Let your lotus bloom
Has this scenario happened to you, life was in “your control” and then something very unexpected happened?
- The man/woman you loved so deeply decided they couldn’t be in your relationship anymore.
- Your best friend needs space and isn’t willing to speak to you and you don’t know if the relationship can be repaired.
- A family member or friend of yours unexpectedly develops a fatal illness or dies.
- You lose your job and there is no cushion to land on.
- Your child comes down with a debilitating mental or physical illness.
Yes, these things happen in life and we never know when they are going to happen to any of us. I personally have experienced two of these scenarios and am actually presently going through one of them right now. I have witnessed many, many clients and students go through many variations of difficulty and loss. Loss is a part of life and even as I write this I notice resistance in my mind and body because I do NOT want that to be true, but it is.
With loss there can be immense sorrow and grief, but also an opening of the heart that brings greater awareness, learning & growing, acceptance, compassion, and likely some gifts you wouldn’t have been exposed to or given without the loss.
Without the muck, there is no lotus. The lotus flower, as you can see in the photo above, emerges from the mud and muck below and it can ONLY blossom from this place.
In my work as a teacher and coach, I find that what naturally happens is that sometimes what I am teaching about or coaching a client through, I am also working my way through. There can often be themes that occur in my clients and students life, that then I also experience and am working my way through simultaneously. It is uncanny how this happens, but the theme right now that is up, is LOSS. Loss is a theme I have had a lot of in my life. I keep thinking that I have learned enough on this subject, but apparently the universe doesn’t think so 🙂
Resilience is a necessary skill that we need to learn as human beings because life is not under our control and we can’t anticipate and plan for everything that may or may not happen. Some of the most beautiful people, opportunities, and experiences that occur in our lives, are usually not in our control and something we don’t even expect to encounter.
I was walking with a friend last night in Sausalito, CA and two of the most amazing rainbows I have ever seen emerged in the rain. They were breathtaking and awesome to see. I suggested to my friend, Kelly we go for a walk and if we hadn’t we would have missed them. As a result of taking the walk, we saw the most amazing rainbows she and I will never forget.
Even among loss and difficulty, we can learn to surf the ups and downs of life with strength. This takes tools and skills of turning towards the discomfort, getting emotional support, feeling our feelings, finding ways to come back into balance, and being aware of the story we tell ourselves about the difficulty. The story we create really impacts our ability to be resilient or not.
Researchers have found a small but powerful part of our brain that seems to keep track of our failures- the habenula. It is there to help us learn what doesn’t work so we can avoid wasting our time repeating the failed behavior again and again. It can work against us if we define it in terms of winning or losing. Failure vs. Success.
When something doesn’t work out the way you want it to (a relationship, a job, etc.), the flaw was in the design, not in you. Instead of calling it a failure and giving up, you call it a design and keep going. I feel it can be helpful to embrace the idea that you will be challenged in life, instead of being surprised when the rug comes out from under you.
Try this exercise to support you to be more resilient.
What have you tried and missed at this week?
What did you learn from this? What can you apply to make it better?
Where have you succeeded?
It can helpful to weigh the positive and negative together.