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Keeping Calm Amidst Chaos

Updated: Aug 13, 2020

Originally posted 9-18-08; moved to new blog on 11-4-09

Feeling drained, overloaded, or perhaps flat-out fatigued from all the demands of endless coordinating, managing, sorting piles of everything, filtering through emails and plugging in so we’re never disconnected? Wondering how or if it’s even possible to get it all done?  Perhaps, you’re dealing with something totally unexpected that landed most inconveniently or unwanted in your lap.

The reality is most of us admit we’re in a whirlwind that keeps us spinning with yet another thing that steals our focus from what we’d rather be doing. To add to the angst, often without adequate support, whatever “it” is, requires even more of our time, attention, energy and other resources. We yearn for some time to be “off duty” yet those moments are all to fleeting as we tend to pressing priorities.

A call to a dear friend yesterday makes the point. Deborah just moved out-of-state two weeks ago, and  not only is solely managing  the normal stresses of a long-distance move and settling in, but already has been to the emergency room three times in one week, twice for her mother-in-law, once for her own blood clot that suddenly appeared .  So added to all the details of arranging for cable service, utilities and all the essential details for powering up 21st century life in a new location, she was thrust into assembling a whole new team of doctors and additional care responsibilities. To add to the overload, her husband is unavailable to assist much since his commute is now 500 miles away.

Similar scenarios were echoed during a meeting last evening of six talented, multi-tasking women who gather together weekly, all committed to creating daily lives woven together with harmony and joy. That’s the intention.  Yet, each of us admitted frequently being overwhelmed from the constant stream of things that “interrupt our tranquility. “ That’s the phrase suggested to replace how we look at all those events often referred to as “stealing our peace”,  that get in the way of what we want or would rather do than dealing with “what is.”

It’s these seemingly never-ending, unwanted or unexpected events that barge often abruptly into our own plans, the ones we’ve mapped out to fulfill our goals for living in tune with our personal desires, the ones that enhance our own well-being and bring us those jolts of joy. The ones we’ve created vision boards to manifest, repeat affirmations over and know eventually, that our goals, our dreams will become our reality.  But in the meantime . . . . it’s dealing with the things that flow into our daily lives . . . literally flowing like the water main break that flooded my basement a few days ago and required major mop-up and repair, or joining the burgeoning care brigade for schlepping loved ones to doctors, waiting rooms, prescription counters, or switching hats for handling the care of home, car, computer and other service repairs.

In the midst of all of them, to move toward a sense of inner peace, it’s watching the stories that whirl around in your head. I’ve tuned into some of mine and it echoes classic resistance “Oh, no, not again !. . . .” I was so looking forward to just not doing anything and now it’s one more thing” . . . and woefully, “This was going to be my time, and now I must spring into action . . . again.”

It’s shifting from seeing the constant stream of life events required of us, as “one more thing to handle” to recognizing their existence, the emotions that arise from the aggravations and frustrations, and embracing rather than resisting their flow. Life is a very untidy bundle of unexpected events and thinking they won’t happen is purely unrealistic. They happen to all of us, they just appear in different ways at different times.

Embracing “what is” that’s the big lesson and the one we all admitted last night was the toughest. However, resisting reality is futile, creating resistance and more stress. So, it’s not about “catching up” but realizing we’re each responsible for catching our own breath, even when life dumps us a doozy. It’s breathing, moment by moment especially through the tough times, and remembering to tap your support network, using it to vent, to cry, to scream, to express whatever you’re experiencing, all important to keep centered and sane so that nothing steals your peace. Rather, you shift your perception that these are interruptions or detours, in a life that’s perfect because all of this is part of a perfect life. Ah, now that’s a soothing thought.

So, in my quest for creating a life of well-being when that next “one more thing” shows up, I’ll first try reaching for that little book on my shelf appropriated entitled, Tranquility, so nothing can steal my peace.

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