How a Crisis, Challenge, Stress or Illness can Benefit You.
Hello beautiful friends,
I’m inspired to write about what we often perceive as the “ugly” times, the challenges, the ‘crisis’, the times when life is tough, things aren’t going as we planned, we’ve hit the wall somehow, maybe we’re sick or stressed or we face a challenge that is completely unfamiliar to us and frankly unwelcome! What do YOU do?
Well in these times, I’ve always found that there’s a jewel hidden in the process, somewhere. Everything in life unfolds perfectly, for it’s own perfect reason, though we may not always be aware of it at the time! In retrospect we may see the benefit, eventually. But what if we could find that now, as we feel and negotiate our way through each day of this challenge?
So here’s 15 ways that you may be able to refrain your thoughts about your challenge and find your jewel NOW. When you’ve found it, really acknowledge it and celebrate it. This will help bring about resolution SO much faster.
A Crisis can benefit you because it:-
1. Makes you Stop, Wake Up and Be Truly Present in this moment now
A crisis fosters the growth of your self-awareness and mindfulness of the present moment. Suddenly your life is magnified. Every thought, feeling, word and action becomes important now. You can’t undo or change the past or live in the future. All you can do is to be aware of this moment now, what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling now, what’s happening right now, then decide what you want to say/ do now or not say /do now and just do that. Do that then let it go. Everything else is out of your control. Un-clutter your mind and stay in the present moment.
The present is all we have, so keep your thoughts here and make the most of it.
2. Puts You Number One on the Agenda
A crisis can suddenly bring you into the limelight both for yourself and for others. Many people (particularly women) are programmed to always look after others and to place others needs before themselves (often unconsciously). So to have to consider yourself first can be a challenging but ultimately extremely beneficial process because:-
When you look after number one and you’re feeling good in every way then you have so much more to give to others and the quality of your giving is enhanced many times over.
3. Puts your Mental/ Emotional/ Physical Health Top Priority
Where is your health on your ‘to-do lists’ in life? When in crisis, we are reminded to take care of ourselves a lot better in every way. How many self- health- help practices can you put in place now? What about preparing food for your day in advance, scheduling a full hour for lunch (rather than eat at the desk or on the run), including rest in your daily schedule or a nice long meditation? Do you have a regular massage booked, a few quiet nights at home, special times with loved ones and friends, personal goals instead of only business ones? Do you make time to pursue the hobbies or the activities that bring you peace and joy, that nurture your soul?
Your health is the foundation for ALL else in life, so take good care of your health today.
4. Helps you to Tune into your Body
If you have an illness, physical pain or are stressed and you’re experiencing strongly tangible sensations in your body, this helps you to fine-tune your feedback loop from body to mind. Our bodies reflect our thoughts both conscious and unconscious. Do you listen to your body? The better we become at this the more we avoid a crisis. When life gets more hectic for me I will often take a day off BEFORE I get sick – a “health” day, rather than a “sick” day. Why not take a day off and fill it with things that make your mind and body sing? – spend all day in bed, schedule a massage, see a health professional for that issue that’s been nagging you, take a long unhurried walk, chill out at a café ALL morning with a good book, prepare some fabulously healthy food to eat over the next few days, garden, paint, sing, dance….
Our mind and body are one. What is your body telling you?
5. Builds Courage through Vulnerability
Vulnerability is a good thing! Being vulnerable is simply being human. It’s the fertile ground of innovation, creativity and change. We need just the right amount of strength AND softness to be well- rounded human beings. Too much strength becomes a weakness. We don’t bend and we lose our sensitivity to both ourselves and to others.
So stop trying to be strong all the time and acknowledge when you’ve hit your limit, when you just can’t cope, you can’t go on another day in the same way, or you’re feeling downright “emotional” (teary, angry), sometimes for no known reason AND just be who you are right now. Just be that. Admit it. Allow yourself to feel it. Respect it. Do what you need to do to look after yourself now. Go within and wait for the new energy to emerge. As you let go and rest, you restore your energy and new ideas and insights will come to your awareness to guide you forward. Trust. Be patient. Stillness is the fertile ground of creativity and genius.
Vulnerability breeds strength and creativity.
