chaos post hurricane scare

When Nothing is Stable

In our first three months in Mexico, we shared the house with ten others on five different occasions, we stayed at a hotel in Cabo for a week due to house guests needing our room, and we flew to the States for a wedding. Not to mention learning to deal with a new language, a new culture, new money, new ways to get everything done, and dodging two hurricanes.

Our lives were in flux.

chaos post hurricane scareWhen a friend visited us during this time we were asked, “How is it?” Meaning how is our new life in Mexico. I couldn’t answer because I didn’t yet know what “it” was. We had not settled in. We had no routine. The landscape was constantly changing. We were striving to be entrepreneurs when those around us were on vacation. Every day there were new rules and new players. We had moved, but we still didn’t know what we had moved into.

To a recovering Type A, this is near hell. We love our routines. We love stability and predictability. We love control. I had none of these. Honestly it was a very difficult time.  But I did learn some tools to survive instability.

Let Go: Let go of your usual rules, expectations, and the desire for control. Whether it is a flurry of different houseguests or a shifting landscape at work, the truth is we are not able to dictate or predict how things will be. Holding on to expectations of how everything should work or how things will pan-out only causes stress. Let go of the feeling of responsibility for procedures and outcomes. Become aware of the pattern developing on its own and find ways to work within this new setting.

Acceptance: Many of us Type A’s believe in very stern black-and-white ways to be. The truth is not everyone is like us. Becoming angry and upset at others’ way of living will not change the situation. Peace can be found in recognizing the uniqueness of each individual. Acceptance also relates to accepting the flux. It is scary to be without control and routines, but the truth is you are without regularity. Fighting this reality only causes anxiety. Accept the craziness of your current life as the new norm.

Find Refuge: Find a safe haven and give yourself a timeout on a regular basis. Create some safe spaces away from the chaos to relax, breath, go to the State of Gray, and get back to center. We can not always control the instability of our lives, but we can always control the stability within us. Use these time outs to find your inner stability in the midst of outer chaos.

Look for the Lessons: Being thrown outside our norm is the prime way for us to really examine some of our life lessons and challenges. When we are safely in what we know, these lessons do not always rear their heads. During chaos notice what triggers you, how do you react, and what is scary for you. In these answers are incredible gifts where you can work to become an even better version of yourself.

As we move full force into the holiday season, look at your busy ever-changing schedule to see where you need to bring some comfort to yourself in the midst of chaos.

If you are looking to shed your need for control and want to begin living a more flexible and joyful life, make a New Year’s Resolution to jump into the 21 Day Kick Start!

what are you thinking

Creating Your World

Recently I witnessed the power we all have to create our world. And unfortunately these individuals were not creating a pleasant one. I will not share their stories here, but I will share some of the reasons they were creating the lives they really didn’t want.

First is the tendency to see the world as a place of lack. We expect to have less than. We believe in the mantra “life is not fair” and look for every opportunity to find it true. When we do have the opportunity to receive more we are afraid or feel unworthy to receive it which often sends the good from us because we are not accepting it.

what are you thinkingOther times we feel a victim of circumstances. We give up our power to something or someone else. We feel vulnerable and powerless to some force we deem is mightier than we are. We do not believe in our own inherent power.

A less than ideal world can be created when we look at our past history and expect it to repeat. We see current situations not as they are but through the filter of our past experiences. No matter how the current situation is different, we can only expect what we experienced before and therefore receive based on past perception.

Finally, fear gets in the way. We build up stories every day about how someone will act or something will happen. We are so focused on this imagined scary outcome that when something innocuous happens, we interpret it as our worst nightmare.

Where in your life do you perceive current situations through the filter of past experiences? Where are you acting as if your beliefs and expectations were reality? Are these perceptions and expectations helpful or hurtful for what you want? When what we expect to see is only negative it is often because our stress brain is in charge. This part of the brain was created to keep us safe, but it can also turn into a menace that sees everything as a threat. The way to actively create your ideal world is to keep your worrying stress brain in check.

