A photo flashed in front of my eyes as I logged onto my Facebook account.
It showed an image of my daughters smiling shyly in front of a winding staircase, a small shot of a fireplace protruding behind them. The photo was accompanied by a message saying ‘Your memories from 6 years ago.’
One of the great things about Facebook is the ability to remind you of past events you would rather erase, but on this occasion, it was a gentle reminder of how far I’ve come.
This particular picture had been taken at one of the most turbulent times of my life. I had walked out on the life I had, and stepped straight into uncertainty with my daughters in tow. The photo which Facebook highlighted had been taken whilst we viewed a small apartment, excitement filled our faces, a place to start anew to rebuild and recalibrate. A secure base to call home.
It was just over 6 years ago.
I will never forget the kindness of the landlady who accepted us as tenants and the family members who helped to make the first rental payment. Life was as upside down as it could be. I had gone from being a successful professional, a wife, having an elevated status in my community and owning an imposing property, to choosing to let go of it all. Taking only what was important to me; My daughters.
There are moments during that time that were so humiliating and belittling, yet what it created was a great deal of compassion towards others. It’s no accident that humiliation and humility come from a similar root. When you experience humiliation this tends to lead to humility.
I was never the same person again.
Who you become during these times is a far more authentic version of who you were in the years previous to this. As those extra layers that were constructed of built up pride, ego and snobbery come tumbling down, demolished forever. There is actually a tremendous freedom to this.
But within it, there is always the power to rebuild using the gift of resourcefulness and resilience that we all have inside — the determination to never give up, to continue on regardless. To navigate the uncertainty with aplomb.
I had never felt so disarmed and so exposed when I discovered that for the first time in my life there was nothing to hide behind.
Unfortunately, when you reach a pivotal moment, you find that the growth happens, you can’t escape it. You see it often in patios where shrubs have managed to squeeze through the cracks within the cement. If this is capable of happening in nature, it can also happen in humans.
I have since rebuilt and became a life coach, international speaker and a bestselling author.
How’s that for rebuilding?
When looking at where you are in your life, it’s often important, to be honest, and look back at the choices that brought you to this place.
You could make different choices moving forwards by using the energy of creation, possibility and growth; only looking back to rectify that you are not repeating the behaviours that have not served you in the past. You can then begin to look at the future you want to create.
Have a vision of the person you want to become.
In fact, you’re already that person, but for the layers of conditioning, defences, beliefs and limitations that have covered up your true self-built up over the years.
What do you need to start doing differently from this moment?
Have a vision of who you want to become, rather than what you want to do. Slowly but surely you will discover actions that will take you in the direction of what you want; even when in the midst of uncertainty and change.
I had a vision that I wanted to make a difference, change people’s lives and create a home with my daughters that was blissful and peaceful, I didn’t know how this was going to pan out, but within the vacuum I was in, I had the vision and followed only what aligned with this.
If friendships, situations or business did not align with this, then I had to let them go.
It sounds ruthless; but it was pure survival. When doors were slammed, I fumbled in the dark and found new doors to open.
I just never gave up.
Rather than leading from a victim stance, I took on the ownership mindset, taking full responsibility for what I had created in the past, but like the popular quote says ‘If you can destroy, you can rebuild.’ As human beings, we have the power to do both.
But when rebuilding, try using a different foundation, bricks and cement.
I asked myself each day, what is this challenge trying to teach me?
What do I need to learn from what’s occurring?
When I work with clients who are heading for uncertainty, I ask them to do the same. Focus on what’s possible rather than on getting even. Acknowledging how far you have come, rather than focusing on how you’re not where you want to be.
Use the energy of gratitude, connection and love which is already available to you.
There is no need to purchase it as its available to both the wealthy and the poor.
It’s only possible to create from a place of joy, gratitude and love. Who can create out of anger, depression, resentment and anxiety?
Each change or shift you make is chipping away at the facade and you don’t want to miss the moments of breakthrough, where a light shines through the darkness. You can do this through storms, turbulence and uncertainty.
Growth is happening all the time, it is often invisible to the naked eye, but it’s all bubbling within.
In the same way, when an earthquake erupts, it does not happen suddenly, it occurs through years of change, small shifts all happening underneath the surface.
The earthquakes begin deep underground at a point called the focus. As the rocks shatter at the focus, shock waves called seismic waves radiate outward in all directions. We have a similar point internally which when impacted enough, then radiates outwards.
In the great wholesome soup that is life, I have found the ingredients which have been crucial to rebuilding successfully are a good dose of humour, vulnerability, humility, courage, pro-activity, love, vision, family support, determination, surrender, self-care, service to others, ownership, forgiveness, and a connection to a higher self (God or otherwise).
It might seem like a long list, but even picking just one of the ingredients will make a huge difference to how you experience a turbulent time in your life.
In fact, you don’t even have to wait for uncertainty to strike, you can already start integrating some of these ingredients into your life today to help you navigate situations and scenarios as they are presently occurring.
As you embody these into your life, you will be armed to navigate through any battle that life offers up to you, and face them as a true warrior.
If this article resonated with you, you can read more chapters like these in my latest book ‘Look Inside: Stop Seeking Start Living’ available now on Amazon.
If you want to connect with me to share insights from this article, I would love to hear from you.
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