Four Columns, Barcelona, Spain
In November 2020, my husband and I sold what we thought was our forever home and moved to our paradisiacal home on the Inner Banks of North Carolina, overlooking the scenic Pamlico Sound.
We did exceedingly well financially with both the sale and the purchase. We were ecstatic!
But…those first few weeks of transition were rough — only because my husband and I allowed them to become rough.
We allowed our collective mindset to become weak. We said things like, “Should we have made this move? What were we thinking?! This was the stupidest thing we ever could have done.”
We blew inconsequential challenges into raging problems. And we did it all within the confines of our minds.
In reality, the move went extremely smoothly, we made more than enough on the sale to remodel our beautiful new home with spare to invest, we have the most incomparable community, and EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY day, we wake up to look out over miles of ever-changing water.
Significant life changes, whether crises or boons, frequently cause enormous stress. And stress is frequently unhealthy.
When the human brain experiences high levels of stress, it reverts to survival mode. Not growth mode. Not even homeostasis mode. Simple survival mode, which means reducing life to its easiest denominators.
We eat whatever we think is most convenient, which often are the least healthy choices.
We don’t sleep enough, we sleep too much, or we sleep poorly.
We circle our physical wagons, not moving enough, often sitting or lying down much more than usual.
We allow our minds to imagine and then dwell on all the horrible things that are trying to ruin our lives.
PILLAR #1: Build a strong PILLAR of EATING HEALTHY.
Recently, a close family member of mine had a serious medical crisis, requiring an ongoing hospital stay. My family came together to form a support group.
I’ve spent several long days in the hospital, grabbing whatever was most convenient from the cafeteria (steamed veggies and brownies are so convenient) and then going out to eat in the evenings because no one wanted to cook. (Can you say, Chocolate Stampede?)
Fortunately, day two in, I knew that I was eating in survival mode, which usually means, taking in as much fat and sugar as possible to survive the coming Ice Age. I do chocolate, but some people use alcohol to temporarily mask the stress. Either way, it’s self-destructive.
Quickly noting my wrong direction, I made a sharp U-turn and began making sure I was getting the nutrition that I needed to stay healthy and to have the energy I needed to support my family.
PILLAR #2: Build a strong PILLAR of SLEEPING WELL.
Not all stressful situations are caused by crises. Some stress comes from wonderful changes, like our move to the water, or a new job, or a wedding, or retirement.
When we moved to our new home, I stayed up much too late several nights researching and planning our next project. The next days, when I wanted to be excited and at my best, I was sluggish.
My business, my children, my grandchildren, my husband are all magnificently wonderful joys in my life. And each capable of keeping me awake at night.
For me, good sleep is a combination of committing to a time schedule, turning off my screens, reading print books, and sometimes playing tonal music that supports my sleeping more soundly as I strive for at least eight hours of sleep each night.
Additionally, about sleep:
One, going to sleep late and sleeping in late never is as good as getting your eight hours somewhere between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Two, too much sleep may be a sign that you are not dealing with stress in a healthy way. Sleep as an avoidance mechanism is not healthy. If you feel sleepy during the day, get up and move. Which brings us to the next principle.
PILLAR #3: Build a strong PILLAR of MOVING YOUR BODY.
I run/walk six miles every other day. On alternate days, I weight-train for an hour and walk two miles. Your movement might be similar or very different.
The bottom line is that regular, vigorous physical movement activates neurotransmitters that stimulate good feelings, along with hosts of other physical, emotional, and mental benefits.
Generally speaking, we modern humans are way more sedentary than we were 100, 50, even 20 years ago.
I would laugh to myself sometimes at the gym looking at all of us lifting and straining and peddling to stay in shape. Our ancestors didn’t have to create ways or equipment to “work out” to be healthy. For most of them, living kept them trim because they didn’t sit at a desk or in front of a screen for 10 to 12 hours a day.
During times of intense stress, “moving” is often the last thing you want to do. But it is the thing that may be the most beneficial.
When I got news of my recent family crisis 500 miles away, I packed in a frenzy without any exercise clothes or equipment. But I did have the presence of mind, just as the car trunk was closing, to grab my running shoes and socks. Being able to run/walk early mornings is truly a mental and physical health saver.
PILLAR #4: Build a strong PILLAR of HEALTHY MINDSET.
Twenty-three years ago, Michael and I invested an enormous amount of time, and energy, and money into our first international adoption.