Slow Down – The first step is to prepare yourself to consciously act instead of unconsciously reacting. Doing the State of Gray every day whether it is meditation, yoga, or some other technique to slow down our hectic lives and constant thinking, gives us the platform to begin controlling what we think.

Uncover Your Filters – Our reticular activating system (RAS) is the part of our brain which decides what we see every day. Our brains cannot handle all the data constantly bombarding us so we train our RAS to filter in only what is important. Be a detective in your own life and uncover what you have trained your RAS to see. Is it positive and helpful? Or is it bringing you expectations of negativity and loss? Retrain your RAS to focus on what you want to bring into your life.

Define Your Ideal World – We are not victims of circumstance or the happenstance lottery of life. We co-create our life. What do you want yours to look like? Who is in it? What do you do? What are your days like? What do you want to be remembered for? What do you want to experience? We cannot receive our dream without first defining it. What is it that you do want?

When we have not been taught to create our lives, the task might seem foreign, difficult, or even impossible. If you would like help creating your new life, join us this spring for a powerful weekend retreat to help you slow down, remove unhelpful filters, and begin creating the life you desire.

cabo san lucas mexico

Best Laid Plans

The day before we left for Mexico, my friend Kristina generously offered to give me a massage. As she is amazingly talented I could not refuse. The problem was that Kristina comes to people’s homes, and I had no home. My mother was to be out for the morning so we arranged to meet at her house. The first half of the massage was wonderful. After months of stress, here was my opportunity to relearn how to relax and receive again. I was just beginning to reconnect with my calm peaceful center and my mother came home. Then my husband arrived. Spa time was over. Laughter emerged. So much for relaxation! For the second half of the massage the house was filled with voices and movement. Afterwards Kristina said she felt this was to be my life for the next year. She was right.

north dakota oil field housing
Man camp accomodations

As a recovering Type A, I was very proud of only scheduling hotels for the first four days of our trip, not all twenty-one. We had some idea of where we would be when, but we did not make commitments except for the first few days. I quickly learned that even four days was too long of a time to plan. Our second day on the road took much longer than expected. Arriving at my brother’s at eight in the evening did not leave us long to visit. As I had clients the next day, I had wanted to be at a hotel to ensure good internet connection. My brother confirmed the quality of his internet and so we spent two nights in his fifth-wheeler in a North Dakota “man camp” having to switch South Dakota hotel and plans for the next few days. This is when I stopped planning.

It was obvious this trip was not one of simple travel to a new home. The experience of this trip was also one of shedding old ways and learning a new way to be. For the rest of the trip we only knew a day or two ahead of time where we would be. We got into the flow. We changed plans as to where we were going due to forest fires and difficult terrain for our vehicle. We stopped where we wanted to stop. We took a detour to stay in a hotel with hot springs. We arrived in California without a hotel reservation. Scheduling, planning, and deadlines were all removed. We were learning how to move moment by moment and it was wonderful and strangely new.

cabo san lucas mexicoIt was necessary to learn this new way of being. When we arrived in Mexico, we learned that we had to be in the flow. Punctuality is not part of the Mexican culture. Being hours or sometimes days late, or changing meetings at the last minute is the norm. The concept of time was completely different than what I was used to. Also as we were not living in our own home, I had to adjust to a constant flow of others coming through unannounced. Time and space were no longer things I could control (or think I could control). The first few weeks in Mexico were challenging because it was such a big shift shedding the last of my Type-A super planner controller and really learning to slow down, accept the perpetual chaos that is life, and embrace a relaxed flowing state of being.

Where in your life are you trying to control time, space, or activities? Can you really control them? Does trying to control them feel good? How does your desire to control affect others? Where can you try to let go of control and watch things naturally play out? How does letting go change your experience? Share your thoughts with us here.