Halley Bock is the founder and CEO of Life, Incorporated —an organization that fosters mindful connection in all areas of life as the means to experience a wholehearted, fulfilling and joyful life. Her book, Life, Incorporated: A Practical Guide to Wholehearted Living (Greenleaf Publishing) can be purchased from Amazon and other booksellers nationwide. And today, she’s sharing how she navigated a difficult situation — and how you can, too.
How to Deal With Reality? Shi(f)t Happens
I’ll share the life-changing event that uprooted me from the earth thanks to a lifetime of leaving my internal world unattended to.
When I began the initial undertaking of authoring a book, I was the CEO and shareholder of a training organization. I was passionate about the work, had a formidable tribe of dedicated employees, landed the company on several well-respected business lists, and was exalted as a leader in the industry for both my business acumen and my approach in creating a people-first culture. For nine years, I worked my knuckles to the bone to turn what was a boutique lifestyle company into a force to be reckoned with.
On April 2, 2015, my boss waltzed into my office as if walking on air, with a delicious grin curling up the sides of her mouth. She invited me into a conference room, where she sat me down and delivered these words: “After careful consideration, the company no longer requires your services and wishes to part ways. Your employment has been terminated, effective immediately.” She slid a folder across the table, and that was it. My life changed forever. Here’s the plot twist: That boss was my mother and I would learn the next day that immediately upon dispatching me, she requested a bottle of wine to toast the occasion.
In the weeks following my termination I was busy on the outside cobbling together a new life while hate mounted on the inside. The scariest part was that there was little outward indication of the pressure that was building within me. There were momentary, sporadic outbursts of negative emotions, but those were nothing like the emotional outpouring and collapse that would soon follow. For too many years, I had outsourced my self-worth and happiness and I was about to pay the price.
Let me share the successful strategies that I employed to nurture and sustain my inner life after being blindsided by change.
1. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being aware, awake, and attune with our emotional world and, when cultivated, mindfulness allows us to respond wisely to negative thoughts and emotions instead of reacting to them. In particular, R.A.I.N. meditation can be quite powerful in transforming negative thought patterns into healthier cycles. In R.A.I.N., we:
- Recognize the negative thought;
- Allow it to exist without judgment or attachment;
- Investigate the root cause of the thoughts; and finally,
- Nurture that need by replacing the negative pattern with positive affirmations.
2. Practice gratitude. Gratitude aligns our attention to positivity. Each day, journal 10 things you are grateful for and how they are positively impacting you. In subconscious ways, you will notice more of what is working in your life while driving toward more of the same.
3. Practice compassion. We tend to beat up on ourselves or others when faced with unwanted change, which only creates more stress and negative outcomes. Instead, do random acts of kindness for yourself and others. Get involved with community and help others in need.
When’s a time when you were blindsided by change? How did you get through it? —Halley Bock