Find the Joy in the Messy

Nicole Beaudin

As I’m writing your hopefully helpful article for the first month of 2023, a snowstorm, cold temperatures and gusty winds swirl around my mom’s house in Illinois. Our Christmas road trip to Minnesota to spend time with family has been postponed, and we’ve been busy kitchen bees this morning whipping up chicken wild rice soup and bone broth. 

I’m overwhelmed with gratitude that I can write this remotely and send it through the airwaves to be printed for you, that I have a safe and warm home to ride out the storm, that my family is flexible and understands that when life gets messy you assess and potentially recalculate. Oh and I love snow, so I’m deeply grateful for the white stuff floating down from the sky. 

There have been more times in my life than I care to admit where I’d have behaved like a toddler who desperately needed a nap when life got messy. Where I’d let the stress of it all not let me see the joy, the humor, and things to be grateful for. Now that I have more life experiences under my belt, I understand that most of life is out of my control. Why waste precious time, energy, and health stressing about those things we cannot change when that energy is better spent on things we can?

How did I go from a tantrum-y toddler to someone who now exudes grace under pressure, well at least most of the time? I focused on my foundational daily habits, and I learned to let myself feel the feelings. When I say feel the feelings, it means letting yourself feel disappointed that life didn’t go as planned. Allowing our feelings to release in a healthy way enables us to see solutions where there weren’t any before and allows us to gain trust that there is a greater plan with our best interests in mind. Ever leave late only to pass an accident that you likely would’ve been in had you been on time?

I’ve mentioned foundational daily habits before. But anchoring on mindset shifts, daily meditation, body movement, a community that nurtures you, journaling, gardening, skiing, etc., are all ways to ensure you don’t get swept away by the stress of unexpected moments. They become your center point, your solid foundation to weather any storm. They are all also healthy ways to release any heavy emotions. 

As you think of your year ahead, what can support you in handling the ups and downs with more grace? How can you better model this type of behavior to those around you? Let me know, I’d love to help you shore up your foundation.

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