What if you can find beauty in the midst of chaos?
By Lori Hammond
Coach and Professional Hypnotist. Giving you simple tools to stop overwhelm and harness joyful forward momentum.
One week ago I wrote my cheat sheet from my favorite place I had ever lived.
My daughter, Janessa, and I fell in love with our luxury apartment the instant we saw it.
We decorated with all new furniture, rugs, and art. It felt like home.
It's the first place I've decorated since my divorce 14 years ago because I knew I wanted to stay awhile.
On Valentine's night I was awakened from a deep sleep by the sound of an alarm. At first I thought it was my alarm clock, then I realized it was the fire alarm.
I felt disoriented.
Slowly, as if in a dream, Janessa and I realized the apartment was flooding.
When we stepped outside in the -11 F weather (-23 C) there was a torrential downpour coming from our neighbors second story deck.
A pipe had burst on the third floor. It poured through the second floor and into our unit.
Our apartment filled so full of water that it traveled hundreds of yards down the hallway and into neighboring apartments.
My sister graciously took us in at a moment's notice in the middle of the night. I looked down at the outfit I'd assembled as I rushed out of the house.
This is what I'd been wearing as I stood outside and talked to the neighbors (hundreds of units were evacuated).
My shoes filled with water that started to freeze the instant I stepped outside so I had to take them off.
As we fell asleep at my sister's house the night of the flood we laughed until we cried as we kept naming things that were being ruined...
Completely out of our control.
I think we were partly delusional from the shock and we unconsciously realized laughter would strengthen us.
When we came back to survey the damage the next morning, we realized that nearly all our belongings were ruined.
We said, "At least we have renters insurance so it will all be covered."
The apartment smelled terrible from all the dirty water that had poured in and was very humid and mildewy. The fire alarm was still going off and all we wanted to do was get out of there.
We took enough clothes to last a few days and left.
We came back the next day and discovered it had flooded again! This time, worse than the last.
We also discovered that our renters insurance wouldn't cover any of our lost belongings.
To say this past week was a roller coaster would be a ginormous understatement.
I've sobbed uncontrollably at the fear of the unknown and the frustration of having the rug ripped out from under me.
I've felt sorry for myself and thought, "What did I do to deserve this?"
I've been overwhelmed by the love, support and kindness of friends, family, and even strangers.
I've developed a closer bond with Janessa.
I've gotten to know neighbors who I didn't know existed before.
Since this is my Sunday cheat sheet, I want to leave you with something that will help you find beauty in the midst of life's chaos.
I want to give you a tool that can help you understand that...
But first I want you to make me a deal, ok?
I want you to really truly try this out right now and think of one time when you'll use it in the coming week.
It's easy to discount this life-changing tool because it seems so simple.
Here it is:
When you notice yourself feeling scared, lonely, angry etc....
Ask yourself, "What can I be grateful for right now?"
Questions are a magic self-hypnosis tool because they program your unconscious mind to look for an answer.
No trying required.
This works because two things cannot be in the same place at the same time.
When you focus on what you're thankful for, it is impossible to feel sorry for yourself at the same time.
One of the most beautiful things I've learned from this experience is how to instantly stop feeling sorry for myself by switching to gratitude.
Will you try this right now?
What is ONE THING you can be grateful for right now?
Watch out because it might be hard to limit it to just one.
Ok, here's the most important part...
I'd like you to think of one time later today or this week, when you will remind yourself to ask this powerful question, "What can I be grateful for?"
And notice what changes.
Whew! If you read this far, thank you!
Have a beautiful, gratitude filled week, my friend.
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