Do you ever have those days, those week, those times in your life when you feel like there is so much going on, that you are not sure you can handle just one more thing happening? I notice that when this happens for me I tend to focus on the future.
‘When we find a house, I will feel more settled’, ‘when I have more income, I will feel more stable’, ‘when this busy work period comes to an end I will have more space’, ‘When I get through my to do list, my huge list of logistics, I will feel calmer’. Like I am living my days ‘waiting for the storm to pass’. I have been feeling a bit like this for a while now. I have so much change going on in my life, much of which is wonderful but change unsettles me and I go looking for certainty. Often as a way of avoiding all the feeling that are going on underneath.
In and amongst all the change in my life, this week, my internet banking was hacked through a computer virus and someone tried to steal my identity. It really threw me. I felt very unsafe, very vulnerable. And I said to my partner “you know that old saying ‘we only get what we can handle’ well right now I just can’t handle anymore! “Bless him he said, “that saying isnt true, you need a break honey!”
But it made me stop and reflect on this quote. I really notice that when things are not going my way, or even when they are going my way, but there is a lot going on, I tend to go into negative thinking, into a bit of catastrophising, into a bit of drama (all said with great self-compassion!) and into a bit of escaping as I ‘wait for the storm’ to pass.
But this week I started to re-focus on some important Compassionate Self-Awareness practices. Practices that very much feel like ‘learning to dance in the rain’. Practices that re-focus on what I do have some choice over rather than focusing on all of the external things that I don’t have any control or choice over. I upped the ante on my gratitude practice. I took some time to go through my diary and commitments and say no to what I needed to say no to, moved what needed moving, all to create some space to really self-care, some space to feel like I can breathe. I let myself make mistakes and be imperfect and drop some balls and I didn’t beat myself up. I took more walks in nature and got to the ocean as often as I could as a way of grounding and centering myself.
I practiced trusting that everything will work out exactly as it is meant to, that I don’t need to work it all out. And in fact, no amount of thinking will work it all out anyway! I started sitting with my feelings and being kind and loving towards all that is arising within me. I gently and lovingly acknowledged my fears and the grief of letting go of my home, while also holding gentle but firm boundaries around my negative thoughts and my inner critic. I called girlfriends and connected so I did not feel alone. I talked to my partner about how I was feeling. I started acting like my own best friend again!
And then I noticed, as I slowed down and upped my self-care, that I started to feel my excitement and my joy. I didn’t need to focus on the future as I was able to stay in the present and appreciate exactly where I am right now. I started to learn how to ‘dance in the rain’. What a gift. This life is such an adventure hey, but I can miss so much of it when I am waiting to get to the other side.
May the week ahead be another one of learning to dance in the rain, rather than waiting for the daily storms of life to pass.
With great warmth. Jo