5 tips for facing life’s challenges without losing it
22 Apr, 2013
I was brought up to stay strong and carry on, which actually hasn’t always helped when all I wanted to do was have a good cry. I’ve recently been given a more than triple whammy in my life. Seeking help outside my usual healthy vices, I decided to see a life coach, come spiritual guide and various holistic health practitioners who have been helping me to ask myself what I want and helping me to see my part in the my life situations.
I’ve spent most of my adult life focusing on others, primarily my partners. I identify with my ‘self’ as a nurturing and giving soul who enjoys helping others along the way. No problem with that I hear you say? But what happens when you realize that your actions are actually enabling others negative behavior? You’re more than just a shoulder to cry on, you’re the person who in times of need carries it all at the behest of her own health and sanity?
I’ve found myself in this situation recently and let me tell you I’m running a whole gamut of emotions on this one; initially anger that I had to learn to let go and finally look at my part in life, sadness at not fitting into that role as an enabler, sheer panic and anxiety at what the hell I was going to do next, scared to even consider what might make me happy and fulfilled.
I’ve been jumping between the Buddhist belief of cherishing others above yourself to the old saying ‘well if you’re not happy in yourself how to you expect to have happiness around you?”
Here’s the advice I’ve been given that’s helped me recently;
1. Learning to let go and trust a power higher than yourself
My life coach asked me “ Do you rely solely on yourself for everything?”. Without hesitating I said “Of course” as if I couldn’t possibly hand anything in my life to anyone else. What she meant was having faith in the universe, in God as you know it, your highest self. She actually said that I have sparkling angels and spirit guides around me telling me to be clear about what help I wanted. After explaining to her that I wasn’t really into visualizing sparkly angels, we settled on my highest self and asking the universe.
2. Do things that make you happy
In principal I agree with this, but during challenging times I feel like I’m just going through the motions, even on the yoga mat. Do I even know what could make me feel happy right now?
3. Seeing your part in the situation
My energetic cranial osteopathy lady helped me to start to connect the dots in my life. Why was I repeating the same patterns? Why was a so fearful of ending up in total poverty? Was it as obvious as I had been making it out? I adore this type of therapy as it allows me to tap into my subconscious and release some very deep seated emotions. I don’t like some of what came out but then I have the life coach to winge to!
4. Be compassionate not only with others but learn to love yourself
My new mantra is that ‘I’m on a path of self loving not self loathing’. I’m done with internally beating myself about the head, I’m recognizing why I fall into patterns of behavior and right now that’s a good step in the right direction.
5. Stay away from the media and surround yourself with things which give your heart warmth and joy
I bought some US$5 flowers and put them next to the toilet, I have good books by the bedside, I have awesome girlfriends on speed dial, I have chili chocolate in the fridge, I have a new haircut which I adore, I am blessed to have a son who lights up my world.
The most beautiful advice I was given lately, in an afternoon of bleakness, was to view this period of challenge as a gift, it is showing me something which still needs to be addressed, something within my life which has not yet been dealt with and resolved. To also remember that, when you feel like the world is crashing down around you, it really isn’t, its just like a dark cloud in the sky. The sun is still hiding behind it and slowly you’ll be able to see that glimmer of light shining through…you made it.
For all those who are going through challenging periods of their live’s, you’re never alone and if you ride out the storm, you might be in for a heap of happiness on the other side.
Patricia Heads kindly opened her heart and wore it on her sleeve for us to write this blog.
If you’re interested in healing through a Buddhist approach then mark the date in June one of Bhutan’s greatest living teachers His Eminence the 9th Neyphug Trulku Rinpoche will be in residence at Amanjiwo. Click here for details.
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