Staying Calm in the Midst of Chaos

“I am out with lanterns, looking for myself” — Emily Dickinson

It is a fact that sometimes, just as we are standing by the ocean of life, unassumingly admiring its breathtaking view, a humongous wave unexpectedly runs towards us, kicks us on the head, and takes us with it to uncertain, unfamiliar territories, creating chaos and unrest inside and all around us.

Unfortunately, there is no manual, no instruction book as to how to deal with turmoil which has caused us to lose our balance and our sense of being centered and grounded. It is up to each one of us to put together our own tool box of what we can do to bring ourselves back to our calm sate.

These are the tools I keep in my tool box of “how to keep calm in the midst of chaos.” Before anything, I try to clear up my mind of all its unnecessary clutter to bring back order to it. It is sort of like cleaning up my desk of all the stacks of paperwork and all the other junk on it in order to find a small paper clip I have lost there. I know well that at these chaotic times, more than ever, I need clarity. I need to create space in my mind. I need to empty my mind rather than fill it up with worries and fears. I need to look at things from all different directions to get a realist perspective of it all. That is why I try to share my state of mind with my trusted friends and family. I try to listen to different points of view by different people examining the same problem.

During the chaotic times in my life, I try to especially love and pamper myself. I do this by going for quiet walks; drinking herbal tea; doing yoga stretches; listening to soothing music; trying to get plenty of sleep; reading pages of my favorite motivational books; doing my special deep breathing exercises; and becoming philosophical and spiritual by praying and giving thanks for all my blessings. I acknowledge that my problems, as huge as they seem to be in my eyes, are still trivial and quite insignificant compared to some other people’s problems around the world.

Finally, at some point, I can let go of whatever I cannot control. I forgive myself for not being perfect and super human. I praise myself for doing whatever I could have done to get a hold of the chaos inside of me the best way I could. All the while, I remind myself that we live in this material, physical world where everything changes. Sometimes, the unhappiness and the turmoil which we are experiencing in our lives are just part of our destiny and part of the path we have chosen to walk on. In fact, I think life is all about changes. So, I try to be as flexible as I can be and not resist change. I allow the process of going back to the place of calm in my life happen gradually, by giving it the time it needs, knowing all along that after all, tomorrow the sun will come up again, and it will be a brand new day.

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