4 Steps to Reset And Thrive (Episode 264)
Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed, at your whit's end, or feeling stuck? I can completely relate. And, so can many of my clients! As a relationships coach, there are many times families feel trapped in the chaos that's slowly crept in, and they don't know how in the world they'll be able to do the complete overhaul that "needs" to happen to get back on track.
It Starts With Simple Steps
So often, with my clients, what seemed like a thousand mile journey of doom and hard work quickly shifted by simply taking one step at a time. And those steps always start inward first. For every relationship, it requires you to first have a relationship with yourself. And recognizing what you bring to it, what perspective you have, and how you react - these are essential. A tiny shift in one of these can make a ripple effect way beyond your own household.
Here are just a few comments from clients:
Working with Ashley is what gave us the tools to create a family vision, notice when things are spinning, slow down and communicate before they get out of hand. Her coaching has been priceless for our family!
You handled my enthusiasm of learning all these truths with kindness; you directed my energies to help me ask myself better questions and ultimately find my own answers and you encouraged and validated my journey and the wins along the way.
Thank you for the resources you opened up to me and for encouraging me to see our family’s non-traditional path in seasons that come and go, some more quickly than others. Remembering that each decision we make doesn’t have to be etched in stone forever has been one of the most liberating things for me as we try many options in our learning, living, and expanding.
I initially thought I had to figure out what I wanted out of this life to make everything work, I then realized during our call that I have to figure out what WE want out of this life. I realized I have been building everything backwards. Business can't be my sole focus to get my family to a good life, I have to build my family and then figure out how business fits in to assist our goals and vision. Also, the introduction to DISC was very powerful, I see that as a key understanding of people and how to get along with them better. The value I received from just one call with Ashley was immeasurable.
I didn’t realize that life is more like a story that you get to write and you determine the setting, the characters and whether it’s a drama or a comedy. And that investing in myself through coaching with Ashley was one of the best decisions because I met an “editor” who helped me define my story. I feel empowered to create a life that I love!
4 Steps to Reset
Sometimes we get trapped in certain emotions that become more than a passing feeling - they become our identity. We start to fall back into the habit of complaining about the weather, whining about our ailments, and thinking, "why does this always happen to me?"
Well...if you're the common denominator to all the negativity, it's time to assess what you're attracting. Where your focus goes, that energy flows. Are you feeding and fueling more negativity in your life, or are you intentionally and proactively seeking - and creating - moments of joy and hope?
Step 1: Engage the Senses
Pay attention to ALL the senses. When we're looking for fulfillment or seeking something good, pay attention to the senses. Are you engaging all the senses, or are you disconnected in some way and paying attention will bring you back to center? I reference on the podcast my interview with Elyssa Smith on Get Out of Survival Mode with these Three Steps (Episode 234). We talked about how, when you are in survival mode, you are not taking the time to pay attention to all your senses. You are literally running for your life. Your thoughts are "don't get killed, and don't get booted from the herd." You aren't thinking about soaking in the goodness of a cozy blanket, hot, sweet-smelling/tasting herbal tea, the candlelight... So if you're feeling in survival mode, go to that episode first. You'll see, again, the importance of this one simple reset to bring you to the present moment. What are you smelling? What are you seeing? How is this affecting you?
Step 2: Get Present
Bring awareness to the present moment. Sometimes we can feel like the whole world is falling apart, and, if we stop and take a breather, we realize nothing is really attacking or hurting us. Look at what is in front of you right now. Look at what is. And find something that is, right now, to be grateful for, or that brings you joy.
We've worked hard to take the moment right now, in the present moment, to show up fully, be aware, and see how our senses can be engaged...and ultimately what we're grateful for...in the present moment.
Step 3: Wait to Worry
Is it helping you to stress about something in the future? What is truly in the present moment that is truly within our personal control? Is worry and speculation helping you? Are you focusing so much on what you don't want to happen that you, in essence, think it into reality?
We talk about dance moves in the podcast episode. Sometimes we've been so trapped in worry and overwhelm we don't fully know how to get out of it. It feels fake and unnatural to sit with your senses.
Just like a beginner dancer may need to work hard and practice the logistics of the dance moves first, the practice of shifting your habits, perspective and approach starts off as the gritty choreography. It's learning the moves, and sometimes that's a fake-it-till-it's-real-to-you approach. It's doing the 1-2-3 count of your dance steps and looking at your footwork.
But ultimately, you get to the flow. You've practiced the steps so much you can then feel the movement, and improvise and glide with the rhythm. And that is the true dance.
Worry isn't going to help your dance moves or your life. It's speculation on the unknown. Practice the steps that are effective to shift you out of it. Engage the senses. Get present. Wait to worry (and keep on waiting, as you realize it did nothing to resolve anything).
