“If your path demands that you walk through hell, walk as if you own the place.”
To say life has been a bit crazy the last several months is an understatement. Some may describe it as hell and others a welcome reprieve. Either way, many of us have been left feeling as if the wind got knocked out of us and at the same time the universe changed the way we breathe. So now, we find ourselves gasping for breath trying to figure out new ways we can inhale and exhale. Fatigue, burnout, stress, overwhelmed, uncertainty, and isolation are all words that accurately describe any given day. We’ve lost our mojo!
We have all been flooded with articles and social media posts on how to cope during these uncertain times. My goal is not to add to the endless information you receive in your inbox, but to offer you a few suggestions on how to feel better day to day so we can all get through this together…safely, on the other end.
Mojo Tip #1: Educate yourself
I consider myself a life-long learner but I must admit, at times, there are things I would rather not know. “Ignorance is bliss” is a real thing! During some tough times in my life, I had to learn the hard way that educating myself on what was going on was, in the end, better than muddling through trying to figure it out for myself. My daughter, who is an amazing and healthy woman today, is a recovered heroin addict and I resisted educating myself on addiction for years. I guess that was my way of denying it was actually happening. When I finally educated myself on addiction, not only did it help me understand what my daughter was going through, but it helped me make better, more informed decisions on the next steps she and I needed as she went through the recovery process.
The amount of information and opinions on COVID-19 is staggering and sometimes it is hard to know what to believe. Social media and the news have become hard to trust and world leaders are at odds on the best way to move forward. There are two questions I ask myself when seeking information on a topic I wish to know more about. One, who are the experts? Who has the combined education and experience on the topic at hand? Secondly, is the information I get from those experts consistent and congruent? In other words, is the information reliable? Are the experts saying roughly the same thing?
Yes, I agree, not all experts always get their information correct. We are all human, therefore, not perfect. But, at the end of the day, they are usually correct more often than the guy I went to high school with who has an opinion based on unchecked social media posts. Just sayin’…
Mojo Tip #2: Seek help and be open to receive it when it shows up
Help for me showed up in many ways when I was helping my daughter battle her addiction. As I educated myself on addiction, I realized that as a psychologist, I could not counsel myself. I had a limiting belief that because I was a psychologist, I should be able to figure out what to do and how to heal on my own (Cardinal rule #1: Never “should” on yourself!). I began sessions with a gifted man from the rehab center, Mike, who worked with me on my anger issues. I also worked with an amazing counselor, Kim, who I still work with to this day, who helped me with my mind set, reframing the limiting beliefs that were driving my behaviors (or lack of them), and helped balance my energy. As I opened the door to allowing myself to receive help, more help showed up in the form of random checks from clients and friends who knew what I was going through, some as high as $5,000, all saying “no need to pay me back…this is for all the help you have given to me over the years.” I also had an interesting wakeup call as I realized that the friends and family I thought would be there for me were not, and the friends and family who I never expected in a million years to support me, did.
In the end, whatever we are going through, know that we are never meant to go through anything alone. Accept help when it shows up and be brave enough to reach out for it when you need it. Beware, it usually comes in miraculously unexpected ways!
Mojo Tip #3: Never lose H.O.P.E.
My counselor Kim defines H.O.P.E. as “Hold On Pain Ends.” I had struggled with this word since my Dad died of cancer. I did not see the point in hoping if we could not control the outcome (there is that control freak coming out!). As I continued my counseling, I realized that when we are going through challenging times and there seems like there is no hope, that just because we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, does not mean that there isn’t one. The key is we have to trust that the light exists, which means trusting in the process of life and more importantly, in ourselves. I have to admit that this has been the hardest lesson for me to grasp and I continue to work on it to this day. With many years of self-reflection and counseling, I finally have come to realize that the Universe (God, higher power, etc.) always has a bigger plan for us than our own. The experience with my daughter allowed me to meet people I would have never met, learn how to find inner peace within myself when the world around me was chaotic, and helped me identify many things about myself I may have never realized. The strength that I gained from this experience has carried me through many other difficult times in my life.
What the world is going through now is unpredictable, at best, and that makes it very scary. It is easy to lose hope and want things to just go back to the way they were. What I have found is that when things change this drastically, this fast, it is usually a sign that transformational and much needed change is upon us. Change of this magnitude does not happen without a reason. As much as we like to give ourselves power, even WE could not screw things up this much! When the “finger of God” touches down, hold on tight…because not only will it be a hell of a ride, but the end result will be better than we ever imagined.
The Universe does not give us anything that we cannot handle, including the lessons. Everything comes when we are ready and if we choose to ignore the lesson, it is guaranteed it will come back around again when we are ready to receive it. We always get more than one chance to advance our soul. If we trust the process of life, trust ourselves, be open enough to seeing the signs the Universe is sending us, and act on those signs, the Universe takes care of the “how” for us. Our life then moves with the Universal flow and we find our mojo again.