The day we listed our house on the market was tough for me. I felt overwhelmed with emotion. It also happened to be the first day back to school for my little ones. It was a challenging day filled with lots of transition.
Putting the house on the market triggered a lot of stuff for me. There were so many thoughts that swirled in my head, and I began to feel pure panic. All of these fears began to surface – I was afraid of the move, afraid of leaving my hometown again. I felt afraid we’re making the wrong decision, that the kids will hate it, our marriage can’t withstand so much change, and oh no – I’ll gain weight again (because you know…. stress eating). I started to feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz – like I was in this tornado and we were being scooped up and plopped down somewhere foreign, in this unfamiliar territory. OMG! Total panic!
Thankfully, through some fabulous coaching from one of my incredible colleagues, I was reminded of something very simple and true. This is a choice! It is our choice! Nobody is forcing this on us, and telling us we HAVE to move. In that moment, realizing the truth, the clouds lifted. I was so in my head, swimming with thoughts and stories, that I completely neglected my body and forgot that we are in control. This realization was instant freedom! Believe it or not, that’s pretty much all it took to get me from completely unglued to grounded again. Whoa….
Can you think of a time in your life when you were consumed by thoughts and felt totally out of control? Did you happen to stop for a moment? Could you notice that what you were thinking, the stories you were believing, were not real? Everything I was thinking during my tornado was a story. None of it was based on reality.
Here is the reality - my husband was offered an opportunity. We carefully considered the options and made a decision. We agreed to move to GA. We put the house on the market. That is all. Everything else was crap I made up in my head that made me feel really bad.
Here’s a fun little exercise…….
Let’s look at my original thoughts:
I am afraid of the move. I am afraid of leaving my hometown again. I am afraid we’re making the wrong decision. The kids will hate it. Our marriage can’t withstand so much change. I’ll gain weight again.
Now let’s turn those thoughts around:
I’m excited about the move. I am grateful for the opportunity to explore. We’re making the right move. The kids are going to love it. Our marriage will grow stronger. Heck, I’ll lose weight because I can catch myself now before I start to stress binge.
Can you feel the difference between these two thought patterns?
For me, the original thoughts feel heavy, tight, constricted, and overwhelming. When turned around they feel lighter, and open. The heaviness begins to dissipate. I feel joy, and a sense of peace.
That light, open feeling…. the joy, and the sense of peace I felt – that’s my body giving me the green light – that is my truth. Amazing, isn’t it?
Martha Beck talks about this in her book “Finding Your North Star”, which is about finding your true self, and the life you are meant to live. The idea is that our right life will bring us happiness when we follow our internal compass and what feels good. The good feeling, that’s our truth. The opposite (the bad feeling) is essentially poison. This is one of my favorite books. You may want to check it out if you haven’t already.
So, anyway, I feel a heck of a lot better when those scary thoughts are turned around. That’s evidence for me that the new thoughts will keep me on course. As I look back on the events in my life over the last few years, it’s almost like each one has been preparing me for the next step. There’s a path, and I am starting to see it. More importantly I am beginning to feel it.
It’s not uncommon to lose your way. It happens to the best of us, especially when we’re experiencing any kind of change. The next time you feel that overwhelm sneaking in - you know, like when you start to feel like you have no control - take a deep breath and remember, you do have a choice.
I’m grateful for my fellow coaching colleagues bringing me back to earth and back to my body. And yes…. coaches need coaching too!
If any of this resonates and you want more tips on how to navigate through change, or how to use your body compass, let’s hop on a discovery call and see how coaching can help. It’s a free call. Click here to claim your spot.