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Transforming Difficulty

Lessons from Gravity the Movie {spoiler free}

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This Sense-sational Life is a blogging series that came out of my realization that the more I explore life and get a sense of its nuances (including the literal senses and figurative ones) the more my life feels sensational.

A Sense of Gravity

I watched Gravity, the movie, this afternoon with my hubby.  I donned the 3D glasses, munched on some popcorn, sipped from a cup with two straws and held on tight to my man when things in the movie felt a little too close to real life.  I promise not to give anything away, except for the fact that this movie shouldn’t be missed.

It may sound odd for me as a down to Earth artist to claim a movie about an astronaut hits close to home, but Gravity’s metaphoric symbolism grabbed hold of me and took me through the same journey as the main character, played by Sandra Bullock.  One thing the trailer shows, that is enough for me to share, is that this movie is about how we sometimes have an unexpected collision with life that just might send us far enough off our course to force us scrambling for something solid to hold onto.  And sometimes when things turn our world upside down, the only thing we may have to hold onto is ourselves!

prepare for impact

The last several months have been one of those uncharted journeys for me.  Boy, don’t we learn a lot about ourselves when we get untethered from our life as we know it.   A few months ago when I was diagnosed with uterine cancer, I just wouldn’t have had any idea that the lessons that are coming up for me would be the ones to come up.  I thought the challenges would be one thing going into it, and they are totally different.

I am watching how I choose to learn my lessons.  Some lessons are joyfully challenging to wrestle with.  They validate me somehow.  I could easily spend lifetimes wrestling with what it means to be a woman who loses her reproductive organs.  I could write poetry, make art, lead women’s circles, workshops, vision quests, write novels, and create a movement, work for a cause.  Can you feel the energy behind that? It is intoxicating, somehow!

Creative Spirit

Instead, the challenge for me is about the mundane.  About paperwork, deadlines, responsibility, and one task after another that all seem overwhelming.  There is nothing intoxicating about that for me.  No energy there that might inspire something. It stings and wears me down some days.  And so I have to motivate myself.

Now, I am good about motivating myself for some things, but wouldn’t you know, this isn’t one of those things!  It is almost funny, a cosmic joke.  And to some people I know it must seem convoluted.  But those are the folks for whom the mundane is energizing.  The people who have certain ducks in a row.  And those folks probably would be overwhelmed by the idea of creating art or writing in response to a loss.   That would be their big lesson.

So luckily, when the student is ready the teacher will share its wisdom.  That is what Gravity has done for me.  It inspired me to get over myself….to get down to business and get focused.  It helped me see I could make a valiant effort to reach for life…my life.

So if you are reading this today, know I am doing just that. Reaching.  Will you sit in your seats holding onto your honey, fearful of what my journey reflects in you?  Do that if you must, but I would prefer that you join me.  Let go.  Throw your arms in the air and reach for something you think you might never get to.  Get over yourself.  And go for it!  What do you have to lose?!

Galactic Selfie

“Houston….this is Galactic Earth Traveler Rachél Payne, in the blind.  If you copy me, Houston, I am adjusting my trajectory 3 degrees and heading out of range of the blasts that have been knocking me off course. My target is to complete of this mission.  The ride may get bumpy on the way, but I hope to see you on the other side.  Rachél out.”

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Secrets to Shifting Out of Difficulty and Into Delight

bouncing back

When we start talking about seeing life’s difficulties with a positive spin, I know from personal experience there can be a part of the self that wants to throw a hand up in the air and turn its back on the whole conversation.

 Girl friend, these troubles are mine!  I came to them the hard way…with bumps, bruises, and plenty of tears.  And you just want me to push them aside? Sister, puh-leez!

It may sound like I am exaggerating, but I have heard it from friends and clients too.  Something in us needs to hold onto the dramas and traumas of life, and when someone suggests we move away from them ….especially the big, hairy, scary ones….. we stand our ground.

I have shared over the last several months about working through my big stuck-in-place stories, dealing with the illness and death of loved ones, facing personal fears and those the same scary-world scenarios we all see on TV.  The more I practice moving out of the pain and into the possibility, the easier it is getting.  Here are some of my secrets.

