This summer has brought many unexpected challenges to all of us on so many fronts.
Family upheaval. Break ups and addiction issues on the rise again.
Off the chart heat indexes are rolling across whole swathes of the world.
Wildfire smoke hanging heavy in unexpected new places ruining our capacity to connect to the nature around us (clearly this is not just a “California problem” anymore.)
Friends contracting COVID. For the third time. Again? Really???
Other unexpected health challenges are cropping up everywhere.
When life stressors like these converge from multiple directions, it is very challenging - taking us to the edge of who we know ourselves to be, depleting reserves, and stretching us thin.
Who are you when faced with the unknown?
The unexpected – arising when you need it least… Perhaps not a passing issue but one you – or a loved one - must walk with for a while?
First, let’s face it. When big challenges arise, all of us are temporarily knocked off our center.
Try not to ask, “How do I stay centered all the time – in the midst of this news/this challenge/this loss?” That kind of perfectionist thinking can end up draining us even more.
Rather a better question to ask is, “How can I return to my center, my source, my power – so I can respond with creativity, insight and wisdom?”
I was talking with dear friend yesterday and he was half joking that he is a “terrible patient” when any physical ailment shows up – admitting he collapses and whines and expects the worst – allowing his fear to “drive the bus” of his thoughts and awareness.
At the same time, I have another friend with a serious viral issue, who is stepping up to the challenge, remaining empowered and getting creative with how to manage his severe pain – doing everything necessary to take care of himself – calling in all his resources and taking positive actions.
The outcomes for these two will most likely be significantly different. I am watching the fear driven friend spin in circles and continually spiral downward into exhaustion and overwhelm.
The creative, empowered friend is recovering from his viral health challenge in a fraction of the time expected of someone with his diagnosis.
What can you look to when facing the unknown?
How can you gather your courage, power, creativity, and openness to meet these kinds of inevitable challenges when they arise?
My number one choice is Grounding and Filling.
If you lose your ground (and under stress you probably will – at least temporarily), then be sure that you have practices that return you to that deep, rich connection with the earth that can steady and sustain you.
If you feel you don't have the strength for these practices because your current situation or number of stressors is too great, find someone who is more grounded than you are and let them help you return to yourself – to your center.
We ALL need this from time to time – there is no shame in reaching out for support.
Several years ago, my close colleague and friend fell and broke both wrists – badly. She called me from the ER overwhelmed with pain and the huge “unknown” of it all (no hands-on practitioner ever wants this). What route should she take surgically hung in the balance and she could not find the answers within herself in that moment. I grounded and held her in my field until she regained her ground – and by the time we hung up an hour later, it was clear which therapeutic direction was wisest for her to take. Plus, she felt much calmer and centered.
If you are overwhelmed and have lost your ground – look around for the people in your life who are your “lightning rods” – those who ground you in a healthy way. Seek them out – ask for help. And keep asking for help until you feel centered, grounded and refilled again.
This means if you are having an ongoing issue (like helping a loved one in their dying process for an extended period; or a current health challenge that stretches for months or more; or a family member with ongoing mental health challenges) you need to keep asking for help.
This is vital. Know that you deserve it.
None of us make wise, creative decisions from an empty tank and being thrown off your center regularly by ongoing issues gives you every reason to double up on your support.
Does this mean you are weak?
Au contraire – it means you are wise.
You realize you must do all you can to sustain your center, so you can maintain health and a clear mind for optimal, effective choices.
Many of us in the health care world provide support for our families and communities. If this is you, you are probably used to giving lots of love and energy - and are perhaps not so good at receiving what you need. Now is the time to expand who you are and start flexing your “receiving muscles”.
Begin by making time in your day to ground and fill yourself.
There is a free short Ground and Fill meditation on my website that I highly recommend.
Then do the other practices that help you ground and refill your inner energy reservoir – meditating, walking, dancing, exercising in other ways, eating healthy food, connecting with those who sustain you, getting nurturing touch – and animals count here.
Often, we abandon all of these under stress – telling ourselves we simply do not have the time. However, experience shows us that if you maintain and, in some cases, increase your self-care, you pull through more quickly, successfully, and creatively.
Take a moment now. Assess where you are in your life – what stressors are draining you?
What resources do you need to maintain who you are at that Soul level?
Commit to asking for them, reaching for them, receiving them, and keeping your inner energy reservoir as full as you can.
The unknown and uncertainty on the planet earth has never been greater.
And we are all needed right now, so step up and walk with me!
Suzanne Scurlock, author of books Reclaiming Your Body and Full Body Presence and creator of the Healing From the Core® curriculum,specializes in conscious awareness and its relationship to the healing process. She’s written hundreds of articles, including numerous columns and features for Massage Magazine and Massage Today.
Be the first to read Suzanne's latest articles.
Stay on top of the latest in conscious awareness and body wisdom.