Navigating the Turbulence in Life

Turbulence in the air or in life creates havoc that we need to navigate.Turbulence is when things in life become unstable. It happens whether you are flying high in great altitude or moving fast in life—you hit a bump and everything is in uproar. There is commotion, confusion and hullabaloo.You don't feel stable. You feel like you are out of sync with yourself and everyone around you. You feel nauseous and sick.  It takes a while to recover and you may find you're moving so fast in life, you simply don't have time to recover, so you press on. You press through and you call it all the abundant life.It’s called, “when all hell breaks loose” as the saying goes because when someone experiences the turbulence of a sudden change in life; a new move, a new job, the death of a loved one or the disappointments we so often in experience in life, our world is suddenly jolted and lose our equilibrium. It’s dizzying.[tweetthis]Here are five things we can do to regain our equilibrium after we have experienced turbulence in our lives. [/tweetthis]By the way, none of these are new—they are all based on ancient wisdom and practiced by countless people who came before us. These are the five practices I am choosing to incorporate into my life--after having felt the turbulence of my re-entry from a time off from work--a sabbatical  ( I wrote about this in the last post on feeling jolted. ):

  1. Choose to return to some form of rhythm. When life is spinning and confusing, make the choice to get off the spinning hamster wheel by embracing a slow—or slower speed that you are experiencing.  Some rhythm is better than being strapped to a fast moving rocket. Any rhythm is better than no rhythm at all. Take a break. Take ½ day or a full day and practice the art of slowing. Take your day off—a Sabbath—a day of ceasing and not moving fast. Rhythm resets your internal world and recalibrates the heart as well as the mind.
  2. Choose silence every day.Move away from words and noise—even music in the ear buds and be quiet. Without some sense of silence, it is virtually impossible to re-establish a healthy soul. We live in a noisy word and for many of us we have a continual “committee meeting” going on inside our heads. Silence assuages the noise and dizzying voices we navigate.
  3.  Choose Stillness. Take 20 minutes one time a day and choose to listen to God. The “still, small voice” is so often drowned out in our speed, busyness and plate spinning. Sit still. Be intentional about choosing to be still and to listen.
  4. Choose to pray. Praying is where you voice your deepest longings, desires and yearnings to God. Consent to having a conversation with God. During our four month sabbatical, I focused on prayer partly because I knew I needed to deepen my prayer life which nearly all spiritual masters talk about; did and enjoyed. AFter four months of focus in this one area, I'm here to say, I'm so glad that by practicing prayer more--I am seeing and experiencing the fruit of prayer more.
  5. Choose gratitude. You can complain about being out of sync with yourself and everyone else. You can be a spectator. Or you can choose to express thanksgiving. Thanksgiving melts the hardest of hearts and softens the soul to enjoy. To give thanks is the most God-like and Jesus like activity we can participate in. To withhold thanksgiving is perhaps the ultimate form of selfishness.

 plate spinningIt may sound all to simple. But these five practices are now a part of my daily routine as I re-engage with my work and try to get myself unstrapped from a speeding rocket and also move away from spinning plates and live a life that I want to enjoy--a life I really want to live. [tweetthis]Each choice: choosing rhythm; choosing silence; choosing to listen; choosing to pray and choosing to pray establish our daily equilibrium.[/tweetthis] Each of these choices are also counter intuitive and counter cultural. To choose to do any of the five practices is choosing to go against the flow and work ethos embedded into our minds. By practicing any or all of them will be a prophetic all for you to swim up stream and to live in a different way and to be a different person. After all, if you feel so dizzy from all the turbulence you are experiencing, then you know the current way you are choosing to live is simply not working for you. [tweetthis]There really is a different way to live from all of the craziness we are experiencing and it begins with simple choices to live in different ways.[/tweetthis] For more on this, please read the Chapter in Inside Job on Rhythm and do the exercise in the accompanying workbook available at