How to move through challenging times with grace March 16 2016, 0 Comments

My year started on such a high, I felt rejuvenated and refreshed after a lovely Christmas break and ready to take on 2016. I felt totally in flow! Towards the end of January and into February however, I saw my energy slowly shift and plummet. I began to feel flat, exhausted and more negative than my usual optimistic self. Despite my best intentions and ginormous tool kit of self-help strategies and stress management hacks, I felt like life was happening to me. Sure, there were a series of events that have contributed and I could always blame the full moons, eclipses and intense energy of recent times, but I won't. My inner critic, my mean girl was turned up to the maximum volume! How did I get there?

It doesn't matter how spiritual we are, the world is going to keep throwing difficult times at us. I believe it's how equipped we are to get through those trials that will ultimately determine how we come out at the other end. Here are my top tips on moving through challenging times, when your energy is low and emotions are high and your inner critic wants to beat up on you with negative self-talk. Wherever you are right now in your own journey, I hope some of these tips help.

Acknowledge it.

Acknowledge what you're experiencing. Give it a voice. Let it be heard. Feel it. Don't push it away or lock it within and throw away the key. Lean into the emotions you're feeling whether it be fatigue, overwhelm, stress, grief or sadness. Giving our experiences and emotions some form of acknowledgement can sometimes be enough to shift our energy or mood. 

Practice mindfulness.

Incorporate the pillars of mindfulness into your experience. Accept whatever you're experiencing is happening. Don't try to analyse it too much or judge yourself, your thoughts or your feelings. Be patient. Be curious about the feelings that are arising. Surrender and release any expectations of a specific outcome. If it feels like the right time, let it go. It took me at least a week to let go of a nasty run in with my neighbour and I still think I have a lot more letting go to do!! Deep grief and loss can take years and sometimes lifetimes to fully accept and let go. Trust all is unfolding as it should in divine timing.

Practice deep self-love.

Nurture yourself like you would a small child. Ask yourself: "How can I best support myself through this?" and "What is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?" Take baths, get a massage, sleep in, stay in bed all day if you need, go away for the weekend or call a friend. Be super gentle with yourself. Talk kindly to yourself and keep that nasty inner critic or mean girl in check. Avoid having a bender or a massive binge on junk food if you can, as this will often make you feel worse. If you do over indulge, don't beat yourself up. Forgive yourself and tune back into what your body, mind and soul needs.

Express yourself.

Open up your throat and sacral chakras and get it all out. Talk to a therapist, psychologist, coach, trusted colleague, friend or family member. Write a blog post, journal on it, paint, draw, play music or dance. Or do all of those things. Let the experience move through you. Don't suppress it. Don't bottle it in. Cry if you need. Laugh if it helps. Don't be afraid to feel and be open to how the emotion wants to express itself. 

Look for the lesson.

No matter how challenging things may seem, there is always something we can learn and always an opportunity for soul growth. Where can we open our hearts more? What else can we learn about ourselves, others and the world around us? What lessons are we yet to learn? What patterns keep repeating themselves? For me, this last month has highlighted some old patterns and lessons yet to be learned. Where I need to be firmer with my boundaries and saying no. Where I need to value and appreciate my time, expertise and skills more. It has highlighted my need to keep working on protecting my energy and deepening my self-care practices and my intuition. To practise what I preach.

Change your scene.

Get away for a weekend, go for a walk or stay with a friend. Getting out of your own familiar environment, even if only for a short while can do wonders. Grounding yourself with Earth's energy and being out in nature is extremely therapeutic. Looking up at the vast night sky and remembering what a magical Universe we live in can offer a different perspective. Feel the water wash over your toes at the beach or be mesmerised by the sound of rain falling on a tin roof. Re-connect with all that is.

One day at a time.

Change is the only constant in life, according to Heraclitus. Just as the sun comes up in the morning and goes down at night, change is inevitable. We can choose to go with it or resist it. I'm a big believer in what we resist persists, until we learn the lesson and heal or grow from it. Focusing on one moment, one minute or one hour is sometimes the only way. Getting through one day may feel like a milestone sometimes. Time is a wonderful healer. Be patient and acknowledge that you're doing the very best you can.

Show up on your mat.

Turn up on your yoga mat. In class or in the privacy of your own home. Breathe, stretch and move in a way that soothes your soul. Practise some of your favourite poses. Go along to your favourite classes. Do what feels right for you in the moment. If remain in child's pose is all you can do, do that.

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Life is always going to throw us curve balls. At the time when you're knee deep in a stressful, emotional or traumatic situation, sometimes you question how you will ever get through it. But you will. We do. We are resilient creatures. Moment by moment. Day by day.

I would love to hear any tips you have to get through difficult times? 

If you wish to explore how to tackle your inner critic, move through challenging times with grace or you've lost your spark and feel called to work with me, I offer complimentary discovery sessions. Email simone@yogamona.com.au to connect. Or book your session here.

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If you're experiencing a challenging time right now. You are not alone. If you need to speak to someone urgently, please call Lifeline on 131 114 or consult with your doctor.