6. Develops Compassion
By allowing yourself to be vulnerable you soften and become more sensitive and more accepting of yourself. This is the fecund seed of self-love and when you put all this together, you’ll find yourself being more gentle and accepting of others in their moments of vulnerability. Voila! – you have compassion and you’ll find that others love to be around you even more too.
Compassion is one of the building blocks of love.
7. Is usually a Sign that you’re out of Balance, on the Wrong Track for YOU or you Need to Learn Something New.
A crisis lets you know in no uncertain terms that you’re out of whack. You’ve let something go, ignored it or been blind to it and the situation now screams out that you need to do something differently, to learn something new here- maybe to say no, maybe yes, maybe to let go, maybe to learn to leave, take a new road. So a crisis helps you to find the inner and outer balance, a new perspective and/or to redirect your life towards what really makes you happy.
Find balance through having the courage to change.
8. Fosters Cooperation and Team work
A crisis helps you to learn to ask for assistance and to work in partnership and harmony with others. This is particularly challenging for the strongly independent “I have no need” person but as always, there’s a silver lining. Others will flock to your side with glee to be finally able to do something for you… to experience the joy of giving back to the giver.
Together we are so much more.
9. Opens you Up to a Whole New World of Support
Many people who go through a crisis end up seeking some sort of professional help. Perhaps you’ve never thought of having Counselling. It’s just not the done thing. But you may be very pleasantly surprised to learn that there’s a whole other world out there of people who have spent a lot of years gaining knowledge, understanding and experience about the way you feel and your situation right now and who have profoundly helped others to find peace and resolution in their lives. Receiving Counselling gives you the gift of being fully heard and acknowledged, being able to express all that you feel in an environment of unbiased and intelligent support, of deepening your understanding of yourself and how you think, feel and behave and of empowering you to find new ways to resolve your discomfort and improve the quality of your life.
Reach out, there’s always help out there.
10. Strengthens Relationships
Through your crisis and your vulnerability, needing help, being more dependent on others and allowing others to help you, your relationships open up with this flow of giving and receiving and you may experience a blossoming, with a deepening of connection, intimacy and sharing. Not what you expected is it?
Giving and receiving is the juice of life.
11. Increases your Self Knowledge
We are not just our thoughts, our words and actions. We have an enormous reservoir of energy, emotion, of past experience and wisdom contained in the cellular memory in our minds and bodies. Your crisis can open your awareness to your emotional and physical energies and the interrelated part they play in your thinking, behaviour and actions. Hence a crisis introduces you to so much more of yourself and your potential as a deeply loving and gifted human being.
We never stop growing. Learn to love the learning.
12. Enhances your Long-term Health
As you negotiate your way through your ‘crisis’ you learn to listen much more closely to the signals of your body, your emotions, your inner voice and inner wisdom thus greatly enhancing your capacity for caring for yourself and maintaining a higher level of health in the future.
No-one can know us like we know ourselves.
13. Helps you to Develop Wisdom
Faced with a crisis and all the many facets of having to manage it, you develop greater wisdom and understanding not only of yourself but since you’re a part of mankind, of the Universe too. Life, the breath, works the same way in you as it does everyone, so as you expand your understanding of yourself, it gives you a deeper understanding of others and a glimpse of the deeper Universal truths for all people and all of life.
Experience is the greatest teacher.
Experience leads to wisdom.
Wisdom fosters a deeper sense of inner peace and joy for life.
14. Helps you to See the Big Picture
With wisdom comes a greater and more detached perspective on life so the good news is that you don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. It just isn’t important.
Liberate Yourself! Step back regularly and decide what’s really important.
15. Makes you Get Up and Go!
A crisis gives you a huge boost of motivation to live your life with greater authenticity, being true to yourself and following your passion to create a life that brings you peace, joy and meaning.
Live Your Dreams!
So I hope this inspires you to re-think your current challenge. What possible jewel is waiting for you to discover and to ultimately live your life with greater JOY
I’d love to hear your experiences now. Take some time to sit with what’s happening for you and think about all the many ways that you’re being stretched to be new and different. Where’s the jewel? Let me know in the comments below.
Love & JOY,
Holistic Counsellor, Physiotherapist, Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Organics & Raw Food Coach