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Loss of Control? Choose Where Your Energy Goes.

When life feels out of control, choose how you show up.

To get started, let’s talk about….

THE DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES OF 2020

Last year, well, you were there. We don’t really need to tell you what happened. But, I am willing to guess that you felt out of control more than usual.

Tell me, how does the following statement make you feel? “A new year is right around the corner. That means we are sooo close to 2021.”

What if I change it to say, “2020 is almost over!”

Does that make you feel more excited about entering a new year? 

Leaving 2020 behind and moving into 2021 can bring out all the feels. You may be feeling a mixture of excited, relieved, and/or SCARED AS HELL!

Think about it for a minute, the year 2021 literally reminds us everyday that 2020-WON!

I don’t need to tell you that we are not looking to repeat 2020!! It only makes sense that you may be feeling a mix of emotions. And, that is completely valid.

Nothing is Certain in Life 2020

As we look back on 2020, one thing is certain — Almost NOTHING was certain. We felt less in control than ever before. Maybe your role(s) shifted this year, or you were “gifted” a few additional roles…

  • Mom AND first grade teacher. 
  • Father AND piano lesson giver or backyard soccer coach.
  • Grandma AND Zoom video call expert (or Zoom tutor?)

Being pulled in so many directions this year has brought…

  • New distractions
  • New responsibilities, and
  • New challenges.

But we have also been given a new perspective.

  • Maybe we don’t need to have a million and one activities scheduled for ourselves and our families.
  • Perhaps there is more magic in slow Saturday nights than we realized before.
  • It could mean you discovered the strength within yourself to embrace a situation for what it is, rather than the way we think it should be (and making yourself crazy trying to control uncontrollable situations).
  • You’ve smiled and made the most of what 2020 had to offer, even it was just uncertainty.

A PERFECT PLAN – BLOWN APART

Back in the Spring, I tried to adopt a “smile and make the most of it” mentality. At the time I was preparing to move across the country — yes, during a global pandemic. No big deal.

My fiancé and I were going to pack up all our belongings into two cars and make the journey from Kansas City to Southern California. This would be the first time living away from my hometown AND moving out of my parent’s house into a place of my own.

We had a perfect (pre-pandemic) plan. My parents would drive with us to California, see our new city, and we’d share some precious moments together. We would explore new coffee shops, make all the Target runs to get the essentials, and cozily settle into our new house just like young couples do in the movies. 

Well, 2020 had a very different idea of how this move would go… What originally would be a June move, turned into an April move.

If you’re familiar with military life, you know the only thing you can count on is everything will change when you least expect it!

The state of the pandemic was quickly becoming bleak and, in our guts, we knew the safest option would be to travel alone.

With everything happening, you could say I was entering freak out mode! Too much to do in such little time.

No chance to hug friends and family goodbye.

Driving for three days in our separate cars, stopping at gas stations wearing masks and having no idea what to expect when we got to our new town.

Remember when we were naïve and thought we would be wearing masks for a few weeks… Those were the good ole days. LOL

As our official moving day crept closer and closer, my anxiety and fear grew stronger and stronger.

For me, anxiety feels like the jitters, a tight stomach, and irritability. At times, my anxiety feels like a constant heaviness coupled with endless cycles of unwelcome (unkind?) thoughts.

To help shake the anxiety, I asked myself “How do I want to remember these last few moments in Kansas City?”

It was so easy to get caught in a woe is me mindset, blaming the Universe for not allowing me to control Every. Single. Detail.

Not being able to control anything pretty much sums up this past year for a lot of us, right? In other words, the year that was out of our control. 

What do we do when everything around us is changing so quickly we can’t seem to adapt? 

CHOOSE WHERE YOU SPEND OUR ENERGY

We remind ourselves that peace comes when we accept not everything is ours to control- but we CAN AND DO control where we spend our energy. 

Maybe you’re like me and over the past year you’ve felt completely burnt out, idle, and running on empty. Our new responsibilities plus a constantly changing environment can be EXHAUSTING. 

Our energy is precious. We must learn how to protect it so we can show up for ourselves. This also turns into being able to show up for others.  

What does it mean to show up for yourself?

It can (and will) look different for each of us. And, will likely evolve for you over time. Showing up is simply honoring ourselves by choosing where to spend our energy. In a way, showing up for yourself is like making an appointment with yourself — a non-negotiable appointment. 

It could mean spending 10 minutes outside, barefoot, in morning because you know feeling of the ground beneath you and sunshine are the catalyst to a good day.

