For example, last summer, while I was joyfully down the writing rabbit hole, I got a phone call at 5 o’clock on a Friday afternoon. The man on the other end of the line introduced himself as a fire investigator for the town where a rental condo of mine was located. I immediately felt a stone form in the pit of my stomach. He explained that the rental had burned, that there was extensive damage throughout. No one had been harmed, but the extent of the damage would not be completely known until the next week. He went on to say that there was absolutely nothing I could do and that even coming down to view the destruction was not advised. I hung up the phone in shock. I didn’t have any answers. There were so many questions! Like, what would my insurance cover? Did I have enough to cover it? Would this place me in financial ruin? Did the home owners association have a part? How could I have avoided it? Would this derail my entire summer? Would my dreams of completing my creative projects be in ruin? What caused the fire? And on and on and on, my thoughts spiraled into a whirlwind of unknown.
So I paused, and I decided that continuing to feed the fear inside my brain would not help. This was my chance to practice looking for soft advantages. I would see how I could put more energy into myself rather than take energy away. First, I decided that this was a good opportunity to model problem-solving for my daughters. I wanted them to grow up to be resilient, responsible adults and to have the coping strategies to deal with big BUMPS. I would show them that, while I REALLY did not like what was happening and felt uncertainty in every direction, I would take action to be prepared the best I knew how. I got busy phoning experts in the field. I lined up a real estate lawyer should I need one. I lined up a contractor to do the repairs. I researched the types of permits that might be needed to get started on re-construction. I contacted the tenants to tie up loose ends. I noticed that just taking action instead of swirling into fear was a major soft advantage. Next, I continued on with life as usual and attended a musical event I had planned on attending that evening. As I danced and swirled to the global music, watching the intense thunderstorm all around me, I realized peacefully that this was a wonderful opportunity to let go and simply trust the path of my life. While I didn’t know what was next, I could let go in the now and release my fears.
There were many many times during that weekend that I returned to do just that. Each time the uncertainty threatened to creep in, I reminded myself to let go, to allow the natural unfolding of my life, regardless of WHAT it was.
I encourage you, especially in the midst of challenging situations, to get on a mission to look for the soft advantages, to see how you can use the situation for deeper growth and expansion, for deeper practice in relaxing into WHAT IS. How could you put energy back into your system? What is beneficial for you? What steps could you take in the moment to feel better? The more you look for the advantages, the more they appear in your awareness. Use every moment of your life to more deeply connect with feeling good. Although it will look different in every situation. The more intensely BIG BUMPS, feeling good might look different in each time.
Reach for feeling good. Look for ways to feel a little bit better. And you will find whats in it for you.