Find Your Calm. Conquer Your Chaos.
Having the ability to find your calm, especially during crisis, is a talent you can acquire with practice.
When a crisis occurs, there is typically no early warning, and the only thing we can control during the crisis is our reaction to it. In the midst of chaos,
we typically don’t have enough time to learn new things, so we fall back on what is available: our existing knowledge. It is a far better strategy,
I think you will agree, to prepare beforehand.
The Concept of “Find” The act of finding involves discovery and occurs either by design or chance. When we find treasure, for example, we are either intentionally
looking for it or we stumble upon it unexpectedly. The noun version of “find” relates to the idea of an object that has been discovered, one with some
value, as in “It was quite a find.”
We can proactively involve ourselves in the discovery process or something might appear in our reality and show itself to us with no prompting. This may
be our sign. The dictionary defines “find” as: “identify something as being present” When you “find” an object, you basically identify it as being
present. The concept of “find” relates to the concept of “being present” since that which is found must be present along with that which finds it (you),
therefore, we are present during the discovery process.
The word “find” has other meanings. You can find yourself or find a treasure. Consider the following meaning on dictionary.com:
- “To become aware of, or discover (oneself), as being in a condition or location.” Dictionary.com gives the following example:
- “After a long illness, he found himself well again.” Another example from that same resource:
- “She woke to find herself alone.” Note that this definition involves recognizing an internal state. We will discuss that in the next section.
The Concept of “Calm” The concept of calm can be described by invoking its opposite (what it means to NOT be calm): the process of not showing nervousness,
anger or other strong emotions. This doesn’t mean you ignore your feelings; rather, it means to exhibit a calm demeanor.
To explore the concept of calm, let us consider a river. It can appear calm on the surface but the undercurrents and swirling water below the surface can
be quite turbulent and seemingly unpredictable. Water movement—the swirling and turbulence—might at first seem to be a random process,
but flowing bodies of water have an underlying repeating pattern: streams and rivers meander. Meandering occurs in streams and rivers of all sizes,
from a few inches wide to one that is kilometres wide.
The movement of water seems random, but it flows with regularity and purpose. The channel of a river curves back and forth on itself through a valley.
Each spring (unless there is a dam upstream), snow in the mountains melts, the water rises and the stream might jump the banks to form a new channel
or an oxbow.
Scientists used to think meandering was random— until someone noticed on infrared satellite images that a warm river flowing into a cold ocean continues
to meander, even when there is no land to flow over. It turns out this meandering process is highly mathematical and deterministic in certain ways.
It relates to fractals and chaos theory. So we have calm on the surface and calm under the surface as well (since turbulence can be described mathematically
by chaos theory). In a similar fashion, when a crisis strikes, we can remain calm on the surface and conquer the chaos around and within us.
A synonym of calm is to be still, tranquil, quiet, serene and peaceful. We are composed; we have presence of mind, and we are self-controlled. When you
can “find yourself” and remain calm during chaos or crisis, you are better able to make optimal decisions than when your mind is erratic and you are
reacting irrationally and driven by strong emotions.
Calm does not mean you ignore your feelings or push them deeper and deeper and pretend they don’t exist. It means that during the crisis you acknowledge
your feelings. You become aware that feelings are inside you and feelings are there to guide you. You can then respond from a calmer place and a moment
of peace saves you a lifetime of regret as you can never take back the words you say or the actions you take when you are angry and out of control.
Consider a road rage incident on the motorway. When another driver becomes confrontational you can become angry or emotional and react irrationally.
You can speed up and pass the other driver and maybe swerve over at them or block their path. This has a high probability of inducing a negative
outcome. Another alternative is to simply leave the road on the next exit, wait a few minutes and then reenter the freeway.
If you do this, you are introducing a slight randomness into the road rage incident that will likely end the incident. Conversely, if you get in a
road rage incident and you engage the other driver in a confrontational manner, then most likely there will be a negative outcome. The universe
has presented you with an action, expecting you to react to that action. If you exit the roadway for a few minutes, you will break the pattern
and the expected result (a negative confrontation) will change.
In this case you have broken the expectation. You have invested a few minutes of your time and you have made your life more positive. Consider another example: relationships. It turns out that victims of abusive relationships tend to
exit one relationship and then enter another abusive relationship. For some reason the pattern repeats itself. It turns out that these individuals
may have grown up in a family where the father abused the mother, so they tend to find similar relationships. So on the surface, the life of this
abused person seems to be chaotic and highly disorganized.
