It's 7pm on a Saturday and I'm sitting on the edge of the bed, patiently working on a knot in one of my necklace chains. It seems like an impossible knot as I sit there working with no solution in sight. It's a real doozy and there's four or five meeting points connecting in a big mess. I pull each end gently one at a time - most times that does the trick. I turn it and look from all angles - not this time.
It seems stuck - but eventually I see the only way out of it is through. The end piece needs to go through the whole mess of it to untangle the whole thing. I smile. Not only is the knot almost effortlessly releasing now - but this is such a beautiful metaphor for life.
For the last 5 months - life has looked very different for my family and I than it used to. We travel from place to place, for the first 4 months - in a van traveling the western US... Now, staying with family scattered on the east coast. We've faced many tough moments, and challenges. 'Through is the only way' idea has been a central thought for us.
Can you relate to this?
Have you ever avoided an issue only to be forced to face it at some point?
Have you ever postponed an interaction or conversation you knew would be difficult?
And how many times have you pretended something wasn't there - when come on - you knew the whole time - until you couldn't pretend anymore.
Can you remember the last time you struggled through an issue only to find out the solution was easier than the struggle?
The life of travel and adventure that we've chosen this year has forced me to face the messes of my life upfront - without waiting - without hiding - or running away from the inevitable.
It's easier when we have routine, comfort of regularity, and a private home to depend on for certainty.
But being thrust into the unknown of sorts and a lot of not-knowingness - has been one of the most powerful experiments of my life and I'd love to share with you some gems.
Of course - we can all change the way we work with the challenges in our lives without changing our home.
But as I peeled back the layers of what was holding me back (a whole other conversation), I discovered how easy it was to free the most struggling parts of me.
Here's 5 things you can do to invite this power into your life as well! (without selling all your stuff and moving into a van and driving away from home ;) )
1. Let go of Structure. Just Let Go.
When every piece of our lives are predictable - it's boring. We're creatures of habit, and structure is good - it creates the element of certainty in our lives... and we need that - to a point.
Consider: who are you without your schedule. Without your morning smoothie. Without a predictable weekend.
If you're always sure about what's coming next - always planning - and anticipating the future you planned - what happens to you when an emergency happens? And where is the space for grace and miracles?
2. Tell People How You Really Feel.
Life is not guaranteed.
Don't let another minute go by before you tell the people that matter to you how you feel.
If you love them, tell them! If you've got a problem with someone - through is the only way. Unless it's a problem you're picking with yourself.
If you're holding onto something that's killing you slowly - say what you need to say and let it go.
My teacher Jonathan Foust says to ask two questions when you're talking to others. "Is it kind?" and "is it true?".
3. Choose You First.
When I let myself eat poorly, sleep poorly, and hold poor boundaries - my relationships go broke, I feel disconnected, judgmental, angry, and life is hard.
You hear it everyday. Take care of yourself. Really.
But more than that - challenge yourself to CHOOSE yourself first every day. Make sure that you are the coach, assistant coach, and star player.
If you're not sure if you're 'choosing you' a great question to ask is: "Where am I letting myself down, putting myself on the b list, or breaking my own heart?"
4. Embrace Change, and the Unknown.
One of the only guarantees in life is that it's changing. It's not going to stop changing.
And when we suffer is when we're not in alignment with that change.
It's easier to let go and celebrate the change. And when we do, we're rewarded with more health, happiness, and flow.
And to the extent that we drop into the flow of life is to the extent that we let ourselves be cradled by change.
Don't resist, let it in and roll with it! All the magic lies in the unknown. Go there - explore it, be curious, and...
5. Keep Going.
It's never over, until you say so. There's always going to be another breath until there's not.
You don't have anything to lose that you're not going to lose anyway naturally.
So keep going, and don't give up.