Finding Peace in Your Current Situation…
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, suffered a loss, or gone through pretty much any struggle in your life, you have probably been told, “this too shall pass”. While I understand the sentiment behind it, it is a concept that I have always struggled with.
Whenever I hear this phrase, I am reminded of the Lotus flower. The Lotus is a unique flower in that it requires a very particular element to thrive- that being mud. Rooted in the muddy bottom of a pond, the lotus will grow to the top of the water and bloom, one petal at a time. I have always much preferred to share the attitude of the lotus flower- always strive to have the ability to thrive in “muddy water”.
But when life gets really, really muddy, how do we find peace there? How do we find the strength to bloom? There is no universal answer to that, unfortunately. Every person has their own way of dealing with struggles.
HOW TO FIND YOUR OWN PEACE
Whether you are an expert at yoga or prefer to just sit quietly with your eyes closed, mediation is a great way of relaxing that can be done every day and almost anywhere. Focus specifically on the good things, big or small. Did you get an unexpected card from a friend in the mail? Did your mom come to visit? Did your kids make you a macaroni necklace as a gift?
For some, these successes or good things can be as simple as, “I was able to take the dog for a walk today” or “I was able to find time to read my kids a bedtime story”. There is no success or bit of good that is too big or too small. Take five minutes every day and list them off. This can be a great way to remind you that no matter what you have going on in your life, there is still good as well.
Set Aside “Me Time”
What do you love to do? Yes, yes, I know you LOVE to cook dinner, do laundry, go to work and help your kiddos with their homework. Put all that for aside for a minute. Maybe think back to when you were younger or had fewer responsibilities. What did you love to do then? Did you use to be an avid reader, but the hours of your day just slowly got filled by other things? Did you use to love to journal before bed but stopped because, well, sleep? Were you a runner? An amateur photographer? Did you use to love to binge watch episodes of friends? \
DO THAT. Whatever that is. Put aside one hour of every day and make that your time to do that. Be there for yourself in the same way you are there for everyone else. Have that hour of joy even if you have to intentionally build it into your schedule.
Tell Yourself You’ve Got This
Out loud. With or without people around – your choice. Remind yourself that you are strong, you are beautiful, you are smart, and you have totally got this. Remember last week when you told your child that they kicked butt at their soccer game (even though the only goal they scored was for the other team)? Or told your coworker that she was killing it in the new role she got promoted to? Or told your spouse that they looked amazing in those new jeans? It’s JUST like that – but for you. “I went for a run and KILLED IT!” “I tried a new recipe that I’ve been wanting to try forever, and it turned out AWSOME!” “This new hair color is MY color! I look great!” “Yesterday was hard, but today? Today I have GOT THIS.”
Say it over and over. Today is going to be great because I am awesome and I’ve totally got this! No, you don’t have to believe it at first, but say it enough times and you might surprise yourself!
Will this too pass? Sure. Will whatever is weighing heavy on your heart be there forever? Certainly not. But in between now and the time when this has passed, life is happening. This is tough – whatever “this” is for you. That’s okay! As long as you know that you are tougher and you have the ability to find peace and strength at the exact same time, in the exact same place.
So close your eyes, mediate for a bit, give yourself a pep talk and then watch an hour of Friends. Channel your inner lotus. You are beautiful and strong and believe that right here, in this mud, you can thrive.