Is it possible to develop resources of inner strength, love and deeper peace in the good times, so that when difficulties arise we are equipped to deal with them?
When things are going well, it’s quite easy to forget about the practices that keep us resilient, we put them to the wayside, not feeling like we “need” them.
However, when life hits the skids, if you’ve been working regularly with supportive tools pro-actively, they can help carry you through the more turbulent times in life.
Being human, means there is inevitable change, struggle, worry, grief and disappointment.
Our regular practices, routines and rituals are what help us navigate through stormy waters with a little more sense of balance, peace and ease, rather than getting thrown about from pillar to post. You’re more likely to hold your centre, that place of stability, and bounce back quicker.
By building these resources in the good times, you establish a grounding that can sometimes be difficult to create when life gets tricky. It’s like you’re stockpiling and harvesting for the winter, so that you have supplies in the cupboard, for when you need them.
How can we empower ourselves to ride the wave of inevitable challenges with grace?
Develop Nourishing Routines & Rituals
What supports you and helps you feel good?
What makes you feel at your best?
Do you wake up in the morning with purpose and set yourself up for the day?
Do you wind down at night with a good before bed routine, allowing you to get a good night’s sleep?
Nurturing ourselves with good routines that support our wellbeing through exercise, good nutrition and looking after our mental health, through practices such as meditation, are what support us when life is going well; and if these are established, they also give us something to rely on when life takes an unexpected turn.
While the word “routine” may sound boring, our routines are actually what help us feel safe and secure; and they are very grounding. It gives us a structure and familiarity, and when we have regularity it takes away the need for willpower or having to motivate ourselves, they happen naturally of their own accord.
If we ever find ourselves overwhelmed, supportive rituals can play a big part in nurturing us while we find our footing again.
When we have frameworks, it also gives us more freedom, rather than the opposite. It actually allows us the space to be more creative and more productive, when we’re not floundering around from one thing to the next with no direction.
So, having a support structure with our routines, helps us manage our energy, our health, our time, and nourishes our inner spirit.
Build Your Tribe
We’re social creatures and need to bond, have social interaction, and to feel that connection and co-operation, even if you feel you are more introverted.
We’ve never been so connected, yet we’ve never been so lonely with the advent of social media, In fact loneliness is one of the biggest social issues of today, and it can have dramatic consequences on our wellbeing, happiness, immune system and overall health.
Good relationships give us a sense of belonging and support, and with the help of others we develop a greater resilience and the ability to bounce back after adversity.
When we are in community we focus on more about what we can share, and it gives us something bigger than ourselves to care about, which makes us happier.
Build a tribe that enjoys the good times with you, but also are the type of people that are willing to listen and support you in the tougher ones.
If you’re not feeling like you have those relationships there is so much available to help you meet new people. There are many community based nights these days, where you don’t have to go out to bars or restaurants to be connected.
You can join activities or workshops with like-minded others, or another alternative is to volunteer to help people who are in need.
I remember when I was going through a particularly hard time, a teacher of mine said, “go and be of service to others”, and it totally changed my outlook and perspective of where I was at; from then I always keep this in mind when I face adversity.
Even if you do have your tribe around you, with busy lives it’s important to carve out quality time to continue to build relationships for them to thrive, and to value that special connection to your loved ones.
“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~ Lao Tzu
So often we look for what is missing in life, we are searching for the elusive ‘what else’ we might need to satisfy the wanting mind, to wonder if the grass might be greener elsewhere, or if I had this, or if I had that, maybe I would be happier, more fulfilled, everything would be okay.
While there is nothing wrong with desire, or wanting to create good for ourselves, it’s when we lose sight of what we already have, that we begin living for a future time, or perhaps a part of our history that is long gone, and we miss all the good fortune that is right in front of us.
When we take time to reflect on the positives in our lives, we are happier, more resilient, have a greater sense of optimism, and it even boosts our immune systems.
By establishing a gratitude practice, when things do happen to unsettle us, or when things go array, we can see that there is still so much good around us, and it gives us hope.
Think about the blessings in your life right now. Maybe it’s a warm bed, the sound of the birds in the morning, your morning coffee, fresh running water, perhaps a kind friend. All the little things in life that we so often take for granted, but fill our lives with innumerable blessings.
Build a gratitude practice into your life, and you’ll notice when you see the good, more good starts to flow naturally to you.
Face Things As They Arise
Dealing pro-actively with events, experiences and emotion as they come up is vital. 90% of our subconscious is unprocessed emotion, and stress that has been stored up over time. All these little things can build up, and if we haven’t taken the time to manage them, then when something big happens, it’s like they all combine into a domino effect.
However, if we can face these things as they come up, we become used to moving through small difficulties, and then we are better equipped to support ourselves on an ongoing basis, and when larger challenges arise.
This is why meditation is such an incredible tool. When we first start meditating we begin processing many of these underlying experiences that we might have pushed down, or numbed. The practice helps transform us on deeper levels as we begin to gain more personal awareness and understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. It also allows us to sit with what is in the present moment, to process both what may need to be cleared, as well as face any experiences as they come up. While this might sound a little overwhelming, the benefits are tenfold.
Kinesiology is another beneficial tool, to help you move through your experiences. It can tap into what may be under the surface, and help you to grow and heal, so you can move forward in new directions and fresh outlooks.
“This is why we practice, for times like these when compassion is so necessary.” ~ Dalai Lama
Life can be unexpected, things arise to rock our worlds, it can sometimes get a bit messy, and every now and then it can come along and send you a curveball. Or sometimes not even so big, little things can trigger us and cause us to feel imbalanced and a bit out of kilter. In many ways this is where some of the beauty lies, as it’s what creates our growth, and makes us stronger.
However, being proactive with our wellbeing in the good times, is how we cope with the ones that challenge us in a more graceful way, where we can allow all of those established routines to support, nourish and nurture us.
Creating new habits isn’t as difficult as it might sound, and small shifts can make a big difference. (Read here)
Building a tool kit that grounds and stabalizes us, helps us move through experiences as they come up, brings us a deeper contentment, gives us fresh hope, and inner resilience.
This is why we practice.