Tag Archives: decisions

LAG: Lean-in, Accept, Go on

Happy Holidays All – I took a break from writing to soak up the season’s blessings.  I hope you have been enjoying the season as well.  

Many of us struggle all year long with challenging relationships and the holidays seem only to further intensify our challenges.  Today, I’d like to share with you a practical lesson I learned about the meaning of detachment and I hope it will help you too when you’re head starts spinning.

One of the hardest concepts I struggled with during meditation was this concept of letting your thoughts pass without reacting. I imagined it something like sitting on your front porch and watching the cars go by mindlessly. Except for me each time a “car” went by I had some emotional attachment to every vehicle. I just couldn’t get this idea down.

Sometimes life has a funny way of helping you figure out the answers to your questions. You could sit and try all you want to focus on it and just fail, fail, fail. Then, one day a situation totally unrelated to meditation (or whatever your working on) shows you how it all works.

Let me explain,

I recently found myself in a very difficult situation and what I’d typically do when encountering conflict is something I call REDI: React, Engage, Decide, Implement. I assumed that I had to take quick decisive action in all situations as if it were a crisis.

I’ve lived so much of my life in crisis that the moments in between were what felt unsettling. If you’ve experienced a major trauma or successive traumas in your life you’ll be familiar with what I am talking about.

What often happens is that over time more hurt than you can manage builds up and you can become hyper-vigilant (living in fear that danger/a threat is always right around the corner). Then, when any conflict shows up, you’re already suited up and ready for battle, both barrels loaded.

You don’t really think, you just react instinctively to protect yourself. Often you’ll push the conflict away so forcefully that you end up hurting yourself more in the process because you overdo it. Other times, you let yourself lash out at someone thinking that this time you will “win” your power back. You feel like you are rightfully defending your position. You are certain that you must engage EVERY time.

I began reflecting on my REDI approach to life and thought about how I wanted to move forward. Something felt like it wasn’t working anymore, so I finally stopped and pictured what I wanted my life look like. Then, I asked myself what I’d have to do to make that reality.  A couple of hours later my mind was opened by a series of questions. As I answered them, something shifted in my way of thinking.

What if I just leaned into the pain and let it be itself instead of avoiding it? What if I accepted the person and the situation as is and didn’t take it personally? What if I already did all that I needed to do by removing myself from the situation? What if no further decision had to be made for the future of the relationship? What if I could just let it all be and go on with my life instead of rehashing it and hanging on?

So, I answered that barrage of questions by doing it. And you know what? I felt better. I had energy for other things and I think I’m going to change my acronym for conflict management to: LAG: Lean-in, Accept, Go on.

That “LAG” from Conflict to Implementation can provide just enough space to see that you are separate from the conflicts you encounter.  That doesn’t mean you are not responsible for your actions.  You just don’t have to identify so much with the pain and distress that you become it.

In fact, at any point using LAG can be helpful. You can use it from the very start of the conflict all the way through to the moment you walk away or anytime after.  

Look at it this way, If it is taking that much energy to hang on to the pain…just let it go and let LAG.  

Now I understand that you CAN sit down and meditate and let those memories pass by without reacting, when you finally untangle your Self from your experiences, You can lower the drama in your life almost immediately because you don’t judge yourself or others in the process of recalling memories. Suddenly, it is very clear that there is nothing to defend. You are not fighting for your life. You are ok. You are safe.

Have you had a situation which inspired you to see why your old ways of reacting weren’t serving you and how you could do better?  Share you story here.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Shifting Perspectives

The other night I was having a conversation with my “guardian angel” on the phone and explaining to her how I am at my wits end with my life and in desperate need of a change towards the good. I feel so tired of coming up empty handed.

I explained that I’m ready to sell my house, pay off my debt and get the hell out of dodge so I can heal whatever is going on and move forward. I feel like I’m treading water and failing miserably.

She said, honey let’s look at this – ok you’re not satisfied with your current work situation. You don’t like the debt hanging over your head. You’ve been through 2 divorces which have completely shaken your confidence to the core. At the same time, I’ve watched you take on challenge after challenge on your own and untangle yourself from a lot of things over these past couple of years. And you keep coming out ahead. Heck, you’ve not even passed your Certified Personal Trainer test yet and you’ve already got someone signed up to work 6 months with you starting in 2014.

So, let’s put this all together. You want to get out of debt. You want the freedom that comes with owning your own business, you want to get your confidence back, and you want to transform lives.

Image

If you can help this girl lose 40 lbs in 6 months for her wedding, you will not only transform her life, you’ll transform your own.

You’ll build the confidence you need and you’ll make money to get out of debt doing work you love.

Isn’t that an alternative to having a fire sale?

If I still decide that I want to sell my house to have the capital to take on a new venture to transform lives wouldn’t it feel better then?

I’m sure it would.

I can’t underscore enough the importance of having at least one person in your life that you can trust. Someone who you can be really honest with and can offer you different perspectives to your own problems. I’m not saying you have to take their advice, but it is good to consider solutions from different perspectives before making your own decision.

Back to the drawing board?

– With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Distracting Yourself from Your Unhappiness

I was perusing the blogs at Tiny Buddha and I ran across a post called: Create Your Life: Having Nothing Can Mean Having Everything, by . There was this one line she wrote that really stood out to me and made me pause to reflect on my current circumstances:

 Life can get so busy, and often when we don’t like where our life is, we fill it with things to do so that we don’t have to think about our unhappiness.

I thought about how much my life has changed since my divorce,  how dissatisfied I feel with chronically finding myself in ill-fitting jobs, and the fact that I wake up everyday feeling like I’m an actress in someone else’s life.

I’ve poured myself into improving my house because it’s the one area where I feel like I am rewarded for my efforts.

But when I read that line, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I’m almost done transforming my house.  What will I do with my unhappiness then?  Will I continue to find distractions or is the time coming where I’ll have to face it head on and make some serious decisions?

As the questions formed in my mind, I felt the cold knife of fear tear through my chest.  These past few years all I’ve done is react to trauma  in survival mode. I’ve been picking up the pieces, “patch-working” my life together with the scraps I found lying around and losing my faith in hope.

I feel like the romantic I once was is buried under the harsh realities I’ve faced. I’ve experienced major trauma before, but somehow this time it has left me afraid, a little less bold in risk-taking, heavy.  

Maybe my unhappiness stems from feeling like I’m trying to make due with what’s in front of me instead of creating something that’s uniquely mine.  I believe that’s why fixing up my house appeals to me so much.  I start with a vision of what I’d like it to be and take the steps to bring it into reality.

With my house, my vision is clear.  With my life direction, it is not.  And I’m running out of house which means I’m also heading right into the fog that is my life.

It seems like I’m going to be left with only 2 choices: 1) face the unhappiness or 2) find another big distraction.  No matter what I choose, I have a feeling I’m about to arrive at a defining moment in my life.

Have you ever come to a crossroads like this in your life?  Tell me, what did you do?

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