My sweet friends,
We all continue to feel the intensity of the times we find ourselves in. Summer is coming to an end, kids are going back to school, and COVID-19 is still here, in full force. The energy is palpable, and the frustration is very real. Early on with the stay-at-home orders, I started to feel anxiety about the thought of life passing me by, and that I was going to get stuck in a rut that would feel impossible to get out of. As time passed, these feelings intensified, and I started to feel really frustrated; by my lack of control of life around me, by the uncertainty, and honestly, by the disconnect I was feeling with my community around me.
Though I’ve been practicing mindfulness tools for quite sometime, I know that this practice doesn’t ever make me perfect in dealing with life and its ups and downs, however, it does absolutely make me more aware. I noticed that my festering frustration wasn’t helpful, and I knew that I had a choice; I could continue to feel that way, or take a different action and course-correct. The awareness my practice provides, allows me to take positive, brave actions, in the midst of chaos. This, my friends, is the real value and the meaning of this work.
Life is difficult, unpredictable, uncertain, and COVID-19 has reinforced this truth for all of us. So if you’re anything like me, and you’ve found yourself in a season of frustration, I want to reinforce for you that this is life, these moments will come, and they will go, and we can truly trust the beauty of impermanence. So my deepest desire is that you will find benefit and hope from the tools below. I believe trusting ourselves completely and connecting with our unshakeable faith within, will offer us the strength, confidence, and calm needed when life presents us with difficulty, especially during this unprecedented pandemic. I send you all so much love, and please be gentle, patient, and care for yourselves as we maneuver through these times.
Change it up: I find that when I’m feeling frustrated, it’s a signal that there’s stagnation somewhere in my life. The best way to break through stagnant energy is to take a new action, even if a small one. Try something new. Change your scenery. Move your body. Do whatever you can do to move yourself from the current state of agitation into a place of calm. For me during this time, I like to take a quick drive on a nice day with the windows down in my car, it allows me to collect my thoughts, center myself, and helps me to refocus my energy.
Take a break: Frustration can stem from being, and feeling too busy, and having too much on our plates. We are all juggling life in a much different manner than we were at the beginning of this year. Allow yourself to take breaks when you need. Meditation truly is a cure-all, in my opinion, but especially in circumstances such as these. When you start to feel that frustrating feeling, excuse yourself, wherever you are, (you can even step into the bathroom, and take a moment to just be with yourself, take a few deep breaths, and remember that you have the power to create peace in any situation.
Stay Focused: Another culprit of frustration is feeling scattered and having scattered energy. Multitasking does this for me! I make mistakes, I run late, I’m forgetful, and this leads to all these agitating feelings. When I remember to do one thing at a time, and be present to whatever is in front of me, I feel powerful, in control, and I find my calm.
Remember you’re allowed to say no: People pleasing is a large source of frustration for me, and probably for most of us. When I spread myself too thin, and say yes to things that I really wish I said no to, I get irritable and even resentful. The beauty of these frustrating feelings is our reminder that it’s okay to say no to situations and circumstances that don’t feel aligned with your well-being, your highest good, and your right to just say no for no reason at all! You can say no to the party or the dinner or the social gathering, if it means that you say yes to yourself and your sense of peace.
Receive clarity: Lately, a massive source of frustration for me has been a feeling of confusion. When I don’t have a sense of clarity, I feel completely upside down. I crave clarity, and so, when I find myself feeling frustrated I’ll ask myself the important questions that help me get the answers and understanding I need to bring me back in alignment with my clarity and desires.
Remember to breathe: Above all, remember to breathe. If you don’t have the time, effort, or awareness to take part in the tips above, remember that taking a nice deep breath, anywhere, at anytime, can help relieve a tense situation. A deep breath can shift your energy, release your stress, give you pause and help you to find that space where you can take the next right action. When in doubt, breathe it out.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org