Sailing Through Tough Times

Sailing Through Tough Times

There’s nothing worse than having a bad day (or week or years…)


Or when emotions take over and carry us away.


Or when our relationships bring challenges.


Or when we endure great loss.


Or when we wish that just once, when things started getting good, they stayed that way.


But difficult times are really offerings that show us what no longer serves us. And once they’re cleared, they no longer have power over us.


No one, including myself, wants to feel bad. After years of trying to overcome depression and anxiety, one day I finally stopped trying to fix myself. I then came to the amazing realization that there’s really no problem with me.


Here are some tools to help you through any difficult time:


  1. When an emotion is carrying you away, identify the feeling by narrowing it down to one of these:
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Sadness/grief
  • Joy/love


Our feelings are layered. Underneath anger is fear, under fear is sadness, and under sadness is our heart, where our joy and love lies. 


This formula can guide you in uncovering each of your emotional experiences to come to your heart more quickly.


For example, after my mother died I was angry. I didn’t know why I felt so angry until I cleared through the layers.


I discovered I was mad that she left me. But the anger wouldn’t have subsided until I identified the fear underneath it: I was terrified of living life without my mom, and I was shutting down my vulnerable feelings to protect myself.


Of course, under the fear was tremendous sadness that she was gone. In order to heal, I needed to feel the tears rather than suppress them with anger and fear.


Once I could touch the tender, fragile parts inside, my tears had permission to flow out whenever necessary.


When my tears emptied, the sadness lifted and was replaced with enormous love, compassion, and gratitude for my mom. When I thought about her it didn’t come with pain anymore. I think of her now only with happiness and joy.


  1. Realize that spirals both descend and ascend.


When we hit a particularly difficult downward spiral, we have the opportunity to focus on raising our frequency.


In these times, I meditate more. I choose not to fuel the negativity by talking too much about it with friends. I clean up my diet. I do whatever I can to make a positive adjustment toward self-loving and self-care.


I find something to ground me. It could be as easy as taking the garbage out (literally!), jumping into a creative project that fulfills me, or taking a walk in the sunshine—anything so that I can smell the roses.


  1. Know that after good experiences, “bad” things will happen.


After expansion, we always contract. And that means nothing about us.


Life brings us lemons so that we can discover how to go deeper and closer to our true selves. Once we’ve hit one level, there’s always another.


We can have some good days where everything is great, and then WHOA, something steps in that challenges us to grow.


I’ve come to accept that I will eventually lose momentum after being in the flow.


The good news about feeling bad is that when we get thrown off course, each letdown strengthens our spirit when we find our way out.


“Downtimes” are our ally. Without “bad,” “good” wouldn’t exist, and just like life, we learn to roll with it. What’s most important is how we acknowledge and validate our being human as truly enough.


Wishing you ease and love through any difficult transitions!