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Ina's Blog

When Life Gets Complicated

It’s not going to be a shock to any of you when I say, sometimes life flows so easily – other times, not so much. Sometimes life gets complicated, unmoored even. What you imagine, hope for, dream of for your life gets dramatically changed in an instant, or even quite slowly. As I sit writing this message to you today, I’m very aware that my own journey is quite tough right now. Perhaps you can relate in one way or another. I’m figuring out how to navigate the stress of the current political/social climate – which, in my view, impacts all aspects of our lives both in the present and future, covid, and a dear one’s health issues – my husband. The last is the most dramatic for me because life revolves around the people we love and it’s so difficult to see them suffer. It’s also challenging to work through the life changes these situations bring. As with many people in similar situations, I’m figuring out how to evolve my perspectives, take the time for myself to rejuvenate, focus on what brings me to a happy place in my heart, mind, spirit, and energy, stay connected to my loving family and friends, and make a life that embraces all of these experiences in the spirit of love, compassion, kindness, passion, exploration, laughter, and freedom for myself and those I love.

The truth is, I have a million blessings in my life. And, on those days when life is confusing and uncertain, I turn toward those blessings more than ever. And so, there are 3 things that I have absolutely learned to do during this time and that have been so helpful for me. Maybe these are helpful for you too. Oh, and trust me, these have not been my strong suits to this point and I’m still working them! I’ve learned to:

  1. Be vulnerable– to be open about what is happening in my life, not for sympathy or even advice, but to acknowledge within myself first that I hurt, and second that I’m scared. The unintended consequences of being vulnerable are that I am seeing this as being strong (where I used to think that being vulnerable was being weak – thank you Brenee Brown); and, I now see how much people care about me and are there for me (rather than living in fear of being judged or turned away).
  2. Reach out for help – to know that I don’t have to go through this alone. I can share my burdens and be completely embraced, supported and helped. I’ve reached out to my loving family and friends and beyond, to even speaking with my doctor and getting therapy.
  3. Connect, connect, connect – to simply reach out to people, make plans, get out of the everyday routine and see new vistas and have great conversations.

Of course, I continue to practice meditation and mindfulness, exercise, eat healthy (though there has been more chocolate in my diet than usual!), and do my spiritual/energy work – very deep energy work. Where would I be without these?!

I hope this sharing may have helped you in some way. It’s rare in life for anyone to escape difficult times. As we all know, it’s how we choose to go through them that makes the difference. I have by no means mastered going through this with dignity at every moment. Some days, I’m a mess! What has helped me is learning to walk toward the mess and being ok that some days I’m not ok. I know. That’s so counterintuitive because you fear (or at least I do) that you are walking into so much pain that maybe you will never come out. But, in my quest to figure out how to go through this time I’m learning and experiencing the opposite. I’ve been reading, listening to podcasts, signed up for an anxiety app (Unwinding Anxiety – which is amazing), tapped back into a self-compassion class that I took with Kristen Neff, and tapped back into the MBSR class I took several years ago. I’m learning that it’s all ok. What we go through in these times is so natural. Getting up the courage to be with, notice when we are in the eye of the storm in the moment we are getting swept up, using our mindfulness skills, and giving ourselves love, acceptance and kindness are some of the keys to also being able to stay engaged in the fullness of life; and there is so much life to make and enjoy!

Here’s to tenderness, sweetness, and joy in our everyday!