Navigating the Waves of Life—Respond With Calm
Mindbody Wellness Clarity Tip:
Navigating the Waves of Life—Respond With Calm
Dear Awesome Woman,
Last week, I sent out a ‘Dear Awesome Woman’ newsletter about ‘who we make our enemies’ and using pre-thoughts to help keep our nervous system from revving into a fight and flight response (‘Who Are You Making Your Enemy? – The Fine Art Of Tuning Your Nervous System’).
Well, as G-d and the universe would have it, I got to ‘practice what I preach’ right after I clicked send. Of course! The world is our spiritual classroom and we often may think that the things that happen to us are random, but they’re not. Everything is specific to our soul’s mission.
Hence, last week’s newsletter spoke of beliefs that we can use to prevent a full fledged fight and flight response when we’re not being chased by a lion and I got to use them right away.
So the story is as follows: About a month ago, I had written a letter to the editor of a magazine referencing a response from a columnist about Borderline Personality Disorder.
I’ve had the fortunate experience to coach and help heal many clients who have been in toxic relationships with Borderlines/Narcissists and expressed my appreciation to the columnist and the magazine for making their readers aware of the dangers of these people. I shared information and even recommended a book that can help people either leave these relationships or lessen the damage to themselves while in them.
The only problem was that my letter had been edited. I had written only the initials BPD as a short reference to Borderline Personality Disorder similar to what the columnist had done—he had written the full word out once, but then had continued on in his column using the shortened abbreviation. But whoever it was that edited my letter had put in parentheses ‘(bipolar disorder)’. They were referencing a completely different mental illness. That confusion would not be helpful to readers who may be seeking clarity in getting help for being victims of BPDers.
I wrote to the editor and mentioned the mistake and they quickly responded that they would reference a correction in the following week’s magazine issue. Great! I felt relieved.
Viola, fast forward to receiving the issue with the correction and they made a mistake again! Basically the sentence was cut off and looked like this: “In a letter in Issue 371, the abbreviation BPD was incorrectly explained to mean ‘bipolar disorder.’ In context, it” and that was all! They cut off the sentence before they corrected the mistake and so the mistake was not corrected at all. This would be continued confusion for a reader needing help. And also, the word phrasing they choose made it look like it was my mistake in the first place.
I felt my nervous system rev in fear, vulnerability, anger, humiliation—“Oh no! How could they make a mistake again! Are you kidding me? This went out to thousands of people. Not only may a reader not get the clear information that I shared that could make a difference in their lives, but I look like an idiot instead of a knowledgeable resource.”
My mind was beginning to make the magazine and the situation into enemies with thoughts like, “They’re so careless. How could they have done that?, etc.”
But I had just sent out the newsletter about using new pre-thoughts just for situations like this one. And so I did my work.
I took some conscious breaths and said to myself, “Hashem (G-d) is here in this moment. This situation is for me, not against me.” I also brought up the visual of Bethany Hamilton in the ocean with her one arm, staying calm in the wave, and her quote I had shared from her book. I put my hand up to somatically experience that calm.
At the same time, my daughter was home from school and started to share things with me about her day. It was hard to concentrate because my impulse was to run upstairs to my home office and immediately deal with the situation by writing a letter to the editor to please fix the situation! I would not have written an angry letter—I have more sense than that, but my mind was making this situation an emergency, as if ‘right now’ I could get them to rescind the mistake that they had made. How unrealistic and fruitless.
So I kept practicing those new thoughts, listening to my daughter as best I could. I didn’t run to my computer in fight and flight. My adrenalin didn’t course through my veins as if a lion were chasing me. After I finished the conversation with my daughter, I went to the couch and just rested with consciously repeating those new thoughts in my head for about ten minutes. Then I went upstairs to my computer and sat down to write an email to the magazine. I was calm, my mind open to possibilities of resolving the continued mistake they had made. My mind was open to the possibility that somehow this situation was for me. Not against me.
And I kept telling myself that Hashem (G-d) was right there in this situation. It was not really a mistake, but a divine happening, one that I did not have access to the why, as in ‘why did this have to happen this way?’ Somehow this situation was for me.
It certainly didn’t feel as good as if they would have edited properly (or even better, not edited at all) in the first place, but because the situation was for me, then I would handle it with calming pre-thoughts in mind.
And so I got to practice what I preached.
Is there anywhere you can practice this in your life? Not always easy, but it gets easier the more you practice. It’s best not to fight the waves, but to swim with the tide or breathe in sync with the moment. Your body will thank you.
You’re welcome to schedule your free Clarity Call here. Your body, your emotions, and your intuition are your guides in the ocean of life and I’m happy to help you get clear, healthy, calm, and confident in navigating the waves. Looking forward to connecting 🙂