In times of distress we sink into a sea of disconnected thoughts and a storm of unexpected twists. We seek survival against the storm’s choppy waves. Whether the storm has been lingering or it suddenly approaches our boat, we breathlessly wait for still waters.
Finding our way out of the storm can be an overwhelming experience. In our search for calm, we hang onto flickers of hope leading us to shore. Lost in the eye of the violent disturbance in the atmosphere, Belinda fell overboard without a raft and plunged into the cold and crushing water below. Staying afloat was terrifying at best. After two years of on-the-job fighting, Belinda explored the idea of working with a coach to find flow.
The job was a toxic mess. Belinda learned to shield herself from co-workers who sabotaged her every move. Her survival meant hiding her light and resisting happiness. She became hardened and numb over the constant attacks compromising her values and eroded her self-worth. Work drowned out the inner voice that could navigate past chaos. Time dragged on and she resigned herself to a dried up, soulless existence.
Belinda’s physical and emotional state meant she often forgot important dates. She shrugged off her misbehavior as another irresponsible act. Belinda found excuses anyways. It was easier to lie and to get past the growing discomfort others felt around her.
Internalizing anger and frustration took a toll on Belinda’s health. She was exhausted all the time. Her brain never took a break from the incessant badgering about how to quit and find another job. Sleeping did not allow her the opportunity to fully rest and recover.
Then Belinda’s joints started to ache. A lot. Doctors couldn’t identify a cause nor help her with the persistent pain. Deep down Belinda knew the work stress weakened her core.
Over time Belinda’s personal life took a toll. Belinda brought home the energy of unhappiness which oozed into the cracks and crevices of her space. She lacked the motivation to do anything but sit and watch TV to give herself a break. Her loving partner Joe and three teenagers noticed Belinda’s decline. Although they offered support she refused to be pitied and cared for as a problem child.
In search of dry land
Frantic for air, we begin a desperate search for anything or anyone to keep us afloat. At some point we realize that finding meaning from inadequate sources usually leave us empty and alone. Our search for meaning is successful when we reach for signals with the momentum to move forward and keep swimming. We learn to access plenty of tools to chart our way back to a steady place.
One day Belinda asked herself a powerful question: “When is enough, enough?” At this very moment her world began to change. She decided her destiny was to live with freedom and joy not isolation and sadness.
Belinda’s coaching goal was to find a boat that could sail and withstand any type of weather. With her trusty binoculars she turned away from the wind and rain. In the distant horizon Belinda spotted an image of a strong, resilient woman fueled by joy.
To stay on course Belinda began to grasp how the universe rose up to greet her. Whenever she looked onward, a spiritual buoy or signal surfaced out of the water. With gratitude Belinda headed in its direction to unravel its significance.
Here are five spiritual buoys/signals Belinda discovered on her healing journey. Recognize these treasures and the frequency of their appearances.
Bunnies and squirrels started to play in Belinda’s backyard. When she went outside to be with them, the animals did not run away from her.
Birds, not native to her area, circled her car when driving to work. It seemed as if they were following Belinda and keeping company.
In her online search for coping with bad work environments Belinda read a compelling story about a woman in a similar situation. Do you want to know the part of the story that stopped Belinda in her tracks? The author ended up with advanced breast cancer.
Belinda took a few deep breaths to process the writer's story. As she closed her eyes, she experienced another wake-up call. The voice was loud and clear: stay on course and capsize again or use a map to avoid the next storm on the horizon.
Isn’t it wonderful to play music on shuffle or listen to random music on the radio? Once a day Belinda heard the same song in the car, at the store or in the office. Belinda claimed this as her victory song and smiled when its lyrics poured through the speakers.
Social media posts
Belinda knew one of her long-distance friends loved posting on Facebook. Knowing Facebook was her best chance of reaching her friend, Belinda searched for her friend’s page. Tears of gratitude began to stream down her face as she read a quote about surviving stormy weather.
Belinda’s dreams felt so real to her. When the struggle looked insurmountable Belinda dreamed of sharks and perils of the sea. She often fell deep into the water and woke up in the middle of the night in panic. She didn’t want to know if she drowned or withstood the power of the currents.
The nightmares faded when Belinda had regained her strength. Instead of water dreams, deceased loved ones stopped by to impart their wisdom. She also dreamed about flying high with wings on her strong back.
Glimpses of the Shoreline
Coaching was the wind blowing Belinda's sails on the voyage home. The homework, a combination of movement, rest, playdates and journaling assured smooth sailing. Belinda left her job and began the hard but rewarding work of mending relationships. She looked forward to family gatherings and became the life of the party. The aches and pains in Belinda's body began to subside and even went away altogether.