There is a lot of abuse and all the relationships tend to be abusive. However, as with the river and turbulence, there is an underlying pattern. As
with the road rage, there is an underlying pattern in the chaos, a pattern that can be described mathematically (see chaos theory). The abused
person will repeatedly enter abusive relationships unless they take some small action to disrupt the process. To do so, they must first recognize
that a pattern exists and if they take a small action (like exiting the roadway) they can break the pattern and avoid a negative outcome.
Your calm is like a drop of water being added to an ocean, it has the ability to ripple out and affect the
outcome, like the proverbial “butterfly effect.” Or you can stir the water up more and create a whirlpool. When deciding how to write this chapter,
I felt very calm and in control and organized. Then my daughter came home from school. Her emotions were erratic; she was tired, grumpy, and hormonal
and she could not explain everything she was feeling.
The chaos began! “There is no food in the house,” she said (which means there is nothing she likes to snack on). “You don’t care
if I starve,” she said (which means all I am thinking about is me and you don’t care and I am going to shout at you because you are the closest
person around right now to unleash all my frustration on). If she had recognized the pattern of a confrontation, and she had stopped and not taken
it to the next level then the situation would not have escalated as quickly as it did.
The more I explained that I had gone shopping and spent hundreds of dollars, the more she complained it was not the food she wanted and she didn’t
care about the everyday basics I bought for her. Her comments escalated into a personal attack. The calmer I remained the angrier she became, but
I was very upset, under the surface. I said I was done with the conversation as this situation was going nowhere.
I refused to add fuel to the fire because no matter what I did or said it was not what she wanted to see or hear. Of course she perceived this as me
giving her the “silent treatment.” Some days it’s tough being a parent. I asked myself why I deserved this. How did I create this?
How could I have brought this on myself when I was so high spirited and about to teach people how to find their calm and conquer their chaos and yet
I could not stop her barrage of insults? This continued into the following day. Usually after a good night’s sleep there is an apology and an explanation
of her outburst. But this did not happen. By lunchtime she was not talking to me and still throwing insults. I picked up a book in the afternoon
to give myself some quiet time and this is what I read: “The first thing we have to do in our everyday life is to change our attitude.
When someone disturbs us we have to take that opportunity to practice patience. Peace of mind comes from our enemy and our anger disappears. Friends
don’t give us the opportunity to practice patience, we rely on enemies for that.” My daughter and I had both wanted this to be over but neither
of us knew how to end it.
I know this might sound too easy but as quickly as I said it the anger disappeared. I calmly said, “Thank you for allowing me to practice patience.”
Her reply was so simple: “You’re welcome.” I had been asking for a way to remain calm when it was chaos that I had no control over, and I was tested
to remain calm and patience. Now that the anger had gone, we talked about what happened and what consequences there would be as I could forgive
her but it was not OK what she said. I found my calm, and chaos was now in order.
In effect, when she presented me with a confrontational situation, instead of reacting to her and engaging her with a negative response—which
in turn would cause the situation to escalate into a negative outcome—I remained calm. I avoided the pattern of confrontation. Like exiting
the highway to avoid a road rage episode, I avoided the situation to overcome a crisis. I found my calm to conquer my chaos.
Find your Calm. Conquer your Chaos:
- Do you feel lost and confused?
- Are you constantly second guessing yourself?
- Lack self-confidence and self-esteem?
- Do you have no patience and snap at the kids?
- Does your heart race and beat so loud and yet you can’t explain why?
- Mental heaviness weighting you down making you exhausted?
- Not sleeping well and constantly tired and foggy?
- Constantly helping others and racing around but have no time or energy for yourself?
- Feel guilty all the time and out of control?
I hope you enjoyed this exert from my book the Road to Resilience. The book is a journey, where
you will discover the keys to being confident, calm and in control no matter what life presents:
- There is a better way to LIVE your LIFE. Stop trying to cope and get by and learn how to move beyond the CHAOS right now
- What would your life look and feel like if every challenge you faced was actually supporting you?
- The Road to Resilience is an easy-to-follow insight on understanding and working with the innate intelligence of the natural world. In life we
will all walk a very individual journey peppered with challenge and confrontation, however, for each individual and for every different journey
there is an ever-connected sub-conscious rhythm of life that when understood can be harnessed to support us to create and live the life we
- If you are ready to get out of your head and tap into the knowingness that life can be more – for you and your family – take a moment to realise
the gift in your hands and indulge in a new way of being – your way of being.
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