3 Simple Strategies for Finding Calm in the Chaos

Peace in the Eye of The Storm - making choices that lead to change

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In the end I chose a random Tuesday to go.   After so many years of dilly-dallying with this and then fussing about with that, the allocation of the timing was a dry, cold, distant choice that had to be made or entirely forgotten about   It was literally an opening of my diary and the making of an appointment with myself. As if I were booking a hair appointment or a dr’s appointment or a time for the rubbish removal man to attend with a giant skip bin.  There was no overarching rhyme or any kind of reason. There was no best time. There certainly was no writing in the sky. There wasn’t one obvious thing that necessarily made more sense to me than one other thing. There was simply the option to make a choice.  Or. The option to keep waiting. And I had waited long enough for my life to begin. It was stay and die, or leave and live. And my poor, disillusioned, crushed soul wanted life. So I went. With the children, my piano, my sewing machine, a bottle of wine and my favourite wine glass.  There was a window of three, definite, safe hours to pack and get out. And so I went.  

As I pen these words, quite a few years have passed.  Difficult years, full of awfulness. I struggle to make sense of the craziness and angry backlash that have consumed my existence since I took that step, Thankfully, I now, finally have a chance to stop, and I reflect on the moment I made that choice and the deliberate specific actions that followed.

The internal courage, that decision making power, and the choice to take specific action in the eye of the storm, have been things that I have needed to be able to call upon again and again and again and yet again, as my life’s pathway unfolded, from that point until now. 

And what I want to tell you, today, is that courageous action in the heart of fear always wins.  I want to tell you that I know what it feels like to descend into heart palpitating fear, worry and anxiety.  I know what it feels like to lay on the cold, dark tiles and weep until your soul is melted butter. I also know that from those deep, dark places you truly can make really specific choices and take step by step by step actions, that will help you begin to  make the changes that you want to make in your life.

Any change that you want to make in your life is possible.

And so I share 3 specific steps that you can take , immediately, wherever you are in your circumstance, in your world, to begin to create the change you want in your life.

1.Claim your power

Your power is in your now.  It is as accessible as your breath. Claim it. Say aloud, “I claim this moment!”.  Actually saying it aloud will help immensely. One super effective way to begin to alter your external story is by changing your internal dialogue.  Your brain’s entire job is to do what you ask of it, and verbalising is an excellent tool to help your brain begin to change the thoughts, ideas and feelings that are currently swirling like an ocean through your being.   Will this make magic happen? Will 10 million dollars suddenly drop out of the sky? I wish! But – probably not. Sorry. But what this out loud talking will do is to begin to shift your perception of where you are in your circumstance and from that position of feeling more ok, you can begin to claim your power.  Try it! Try it right now. Breathe in and breathe out. Say, “I claim this moment.” It’s yours after all.

2.Take a specific action step

When in the middle of chaos and change, it is easy to think that there is nothing real available to us.  But there is. There is always one step within your reach. It doesn’t have to cost money. It doesn’t have to be drastic. There is literally always one step.  It might be teensy tiny. It might seem insignificant or silly. But choose it and take it. And then, once you take that one, there will be another, and then another appearing in front of you like amazing magical stepping stones that will create a pathway to your change.

Grab a pen and paper and write out 4 things you could do right now.  Write literally anything that comes to mind and put aside any notion of HOW you might do this, just write. Let it spill out onto the paper.  Resist the urge to force anything – just write whatever wants to be written.

And if you are stuck for ideas here are some beautifully simple ones to start you off:

  • Make that phone call
  • Go for a 30 minute walk
  • Write the email I have been putting off
  • Call and negotiate a timeframe for payment of that bill
  • Clean out my bottom drawer
  • Finish the task I have been avoiding
  • Make an appointment with my accountant
  • Listen to my favourite song 3 times in a row
  • Meditate for 5 minutes- start with a free option online
  • Make and drink a long pot of tea. Sip it slowly

Whatever it is – choose it. Do it.  Do it consciously and do it now.  

Why?  Taking small achievable action steps will help you immensely in beginning to shift your feelings about where you are at.

I will add right here that if you are so disheartened that nothing is touching you, please call a helpline. Simply having someone non-judgemental on the other end of the line can be a very positive thing. Type ‘helpline’ into google and dial that number. You’ve nothing to lose by calling. They are available 24/7

When everything seems against you and there is nowhere and no one to turn to for rescue.  When nasty circumstances prevail and the storm winds are fierce. When there is only you and your freaking wine bottle and your mind and your choice.   Action, any action, on your own behalf always wins. You can begin to claw your way out of your hole. You can. I know you can. I don’t say this lightly.  This is no glib, ‘chin up you’ll be right’, or a hearty and patronising ‘take a deep breath sunshine’, admonishment here. Take courage my friend. Take hope, there is a chance for you. Please take hope – you have an opportunity for change. Right here, right now.

3.Be comfortable in the not knowing – surrender

You are not going to know all the answers.  You won’t be able to solve all the problems in one go.  Fear can put us on the run. Fear can make us hide away.  Fear can keep us consumed with worry. Fear can put us on a negative spiral thought loop.  Fear can make us completely lose perspective. BUT – If you can find a way to be comfortable with not knowing everything and still take action, if you can stay in a space of openness rather than trying to go straight for the answer, then you will be able to move out of fear into calm.

And if you can learn to act often, despite the fear, despite not knowing all the answers, then you will be able to halt the feeling of panic and you will begin to make helpful decisions from a place of power. You will begin to make the change you want in your life.

What would I say now to that girl who left on that random Tuesday?
I would say to her, well done, you acted bravely in some extremely difficult circumstances. You did the best for your children.  You did the very best you could possibly have done for yourself.  And now you get to fly free!  Now you get to soar.

And so do you my friend. You get to soar. Now is your time.  Right here, right now. Right in the eye of the storm you get to fly free.  You don’t have to wait until it’s over. This moment, this very second, you can choose to be sheltered by the knowledge that you have a choice.  That you are ok – not later, not sometime, RIGHT NOW.  

Take courage, make a choice, claim your power, take that action step that is right in front of you and fly free. 

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