These times can be challenging. I see many people around me who struggle to just stay afloat and I am struggling with them. Sometimes people say to me they admire my calmness and ask me how I do it. I usually smile and say I just have a good poker face, but actually there are quite a few thoughts that guide me through difficult times and I made a list of them. I offer you this list in the hope that you might feel inspired, supported or even guided in these times of worldy upheaval.
But, hey, don’t just follow me:
1. Think for yourself! Carve out your own path through the chaos. Be your own master. Respond from within. I believe these are times that ask for new solutions, for steps taken on unexplored soil. Chaos is nothing more than the potential for order through creativity. Be creative!
2. What others think of you is none of your business. Don’t claim (or accept) ownership of other people’s opinions of you. In chaotic times, different social rules apply: the rules you set. Especially people who shy away from the unconventional can be dangerous to your sense of self-esteem. If you let them, that is!
3. Intuition is a muscle. Exercise! Order and logic take a back seat to intuition amidst the chaos. I don’t know about you, but I myself feel humble when I look at the world. It is such a beautiful and complex place. I will never be able to grasp its meaning, or even what will happen next. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” But I do believe we have been equipped with a tool that enables us to navigate the chaos. It is not our ability to think logically. Logic will build you a ship, it won’t tel you where to go. Intuition will. It comes from the heart. Listen.
4. Accept others as they are (and yourself while you’re at it). See their strengths and cooperate: a stormy sea may sink an island, but not a continent. It is in our ability to connect where we will find the strength to survive the pervasive crises that threaten our world. Trust that our differences are complementary and together we are exactly what the world needs.
5. Listen to others and show that you listen in your respons. Why? ““The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
6. Clean up your mess. Physical, emotional, spiritual. Restore your integrity, it is all you have in whirling times. Any clutter left in your body and spirit will prevent love to flow in that place. It’s as simple as that.
7. Live a healthy life. The chaos will throw things at you. A healthy system can deal with the blows. Be prepared.
8. Start something new. From chaos springs order: this is a chance to create your own! The universe smiles approvingly when it notices someone creating from the heart and now more than ever will results be quick and plentyful. Listen to your intuition when deciding what to create next.
9. See the best in people and let them know. Chaotic times call for the best version of ourselves. We have been conditioned to critisize, to be sceptical and often cynical. Of course it is important not to be gullible and to look closely at our own assumptions, but now it is time to shift our attention to the positive. To celebrate our unique capabilities and we should train ourselves to give more compliments. It works! Try it!
10. Satisfy your needs. Let others know what is important to you. Draw a line when neccesary. Practise at feeling what you need.
11. Communicate in a constructive way. Remember criticism hardly ever works. Avoid negative words, rephrase positively. Studies show that 1 point of critique has a bigger (negative) impact than 10 compliments. Studies also show that people’s performances improve more rapidly when supported than when critisized. Learn that lesson.
12. Don’t gossip (which means: talking about someone who is not present in a way that you would not talk about that person if he or she were present).
13. If you see a job, it is yours! Whith any complaint, take resposibility for an alternative. It’s chaos, remember? Nobody is going to listen to a whiner. People are too caught up in the flow of things. You need to come up with a different way of doing things when you see something doesn’t work.
14. Finish what you start (and don’t forget the middle). Chaos is nothing else than the potential for order. Create it any way you like, but don’t leave it hanging. Your soul craves creation, it craves development, it craves feedback on itself. When you have finished something that you’ve created from your heart, your soul will see itself reflected in i, learn from it and develop to the next level.
15. Stop arguing. Start a conversation. Being right is so 20th century. Opinions are complementary and if they are not, they are useless. Don’t be so self-important.
16. Feel, love and care deeply – but keep your focus and keep your strength: their problems are not yours. Compassion is difficult. Literally it means “to suffer together”. So training compassion is to train your ability to feel pain. It is probably the most important discipline you can ever commit to.
17. Look with your eyes, see with your heart. Your heart has never attached to logic, it will keep guiding you amidst the chaos.
18. Be grateful – for everything in your life. This is a tough one…
19. Give as much as you can, or at least more than is expected. The more you give, the biger your love will grow. Recnt studies have shown that giving literally improves ones self-esteem and sense of well-being. And there is no limit! (Only the ones you set for yourself.)
20. Create your relationships consciously – make them mutually inspiring. Leave co-dependency behind you. The best relationships are those where two people admire each other for who they are. And if you don’t admire the one your with, you probably haven’t looked close enough (or have forgotten how over the years…)
21. Be humble (it is a sign of confidence). Nobody has any clue what happens next. Life is a whole lot bigger than you are. Feel awe for it.
22. Stay curious. Know you know nothing, expect everything and look around you.
23. Simplify! Do away with distraction, fuss, stress, clutter and confusion. Chaos is chaotic enough.
24. Meditate. Cultivate the boundless power of Now that is in all of us. Focus!
25. Go with the flow.Allow me to finish with a famous quote from a Hopi prophecy. It continues to give me hope when all of the above fails to. I hope it will do the same for you:
“There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.
“Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
“The time for the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from you attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
What are your ways to stay afloat in turbulent waters? Where is your compass? And how does it work? Please share your thoughts and comments! Thank you for your attention and I will meat you downstream!