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Part 1: Learning how to cope – from birth to where you are now

During our upbringing we learn some of the most important skills for Life: to speak our mother tongue, to feed and dress ourselves and so on. We also learn how to get what we like and how to avoid what we dislike. While still babies, crying brings attention, smiling melts adult hearts. When a little older, persistent demands can bring what we want. It doesn’t always work but we know how to try.

These are practical skills necessary to become independent but alone they are not enough. We also need to learn how to cope when things go wrong: when we cannot have what we want and cannot avoid what we dislike.

If all goes well, the skills we have learned can lead us to the Great Highway of Life but when things go wrong and we cannot cope, we find ourselves up blind alleys which at the time are difficult, if not impossible, to get out of. We are stuck because we don’t know how to turn round. It can be frightening, claustrophobic. We are human.

Like simple robots we have learned to go in one direction. Our compass points only towards what we want and away from what we do not want. Perhaps more than anything else we now need to learn how to change direction. This cannot be learned by theory, it can only be learned through repeated practice of new skills.

We are stuck with our unwanted feelings as long as we insist on having our own way and cannot have it. No matter how reasonable what we desire might be. We need to learn to let go of what we cannot have.

For this we need to learn to obey; to accept the situation as it really is. The difficulty is that obedience often feels like giving in. It is. This can be the hardest thing we ever try to do. But only if we try to do it.

How to do this requires specialised guidance. One such way is Adaptation Practice, which is designed for this; to develop the strength and skill necessary to relieve problems like stress, anxiety, anger, depression and disturbed behaviour.

(Part 2: Learn to obey your own true nature).