We all know that life can throw its challenges.
But how do you respond to those unexpected challenges that rock the very ground you stand on.
Those challenges that hit your emotional vulnerability with maximum intensity.
When you are in the middle of a crisis it’s seems there is no way out of it.
You can feel hopeless and succumb to that negative analytical mind.
But It is important to remember that what ever the challenge -Your response to it will either empower you or break you.
There is nothing worse than making a challenge a past disaster.
There can be lots of struggle, lots of pain, lots of loss but it is possible to come out the other side with inner strength, security and confidence.
I am not saying it’s easy and I am not putting a time limit on it. It is, a self learning process.
Three weeks in to a four month trip around Southeast Asia, my travelling companion returned home due to a family bereavement.
Needless to say this unexpected change in plan threw me into panic. I never intended to travel solo through Asia, yet what was the point in returning home.
I wanted to continue and have the wonderful adventure but I realised something else was unfolding before me — aloneness.
Now I love time on my own. I am a introvert. But this was more. This was travelling in countries I have never been before, where I don’t speak the language, know no one, and too old to be in a backpackers hostel.
How should I deal with this challenge?
By acknowledging and moving through the different stages to peace and balance.
This might help you.
1. Acknowledge and accept how you feel.
Sit with your feelings and give expression to them. It’s ok to be anxious sad frightened. We need time to grieve and recover. Let it pour out.
Don’t deny your vulnerability. Treat yourself to the wisdom of self compassion, and leave all self judgement alone.
2. Nuture yourself.
Take things gently and seek appropriate support. You might share the problem with your friends, family, therapist, a support group and ask them for help. I asked my friends and family to keep in contact via social media and skype and it helped me through the rough patches.
I also took advantage of Monk Chatting. In Chiang Mai you can go to a temple and chat to a monk.
When dealing with unexpected challenges it is important to reach out for comfort and support.
3.Accept that all things change.
There are no guarantees in this life. Life just happens whether we are ready or not. But we can learn to be resilient and bounce back with courage and positivity.
My Buddhist monk shared the principles of impermanence and non attachment. How many of us are in the business of grasping and expecting life to go one way and should it not deliver the goods we fall apart with suffering.
4. Is there a lesson or opportunity in this challenge.
All our challenges can be overcome with the right mind. It is so easy to be trapped in our negative thought stream. It can take us down the river without a paddle and the trip can feel so real, it’s hard to get out of it.
But if you are slightly aware of what’s happening you are half way there to jumping off and getting on to solid ground.
Solid ground represents living in that mind of peace, balance and wisdom.
In this mind you can reconnect with your innate well being.
In this mind you gain authentic insight.
insight that will allow you to grow and make positive changes to your life.
5. Follow through with commitment.
Make a commitment to yourself that you will implement the insight gained from this challenge .
Move into the energy of that new insight.
Live from that increased strength and confidence.