Step 4: Be A Joy-Seeker
Be a proactive joy-seeker. Seek a feeling, not a specific action. When you focus on the feelings, and you even start by smiling and laughing, your mind will catch up. Laughter is a great diffuser for stress. Get goofy with your kids and do karaoke. Have some fun and shake things up. Don't paint a picture for what joy should look like and how everyone else will respond.
Be open to the joy you can discover - not impose.
Let the Light In
Adding fun, looseness and light is so important. When you are living in heaviness....where is your balance? Where is your lightness, joy and sunshine? Joy is always behind that door - we just need to take the first step to crack it open. We often have to move toward joy to really allow it in our lives. Sometimes, we need to let go of expectations and agenda, and simply ask ourselves, what's so bad about it? Are the kids cutting up and goofing off, being silly or simply relaxing? What's so bad about it?
And sometimes, we actually need to BE that joy. Help someone else out who is a step or two behind you, or needs that assistance you know you can offer. Joy is contagious - you give some to others, it can be that good glitter that rubs off on you.
We're a messy process, but worth it.
What Is In Your Control?
When you are learning a new way to think, you'll start to lose some terminology - like I can't, they always, I never, yes, but...it's not fair, etc. You won't stop using those words, always, yet you'll catch yourself more. Remember you learn the choreography before you do the dance.
We can only control that which is within ourselves. Your life cannot be perfectly plotted out exactly as you wish, unless you also have 100% control of every other person's mind and actions you come across, as well as wonderful Mother Nature. There are a lot of external variables we cannot always predict!
But what we can control is the best superpower we can have - the ability to frame our reality, our way of thinking, and our mindset to be whatever we want to create. Instead of looking at the lack in your life, look at the abundance. What are you grateful for, right now? What IS working well? Can you start with what is going right vs. what is going wrong? Living life as a victim of circumstance is accepting you are a pawn that will be moved as is convenient for others...not for you.
Let Go of the Outcome
Unless the outcome is the feelings and emotions you can control, I caution you about identifying exactly what something will look like. Think of the sports-loving boy at Christmas, obsessed with getting a basketball under the tree. He gets a bat and glove instead...so what does that look like? A kiddo thrilled at a gift he will enjoy because he loves all kinds of sports and enjoys the presence of people around him, or an angry son, so mad he didn't get the one gift he was set on that he missed the joy of the whole experience of Christmas day? Is he focusing on one present, and missing being present at all?
Focus on the feelings within your control. You can practice those feelings now. You may not have that perfect situation just yet - but you can find some element in your life where you can identify the feeling you're going for - joy, awareness, peace...and start sitting in the feelings of fulfillment and wholeness even as you grow.
When others are embracing joy around you, pay attention to resentment you may feel. Is it just not on your agenda? Are you more frustrated because you, personally, aren't making space for joy? Maybe it's an opportunity for you to join in and experience a joy-spark that lights someone else up as well.
Remember, Look Within
You may feel completely lost, alone or unloved, but as long as you rely on an external variable - someone else's thoughts and actions - you are at the mercy of them and whether it's just as important in their world as it is in yours.
In your world, you can sit in the feeling of being found, cherished, loved and more...by digging into your memories and remembering the emotion - not the exact situation, but simply the emotion. And if going to your past is too raw, go to your future - intentionally find someone or something and do to them what you want - show love. Show acceptance. Show joy and support to someone else and feel that emotion as you're helping another.
Your Weekly Challenge:
Start exploring ways you can bring excitement and joy into your life - that feeling that just feels...right for you. Go seek it and give yourself permission to pursue it. That's your first step in allowing fulfillment, compassion and understanding in your life, and for others.
You don't have to leave your home. You don't have to spend a cent. This isn't about a huge undertaking. Take two minutes right now. Step outside and take off your shoes. Feel the ground under your feet and take two minutes to check in with every sense and just find something to be grateful for.
- Engage the Senses
- Get Present
- Wait to Worry
- Be a Joy-Seeker
You can take just a tiny bit of time to do a world of impact. Creating a simple shift to the positive in your focus, and finding fulfillment within is a critical step in getting closer to seeing how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us. Namaste
Some additional resources for you
- When Adventures Go Awry (Episode 51)
- Tasks: Tips to Move Past Overwhelm and Make It Flow
- Tasks: They Are Taking Over My Life!
- Life Isn’t Compartmentalized…but if it were…
- The Burden of Overwhelm – Moving Forward While Always Feeling Behind
- 5 Tips To Focus For Frazzled Families (Episode 160)
- The Steps For Emotional Resilience (Episode 150)
- Self-Love, or Self-Sabotage? (Episode 152)
Questions or comments?
Personality styles, marriage/intimacy, parenting, education, minimalism or travel - what is pressing on your mind?
Or, hop on over to the Mama Says Namaste or Unschooling Families FB groups and ask your question there!
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