Or, maybe it means waking up a few minutes earlier to start a fresh pot of coffee, taking in the smell while it brews, walking through each simple step with intention and gratitude. 

Maybe you’re showing up for yourself by finally cleaning out that storage closet that clutters your mind every time you think about – which happens daily as you walk past it to your bedroom.

It’s important to say, showing up for yourself can also mean saying NO to things that no longer serve you. 

These all seem simple on paper, but can be tough to implement into our daily lives. We’re too busy, other people are relying on us, we can’t imagine adding ANOTHER thing to our “to-do” list, and — HELLO — we’re still amid a pandemic. The world is too demanding or confusing and this is NOT the way we thought the last year would go. 

But it did go that way, whether we liked it or not.

Things did change.

We had to pivot.

Truthfully, most days we just had to smile, while making the most of it. 

Remember when I asked myself how I wanted my last few memories in Kansas City to be?

I didn’t want to look back and realize I just wished the days away. I know that can seem like the easier thing to do in the moment, but our lives are moving on and we’re going to miss these days for one reason or another. (That is not a joke!)

I wanted to fill these moments with memories of laughter and love and learning. I knew as I packed my final bags, the world was not going to give me these good vibes on its own. I had to CHOOSE where my energy went — in positive places. 

When we CHOOSE where our energy goes, we are taking back our power.

You are the only one who controls your energy – if a certain situation feels draining, then it is time to figure out why and see what can be done differently to change that. In some cases, it means walking away. In others, it means bringing a different attitude with you to improve your overall experience. 

Either way, YOU are in control.

LETTING GO OF “I WISH…” STATEMENTS 

When we use our energy to live in the past, dwelling on the way we hoped the year would go, it can spark anxiety and sorrow. I’ve found personally it has been helpful to stop using the statement “I wish…” 

  • I wish I could have gone on that trip this summer. 
  • I wish I could go to the gym instead of taking a walk outside. 
  • I wish I knew what next year would look like. 

When we use I wish statements, we are describing unreality. A situation that we KNOW is unrealistic. Spending our energy in I wish statements will drain your energy tank very quickly. 

Setting Intentions with Where Your Energy Goes

As we move into the New Year I want to challenge you to choose where you spend your energy wisely. There are so many unknowns ahead and it can be easy to go down a fearful or overwhelmed spiral. By CHOOSING where our energy goes, we set the tone. We do not leave it up to chance or outside circumstances, because we know those can be fleeting and ever-changing. 

I once heard this saying and I think it can be applied to our New Year mentality, here it goes…

“Don’t just match the energy in the room, influence the energy in the room” 

anonymous

Apply this to any area of your life as we move forward.

Don’t just match the energy….

  • of social media, influence it!
  • of the world, influence it!
  • in your own daily life, influence it.

Make a conscious effort to choose where your energy goes.

It might take some checking in with yourself.

It might take some redirecting.

It might take you a few tries to spend your energy in a positive place. But we keep trying. We keep going. We’ve done it for this whirlwind of a year, we will do it again. 

Smile and make the most of it. 

Wrapping It Up — AKA Actionable Steps

Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of actionable steps to take:

  • Set intentions
    • Try sitting down each month (or morning/week/quarter- whatever feels right for you) and choosing where you intend to spend your energy in these categories: 
      • Mind
      • Body 
      • Soul 
      • For others
    • BONUS: To help you out with this, you can download this FREE intentions template to get you started!
  • Replace “I wish” statements
    • Instead, try using statements that start with “I’m grateful for…” or “I’m proud of…”
    • Replace statements such as “I wish I would have handled this differently” with the following: “A lot of things happened that I could not have foreseen. I am proud of the way I changed directions and adapted” 
    • No more “I wish I could have gone on that vacation”. Instead try “I’m grateful for extra time spent in my hometown, enjoying what is right in front of me”. 
  • Release the idea that next year will be better simply because the calendar will have changed.
    • YOU have the power to pivot your mindset away from negativity 
    • YOU choose how you show up in your life and where your energy goes
    • YOU get to decide that next year will be better
  • Lastly, do all of this with a smile on your face.
    • You’ll be surprised how sometimes even a forced smile, quickly turns into something real. (Struggling with that forced smile? Put a pencil in your mouth horizontally, like you are biting on it. You’ll trick your brain into smiling.)

This year, may you learn to embrace change, uncertainty, and challenges. Accept that change is inevitable, but also recognize you have the power to choose where our energy goes. 

Affirmation statement: This year I will be strong, safe, and grounded. 

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