Navigating through this unpredictable life with a mindful outlook and an open heart can feel difficult at first.
For years I clung onto my fears and insecurities, daring the universe to rip them from me, convinced that once everything was perfect I’d be okay, but until then I was going to live on the edge of anxiety. A place I knew too well.
I could see how my perfectionist tendencies were unravelling me, but I was unwilling to look under them to see what had shaped the underlying fears. I was afraid. But when I got clear on the fears, and their faithful crutches that weren’t serving me any more, I was able to lovingly transmute them into powerful, loving energies.
Facing fears, embracing uncertainty, sitting with anxiety, was all I needed to do in order for it to slowly, organically dissolve.
But life can be so ferociously messy. An untidy house, overflowing emails, unanswered messages, a dishevelled spiritual practice, unsaid conversations, rumpled kids, broken hearts, unwanted illness, fractured friendships, ageing bodies, and world that seems to have gone mad.
Honestly, the worst thing we can do is resist any of it. It’s a futile, tiring way to live. Spiritual bypassing won’t get us anywhere (in the long run). So we face it. With grace and love we sit in the midst of the mess and we breathe.
I’ve been contemplating my toolkit for finding laughter in madness, gifts in chaos and magic in the mundane.
And goes a little something like this:
- A wicked sense of humour
Knowing when to laugh, and laugh loudly, is a gift that will see you through the worst kind of days. As a parent I find the times I laugh at my kids’ outbursts (with a loving intent, I promise!), the issue tends to simply disappear. Likewise overwhelm with work, or other first-world problems. Find the humour in your situation, watch Bridesmaids, or have a giggle with a friend. If laughter is out of reach, try a gentle smile and go from there.
- A broader perspective
Look at your circumstances from way outside of yourself. Step back from the clutter and confusion, and widen your view until you can see more, feel more, love more. A dirty shower is just a dirty shower. A dusty floor is just a dusty floor. A couch covered in laundry is just that. A cold is only a cold. A distant friend is probably not your fault. A bursting inbox is neither good nor bad. Rise above as much as possible and you’ll see the gift the situation is presenting to you.
- Amp up your mindfulness
Whatever is going on, there’s so much power in staying mindful and aware without labelling, judging, or giving into anxiety. Messy can be beautiful. It can be abundantly fun. It can be a catalyst for new beginnings. Or whatever you want it to be. Just let go of preconceived ideas and look at it with conscious, fresh eyes. Only when mindful will you find the meaning in the moment.
- Love your humanness
Being a human is messy. Forgive yourself, forgive others, and embrace the chaos. Nothing will ever be perfect, predictable or easy. A miracle isn’t so much about us being saved from difficulty, but about loving the difficulty, letting it in, and slowly breathing it out. That’s what being human is all about. When you understand that on a new an empowered level, there’s so much magic to be found.
- Trust in your brilliant self
Lift your chin up, trust your inner wisdom, have faith that you’re being listened to and looked after, and surrender any doubts. If you let the anarchy dismantle your rock-solid inner support system, you’re doubting that this moment is perfect, no matter how crazy it seems.
- Find a simpler way
The less we own, the less there is to wash, dust or look after. The simpler our boundaries are, the easier it is for us to feel safe. The more devoted we are to a simple spiritual practice, the less we worry about what others are doing. The clearer we are in relationships, the easier they are to navigate. The less emails we subscribe to, the fewer need to be deleted. You get the drift, keep it simple.
Photo credit: weesam2010 Dawn Storm, Sequoia National Park, California, USA via photopin and creative commons.