When my life is in turmoil, my default response is to become emotional. I most often turn to my "best friend" -chocolate- for comfort and sometimes place unrealistic expectations on those around me for affirmation, strength and anchorage. It is the classic control-freak-slash-perfectionist knee jerk reaction to the uncertainty of life.
If my circumstances are swirling beyond the reach of my anxious fingers, I must then look for something else to fixate on, in order to feel safe. But unfortunately, it makes matters worse and I personally end up spinning out of control, because nothing can fill that void.
Never before has there been a more perfect opportunity to make this part of my character a thing of the past.
I can safely say that 2013 has been a pretty horrendous year so far. My last post 'More' can help explain some of that. Since then, my beautiful Nan has passed away only 2 months after her diagnosis of kidney cancer and 4 months after our Fossil -the love of her life- died tragically and unexpectedly. On Monday September 23, we celebrated her life with a memorial service in Wentworth Falls Blue Mountains -her life-long home town. The day was strikingly gorgeous, as though the sun shone only to honour her. And while we felt relieved that she was no longer suffering, not even the warm rays could melt away the sadness that froze our hearts. Suddenly, within 4 months, the Patriarch and Matriarch of my Mum's side of the family had left us; the glue that held us all together; the pillars of strength, wisdom, love, grace and tradition, were gone.
Out-of-control to say the least. My darkest year yet. And so the temptation to try to grasp at something to feel some sort of composure was overwhelming. But just before Nan passed, something tugged at the corners of my soul, telling me it was time to make a change. For someone who tends to be inconsistent no matter the weather, it is a challenge to say the least. And many of you may know that I have been working pretty hard on living out of a place of stability rather than my emotions. But something wasn't sticking. I think I was looking at it the wrong way. What matters most in not necessarily what I do or don't do any given day. It is about my nature. The shift I need to make is from thinking about 'doing', to thinking about 'being'.
Nan and Fossil had such great consistency of character, so what better way to honour them, than to make that my goal too.
So in the midst of what felt like a break-down, as my body was quickly crashing towards serious disfunction with extreme tiredness, headaches, back aches, sickness, nerve pain and more... I started my challenge to be consistent by making a simple list of practical goals that I try to achieve each day. Even though it won't be about the 'doing' I still need to do, in order to change my habits, while shifting my thinking.
Things like, doing a load of washing, sticking to a bed-time routine for Emi and taking my vitamins are just some of the daily patterns I have started making. Other things like running once a week to help relieve stress are also on the list. And the big one: no more sugary sweets during the week. Not only does the sugar make my energy levels crash harder, but the habit of turning to that in an emotional state sets up an unhealthy relationship with food. The best thing you can do when feeling sick, tired and all the rest, is eat really well. This speeds up your recovery and gives you a sense of respect and love despite any woeful situation.
As I renew myself and put healthier habits in place, the main focus will be on carving a certain stability within myself. This is so the storms of life won't rock me to a place of emotional and physical wreckage every time. And on a simpler level, I hope to just be more consistent with how I function in day-to-day life. Not saying I can't be spontaneous... Because you can still be spontaneous while having a consistent nature.
For me it is about the presence I carry, in any circumstance. Can I maintain a loving, strong, independent yet caring nature even when my husband does something to tick me off? Can I still be joyful and patient even when Emi throws herself on the floor in a tantrum? That is what I am working towards:
- Grace under pressure
- Patience and kindness
- Discipline and self-control
- Peace despite my circumstances
- Joy in all situations
These traits will set me up for a healthier, balanced and happy life. It will also set a good example for my children. Discipline and routine are not evil. I have shied away from those words in the past, because of my tendency to push it to the extreme. But now is the time to revisit those weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
This challenge is also really important to my wellbeing. I really do believe that stress can do serious damage to your health... so learning how to cope with it is extremely important.
I would love to hear from the Blussh sisterhood on this one... If you also struggle with emotional turmoil and dealing with distress, or if you've gone before us and already figured out some great ways to cope with stress, please share in the comments below!
Love Heids Xx