Ever had the feeling that just when you thought things were as hard as they can be, something else happens that knocks the wind out of you?
I recently found myself in this situation. Everyone tells you that starting your own business is hard, but man, it’s f*&king hard! All of a sudden you find yourself being your own boss, PA, accountant and everything else and chances are there are at least some of those roles that are really not your strengths. When you’re learning as you go, every time you do something you almost immediately see how you could have done it better. It’s like a constant appraisal with immediate financial consequences. And that’s fine – I love a challenge!
But the thing I wasn’t prepared for were the hours, the isolation, and reality of prioritizing. I wasn’t prepared for if you get sick, you have no income and your business development grinds to a halt. When my friend came to stay from the US for a week, I barely had a day with her. My brother and his wife had a baby and I was flat out seeing them once a month, let alone helping out. I was in a new city, close to my family for the first time in years and single. I wanted to connect with siblings, make new friends and go on dates, but the only times I was free was mid week midday. Not exactly romantic or convenient for most people.
Years ago, I would have panicked and thrown in the towel. I would have listened to the voices in my head telling me it was a crazy idea, why can’t you just be normal, you’re never going to succeed, you’re not tough enough, good enough and so on.
And I know it’s not just me. Working with my students, I am constantly reminded that we all face challenges. And I get to see that the strategies that work for me, work for others too.
Luckily for me, I’ve learned what to do when life feels overwhelming. Because whatever choices we have made in life, and whatever happens to us, it’s up to us how we respond.
We have this idea that life should be good at least most of the time but reality is it can be brutal. We need to appreciate every single day because ultimately, we don’t know what could happen next.
If that sounds a bit doom and gloom, it’s really not! Because the awesome thing is there are really simple things we can do to help ourselves so we can not only cope, but enjoy life and find the joy in our days even when things are stressful or sad.
4 key ways to learn how to surf when you feel like hit by a tidal wave
Allow space for your emotions
There’s pretty much no situation in life that will be improved by freaking out about it. When we don’t allow ourselves to feel (generally because we’re afraid we’ll lose control if we do), we put the repressed emotion centre stage and fuel its power. Practices like mindfulness, meditation, journaling and yoga allow space for emotions. Do something every day if you can. When we make time to let them be there, then we open up to the potential for them to change, release, be processed and learned from. Remember, being able to surf takes years of practice.
There was a phase when I used to just sit and cry my way through my morning meditation every single day. My partner at the time thought it was the most morose thing he’d ever seen. But by giving myself that space, I was able to move through, allow and process and after a few days I started having blissful meditations again.
Oh I know. Everyone bangs on about this one all the time these days. But our survival instincts mean that our tendency is to watch out for worst case scenarios all the time. They’ve kept us alive through all sorts. But for a balanced perspective and happy outlook, we need to consciously balance with noticing what we have. It’s as simple as appreciating your morning shower for a few minutes. It doesn’t have to fancy.
I work gratitude meditations into my yin yoga practice to really marinade my brain in them – and I always finish feeling incredible!
I can’t remember where the saying comes from but it’s something like, ‘be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can’. All of these strategies are about leaning to be kind to ourselves but simply reminding yourself every so often can go a long way. Listen to your inner dialogue and when you go into beating up yourself mode for something you think you could have said differently or done better, take a deep breath and remind yourself – you’re a good person. You’re doing the best you can. I know this is true because you’re reading this. You’re good.
While there are some things we can only do alone, there are other we can only do in relationship. Ever had a realisation about something as you’re talking about it to someone? Or a new great idea as you bounce off someone else?
The 5 people we spend the most time with have enormous impact on our lives. Who are yours? Are they positive and supportive? What other social connection do you have that support you?
This is part of the reason I have created my newest offering...
Come and join me for a light hearted 21- day mini challenge where was can support and inspire each other to practice yoga, meditation, or whatever you need! You’ll receive a daily email from me for the 3 weeks, as well as yoga practices to keep you feeling inspired, super charge your energy and fitness and build up your self love and general Zen. It’s going to be AWESOME!! Sign up here
The most in depth way you can work me and design the perfect practice to support you in your life is through 1:1 sessions here.
And the most luxurious and reflective offerings I have are my half day yoga and meditation retreats. Come along for a safe and fun exploration of connecting inward at my next half retreats in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Lots of love