By the time we traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia, to finalize the adoption, our entire family had fallen deeply in love with our baby girl. We were beyond totally invested in her.
In unspeakably horrible ways, politics reared its ugly head.
After two, chaotically frustrating weeks, we were forced to return home without our daughter. Our agency was not hopeful that our daughter, now legally ours and a US citizen, would ever be released to us.
Had we only known then what we have learned since about mindset.
Allowing negative thoughts to dominate our minds was a colossal waste of time and sapped our energy for days. But not weeks.
We did some things right: We quickly went back to living our lives, caring for our children, eating, sleeping, and exercising well, getting up early every day for work, and taking care of our spiritual wellbeing.
We controlled what we could control, even if we were suffering mentally and emotionally.
As the days went on, it got easier and easier to approach important and every-day tasks with a positive mindset.
By the time the call came months later–out of the blue–to hop on a flight to Russia the next day, we had fixed our mindset and were ready to answer the call to action with hope and energy.
By the way: We did bring home our precious little Dasha on that second trip, Uzi’s, espionage, and all. Had we allowed ourselves to crash and burn, it would have been all an enormous waste of several months of our lives.
I’m not saying that you should be all Pollyanna-like in the face of real tragedy. But do not compound a bad situation by letting it have free reign over your mind.
Participate in uplifting activities, practice positive mantras, surround yourself with positive people, read quality books, watch movies that make you laugh, get in touch with your positive spiritual truths, serve others, immediately put the brakes on destructive thoughts, have a happy song at the top of your mental playlist.
Of course, you are not expected to be 100% perfect at living these four pillars when a major crisis or a magnificent boon comes along.
But if you recognize the signs of survival mode and know how to avoid it, you are capable and resilient enough to survive and even thrive through just about anything.
Last, there is a foundation upon which to build these pillars:
The FOUNDATION of ABUNDANT LIVING:
Cultivate and Internalize these four pillars when life is ordinary, until they are second nature. They will be your default behaviors and habits when life is terribly challenging and wildly thrilling.
When you are ready to create your abundant life, it’s time to ask and answer:
What do you actually, truly want?
Where are you lacking abundance?
Where are you taking joy in abundance?
However we define it, we all want an abundant life. The truth is that abundance is within reach for all of us. That’s what motivates me as a strategist: helping people reach new levels of abundance, however they define it.
Message me for more information on the ways you can work with me to achieve ever higher levels of performance and abundance in your life. Especially check out The Abundance Project Mastermind and upcoming Yacht Retreat below!
To Your Abundance,
Qualified Abundance Strategy clients will be joining me for a 4-Day ABUNDANCE-LEVEL INTENSIVE aboard THIS and additional luxury yachts in the Florida Keys this November 1-4!
You DO NOT want to miss this! Message me for details at Beth@BethStrange.com
P.S. When you’re ready, below are some ways you can work with me to achieve ever higher levels of abundance. Please complete this Application to request an Initial Abundance Strategy Session
The Abundance Project: If you are an abundance seeker with new heights to achieve, you belong here with other extraordinary, good people in a high-level mastermind setting where you will work with me as your expert Strategist and The Abundance Project mastermind members to assist you as you define, create, and execute the strategic projects that will bring abundance into your business and your life. The Abundance Project is for you if you are ready and committed to exponentially increasing ABUNDANCE in your professional and personal life–abundance of time, money, opportunities, satisfaction, relationships–however you define abundance. Entered by this Application and invitation, The Abundance Project requires a 9-month commitment.
Abundance Performance Strategy: For abundance-seeking professionals, service-based entrepreneurs, and top performers. When you are ready to work with an expert Strategist to make the kind of exponential progress that would satisfy you and bring abundance into your business and your life. LET’S STRATEGIZE. I assist extraordinary professionals, entrepreneurs, and abundance performers like you to think and plan even bigger and overcome roadblocks to abundantly idyllic lives and businesses. I bring the experience, the training, the credentials and certifications, the scientific and strategic processes, and the expertise. You bring your ready willingness to try, to plan, to work, to change, to do, and to dream big, exciting, and fulfilling dreams. You will develop insights, breakthroughs, discoveries, and STRATEGIES. You will experience RESULTS. Together we will powerfully face and tackle your plateaus, your stress, your roadblocks, your overwhelm, your inferiority, your fears, your fatigue, your excuses. Abundance Strategy is NOT for the faint of heart. We will dive DEEP. We will work INTENSELY. We will strategize POWERFULLY. Apply here.
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