Have you ever had to go through a difficult experience not of your making? Something that could negatively impact your personal and/or professional life, but in which you felt powerless or unsure?
I recently did.
My difficult experience
Just before my difficult experience unfolded, I read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People for a writing assignment. The underlying premise of Carnegie’s rules is to always put the other person’s interests first. That is a difficult thing to do when the other person’s interests (and actions) could harm your peace and life.
My difficult experience unfolded over the course of a few days. At every turn, a million options for response/nonresponse, action/nonaction flew through my mind. What was best? What would accurately communicate my thoughts? What stayed rooted in kindness? I sorted through, trying to find a good, wise, course of action at each step.
With the whisper of Carnegie’s words in my mind and a sincere desire to care for everyone involved in the situation, I made choices.
The spiritual hangover
The morning after things came to a head, I woke up in a spiritual hangover. Groggy, disoriented, exhausted, and spent. I imagine boxers could feel this way after a fight. Sort of a, “Did anyone get the license plate of that truck that just ran over me?” kind of feeling. In my case, it was also, “I kept telling the truck to use the other lane. I think it hit me anyway. Y’all, look out for that truck.”
I have been in such emotional bliss since our move to the island 26 days ago that this screeching halt to my contentment felt even more jarring. I grew angry at the change. Frustrated at my lack of power. Tired of the whole drama.
The energy around me downshifted.
Instead of peace, joy, excitement, and zest for life, I had been pushed into fear, uncertainty, hesitancy, and doubt. The change in my energy affected the family. Secondborn argued with Hubs over nothing, displaying a level of attitude previously unseen from her. Firstborn became physically ill – headache, sore throat, tight chest.
Could those have been coincidences? Sure. Do I think they were? Absolutely not. We are all so connected, even if we do not acknowledge it!
As I wrote about on my Facebook page a few weeks ago, we women have been the keepers and nurturers of life for eons. We grow life in our bodies, we protect it, we even usher it into its next form when life on earth is done. I am grateful to be in the position in my home of keeper of the hearts and lives.
But when the keeper gets hit from outside, when the keeper is in a spiritual hangover, the shock waves reverberate through the family unit. Maybe you’ve lived through something similar?
I needed to do something to cleanse myself of the dark, disempowering energy of the situation I’d wrestled through. Years ago, I ran across a Christian friend. He looked sick and old, though I hadn’t known him to be either. I asked if things were well in his world. He responded, “My spirit man is weary.”
I felt like that.
My spirit woman was weary.
Tools to Help
Here in my post-evangelical days I have the freedom to use tools that are verboten (or at least hotly debated) in evangelical circles. I can meditate, use essential aromas and oils, ask a Green Witch to cast a spell for clarity and peace restoration, and more. There are options beyond personal or group prayer.
I chose to do the “Let It Go” yoga video from Adriene Mishler. Her yoga videos have been a part of my life for three years now. She is a wise, grounded woman with what I perceive to be a sincere care for others – like Carnegie.
By the end of the 20-minute session of deep breathing and guided movement, everything within me re-awakened. I felt like me again. Whole. Healthy. In authority over my own mind, soul, heart, and behavior. There was a position at the end where, from a low lunge, we took a deep breath and “flew” our arms backward as if soaring over whatever had drug us down. It looked like this:
These kinds of movements, coupled with specific breathing, are so helpful to achieve sincere attitude and energy shift. It is sad that the evangelical world doesn’t have this tool.
But here, in FREEVANGELIC land, we do.
If something has pushed you down or depleted your energy and optimism, check out Adriene’s yoga video. Maybe it will help you as it did me. If it does, please let me know.
What Works for You?
What works for you to get past a difficult experience? If you have tips and techniques for moving beyond a trying time, please share them in the comments below. Let’s all benefit from each other’s tried and true knowledge.