When life piles on the troubles, keeping everything together takes extra focus, extra awareness and extra care.
Even when you’re working with a well oiled machine.
I know this. I teach this.
But even so, when I realized that I was backsliding this past week, I was seriously irritated.
Here’s what I mean when I say ‘backslide’.
I gained a pound
I knowingly ate when I wasn’t hungry
I was aware of my thinking, and chose to disconnect anyway.
There’s no shame in it.
Yes, I’m frustrated by it.
But not because I ate a lot of crappy food.
Not because I have to go back a week in my running program.
Certainly not because I gained a pound.
I’m frustrated because I willingly disconnected from myself physically and emotionally.
I thought I didn’t want to give myself that extra focus.
It was too much work during an already difficult time.
I thought letting myself slide would give me a break when I desperately needed it.
I thought it would feel good.
I thought letting my attention slide would be a little reward because I was having such a hard week.
I was wrong.
Willingly disconnecting from myself felt like sheer and utter poo.
My workouts suffered.
My body felt sluggish.
And my mood went sour.
The only thing it succeeded in doing was keeping me in that place of not feeling like myself.
And my tolerance for staying in that place is getting lower and lower.
After sitting in the sludge for a while, I pulled myself together and asked myself the two questions that are guaranteed to get me out of a funk.
How do I want to feel right now?
At the time, as I sat there contemplating this question, I was feeling some serious anger.
But I wasn’t angry because of the series of awkward events that were happening.
I was angry because I was lying to myself about them.
I was telling myself that these things shouldn’t have happened to me.
Things should have been different.
But that’s not true.
Things aren’t supposed to happen differently than they do. Ever.
Things are supposed to be exactly as they happen.
If things were truly meant to be different, they would be.
But they weren’t.
And telling myself that reality should be different than it was caused pain.
So first and foremost, I stopped lying to myself.
I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
However shitty they appear to be, things are happening exactly as they are meant to happen.
Knowing this takes my edge off immediately.
It allows me to relax a little and see things as they are.
It allows me to move onto the next step, asking what I can learn from everything that’s happening.
What can I learn from this?
I refuse to go through bad situations in vain.
There are reasons these things are happening.
I want to find them.
If I can learn something from it, the situation is no longer purely bad.
Knowing that there’s good in something helps me feel better.
So I’m going to share with you what I found as I coached myself through the events over the past week.
These are things that I learned when I took each situation and questioned it.
Why was it important that it happened?
What is it trying to show me?
How am I acting like that other person/situation in my own life?
I learned that I’m being ridiculously hard on myself and am even a little out of line with my expectations of what should be happening.
Evidenced by a crazy lady that ran up to me, yelling about nonsensical issues. (Actually a funny story – I’ll tell you later…) She was being extreme and out of line – just like I can be with myself sometimes.
I found that I’m pushing against the natural flow of what I’m creating in my life. Evidenced by the awesome fender bender that I was in while trying to navigate traffic in the rain. If I had been patient, and gone with the flow, no accident would have occurred.
I realized that I need to slow down and focus on everything I am doing, instead of what I haven’t done right now.
Evidenced by our house being turned inside out for the week, not having access to my office and not being able to focus on what I wanted to do.
I was so focused on what I couldn’t do because of the mess, that I couldn’t concentrate on what I was able to do.
All of these issues needed my attention. Needed to be seen, and redirected.
The events in all of our lives are like a live, abstract demonstration of what’s going on in our minds.
When we listen to the cues, we can learn valuable lessons.
When I learned from these events, the sting went away. The embarrassment faded, and I was able to focus once again on life without the extra drama.
So this is me backsliding, letting myself have a few temper tantrums and then harnessing the amazing power (that we all have) to see fully what is going on in my head, and then choosing how I want my life to be going forward.
In my case, I chose to go forward with freedom, with power and with love for what is.
When I do this work, I almost always start by going back to a thought that does it for me every time:
Everything is exactly as it should be.
For me, and for you, too.
And I promise, no matter how crazy life gets, that is the best news in the world.