Something awful happens in your life, and you are just trying to get through it. You need to continue your everyday responsibilities – work, taking care of your kids, going through with commitments you’ve made, getting your taxes done, ensuring there’s food in your fridge, etc.
The degree of ‘awfulness’ of your situation is a matter of perception. In helping people all my life, such awfulness can range from ‘my sister-in-law did something hurtful’ to ‘my mom just passed away’. Indeed, whatever situation someone is hurting about is very real to them, and what they are feeling is not for anyone else to judge.
I want to share with you one piece of advice that someone I treasure shared with me when I was going through one of my life’s tough times. It is simple, and here it is:
“Breathe and flow”
During a tough time, you can feel deep fear, helplessness, despair, a numbness to everyday life … you know what I’m talking about if you have been through it.
Here is a personal real-life example to put this into context:
Since my cancer diagnosis almost 5 years ago, I’ve devoted a lot of my life to educating myself and taking action for healthier living to avoid cancer recurrence. The effort has been significant, costly, and time spent paying it forward in helping others who are also interested. Through self-initiated surveillance of my health, suddenly I get a shocking blood test result that puts me and my doctors on high alert – indication that cancer may have returned.
For the next 9 days, while getting more investigative tests done, my life feels like it has been overturned. How could this be happening with all the work I’ve been doing to stay healthy? Just dealing with everyday life was excruciating, trying to function with a cloud of uncertainty about my life hanging over my head, not to mention how it may affect those I love if cancer has returned.
My very wise and special health advisor said “Breathe and flow”. These 3 simple words are what primarily carried me through my 9 days of health scare hell, along with employing all the life tools that I’ve learned over the years. Here is what these words meant to me:
- Breathe – paying attention to my breath to be mindful and present
- Flow – feel and accept the flow of life, of what is happening. Know that things will change, and this situation will continue flowing and will move on.
Every time I couldn’t focus on something I needed to, like writing a document at work, I would breathe & flow. It carried me through the 9 days.
This story ends positively, I’m happy to say. Further medical testing revealed that the alarming test results were likely not caused by a cancer recurrence. The breathe & flow tip will stay with me forever.
If you are going through something difficult, I hope this helps you. If this doesn’t resonate with you at all, perhaps you may need this at some time point your life, and I hope it’s something you will remember.
Sending you all the best,