In a time with so much uncertainty, how do you remain calm and not react to the turbulent situations that seem to arise in the world every day? How do you avoid the ‘fight or flight’ response in the body when particular circumstances could cause you to feel anxious? When it feels like nothing is going your way, do you quickly blame others? When it seems that outside forces are blocking your path, do you give up and think, “I just don’t have what it takes to succeed.” Whether at work, in your relationships, or even with everyday problems, what is your typical reaction to adverse situations? Do you immediately move toward feelings of “Ugh, why me?” Or do you pause and think, “What is my life trying to tell me right at this moment?” or “What is my body trying to tell me right now?”
How you respond to difficult things that have happened to you or are happening around you can mean the difference between a life of anger, anxiety, depression, and despair, or a life of joy, peace, tranquillity, and hope. Especially in uncertain times, forces out there feel beyond our control, and fear can hold us back. Ultimately it is not the unpredictable political or personal circumstances outside of us that determine whether we respond with fear or with peace and hope. Instead, one must accept the reality that external events are not under our control; the only thing we can control is our response to those external events.
One’s perspective of change and the uncertainty that comes with it will determine whether they see it positively or negatively. Great things can emerge from uncertainty, as the next important discovery, realization, or insight. With change comes renewal, which we see in nature every spring, every sunrise, and every new birth. Everything depends on how we choose to relate to uncertainty, which is just life’s constant stream of new events and challenges. What can allow you to embrace uncertainty is becoming a source of hope, strength, and optimism. Having hope enables us to place our trust in the belief that with great change comes new possibilities and opportunities. “A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty,” said Winston Churchill. There is always something valuable that can be derived out of difficulty, adversity, or change. Without this inner strength of hope, we are left to suffer through crises and uncertain times with self-doubt and fear, leaving you feeling weak and afraid. This is not because of outside forces beyond your control, but because of the self-doubt that comes from being disconnected from your true self. When you are disconnected from your true nature, fear and doubt leave you feeling helpless and insecure. When you doubt yourself, you cannot trust anyone or anything. People who have been wounded by failure in their career, finances, or personal relationships, typically believe circumstances outside themselves are at fault for how they feel or for what happened. Life they feel is unfair, and others cannot be trusted. With that mindset, you have already surrendered your power to the ‘thing out there’ that defeated your hopes.
Being at ease with not knowing what to do or how to react is crucial for answers to come to you. When you are dissatisfied in the unsettled state, you cannot hear the guiding messages from your higher self. Your feelings of fear, worry, and uncertainty are really your spirit’s way of whispering, “I’m in flux. Something is off-balance here.” Feeling anxious or stressed is your body’s way of telling you that what is happening around you is not in alignment with your higher self. This is your body sending you signals to take action to realign yourself with your true nature. Your inner spirit’s natural state is joy, love, and peace. When we lose touch with our spirit is when we can start to feel negative emotions, have doubts and are not sure what to do. When you do not know what to do, that is the time to get still. Meditation is a practice that can assist with centering yourself and opening yourself up to Spirit. Eckhart Tolle says to wait for a guiding message from your higher self. If you clear space and allow it to come to you, you can reconnect with the peacefulness of your inner spirit. Practicing mindfulness at any point during the day when negative emotions seem to be getting the best of you, can allow you to take a few long, deep breaths and bring you back down to zero in just a few minutes. By centering yourself and ‘being in the now,’ you can connect with your true self who, once secure and grounded, is unmoved by fluctuations in your surroundings.
Especially in times of instability, it is vital for us to remain rooted in the vision of change as a source of hope, creativity, and renewal. Rather than approach uncertainty with fear, worry, and pessimism, try switching your mindset to instead: embrace the new possibilities that can arise; having a confident, flexible response to change (understanding that change is inevitable and a natural part of all life); and finding solutions when problems and obstacles block the way (knowing you have what it takes inside you to rise to the challenge at hand). Take time to participate in activities that you know make you feel calm and at peace, like being out in nature. Mother Nature has a way about her that inexplicably grounds us and makes us feel at peace by just being outside or even by a window. Exercise is also a sure-fire way to get your happy endorphins released into the body, helping you to relieve stress, ward off anxiety and depression, and improve your sleep. Lastly, listening to music, getting creative (like painting or writing poetry), or reading books can be the escape you need to reconnect with the happy place inside yourself. Choosing these positive responses does not depend on having specific attributes, good luck, or an open schedule. They are awareness skills that with consistent practice are realistic for you to develop until they become a part of who you are and how you live your life.
By changing our mindset, practicing meditation and getting still, and staying connected to our spirit (our true nature), we remain untouched by fear and instead are at one with love, hope, joy, peace, and the Source of infinite life itself. We know that life is unfolding exactly as it needs to, and we can place trust in our true self at every moment to remain grounded in hope, peace, and happiness.
Teresa Greco is an educator and educational technologies consultant with a master’s degree in Education from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is the editor and senior writer at two Canadian lifestyle magazines. Teresa is also an author, happiness coach, and reiki practitioner who does public speaking, holds workshops, and mentors others about embracing, honouring, loving, and celebrating their true authentic self and achieving their own personal happiness and fulfillment.
You can follow Teresa on her Instagram page @teresagreco_stepstohappiness and Facebook page, Steps to True Happiness with Teresa Greco.
You can also connect with Teresa by email at firstname.lastname@example.org about speaking engagements, workshops, and services.
Photos: Wave Wyld Instagram @wavewyld
Accessories: Jeanne Lottie
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