Then I went to yoga and my all-time favorite yoga teacher announced that she’s moving back to France after 10 years of living in NYC. Another move! In the middle of our yoga practice, she said,”You build the foundation, you create relationships and then life happens with changes you didn’t anticipate or were not prepared for.”
Recently I’ve been learning how to find and keep balance in a constantly changing environment. I had to accept, adjust and adapt quickly while I was kiteboarding in Outer Banks, North Carolina. This most challenging sport I’ve taken on so far seems to be a really great analogy to what life is like. You build a foundation, get comfortable and enjoy the ride for a while, but then you find yourself off-balance, deep in cold water, disoriented and trying to make sense of what just happened.
When we got home from vacation, I learned that, besides one of my close friends relocating to another state in a couple of weeks, two others are leaving New York for good this summer. I’ll miss them all.
In the world of dating, change and uncertainty happen all the time. For one of my clients, it was a recent breakup at 3 a.m. with a man she was dating exclusively. For another, it was the sudden disappearance of a man she was very excited about (for the first time in a long, long time), who took her out on several dates and seemingly was strongly attracted to her.
We may think that relationships we created will stay the same way forever and people will always be next to us, but suddenly they aren’t. How do we deal with uncertainty? Here are the top 5 ways that can help:
1. Meditation. It’s been 3 months since I completed my Ziva meditation training, and I haven’t missed any of my twice-daily 20-minute meditation practices yet. The results it creates are well worth the commitment and effort I made. Because of meditation, there’s less of all kinds of junk in my life–less drama, OT (overthinking), worry and resistance. I must say that if there’s one thing that has helped me the most in dealing with change, uncertainty and loss, it’s daily meditation.
2. “The Peace Process.” I’ve learned this simple yet incredibly powerful technique from one of my business mentors. It was at the core of his 5-figure year-long mastermind class that I invested in, but you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars or travel across the country to his live events like I did. Here’s how it works, in a nutshell: you feel through the feeling. Instead of trying to distract yourself (most of us do exactly that–with food, alcohol, drugs, TV, etc.– in order to avoid uncomfortable, hurtful, negative feelings) you allow yourself to be present to the feeling completely, without trying to change it, analyze it or make it go away. You just give it your unconditional love and acceptance. What you’re going to discover is that eventually, you’ll get to the “other side” when you feel neutral, or at peace.
3. Yoga. Every time I get on the mat, it gives me the time and space to reconnect to self, recharge and let go of things that don’t serve me. I can’t tell you how many times I had an entire script of what I was going to say to my husband (it always was along the lines of “you should” or “you shouldn’t”) completely disappear, along with negative emotions, after yoga practice. After many years of practice, I’m still in awe at how much space and awareness yoga creates to surrender, forgive and release junk.
4. Connection. Show me your calendar, and I’ll tell you what your top priorities in life are. If you look at my calendar, you’ll see appointments, lots of them. Coaching sessions and group calls with my clients, dates with my husband, phone and Skype calls with other dating experts, events with friends, play dates with my son and his friends, and family trips. When we make time to connect with people we love and care about, it gives us a sense of stability and security we long for in times of uncertainty. That’s why I always advise my clients to reach out to friends they haven’t seen for a while and get together, especially when they start dating a new guy and want to invest all their time into him.
5. Simplicity. You’ve probably heard that “less is more,” and, based on personal experience, I couldn’t agree more. In the last few months I’ve made some shifts to simplify my life. It started with going vegan and gluten-free (it’s mostly shopping at a farmer’s market and cooking home-made simple, healthy meals now) and expanded to a consumption-free lifestyle (not buying clothes, shoes and “stuff” I used to want but didn’t really need, passing by Starbucks, avoiding packaged products, giving away things I own but don’t use, etc.) Simplicity can give us a sense of lightness, energy and freedom, because there are fewer choices to make (if I only keep my favorite clothes in the closet, I don’t have “What should I wear?” moments) and fewer things to worry about. So, next time you feel confused or overwhelmed, clean up a messy drawer or give away things others will appreciate.
These are the 5 ways that have been very helpful to me and my clients in times of uncertainty and change.
Comment here to tell what has worked for you.