I’m not a fan of reveling in the topic of challenge but I wanted to talk about embracing challenges today in the space of it’s magnificence.
When you’re facing challenge, you’re facing majestic growth.
When you’ve been operating in a certain way for some time– getting to the heart of true change and real expansion can feel like a steep hill to climb.
And then, there are the challenges life presents– no shortage of them in 2020 through to today, but always– that create their own hurdles to jump.
I don’t focus on the challenging part of challenges, but I do fully embrace them now. Even the ones that feel unfair, overwhelming and otherwise stressful.
Today we’re going to talk about leaning into and embracing challenge. It’s been an invaluable way to get to the other side of so many of them, and it brings more infinite possibility to every moment.
A friend decided she was going to get me these exact flowers for my birthday, but they were not at any local market. Sold out, never arrived, only in the color white…. not what she wanted.
She waited in the 90 degree heat for a bus to travel 20 miles to the one place they might have been, and then strategically positioned herself to grab the final bouquet before heading home.
It was the greatest gift– a true testament to a friendship, to not settling on your vision and, most powerfully, to leaning into challenge.
She enjoyed the impromptu bus ride, found shade to make the most of the bus stop, met wonderful people at the flower market, researched the meaning of the flowers, made it an adventure to find them in the giant outdoor bazaar, and victoriously gifted them to me.
She leaned into every moment. And, it was a huge success in the end. Not a small feat when you are in a city of 10 million people.
You might say: this wasn’t a real challenge.
Well, for her, it certainly was.
But it reminded me of my greatest successes overcoming very dark days. Near-death illness, deaths of both parents suddenly, triumphing over a decade long clinical eating disorder… 6 figure debt… and so much more.
Somehow, in the darkness I found light by leaning into the experience.
Smaller challenges used to burry me. I’d flip out at the injustice, I’d blame, I’d get so frustrated, I’d feel hopeless, I’d cast myself as a victim… and, as it turned out, I wasn’t able to grow very much because I ultimately stopped even daring to dream big or take risks.
Big challenges led me to lean in.
This is an energy shift that can be so helpful in challenges big and small.
Feeling all the feelings is part of leaning in for me. Energy is meant to flow freely, so it’s not helpful to hold back. You don’t have to be high vibe every minute. Lean in.
Pushing aside the unnecessary is part of leaning in. You might have a big work challenge and lots of little things that pull your attention waiting for you. Clear every possible one of them off your plate.
On that note, clearing clutter is one of the best things I have done in these times of growth. I channel lots of energy into housecleaning, organizing, mending clothes, shredding papers.
Channel all the excess energy that can build up as stress into activities that bring you more power. It might be time for a new workout, a daily walk or something else that physically moves your energy and your body.
Get really clear on the desired outcomes. And don’t hedge your bets. Clear positive intention is not dwelling on a worst case scenario.
In fact, when I start settling in my mind for less than what is ideal or start reasoning about the “worst thing that could happen” I know I need to get my energy together. This is not the mindset or energy that creates breakthroughs.
Would you want to have a doctor operate on you who was comforting themselves by dwelling on the worst possible outcome and how hey could be OK with that?
No, you would not.
So, how to get your energy together?
Here’s a little more on Intention to begin…
And… to expand it further, make sure you’re taking good care of yourself. If you’re tired, try to get more sleep. If you’re hungry, try to eat more. If you aren’t getting enough fresh air, sit outside.
And, once you feel a little better, dive in.
Make that positive intention clear. Lean into the challenge.
Realize all the ways you will learn and grow.
You might even start embracing more challenges with a spirit of adventure.
While things may not feel fair, they may not seem deserved, they may be extremely trying… I am always reminded that we’re not often given things that we can’t handle.
Every challenge, even when it wasn’t “perfectly overcome”or “extremely easy”, that I’ve faced with this perspective of embracing it all has been pivotal in creating greater joy, greater love, greater passion and abundance in my life.
And, I’ve seen it do the same for hundreds of people.
It’s not a new concept to many of you, but hopefully a reminded if it’s needed that there’s magic in moving through these moments.