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Getting Through The Toughest Times

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Posted: 21 October 2015
Today I coached a client who has been coping with major stress after losing her job. She has car and house payments, an elderly diabetic parent and is still grieving the loss of her beloved father. Some days are overwhelming for her and she is constantly tempted to lose faith that she and her family will be okay. Her emotions reminded me of my own crisis years ago during my divorce. I was desperately trying to save my home and the bank refused to re-finance my loan for no justifiable reason. It would be another three years until justice was finally served and I received compensation for the bank's negligence. Unfortunately, I had lost my home in the process.

I've learned the art of letting go and surrendering to the greater plan. I'm not saying it's easy or that I've cruised through it solely with positive thoughts and yoga. No, I've gone down these difficult roads with all the heavy emotions that come with it - anger, frustration, sadness, etc. It's not an easy journey to be on. But using my life as an example and witnessing the inspiring lives of my clients, things do work out somehow, and sometimes in miraculous ways. There are things you can do during these times when you feel stuck between the past and future, the present appearing bleak and confusing. Here are six common phases and action steps for moving through this difficult time. See if you can relate.

1. Proactive - feeling motivated to work toward solutions. Hopeful that you will be able to change the situation.

2. Blocked - Encountering obstacles, some unexpected. You didn't expect things to be this hard. Now the situation goes from feeling hopeful to feeling frustrating and unfair.

3. Angry and Depressed - After having your hard work rejected, and possibilities you imagined not coming through, it's natural to feel angry and depressed. Sometimes these emotions can carry a message, like take more time to rest and focus on self-care and stress management. What are you learning about yourself in this process?

4. Resistance - Sometimes blocks in the road are there for a purpose: the path we want to go down is not the path meant for us. We keep pushing, getting nowhere and wonder why. A big change may be required; changing lifestyle, materially and financially downsizing, changing careers, leaving or healing relationships. Big changes like these are scary for many which leads to avoiding thinking about it and remaining stuck. Or feeling completely overwhelmed by the idea of making radical changes. Anxiety is natural when moving into the unknown. Change requires faith and trusting your intuition. It is important in this stage to move passed any resistance to positive changes and allow yourself to explore all options, trust your gut and go with the flow.

5. Surrendering - You've had enough of the stress. You have two choices: keep focusing on how helpless and angry you feel, or choose to trust that you've done everything you could and now you just have to wait it out until timing opens that next door for you. In this stage, you work toward accepting that change is imminent and that the only way to get through this is to focus on what is in your power, first and foremost doing everything you can to manage stress so it doesn't make you ill. Surrendering is an exciting phase because you are ready to make a conscious choice to move out of your comfort zone and bravely welcome a fresh start.

6. Gratitude - It may take days, weeks, months or even years until the solution appears and the problem is resolved. Whether it's love, work, money or health, when what you've been hoping and praying for finally happens all of that stress will start to move into the past and you'll look back and feel grateful that you had the strength and faith to get through it.
Written by: Lauralyn Kearney
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