How to Bounce Back After Life’s Worst Hardships(and Come Out Even Stronger)

“Falling down” doesn’t have to wreck you. In fact, it can be the best thing that ever happened…if you let it.

If you’ve ever “gotten off track,” “fallen down,” or just simply completely “blown it” (or so it felt), you may have felt like there was no way out.

Shutting down, giving up, making big decisions based off one experience, hitting the river of denial, or quitting entirely can all sound like viable solutions when we’re in “the pit”.

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There’s good news

Not only is there a way out, there’s likely a way up. A way forward. A way through. And a way that includes a stronger, wiser, more aware, and more resilient version of youyou. Deeper relationships, a greater knowing of self, and solid learning can all unfold through this event. What’s more, if you’re open to it, there’s most likely an even better outcome around the corner.

Maybe it’s the business you didn’t get, the relationship that didn’t work out, the meeting you missed, the deal that absolutely fell apart, the dude who didn’t call, the woman who broke your heart, the major catastrophe that you had no idea how you’d work through it…I could go on. Whatever it was, it happened. But consider thinking of it this way: It happened because it was supposed to happen. I know this statement will irritate some. Totally get that. I’ve learned to not argue with WHAT has happened; to not argue with reality, but rather to learn from it, use it, and find gratitude for it. As quickly as possible.

With heartache, there is choice

Buckle up, contract, take your marbles and go home. Or, breathe, expand, learn, and decide what you want to do with your marbles.

But before you can truly do this, you want to honor what is. I’ve found there are steps, a process of sorts, to move through disappointment or “getting off track” gracefully, authentically, and also powerfully.

  1. Feel it. Okay baby, you’ve got to feel what just happened. It hurts. You’re pissed. You’re embarrassed, disappointed, whatever. Feel it. Give yourself full permission to feel it. Even better, find one of your trusted posse to hear you out and serve as witness so you have safe space to feel.
  2. Journal. Journaling and/or morning pages where you allow yourself to write, process, and get all your thoughts out on paper, no matter how good, bad, sensical, or crazy they are -; invaluable. Journaling can also help identify patterns, pits, and recovery “breadcrumbs” to get you back on track. (Identify these and you are 70% there.)
  3. Your Morning Moment. That moment when you wake up. Check in with yourself. How do you feel? How’s your body? Breathe. Don’t snooze. Don’t jump up. Just notice before you even step out of bed. How you are and what you need. Whatever the answer is, honor it, breathe into it, and then GET UP.
  4. Your Morning Intentions & Rituals. Have one. Ritual is magic. Currently my morning ritual is 9 minutes in bed of “coming awake” and just noticing where I’m at, how I feel, and what I want. I have a light meditation I do. (Longer if I’m really in a tender or heady space.) Then I get up, set my intentions for the day, do my gratitude practice, brush my teeth, throw on my Uggs, go down for coffee, and grab my journal. I spend about 30 minutes on this ritual. Worth it. It sets my whole day.
  5. Personal Nourishment. Key! It maybe tempting when in the weeds to dive into chocolate, cheese, alcohol, and TV series surfing, leaving your body and all of your woes behind. Be weary the call of the vat of ice cream and the TV coma -; while delicious, they delay healing. Play with incorporating things into your life that will support your energetic field and ability to recover. For example replacing anything that doesn’t serve your body with things that are amazing, not in a punitive way, but rather in a loving way. Love (vs. force) yourself out the door to go sweat. Make spinach. Send yourself flowers. Write a love note to… you. Give yourself the love.
  6. Cultivate the learning. Find the gifts. Look again. And this is where we land. Whatever has happened; heartbreak, a personal “diss”, a major career failure, a big fight… whatever… there is gold here. What can you learn? What is the gift of this thing happening? How is this actually just perfect? What can you apply to future endeavors from this experience that will make you even better and more grounded? What do you want to keep (because it’s now expansive), and what can you now release (because it contracts)? Look, it’s there.
  7. Re-enter. Whatever it was. Get back out there. Bigger, wiser, lovelier you. That’s it. And be ready to do it again. Because…life.

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