Why Life is Like the Weather
Sometimes life’s challenges come from tough things that happen — a loved one dies, you lose your job, someone treats you harshly, or a good friend moves away. But good things can create stress too — for example: meeting your soul mate, moving to your dream house or city, having a baby, getting married, landing your ideal job. All these good things can also create challenges because it can take time to adjust to your new reality.
One thing that helps me to get through these times of change is to realize that much of life is like the weather, I mostly can’t control when the good and bad times will come, or how long they will last. But I can put on a raincoat or a sundress!
My own worst stressors came from the times when I didn’t like the changes in my life, and didn’t know how to cope.
When I was a new mother I loved my baby soooo much – really beyond all reason. But that love combined with my tendency to be anxious and perfectionistic created a toxic cocktail. When my son was a year old I had a complete meltdown. Why? Because I couldn’t figure out how to take care of myself with a little one in the picture.
I wasn’t used to waking up several times during the night to care for a tiny human, and I had this rosy expectation that I’d have a baby who would sleep all night and then play in his playpen while I painted and puttered around the house. Instead I had a child who needed constant physical contact, wouldn’t sleep in his own bed, and never slept through the night until he was 5 or 6 years old.
Years later (at age 11) my son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, a genetic condition that is still largely misunderstood and misdiagnosed, and yet occurs in 1 in 6 kids. I wish I had known, but I think honestly that knowing my son had a disability would have provoked even more anxiety, guilt and overwhelm about whether I was doing the right things to care for him.
If I had it to do over again, I would ask for more support from family and friends, and I would take more time for myself to do the things that I love.
What I did right when my son was little, was to take wonderful care of him, and to stay focused on my vision. It was important to me to provide the best possible early environment for my child, but I also knew that I wanted to work in the world as a spiritual counselor. The thing that kept me going, that kept me from falling into despair, was staying focused on this.
Eventually, after the utter meltdown happened, I was forced to do daily self care. Without it I could no longer function. We hired some part-time child care so that I could have time to do the things that helped to keep my gas tank full. I continue to do lots of different things for my self care, but it all falls into 4 broad categories:
Creative activities and hobbies.
Every day in my counseling work, clients tell me they don’t have time to do any of these things. But if you don’t take care of yourself, then you eventually become unable to take care of anyone else. Like a car that runs low on oil or has its gas tank on empty, you just shut down.
Every day I try to do my best to surrender to the changes life brings, while doing what I can to keep life’s magic alive. When I keep my eye on the ball, it’s easier to adapt to life’s weather, while stopping to smell the roses along the way.
All My Love,
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If you’d like some help getting out of work stress zombie mode, you might like my new book, Shamanic Stress Relief, due out in a few weeks, or for a nurturing spiritual shift, check out my Shamanic Clarity and Balance e-course. If you’re interested in one-on-one support, you can click here for a free phone consultation with me.
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