which I hear is also calm — even when the top of the ocean is raging. Both are part of the ocean. Both are part of the storm.

It’s a balancing act. That place of eternal OK-ness that is a part of each of us is beyond all the thoughts and commotion of our imaginings. The still-small voice within is always there. And we can still hear it, even during the storms in our lives.

Have you ever been really upset about something, but there was still a part of you that knew that everything would be OK? That’s what I am talking about when I say that you can be in two places at the same time. You can be weeping over the death of a parent and still know, deep deep deep inside, that you will be OK — at the same time. You can be experiencing overwhelming grief when a child leaves home — but underneath it all you know that you will be OK. This is a place beyond our circumstances, the calm at the bottom of the ocean. You are the whole ocean, not just the top.

When you have a deep understanding of the truth of this concept, you can turn towards the calmer place instead of drowning in your swirling emotions. It can take the edge off of the intensity of your experience, and give you a little space between what you are feeling and the deep you, which is eternal. It’s not that the troubling emotions will go away; it’s just that they won’t trouble you as much. You can have a deep understanding that no matter what happens, you will still be OK.

I’m not saying that I’m totally enlightened; that’s not what this is about. It’s just that no matter how sad, angry, depressed or afraid I am feeling (which of course I still feel), most of the time I can still connect to that place of calmness, even if just a little bit. Can you imagine how calming that can be?

You will never have calm waters in your life for more than a very short period of time. But that doesn’t have to mean that you never feel calm outside of those brief moments. Nothing in the physical world will ever be able to calm you, nurture you or satisfy you for more than a few moments. But when you can tap into that deep place inside you, where God lives, you can feel God’s presence. And then you will be able to weather the storms of life with some degree of equanimity and calm. You can witness the upset and the chaos, without being consumed by it. You can stand in the storm, but still have one foot in that Godly presence.

Jewel Safren MSW, LSW, LCSW has over 35 years of experience in counseling, life coaching and public-speaking coaching. She has worked with people all over the US and in Europe, and runs popular personal growth workshops, webinars and classes. She is recommended by Rabbi Dr. Akiva Tatz; Rabbi Jonathan Rietti, B.Ed, M.Sci.; Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn and Rabbi Mordechai Becher. She lives in West Orange with her hubby and two kids, and has two married kids and two grandsons living in California. You can contact Jewel at 973-464-8556 or, if you would like to be on her mailing list or for more information, visit jewelsafrenlcsw@gmail.com.