Uncharted Territory

            No matter how old you are, no matter how much you’ve experienced, the river of life inevitably takes you into waters you’ve never seen or experienced before. And if those waters are especially turbulent, you might have a tendency to snatch at every tree growing along the river as you try to slow down and figure things out. If you can stop and take a little time to figure things out, you’re lucky. Often, events happen too fast. So here are three tips for re-establishing equilibrium.

1. Take 10 minutes to breathe deeply, in quiet, doors shut. Simply stop thinking at all. Just breathe and notice your breathing. Don’t try to solve anything. Don’t fix. Even two such minutes can make a huge difference.  So, if you don’t have 10 take 2. Just make sure you stop thinking and simply breathe. It is literally astonishing what this can do for you.

2. After you breathe, start writing. Not with the computer, on a blank piece of paper. Write as if you were talking to someone else living inside the paper. “This is crazy what’s happening here, and I’m not sure what to do.”  “I understand,” is the reply, “But you are going to figure out the best thing to do in this situation, even if it means finding new sources of information, so let’s think it out.” And so on. I sometimes recommend using two different pens for the two voices. When you are not sure whom to trust, this technique gives you space to sort through your thoughts.

3. After you have done the two steps above, you may discover there are ideas, people, and resources that you didn’t initially think of to help you. Make and list and act quickly to build a team of support.

The next time things blow up around you, try these 3 ideas and let me know what happens, of if you have some other ideas you think would be of value.