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Are you a fighter or a “flow-er”?

Episode 434
Wildly Successful Lifestyle

LISTEN TO: Are you a fighter or a “flow-er”?

Hi guys! Welcome to episode 434 of the wildly successful lifestyle podcast! I mentioned in Mondays podcast about how our response to things is all we control in our lives and often our misery comes from the thoughts we create in our own head. I wanted to expand on that a bit because it’s so vital to our overall happiness. One thing I have heard is people saying well when bad things happen I’m going to feel bad. And I say of course you’re going to have feelings about bad things happening and that is perfectly normal and perfectly human. The thing is you don’t wanna pile on yourself you don’t want to just make everything worse by losing your mind or losing control. The reality is what’s happening is happening. That’s the reality but what you do about it, the way you allow it to affect you…… These are the things we control. And sometimes the reality is just inconvenient but sometimes it’s really bad.

A good friend of my sisters’ tragically lost her husband at a very young age about a year ago and she’s really struggled, she hasn’t been able to wrap her brain around finding happiness again. So my sister and this friend recently traveled together and when they were traveling, they ran into another friend about the same age and she had also tragically lost her husband, but she was handling it really well. She seemed like she was really doing well and thriving in spite of what happened. Well they had a chance to spend a while talking, in fact they talked for a while. After their conversation, my sisters friend was a different person. She was able to be around someone who was in her situation but was thriving in spite of tragedy. This friend was literally a different person for the rest of the weekend, she was laughing and really able to enjoy all the things they were doing in a way she hadn’t been able to do. I believe it was meant to be for them to run into each other in the busy city of New York, I mean what are the odds of that? The universe is always looking out for you, and when you know that, you take every chance meeting and you follow every inspiring thought. She opened up to this new friend who shared a similar story, which was her work, that wasn’t easy, but You see in her mind no one could thrive after a loss like that but when she saw someone her age thriving in spite of tragedy, it gave her hope and completely changed her mindset for the trip. It almost gave her permission to be happy and enjoy her life. This was a big deal for her and it warmed my heart to hear her story. But what about those things that happen in our every day life that maybe aren’t tragic but they are super inconvenient?

My parents were headed to the airport at 2:30 in the morning this last week. They were catching a flight leaving at 5:30. It was about and hour and a half drive to the airport. They had been driving for 30 min when their car broke down. In the middle of nowhere on a small highway in the country. Ultimately my cousin who doesn’t live too far from them answered her phone and was able to hop out of bed and managed to get them to the airport in time for their flight. My sister and I felt so bad that their trip had started in such a stressful way. I really wished I could have made that better. But When I talked to my dad once they returned from their trip I said I’m so sorry it started off that way. It must have been incredibly stressful. He just shrugged his shoulders and said I wasn’t that worried about it. If we had of had to go a day late or taken a later flight, or even worse case if we didn’t make it at all…it still wouldn’t have been the end of the world. We just weren’t that stressed about it. So here I was feeling anxiety for them and all along they were just willing to go with the flow and not get too worked up about it. IT was a nice lesson.

His saying that, reminded me of YouTube video by Joseph Murray where he was talking about how if you watch a river flow or a stream, no matter how soft or forceful the water is flowing, it always finds a way around any obstacle. The water doesn’t fight with the obstacles in its way the boulders the stumps the twists and turns. No, it flows over or around and once it’s done that long enough the stump or the boulder is smoothed out, it’s changed because of the flow. Our challenge in life is the same, to flow gracefully over or around or through any obstacles we face. That’s our work, and it’s something that we have to work on every single day. We aren’t going to to wake up one day and be at peace every moment of the day, unless we are striving to become a monk and then maybe but no we live in the real world and things come up and not so great things happen and now we have to make a decision how we are gonna show up. You see the river doesn’t rage against the boulders and stumps that are in the way, it doesn’t take it personally, it doesn’t fight against them, it knows that there is nothing personal in them being there, it’s just life’s journey that settled them there, it’s the rivers job to keep flowing and flow it does. How do we find that ability to flow in our every day life?

I made a quick day trip to Nashville. My friend was considering making an offer on a condo downtown and wanted my thoughts on it. She had two and wanted to decide if design wise one would be a better option. I had a lot going on so I didn’t want to stay the night so I drove up and back in one day. 3 hour drive. Which I don’t mind at all. But on the way home there was an accident around Jackson which had traffic at a standstill. The kind of standstill where the truckers were actually walking around their trucks and chatting with each other. People turned their cars off including me because we weren’t going anywhere. So I sit there for an hour. I could feel my anxiety starting to build. But then I realized you know what? How can I make the best of this? I had several things I needed to do anyway and so I thought there’s no difference from what I would be doing at home than right here so I pulled out my work bag and I managed to get several things done that I needed to do and I talked to a few clients and managed to help them pick some things out online. And before I knew it, the hour flew by and my anxiety was better because of that little traffic jam, not worse! And I know some of you will say well it would have been better if the traffic had just never happened, right? Sure. But that was not my reality. It would have been better if my parents hadn’t of broke down, sure but that was not their reality.

I was really proud of myself for not allowing the traffic to get me all worked up. Nobody wants to be stuck in traffic. Especially not standstill traffic for an hour when you are low on gas and you drank coffee and sparkling water…you get it….It’s no fun. That’s no fun. But it’s way worse to be stuck in traffic and oh by the way you’re losing your mind about it.

That’s our work though, is figuring out how to meet the challenges life gives you head on and learn to flow with them instead of fight against them. Eventually you realize that the joy is actually in the overcoming. My dad just went with the flow when their car broke down at 2:30 am, he just knew they would either get to the airport on time or not and that it would all be fine either way. I love that so much, When I was 30 minutes into sitting and not moving in traffic, I could feel my anxiety building a little, but I thought to myself this is part of your day Heidi, are you going to fight against it or are you going to allow it to work in your favor? And it did.

When things go a different way than you thought they would, or you wanted them to, Making it worse by losing your mind isn’t going to change anything except for your state of mind.

My challenge to you this week is to meet any challenge you run up against like a river. Don’t rage against it, don’t take it personally, Flow around it, over it or through it. Find a way to thrive anyway, and if you need permission to thrive, consider this episode just that. You’ll be proud of yourself, I promise you that. And the more you find yourself going with the flow the more you will realize that everything in your life gets smoother, just like the rocks and the stumps in the river. The joy really is in the overcoming. I love you guys, Ill talk to you in a few days!

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