Breathe: Inhale, Exhale

In this blog I frequently talk about tools and ideas to help people find a way to achieve a goal or shift a perspective.  Well, today I am writing a blog to myself.  I am hoping that as I go through this process I will find some answers for myself.  I have teenage sons. Often times I am on the ball and my home is a well-oiled machine where we have balance and harmony, fun and laughter.  Unfortunately, this is not one of those times.

About a month ago my 17 year-old decided he was an adult and no longer had to come home, tell me what he was doing or where he was going.  Some nights he would simply choose to stay out and not come home.  As time has gone on he is getting worse and more disrespectful.

This past week has been especially trying. He has chosen to not come home for the past 3 days and I have just now found out where he has been.  I have been sitting at home since Monday feeling frozen and unable to do anything but wait for resolution to come. I have been wondering what I can do in this place of uncertainty, unknowing and fear.  How can I support him, love him and still live my life, function and accomplish all the things I need to do?

Well, there are a few things I have come up with.  I want to share them thwith you because I believe that we, as humans, have a tendency to get stuck when things get hard.  We freeze, fight or fly and these options may not be useful.  What can we do that will be truly productive in getting the life we want and reaching our goals?  These are the steps have I found useful.

The most important thing I need to do is breathe.  No, seriously, just take a moment and breathe, nothing else.  I make an effort to do this without wondering what will happen, or what to do next.  I don’t multi task, I just intentionally breathe.  I take the time to be present in my body and still in my mind.  As I let myself breathe, I release the tension I am holding in my body and let go of the fear and attachment to outcome.

I ask myself what I need, have I eaten, showered, etc.   I make sure my basic needs are provided.  If there is nothing I need at that moment I go about my day.  The place I get stuck is in a feeling of “I don’t know what to do”.  I know the dishes need to be done, laundry washed and folded, appointments need to be made with clients, blogs written, the list goes on.  But I sit there stuck, what do I do?  So I have found it useful to make a list.  Today I need to….  There is no wondering what needs to be done it is written down in black and white.  I do what needs to be done one thing at a time.

Of course these are the things that I do after I have asked myself what I can do in this situation to change the current circumstances or help foster resolution that is beneficial on all levels.  In this particular case I can ask myself what my son needs, what is he missing, what is creating this behavior and how can we come to a better place where he is safe happy and feels loved and supported?

Lastly, I allow myself to be where I am and feel what I feel.  I started with writing about letting go and I end with acceptance.  I don’t try to deny any part of the process I am going through.  I allow whatever needs to come up.  I am present with myself.  And when I find these things difficult I return to my breath.

Inhale

Exhale

Choose Gratitude

As a life coach I am all about helping my clients transform their current life situations from what they are tolerating to what they are celebrating.  I mean really, don’t we all want to live a life that we celebrate fully and not just tolerate.

What if making the shift from tolerating to celebrating was as easy as gratitude?  Well, it is!

A lot of people talk about gratitude and being grateful for the good things and it can be hard to let this carry over to difficult things.  The deeper gifts of gratitude come when you can take a situation that can be seen as negative and find the gold within it.

When I was around fifteen years old my family discovered that one of my aunts had a disease that my grandmother also suffered from.  Up until that point my family was fragmented and some of my fathers’ siblings had gone off in separate directions.  When my aunt got sick my family come back together.  The thought process was, we need to support each other and find a way to make sure this illness doesn’t continue to affect our family.

When confronted with this terrible disease we all had a choice, stay separate and alone or come together. In choosing to come together our family grew closer and more loving with each other.  We started supporting and loving each other on more and deeper levels.  We shifted from despair over the disease, to gratitude for the love and support of family.

Tabundhe point of the story is to give an example that we can choose how we perceive things so that we are left feeling grateful instead of depressed or let down.  In this situation I have found the ability to be thankful for this disease that gave me my family an opportunity to support, be supported and know that I have a place to go home.

There are some things that you can’t change, like other people, but you can still be grateful for them anyway.   Sometimes my favorite things are the things that challenge me.  Yes it is great when things are easy and just flow but those things don’t help me grow.  My teenage twin sons on the other hand are neither easy nor simple.  It is HARD!  I am so grateful for the difficulty there.  I continually have the opportunity to dive deeper into my understanding and practice of compassion.  I get to improve my ability to let go and look at the bigger picture.  Whatever it is that I learn from parenting 17 year old twin boys, I find that I am growing and continually becoming a better person.  How could I not be grateful?

What thing in your life are you just tolerating?  What is the one thing in your life that you wish would change?  How can your perspective of this change so that it is transformed into a different situation?  What are you grateful for in this situation?  What have you learned?  How have you grown?  How are you better because of this?

If you can look at something and see what you get out of it before looking at what it may take away from you are on the road to living a life that you are celebrating.  So, I want to challenge you.  Can you look at every situation in your life and find 3 things to be grateful for in each instance?

Celebrate today for all that it is!  You are here, you get to…