You remember all of those posts about going with the flow, surrendering and waiting? Well, for me it all came to a head with a big Kaboom!
And I know I’ve been quiet.
I actually wrote a blog post during the height of the chaos, but as it happens, it didn’t save properly and I didn’t have time to start over.
Living in chaos and uncertainty and uncomfortableness has been my home for the past three (ACK!) months. Truth is, I didn’t even realize that it’s been so long.
It hasn’t been a bad journey, but it’s made me come face to face with a lot of things from the past and my own insecurities.
Enough with the dramatic lead-up! My husband quit his job of 20 years and we have moved from Texas to Colorado. And this is ALL good stuff. But it has been intense and weird. We have lived in our house for 15 years and we have lived in Houston for most of our lives. So, we left everyone and everything we’ve ever known to go to a place that is totally new to us and where we know no one. Everyone says that it’s an adventure and what a wonderful place to move to, and they are right, but that doesn’t make it feel any easier.
Sorting through and packing up our lives and our past felt very intense for me. Not knowing where we would live and being separated from my husband for long stretches of time, felt super intense.
And we wanted this! We wanted a change and new place. We felt stuck and in a rut and wanted to shake things up.
But what I know is that change, even when you wanted it and prayed for it and hoped for it, happens. It can rock your world pretty hard.
And when the change isn’t something terrible like an illness, a death or a job loss, you almost feel guilty for feeling overwhelmed by it.
I think you have to take that judgment out of the equation though. Your thoughts and feelings can feel very real to you, no matter the scenario and you shouldn’t add guilt on top of all of it.
There are four things that I did during all of the chaos of the move that helped me and I hope they can help you if you find yourself navigating some big changes.
Lock down that self-care routine
Whatever works for you, whether that is yoga, meditation, journal writing, weekly manicures or whatever feels comforting and nurturing to you, get that habit etched in stone now so that when all of the chaos rains down, you have a touchstone to refer back to and it can help you keep some needed consistency in your life.
Be gentle with yourself
I’ve mentioned it before, but it is worth mentioning again, the work of Kristen Neff on self-compassion is a life-changer. I listened to her meditations regularly and it was especially helpful when I keep pushing myself a little too close to my breaking point. I made an effort to schedule in some time with friends and some spa time in between all of the appointments with contractors and movers and it made a huge difference. Don’t give yourself a super strict deadline, if you can help it. Ask yourself regularly “how can I be kind to myself?”
Question those thoughts
All kinds of crazy scenarios can start to bubble up when you feel stressed. Question them using Byron Katie’s The Work. Thoughts like “my house will never sell” or “I’m going to live in a box because I can’t find a home” are ones that visited me regularly.
Pema Chödrön was like my friend holding my hand when I got a little too overwhelmed by it all. Her book, “When Things Fall Apart” is a comforting and wonderful read if you are going through big change and/or suffering through a loss of any kind. She doesn’t sugar-coat anything, but she really helps you to put things in perspective and to see the ebbs and flows of life as the fleeting episodes that they really are.
“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.”
― Pema Chödrön
Change is a part of life. The good changes and the not-so-good changes, but allowing it to come and to not resist it, that is the real key to surviving and thriving through it.