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Accepting the chaos...

Jamieson Van Loan

There is something in the air this week. Chaos, that dirty ol’ B, has entered my home and I am not happy about it. You all know that I meditate, actively practice mindfulness and gratitude, practice yoga, go to therapy- essentially, do my utmost each day to show up and be the best version of myself. But damnit if there aren’t weeks that just push me so far that I can do nothing but give in. I have to surrender to the monkey mind, to the daily stresses, to the roller coaster and allow the universe to swirl around me. My younger self would be inclined to freak out, probably drink a bottle of wine and export all my stress on my closest humans. Joy oh joy.

My current self acknowledges that days or weeks like this just exist and there is nothing I can do about it but keep on swimming. In the heightened moments of stress, I still practice my deep breaths, my mindfulness and reality checks, but sometimes it is not enough. Sometimes I need more. Sometimes I need a release. I need to cry. I need to yell. I need to run (literally, and if you know me, that doesn't happen often). I need to dance my face off. I need to eat a lot of Girl Scout cookies.

I like to think of these weeks as transition weeks. No one’s path is constant and steady. Our lives are peaks, plateaus and valleys. Sometimes we are winding up or down these mountains (or being hurled up or down) but either way, we are in motion.

I imagine myself on an island that is lovely and comfortable but I can see another island ahead and it’s magnificent and has way better fruit but I need to get there. Sometimes the ocean between these islands is calm and gently rocks me to my new space but sometimes the seas are rough and angry and I have to fight to arrive at my island. This week I paddled against the current with high winds and a hole in my boat. Either way, my motion is forward. I am moving through it. I am not fighting against the volatile universe. I am accepting the chaos and progressing.

Acceptance is critical in these moments. Letting go of control and expectations and owning that you may have to eat some shit sandwiches in life allows the darker moments a shorter lifespan. Acceptance of the uncontrollable aspects of your day grants you the freedom to separate, almost elevate, yourself from its negative grip. The chaos loses its power over you.

In yoga teachings, the Sanskrit word for faith is Sraddha. It is this faith, or energy, that you hold that your life is on its exact path. The concept that no matter what, you're exactly where you are meant to be at that given moment. The essence of sraddha always rings truer and louder during the darker or chaotic life moments. For me when the unanswerable questions bubble up inside, my sraddha deepens. Always knowing your life is where it is meant to be, good or bad, makes accepting the chaos easier.

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching (where did this year go?!), chaotic weeks like this inspire the most gratitude for me. Eating shit sandwiches reminds me of how great my life truly is.

As an ode to Thanksgiving next week, here are some excerpts from my gratitude journal:

I am grateful for the people in my tribe who support me relentlessly and aggressively. My best friends who never allow me to accept second best or settle and push me towards gold.

I am grateful for my family who have seen me and supported me at my best and worst. They are the foundation that I stand upon.

I am grateful for the people who make me belly laugh, who heighten my joy, who brighten even my best days.
 

I am grateful that I have the luxury to pursue my passion each and every day. 

I am grateful for my health. For without it, I would be nowhere. 

What are you grateful for?
Write it down, say it aloud. Shout it from your heart!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week! Squeeze your loved ones and tell them what you love about them.

Be love, share love. xo