This past year has been a life lesson of patience to say the least. From the pandemic, the Big Texas Freeze, a new puppy (BIG PUPPY-MASTIFF) to kid’s, school activities, work, and family. Life, Right! But despite the challenges and hiccups, I came out of 2021 with humility, grace, and ease thanks to my mindfulness practices and letting go of what I can't control.
The Big Texas Freeze
It all started on that frozen Valentines week in February when my husband and I woke up to a ceiling caving in from pipes busting throughout the house. We were one of the millions in the state of Texas impacted by The Big Freeze that included temperatures in the teens, snow, ice, power outages, loss of heat, busted pipes and an electric grid system that failed across the state.
I looked around the damages in our house not knowing where to start, how we were going to afford repairs. My initial thought was IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?
Take a Breath and Get Busy
Then took a deep breath, and got busy. Luck would have it that a friend of ours had a plumber and handy man who were able to show up the same day, despite the inclement weather. In fact, they didn't hesitate. They were able to fix the immediate need and stop the leaks and replace the pipes, so we could function within our household safely.
After all the damages were accessed and approved to start construction, we took action.
We scheduled contractors and got all the supplies needed. However, due to the bad weather, we had to delay our reconstruction by two weeks. Ugh!
During those two weeks we noticed even more damages that were not seen in the first assessment of house. This started round two of appraisals, and more delays...you get the gist.
When the construction started, we had construction workers in our house all day and night, often working from 8am to 10pm, and sometimes longer! It was a wonderful crew that chose to work that hard for us! We were grateful, but the invasion of our home was sometimes tough to take. For two months our living room became our master bedroom. Talk about a family slumber party!
Once the master bedroom and bathroom had been completed, we started to focus on the rest of the house. Slowly but surely things got done, and here we are one month out from a year this mess occurred and we still haven’t finished - enough to drive anyone crazy!
A Smile Runs Through It
But with all the construction, delays, home interruptions, chaos, kid's activities, two very large dogs (including a gigantic 100 pound puppy), I found myself getting through all of this with a smile. There were many days and nights that I could have been sulking in a deep doom and gloom of pity...Why me?
But in the end, and it's not over yet, I didn't, and don't, allow for the circumstances to consume me. Through daily meditation, breath work and my yoga practice I was able to keep my body and mind balanced. Every day, I chose to have a positive mindset by acknowledging what I can and can't control.
What You Can and Can't Control
Through my mindfulness practices, I am able to be present and re-direct my attention and intentions to what I want, not what I don't want. This is a power we all have - the power to control our own thinking and behavior.
When things felt out of my control, like contractors not showing up when they said they would (ugh!), I would stop, take a deep breath, and pause. I can't control the contractors, but I can control my response. In fact, I even had a few laughs, like the same day we had our new floors put in, and the puppy peed on them right front of me. Help Me Now! LOL!
This experience has actually been a gift. It has pushed me to use of my “Strong Mind,” and accept what is in my power to control and what isn't. Living with awareness of the present moment, and observing what is going on in my own mind is what continues to guide me through each day. It enables me to find joy even in the most challenges circumstances.
What I mean by present moment awareness is not dwelling on the future or past. The bad that happened, the "what-if’s," or the "what's to come." I become present with my breath and physical being to get grounded in that very moment. I scan myself and observe the situation with a calm, rational mind, and remind myself of what I can control. Then I direct my attention towards that.
After all the craziness of 2021, I now place my attention on 2022 with a more relaxed mind, and openness to all the hidden gifts that come my way. My daily mindfulness practices continue to support me through each struggle, on good days and bad. I choose to make most days a good day, mindfully awake with a Strong Mind and an open heart.
S.T.O.P. Moment Mindfulness Practice
Here is a practice that I do and you can do to aid you to a Strong Mind whenever you face a challenges (Feel free to click on the image to download your own copy) :
To help you get clear on what you can and can't control, join us for our 4-evening virtual yoga/meditation retreat Awaken the Light Within You starting January 17th. Click HERE to learn more and register.
Also, begin your journey to Awaken the Light Within You, with our gift to you - an audio meditation recording guided by Live Free Yoga's Co-founder and meditation master, Tida Chambers, taken straight from our virtual yoga/meditation retreat in October. Get a taste of the power of what you'll experience. Just click the link below to download.
Author, Robin Pusateri is the newest Co-Owner of Live Free Yoga, which provides yoga and mindfulness programs for youth and adults who serve them. She is a 200-hr RYT, teaching yoga for 7 years, as well as a fitness trainer for the last 20 years. Robin is a fully licensed cosmetologist and medical esthetician who believes that beauty begins within. She is happily married to Nate, and a mother to Nick, and two bonus daughters, Sophia and Natalie.