Life is full of uncertainty.
Who could have anticipated 9 months ago that we’d be wearing masks every time we went out? Or that we simply couldn’t just walk into our favorite restaurant and have lunch with a group of our friends? Or that our normal way of greeting our friends (with hugs) would be frowned upon?
There will be times in your life when the rug gets pulled out from under your feet, whether it's sickness, losing your job, a major crisis, or even something called COVID-19. Have you heard the idea that “sometimes your breakthrough follows your breakdown?”
How do we maintain our equilibrium and our hopefulness during times of crisis or hardship? Can we still remain open to the mystery in order for magic to happen?
I feel like 2020 is breaking us down and cracking us open. Part of me is excited about this ‘cracking open.’ I can’t wait to see what the breakthrough will be as life shows us what is absolutely precious, valuable, and worth fighting for.
And then there’s a part of me that’s just tired. Sometimes I feel constricted and diminished. I lack motivation and drive. It’s as if a mere 7 months ago, times were simpler and all of my plans were possible. Now, I feel like I’m waiting to see what will unfold before I make any definitive plans.
Yes, uncertainty is part of the human condition (maybe now more than ever), but how do we deal with it? And how do we approach a situation where we might feel inadequate and helpless? Is there a way we can lasso hope and allow it to propel us toward surrender, alignment, peace, contentment, and purpose?
Here are three tricks that have helped me over the past few months to help me stay grounded, hopeful, resilient, and engaged.
1. Stay in the Present
When you're having a tough time, it can be tempting to worry far into the future. If you find yourself being consumed by "what ifs," take a breath and come back to the present.
Just focus on doing one thing at a time. Some days that one thing can just be getting out of bed, or making dinner, or replying to one email. Choose the one thing you really want to get done today and do that. Anything more than that is a bonus!
And be gentle with yourself. If you accomplish one thing, celebrate it! Don’t be so hard on yourself. Recently, I allowed myself to be a couch potato and just spent hours chillaxing on my couch. I’ll admit, part of me was appalled that I wasn’t ‘doing something productive’, but I realized that for those few hours, my self-care and saying ‘yes’ to myself was to just BE. And when I gave myself permission to just BE, then I could savor my down time and be fully present and not chastise myself for not doing more.
2. Gratitude Rocks!
There’s always a bigger perspective. Take a step back and look at the world around you. Nature is still doing its thing, and the world is still turning. Take your mind off what is not working in your life right now and look at the good stuff. No matter how bad your situation, there are always some things to be thankful for.
One huge thing I’ve been so grateful for during the pandemic is all the ways to connect online. I’m meditating with people in Sedona, I’m studying Mussar with a group in Ashland, participating in Torah Study (also with a group in Sedona), and having ‘virtual’ coffee dates. People are available and showing up online that they may not have been if everything had to be in person.
3. Slow Down
A personal crisis is an excellent opportunity to stop and assess the way you're living your life. It's a chance to slow down, kick back, and smell the roses. Life may have thrown you a curveball, but it's also an opportunity to sit back and consider how you really want to live your life.
If you've lost your job, maybe this the time to reconsider your career. If you're dealing with illness, of yourself, or a loved one, perhaps this is a time to reconsider your priorities and to shift gears. Perhaps it’s time to think about alignment, integrity, and authenticity. Slowing down may show us the next right steps for ourselves and the fulfillment of our purpose in a bigger way.
If you need help, guidance or a slight course correction, let's chat. Sometimes we just need a different perspective and I know it can be scary to start. I can help.
You can connect with me by scheduling your free 45 minute Say Yes to Yourself Strategy call by clicking here.
Say 'YES' to yourself by being open to seeing the ‘silver lining’
Janet Kingsley is an effective 'Belief Change Expert' who helps clients transform frustration to focus, confusion to clarity, and self-doubt to self-confidence.