“There is a crack in everything,
that is how the light gets in.”

Leonard Cohen

When Viktor Frankl wrote Man's Search for Meaning, he expressed a fundamental truth:
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

This is the opportunity in the crisis

When we are hit with a crisis in the form of disease or adversity, we are also hit with an opportunity to make critical decisions about how we respond to the crisis.
It may seem we have lost all control over what is happening to us or our family. We might feel stripped of our strength and abilities. It is natural to feel overwhelmed, shocked, scared, and at times angry, miserable, confused. 
However, a crisis is also a catalyst for exposing our existing state of mind which, for many people, needs to change. Why? Because it is usually blocking the process that matters most. Accepting and adapting to the new reality. 
A crisis almost forces us to be mindful of the way we think. It’s crunch time. We know we will suffer more if we don’t change. That makes it possible to discover how our emotions, behaviour and thinking patterns affect everything about who we are, how we behave and what we do. 
By examining the relationship we have with our thoughts and feelings we acquire new ways of being. We are called to develop and cultivate compassionate awareness, awaken our inner strength, develop new skills, and find new meaning in our lives. 

What is the critical question?

When we face adversity, it is critical to slow down and ask ourselves a big question:


Am I resisting my adversity?

When we think lots of should/shouldn’t ideas (such as “This shouldn’t have happened to me” or “I should be able to deal with this”) our resistance to what is happening shows we are fighting with life. Fighting is exhausting but, more importantly, fighting works against healing.

Work with the crisis, not against it

There is another way.

We can seek the path of least resistance with compassionate awareness as our guide. This allows us to work with the adversity in our lives by USING the challenges to CHOOSE change.

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost
Are you willing to take the road less travelled?

Taking the Opportunity in the Crisis will ignite a deep realisation. We are not passive characters in our life story—we are the narrators.

We can act on autopilot, or we can become active narrators by developing our capacity to choose mindfully and with great awareness how we receive and respond to all that comes into our lives.

Being given a hard-hitting opportunity to sustain change and transform our lives through tender loving kindness is a precious gift because true healing can arise. This profound healing is available in any moment and in any circumstances no matter what illness, challenges or adversity we face.

We are called to soften in a crisis, open up to understanding our greatest fears, and discover the healing power of self-compassion.

How will it help?

Taking the Opportunity in the Crisis is a safe and deeply supportive way to navigate the tempest of strong emotions that arise when we are thrown into harsh circumstances. 
Because of my own experiences, combined with my therapeutic background, I am able to hold you as you begin your healing journey, and guide you through profound recognition of what is present, what is possible, and who you truly are. 
This happens because together we experience it with mutual humility and awe which, in turn, creates your capacity to hold yourself in the same profound way.

The Healing Map
What is the Healing Map?

During sessions we derive a Healing Map from deeply personal characteristics that matter to you. It’s a mind map that empowers you in multiple and holistic ways so you can better cope with your crisis.

We evolve the Healing Map together as we investigate, observe and attend to all aspects of your life that are asking for your attention. The process reveals internal narratives that may have been undermining you for a long time.

We are whole human beings, and we can’t expect to get better if we only focus on obvious parts of our lives that are not working. Everything is connected and integrated. The Healing Map helps you examine and attend all aspects of who you are

Healing methods

As your therapist, I provide you with appropriate methods and processes taken from the healing practice of mindfulness, as well as the many other modes of healing available to you.

We cover methods which can assist you on an emotional and mental level.

The program inspires you to examine your internal stories using techniques such as compassionate self-inquiry, informal mindfulness exercises, self-inquiry, intuitive handwriting, breathing techniques and meditation practices.

The interplay of mindfulness practice, therapy and self-discovery reveals unique meaning in the crisis. It exposes your precious and exceptional opportunity to shift old patterns and make way for healing and transformation.

I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections.
and it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self,
and the wounds to the soul take a long, long time, only time can help
and patience, and a certain difficult repentance
long difficult repentance, realization of life’s mistake, and the freeing oneself
from the endless repetition of the mistake
which mankind at large has chosen to sanctify.
— D.H Lawrence
Do you perceive opportunities in crisis?

Crises are not always huge. Many things can turn us upside down and inside out.

In the midst of any crisis, you can pause, question, observe and—

  • Gain a sense of empowerment

  • Develop the virtues of self-care and self-compassion

  • Feel centred, clear-minded and better able to respond to the challenges you are facing

  • Learn how to navigate from a place of balance, understanding and equanimity

  • Attend to yourself and your needs without shutting out or shutting down.

A crisis is a great reminder that control is an illusion, and that true power and freedom proceed from our capacity to nurture compassionate awareness.

If you need a guide to help you find your Opportunity in Crisis, email me at iris@irisbar.com.au to arrange an exploratory conversation.