There are many things in this life that we have no control over. Getting a firm grasp on what we can control and what we can not is a very important part of wellness. Once we understand which things are within our power to adjust, then we can make much more powerful and intelligent choices.
Accepting that we don’t have control doesn’t have to be a scary or devastating. Life can certainly throw massive curve balls at us, but there is always something that we do have control of. In wellness practice, we like to talk about regular habits that we can build into our daily life that rebuild balance. But, if we break it down, there are two major strategy types for dealing with the uncontrollable aspects of life. Understanding these two strategy types can help us as we get down into the particular details of our own wellness program.
The first category I call, “balancing against.” These strategies all acknowledge a need to balance the scales. If something is happening that we can’t control and it increases our stress levels, then we need to increase the amount of time we spend reducing that stress. If we cannot control something that is pulling us to the left, then we need to put more things into our life that pull us to the right.
These practices have at their core the idea that you don’t want to move from where you are. The intention is to stabilize, mitigate, and balance. These practices can be as simple as putting a cooling cucumber into our water during hot summer days. They can also be comprehensive programs to balance against a single stressful influence, such as a high pressure job. Someone suffering from repetitive use injury from their job would want to use these strategies. They want to stay in the job, but need to balance against the negative effects that it has on their bodies.
The second category I call, “using the current.” These strategies focus on finding the best ways to utilize the energy that is in the present moment. Instead of always opposing the uncontrolled aspects of our lives, it is often very practical to surrender to their power; allowing them to pull us along. These strategies often require a little more flexibility of mind, but they can make mercury into gold pretty nicely.
These strategies often include a sense of motion. Using the current may take you strongly forward into a new direction or speed up a time of transition. They can be as simple as allowing your day to be flexible instead of rigid. One example of this might occur when one of your children gets sick. Instead of fighting to work from home, turn the day into a rest and recoup day for both of you. If you trip and rip your pants, don’t get angry. Go shopping!
Remember: Even if we can’t have direct control over our stressors, its good to know that we can choose to balance against their influence or use the power of their current to take us somewhere we do want to go.