For the past 6 days, I’ve been mostly horizontal. A combination of crazy-making jetlag and an unidentified Indonesian bug have taken me down…down…down.
Yesterday, I was feeling well enough to host a coaching call for the women who were on retreat with me in Bali, and I discovered that I wasn’t the only one. So many women shared that jetlag had them feeling upside-down and sideways, too.
On top of it all, we just returned from a beautifully transformative retreat. We spent a full week diving into our deepest hearts and making the emotional and strategic “chiropractic adjustments” necessary to come into deep alignment. We laughed and cried and sang and danced together. We stretched out of our comfort zones and into our dreams. It was rich and beautiful…and it’s a lot to integrate.
In our collectively tender, transformed state, I shared my perspective on this time of mushy brains and sleeping late:
“You can push through and try to get back to ‘business as usual’, or you can soften into this and receive the medicine of the mush. There’s a lot being integrated, and if you listen through it, maybe you’ll discover a new way of living, loving, and working. What’s the point of rushing back to the way things were?”
Forced surrender – illness, jetlag, childbirth, heartbreak – is an opportunity to slow down and listen.
It asks that we tend to our most basic needs, find gratitude for the simplest of things, pare down our busy-ness to what’s essential, ask for and receive support, and explore what we’re feeling called to next.
While forced surrender can seem like our demise, if we listen carefully, it’s actually asking us to live.
But listening carefully is a decision…
Instead, you can take non-drowsy medicine and push through.
Instead, you can eat your feelings.
Instead, you can continue to try to do it all yourself.
Instead, you can try to get back to your “old self”.
Or, you can soften into yourself now. You can gather clues for a new way of living, loving, and working that is more present and honoring. You can discover more peace and joy within your heart.
When life has walked you to the edge, receive the gifts by finding the beauty in surrender…
FOCUS ON YOUR HEALTH & WELLBEING
Before traveling home from Bali, I made sure that I’d have fresh, healthy food and flowers waiting for me when I returned, so I could settle in and rest. Your food plays a huge part in dictating your mood, and when you’re already “in it”, the last thing you need is your blood sugar out-of-whack. Bring your attention to the small things you can do to tend to your precious body, and do your best. Taking care of someone (you), will help to pull you through.
FIND GRATITUDE FOR THE LITTLE THINGS
When your head is pounding or you just lost someone you love, it can feel like everything is bad and wrong. But as long as there’s breath in your lungs, there’s something to be grateful for. Make a practice each morning of writing a gratitude list, even if for the simplest of things. Gratitude gives us perspective, and helps us align with our hearts and find our direction.
ASK WHAT’S TRULY ESSENTIAL
If life has forced you to slow down for a while , there’s no point in freaking out over all the things you “should” be doing. Worrying doesn’t make them happen, and it doesn’t make the process any easier. In fact, it’s a massive growth-stunter, that prevents you from receiving the goodness from the experience. Instead, ask what’s truly essential, and you’ll discover that for most things, the world can wait.
For those things that need not wait, ask for help. The times when I’ve been forced into surrender have been some of the most illuminating, clarifying times in my life and business because I can clearly see where I’m lacking in solid systems, and where I desire more support. Where can you automate, delegate or simplify things like grocery delivery, scheduling, cooking, house cleaning, and client support? Now is your time to explore.
LISTEN TO WHAT’S CALLING YOUR HEART
If there’s good to come from life pumping the brakes, look for it in your heart. What are you avoiding? What lies or half-truths are you telling yourself or others? Where do you say yes when you mean no? What are you resisting, forcing, manipulating or glossing-over? What do you desire? What is secretly calling your attention? What is asking for your love and presence? What’s calling your heart?
Get quiet. Listen. You just may find yourself.
—> In the comments below, share what gifts you’ve received when life has thrown you curveballs. If life is throwing you a curveball right now, what are you taking from this post? I’d love to hear from you.
Nisha, this post couldn’t come at a better time. I’m in the middle of ending my 11-year relationship. I’m terrified and devastated, but also hopeful and a little relieved.
The scariest moments are when I wonder if I’ve made a terrible mistake. But little clues have hinted I was on the right path, like when I went for a walk to calm myself just before “the big convo” and found a five dollar bill, folded up like crushed oragami on the sidewalk. It felt like a promise of the new opportunities and different riches that are ahead.
Or when I was packing to leave for the night and picked up my childhood teddy bear (a must for these situations). A spider dropped off the bear and ran away. That may not sound especially positive, but spiders are a total teacher for me, to help me ground myself through my fear and trust and relax into the natural world, even when it looks scary. The fact that the spider showed up at that moment was immensely encouraging.
There is so much I am grateful for right now. Mainly my wonderful, supportive friends. I will definitely take a moment to reflect on that each morning, and will also start a special list to keep track of all the clues that pop up along the way.
Thanks so much for this post! Yesterday, I thought, ‘I hope Nisha sends out something soon around loss.’ Prayer answered. Guess I can add that to my list of clues.
Hey Karina, your story reminds me a lot of where I was five years ago. Be prepared for total amazement + mind-blowing synchronicities to come!!! …it inspires me to blog about these magical signs, or even better, create a little ebook beautifully illustrated 🙂 I wish you a sweet re-connexion to your beloved self, and loads of self love declarations <3
Nisha….sistah, you are a gifted writer. I LOVE this piece of soulful art you put into the world. A gentle guide back to the heart of living in alignment – that’s what this is.
I completely agree with you. It is often the times when life throws the curve balls that we have before us the most precious opportunity to rise into our best selves – to find clarity that was hiding before behind all the action, to find strength that we didn’t know what in us, and to find a version of ourselves that makes us tenderly love ourselves in a way that we didn’t know what possible.
I lived in Nicaragua for 2 years (after leaving NYC and before re-locating in California). I lived an adventure that most only dream of and one of those adventures was learning to ride a motorcycle and to surf. One day I was riding my motorcycle to the beach to surf and on the way I crashed going down a bumpy, rocky, sandy hill (yikes!). I was in a hammock (poor me – haha) for over 2 weeks. I wasn’t even able to read without getting a headache, to walk without pains that seared me, and even conversations needed to be limited. What I needed was rest…all I could do was surrender to that. And I did. It was during that 2 weeks that I woke and decided to make my Yoga DVD (I can’t explain it – I just got up off my hammock after 2 weeks and made this decision). That DVD was made and release less than one year after that and also what catapulted me back to the United States. Surrender Sisters. Nisha has echoed words of wisdom here beyond your wildest dreams…because sometimes they come to us only when we let go. Much love to you Nisha!
I recently had a miscarriage, which totally forced me into surrender. Deep, deep surrender. To my body, to time, to the universe. And it forced me to start asking for help in places where I might not have originally.
We can either go with the flow or fight the flow…and I’ve chosen to go.
Many thanks to you and your beautiful writing.
Lizzie, thank you so much for sharing so courageously here, sister. I see a miscarriage as such a rite of passage – not just something to “get over” and “move on from”, but something that grows and stretches and breaks us open in so many ways. Deep gratitude to you for your willingness to share here.
I love that you have started asking for more help and have chosen to go with the flow.
So much love and healing to you.
Nisha, your posts always come at the perfect time. Thank you for these words.. So needed!
Appreciating your wisdom sister. xox