When Things Fall Apart.

In Pema Chodron’s work, When Things Fall Apart, she reminds us that life is only a struggle when we seek to resist the inherent nature of the chaos that is life. If you haven’t yet read it, I highly recommend. It’s a powerful reminder that life IS change. Life is a series of things falling apart and then coming together, simply to fall apart again and come together in a new way. Over and over again. It’s a common experience; no one is immune. It is simply the way life works and if we are to flow with life, we can enjoy our experience so much more when we accept this fundamental reality, rather than resist, resist, resist the things we do not want, perpetually chasing after the things we do want, never satisfied with the way things are.

It's natural and understandable to want to feel pleasure over pain, but if I have learned anything in my 47 years here, it's that most (if not all) of my best lessons have come from situations that appeared--on the surface--to be undesirable. Recently, I've been managing my emotions around a few things that have been going "wrong". It's been tough to stay positive and to remember that this too shall pass and I've been looking hard for the lessons. For example, I pre-taped my talk show this season, as I moved across the country and couldn't do them live each Sunday night. For whatever reason, there have been several technical glitches with the live stream on Facebook (where anyone who lives outside of Ottawa or who doesn't have cable tends to watch), and on the Rogers website, and not only does it feels frustrating, embarrassing, upsetting, and unprofessional, it is forcing me to sit with the discomfort of not always being in control.

Thoughts like, "Am I not meant to have done a second season?", "Should I have stayed in Ottawa until the spring so that I could have done them all live?", "Should I stop promoting them beforehand in case they glitch?" are just some of the "low level" thoughts that come to my mind, and yet, I know there is a much deeper lesson here. I need to stay mindful of the energy in which I created the show and this second season; I created it out of love. A love of people and those who tend to feel marginalized. A love for helping others realize that they are not alone and they are not what happens to them, but rather, how they respond to what happens to them. And those who need to receive the show are seeing it (albeit after the fact, but that's not what matters) and others will see it moving forward, as I load each episode onto my show website. Does that mean I simply accept each problem with an attitude of, "WHATEVER! Who cares?!". No. I needed to take some action that was responsible and called for, but that wasn't simply reactionary and that didn't place blame on anyone. I stated the facts and I asked what could be done in the future to prevent the issue from recurring. I waited until I was calm before I reached out to the executive producer of my show and expressed my concern fairly and professionally. And I truly believe that last Sunday was the final time we will have trouble bringing these important topics to the greater population. And if this coming Sunday things "fall apart" again, I will know it is a test I have been given to remind me that I am not the one in control; that life is a series of falling apart and coming together and only I get to choose how I will respond.

Here is what I truly believe; the people who are meant to watch these shows will see them when the time is right and when the tech is fixed, and there is nothing that my frustration and tears can do when things go wrong. That doesn't mean I should shut those feelings off! No. I need to feel those feelings in order to allow them to move through me, honour my truth in the moment, sit with the discomfort....and then let them go.

Last Sunday's episode was on the topic of mental health in our youth. I know I struggled as a teen with not knowing how to feel, understand or process my emotions. When the show airs, I look forward to sharing it with you. As Pema speaks about (and lives) in her work, the importance of mindfulness and meditation is a way to sit with feelings of discomfort so that we aren't constantly pushing away our emotions, but rather co-existing with them in a way that is healing and healthy. I know the powerful impact that meditation  has had on my life, and if it's not already a practice for you (or your kids), I encourage you to start wherever you are. Simply choose to take a few deep breaths (right now is as good a time as any to start) inhaling through the nose and out through the mouth until you feel a deeper sense of calm. That's it! You just meditated! Take it a step further by closing your eyes. Sitting quietly for a time, inhaling and exhaling and just...sitting with yourself, focusing on your breath and allowing thoughts, noises and distractions to fall away into the background. I like repeating a "mantra" (you might choose a saying you like or a word that feels good to you) to keep me in the here and now, which helps me to stay connected to my breath and to the peaceful moment I have created. Doing so allows me to remember that all I ever have is the present moment and that right here, right now, all is well. I can either contribute to the discomfort of things not going the way I want them to, or to the peace of accepting that things are the way they are...neither "good" nor "bad", but simply as they are.

I am trying. I am working on it. I am far from perfect and I have a long way to go. My habit has always been to find blame (including of myself) and I am a recovering perfectionist who likes things to go the way I like them to go, and so it's not easy. But if I've learned anything, it's that nothing worthwhile in life ever is. And, with practice, I can get better at it, making this my default as opposed to having it be so hard to handle each time. As my dear friend (and amazing hairstylist!) Allison once said when I shared an experience where something else didn't go as planned, "Way to be leaves on water, guys." I like the feeling of that and I keep her comment with me often...when things fall apart.

As they will.

Over and over and over again.

Maybe you needed this lesson today, too.

Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.

P.S. If you'd like to watch all episodes so far of Season 2 (and all of Season 1) you can watch them at REALTalkWithSarah.com. UPDATE: Here is the episode on Youth Mental Health!

P.P.S. REGISTRATION for the latest round of my One Bite At A Time (OBAAT) group Coaching ended on Sunday. If you are worried you missed the boat, don't! It wasn't your time. Registration for the next round opens in a few weeks, so you can always join the next one. If you'd like to join me for 12 weeks on a journey inward, I’d love you to experience OBAAT where we talk food and sugar and body image, but we also go SO much deeper, in order to uncover the root causes behind our behaviours, our choices, our lives. It’s awesome. Visit ObaatCoaching.com to learn more, or feel free to email me at Sarah@SarahTalksFood.com. I’d love to work together if you feel ready to change your life.

P.P.P.S. If you’d like to learn more about my work around food and sugar and body image, I did a live training called:The Truth About Sugar and How To Live A Life Of Freedom Around Food.


 

P.P.P.P.S. If you’d like to prioritize your health for 14 days, I’d love for you to sign up for my 14 Days of Wellness. Simply enter your name and email address up on the right to begin receiving the messages today. It’s FREE, with no diets, products, challenges or catches…just a chance to remember how amazing you are…for 14 days.

 

P.P.P.P.S. Let’s be friends! I’d love to connect on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. Plus, if you haven’t already subscribed to my blog, you should! That way, you won’t miss anything. Plus, as a thank you for joining, you will receive my 14 Days of Wellness. 

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