Tag Archives: acceptance

Aside

Since my last post (has it really been a few months?), I continue to work away at de-cluttering, a task that raises more questions than solutions. A conversation this morning about life stresses seemed to echo my own challenges with … Continue reading

Aside

Change is on my mind lately, as spring approaches. While the warmer weather is welcome, as usual there are some challenges even with the best of change. Recently I’ve been preparing for a move, some time into the future but … Continue reading

One step at a time………..

So…………I haven’t published a new blog in a while and haven’t really had a good reason, just feeling like life has been complicated lately. Do you sometimes feel like that? For me, there have been a lot of unexpected things to take care of, both good and bad, and it seems to have continued to sidetrack me. Part of my struggle, I’m becoming aware, is a notion that once I get a particular focus dealt with, it will be smooth sailing. Truth seems to be that life is just not that predictable. This is not a bad thing, in fact over the past few months, some occurrances that looked bad have actually created opportunities. What I needed to do, I learned, was to handle matters within my capacity and let the rest play out until I could see what was possible. Fortunately for me, none of the things I faced were real disasters, but it’s led me to think about how one faces those. My best answer?…………one step at a time.

“One step at a time” – a phrase we often use means many things. When life just seems complicated and overwhelming, it’s a good mantra. But how do you take one step if you don’t yet know the road you’re on? Imagine being blindfolded and not sure where you are. That’s often the case in the midst of a crisis, whether it’s a relationship that’s in jeopardy, a life-threatening illness, loss of a job, an accident or other unexpected event.

The problem you often face in a crisis is in trying to figure out what is actually wrong. If a situation feels chaotic, your senses are overwhelmed and your logical brain not very effective in sorting through the data. Fear and hurt do some funny things to your mind.  You may be reaching for a solution, but what you find is instinct you can’t even really define that compels you to either strike out or hide. When you hear advice, it’s easy to dismiss it as meaningless, impossible or critical. When seemingly nothing is offered, you may feel abandoned or hopeless.

What does help, as I’ve seen time and again, is to allow yourself to feel scared, hurt and lost, to accept that your life as you have seen it may have changed irreparably, and to do whatever is within your capacity right now. This means starting small with taking stock of what is immediately surrounding you – people, resources, and circumstances. Probably nothing you can do will seem like an answer to the crisis, and generally it’s not. What it is, is regrouping, starting to find a base of safety, however fragile it may be for now.

Some things to consider when you find yourself in crisis: Who is with me in this? If no-one is sharing the crisis, who is a stable source of support? In either case, literally or metaphorically, take their hand and sit with them. Let yourself simply be connected to another human being. They may or may not have answers…………that doesn’t matter as much as knowing you’re not alone. What is available to me right now, in this moment, that I can be sure of? If it’s as simple as ground to stand on, a chair or floor to sit on, so be it. If you can take one breath after another, you have a place to start. From this place, there are small steps you can take.

I’m not suggesting a solution to your crisis here. There are too many factors that will be unique to your situation to consider. The steps you take will be yours to master and when it all seems too much and you reach beyond your current capacity, pause, regroup and settle yourself again in what you know just for right now. Then begin again………………..one step at a time.

Enjoying the day

So, as I think about what to write for this second blog entry, nothing profound comes to mind. Instead, I’m thinking about a funny thing that happened yesterday, golfing in the rain, when my friend teed off and her club slid out of her wet hands and flew spiraling about 30 feet in the air. No casualties, and while it was not the best shot, the ball did travel roughly in the right direction. Can I spin this into some reflections on life?
 
We’re not a serious golfing bunch, those who consider rain a challenge to overcome, so didn’t really have a good reason not to come in out of the rain. But, you know, once you’ve already gotten wet, it’s really not so bad. In fact, when things don’t go as planned, it can sometimes create an opportunity for something you hadn’t expected.
 
In this busy life, we can tend to get organized to take on the day, as if it will all go as planned. As a result, when something gets in the way, we can get frustrated. Best example, traffic, which blessedly I can generally avoid, but which many deal with daily. Does it always flow as smoothly as you need it to, to get where you’re going? Do you generally arrive at your destination relaxed and refreshed? or, frazzled (love that word!) and irritated? I’m pretty sure most of you can think of an example of something that didn’t go as planned in the last few days. How did you deal with that? Did it change the rest of your day for better or worse? Did you learn something new or bemoan something that continues to plague you?
 
I have a couple of thoughts about dealing with the unplanned. First, when you imagine your day, can you make room for the unexpected, the possibility of the unknown? No, I don’t mean meticulously plan for all eventualities, as that could be a day’s work in itself! I mean, assume that you have the resources (mental, emotional, practical) to shift gears and handle most of what could happen. Be aware that the unexpected could be a bonus, maybe as simple as a good belly laugh when a golf club flies out of your hands, or an opportunity to experience something new. If it’s not a bonus, hmmm, maybe a chance to flex your creative mind to work through a challenge. Back to imagining your day, can you look at it as an estimate, or a rough guideline, or even a wish list? Can you allow that by the end of the day, some things might not have been done, but some others may have happened that brought a smile to your face?
 
Second, the best thing I know of for handling challenges or the unexpected, is breathing. Yes, breathing. Practice it now – sit back, let your hands and shoulders drop, and inhale deeply. As you breathe in, notice the air coming into your chest, then notice again as you breathe out. If you can, make more room for your lungs to expand by letting your abdominal muscles relax, so as your lungs fill the diaphragm presses down and your belly pushes out. Imagine you’re filling a balloon with air as you inhale. Just keep breathing, and observe the passage of air in and then out of your body. If you get distracted by thoughts, just let them be and return to observing your breath.
 
Taking a few minutes to just breathe and letting your mind be still, can allow you to pause and refresh, which allows your creative mind to better proceed with handling the challenges of the day. Try it, when you’re finding yourself a little frazzled, or just any time at all. Can’t hurt, you gotta breathe anyway, right?
 
Having relaxed a little myself just now, I’ll finish up this blog for today. Do you have a topic you’d like me to address, or a story to share? Please send me your comments or questions. See you later!