Start where you are.  If you feel yourself digging in with both heels, staying close to the pain….for whatever reason….let that be where you start your journey towards healing.  Giving yourself permission to honor the hurt can often be an important step in eventually finding relief.

Invite your creativity in.  Honoring the hurt with creativity helps you take something that feels stuck and brings movement to it without disregarding the part of you that needs the experience recognized.  It also opens a door to a new perspective.  The options are endless for how to bring creativity into a difficulty. They range from journaling to dance, include music, gardening, or just getting quiet and going inward.

creative collaboration sisters

A Favorite Technique. One of my faves right now is to imagine that some thing greater than myself…. that could be a Higher Power, helping spirit, imagined healing hand, angel, saint, or some part of myself more wise… that some Guide  has a gift for me that comes from the situation I am stuck in.  I get quiet, close my eyes, and let my helper hand me a box that will show what the gift is.  I open it and look inside.  Sometimes it takes me awhile, may even takes more than one visit to see and understand what is inside the box.  I am patient.  I try to never force it.  Try to let it come more from my creativity and less from my willful mind. The gifts are often simple and nearly always, if I am willing to receive the gift, I find them comforting and healing.

An Organic, Intuitive Process.  Moving from difficult and into delight is a process.  The most helpful part in my opinion is the decision itself.  Will I choose to be happy?  How long will I stay with all the hard feelings the difficulty brings?  Could I redefine myself as one of those people who bounces back…who feels the feelings, listens to that guiding spirit within myself that knows how to move towards happiness then resets the path to lead me there?  I have decided to be that person.

resilience quote 2

The Ultimate Reward.  I have been exploring this for about 8 months, this transforming of those dense feelings into life lessons and morsels of meaningfulness.  The process leads to all kinds of rewards.  I am learning so much about myself and the way life works.  But the ultimate reward is a sense of strength I feel from making my back to peace when life brings situations that feel difficult.  I am discovering that I am resilient and that sometimes what feel like a pickle of a situation was really something beautiful in disguise.  This is the key for me to staying on top of emotional wellness.

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Rachel Payne Life Coach

The Indulgent Life

meaning and magic

I have been indulging in life this year.  Not the kind of indulgence where you eat rich, spend lots, and party til the sun don’t shine.  The kind where you hold onto whatever comes your way and sap out every morsel of meaning and magic you can.

What I have held onto…

There was a birth in my circle of friends followed by lots of time with the baby, funny faces, kisses on the bottom of the feet, adventures in diaper changing, and those magical moment when you help the little one find his way to slumber land.

There have been illnesses:  calls in the middle of the night, quick trips to the hospital, surgeries and moments where we didn’t know if this loved one or that was moving closer to or further from death.

There have been second chances:  a heart made new, whispered I’m Sorry’s, choked up Thank You’s, hope for the rest of a new life given.

And there have been last chances:  families and friends drawing close to squeeze out every last bit of loveliness life has had to offer, pulling up memories of the great times, letting go of the worst, counting breaths and pills, holding a hand, stroking a furrowed brow, and in the end inviting the letting-go.

There have been celebrations….of the birth, the play, the renewal, the life well-lived.

success quote

In each of these threads of existence, I have looked for the gift.  That is the lesson I chose to learn this year, taking GIFT on as my word for 2013.  It is easy to look for the gifts in the places where celebration is the norm, but when life gets difficult and emotions are tender, being grateful and turning your eyes towards the positive takes some dedication.

And yet, that is where I am.  It doesn’t come automatically though.  I am choosing to shift my perspective.  The more I do it, the easier it is for me to understand HOW I am doing it.  That HOW is what I want to share with you next week.  Until then, I invite you to look for the gifts the difficult might have to share with you.  You just might be surprised at how much of life has something valuable tucked inside it.

Before you leave:  Check Out Angels In My Studio…the e-course

Angels in My Studio 2013

Starts soon….would love to take it with you!

Rachel Payne Life Coach

 

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Hi, I am Rachél.... the quirky, big-hearted soul behind Creativity Tribe, a sanctuary for your creative spirit. As a life coach and artist, I know the importance of community, celebration, and transformation. Creativity Tribe is abuzz with connections to other creative bloggers and offers tips and stories to inspire your creative lifestyle!
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