Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Turning "I didn't want this to happen!" Around

Three weeks ago, my partner and I learned that we're going to have to move from our beautiful, cozy cottage in Berkeley - and soon! I found out IN THE MIDDLE of the open house (which I thought was for the whole complex, but turned out to be for our house itself). There were strangers walking through my home as the news was given to me by the realtor's assistant. I was pissed, panicked, and I felt like my safe inner space was being violated. Who knew how fast it was going to happen? The place was priced to sell and I was an anxious mess.

Initially, I was wrapped in a huff of anger and powerlessness, feeling like I was being unwillingly kicked out of my own home. I didn't want to have to pack up and move from the house I had spent the year settling into, thinking it would be a long-term nest for us! That first whole week, the anxious energy I experienced was intense: my stomach was upset with butterflies, I was back to my old patterns of emotional eating, I wasn't sleeping at night, my shoulders were bunched into painful knots, I felt drained and exhausted...

I knew it was because I was completely resisting reality - I was fighting what was happening like a raging tiger in a steel cage. The energy of resistance and fight will always feel hard - in body and in mind.

The part of me that was grounded enough to stand back and witness the tiger in me was actually feeling incredibly grateful. Grateful to be on the path I'm on, to have the consciousness to stay present (even when it was unpleasant), to have the practical tools to process and shift my experience, and to have created the support network I needed around me in that moment.

 From the beginning, I realized - this was NOT the experience I wanted to be having. I knew I couldn't control the fact that we'll have to move. But I know that I CAN control my own personal, inner experience - my thoughts and mindset about the situation.

Within a week, I was able to completely 180 shift my experience. Can you imagine? I felt like I had a super power!

How I moved from powerless, tortured tiger
to light and excited by the opportunity?

*I Accepted It.*
It sounds fairly straightforward, maybe obvious. But think about how often we don't take that breath and cultivate this in our day-to-day lives... Get real with yourself: When was the last time you got in a tizzy about being in a traffic jam or a long line at the store? How much negative energy are you needlessly producing over a situation that is out of your control? I invite you to build this awareness so you can have more choice about the way you're feeling.

Acceptance IS a super power. It alone can change everything. I first needed to come to peace with the situation at hand. And then I had to choose to take care of myself, inside and out, to have the experience I really wanted.

5 Steps to Transmute Resistance Into Forward Momentum:

1. Emote. To move through negative thoughts and energy, you have to allow yourself to express emotions ("e"nergy in "motion")! Stuffing them down or shoving them aside doesn't clear them from your mind and body. So I cried out my sadness. I yelled out my anger. I ripped up paper.  I told people what was going on and how I was really feeling. I let myself be messy. Even when I thought I "should be done" - I let myself keep feeling the whole spectrum of my emotions.

2. Support. I reached out to my support network, the people who I knew would hold space for all of my emotions, heaviness and all. I called and emailed the people who I knew were grounded and positive and would help me lift up, reinforce the more positive perspective I knew I wanted to have. I calmed down.

3. What's Truth? Seeking out the real, hard facts and grounding in reality, versus reeling in anxiety stories. What are our rights as tenant? What is our actual time scale? Where and how do we have the power to negotiate with the owners?

4. Exceptional Energetic Self-Care. I took epsom salt baths, I went for walks and hikes, I spent time with animals, I got tea with friends, I called my parents, I cooked or bought myself good, healthy food so I'd have it on hand, I meditated, I wrote, I went to yoga and stretched. I ran. I calmed and re-centered myself. I asked for massages. I started sleeping again. I read The Power of Now.

5. Facing Forward. Instead of focusing on what I didn't want to be happening, I started envisioning best-case-scenarios. I get to choose my thoughts and where I direct my energy, after all. What if this was an opportunity to find an even better place to call home? What if instead of interrupting the flow of my business, it could feed it (hence this article!) What if we decided to see this as a gift? If we rated our current place as an 8 on a 1-10 scale of living situations, what was an 11? We sat down and made a list together and posted it in our kitchen! I personally wrote out how the new space would feel to me. We started looking at postings online and going to open houses, in the spirit of adventure and seeking.

Do fears and thoughts of "What if we don't find something in time??" stilll surface in me? Of course. But I have the inner resources to recognize that it's just a story, a fear-based future projection based in non-reality and I ground myself back into the present moment. Everything right here, right now is fine and wonderful. My two biggest tools: deep breathing and gratitude lists. Both bring me back into the present.

This is a very different energy! I'm actually excited about finding a new home! I'm looking forward to the fullness of the holidays. I feel grateful for the support in my life.

I haven't always been this way - my old self would have kicked and screamed about the move the whole way! I'd probably get sick right after the move. Remember: Acceptance is a super power. But before even that we have to become aware of where we are now. 

Share with us below: When you find yourself in the midst of "I didn't want this to happen?" how do you usually respond? How do you want to respond next time? Who will that require you to be?

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