Many years ago during a spectacular typhoon, we saw a man sheltering behind the building opposite, preparing to make a dash for safety. As we watched from our window, he opened his umbrella and then stepped out from the building. His umbrella was immediately blown inside out and almost whipped away. He was forced backwards until he ducked back behind the building. The funniest thing is he did this twice more! He finally gave up and went into the rain minus the umbrella.
We laughed then, but when the storms of life hit us, it is no laughing matter. And yet, the lessons are the same – every single time. I have no idea why this gentleman was out in the storm, he definitely must have known about the typhoon.
If we parallel that with our lives – how prepared and alert are we? No crisis happens overnight: it’s a gradual deterioration of conditions that comes to a head suddenly. If we pay attention, we can pick up the signals along the way. If we can see ourselves and others clearly, we can interpret those signals with accuracy and take appropriate, timely action.
So what tells us something is wrong? Here’s seven early warning signs that tells us something is off key.
When situations, people, ideas sap our energy, 9 times out of then they are not for us. Just think about the times when we are brimming over with joy and energy. We think this is exceptional, but it can be the rule. We just assume that we have to put up with people and situations which drain us, that this is “normal”, it is not. It is a system alarm.
When the smallest things get blown out of proportion, there is something bigger under the surface. Sometimes, it is just a passing phase, but sometimes, if we get angry about small issues to divert from the big ones, we must stop and think. For instance, with a chronically bad relationship, it is best to examine what is beneath our irritation and find comprehensive solutions before crisis hits.
A little bit like tiredness, but it could manifest in unrelated areas, like when we want to start something we love but can not get traction. Typically it comes from many different places or too many conflicting choices. For example, from being the wearer of too many hats: someone’s parent, someone’s spouse, business owner and being bombarded by information from all these avenues. So rather than tackle or eliminate things one at a time, we give up and do nothing at all: inertia.
When we are giving up our power to someone else, when the controls of our lives are not in our hands: financially, emotionally or physically. Are we constrained in these ways by our situation or by a person? It is crucial that we find the source – sometimes “love” or “helpfulness” are masks for creating situations to someone else’s advantage and our detriment. These things should make us feel nurtured, not helpless – there’s a clue.
A long while of feeling helpless will lead to a complete lack of hope, a lack of belief in our own power. And putting a brave face on hopelessness is not the solution, it only saps the energy required to build up our spirits and regain our power. It does not have to take a great crisis to find our power. It just takes belief.
When life becomes routine and the routine is an escape hatch from growth, change and living. When we bury our heads in the sand and march forward through the rhythms of the day to avoid thinking about how we don’t like our lives. It is safe, it is unchanging, it is stultifying.
A direct result of autopilot: we are stuck by our own reluctance to make changes we know we must. This could range from changing jobs or a relationship, to adjusting our expectations, to all of the above. We could also be stuck because we are passively waiting for someone or something to change and unstick us. Maybe that will happen, but the results may not be to our liking.
These are just seven of the most commonly ignored signs. I would say, when life just seems to not be hitting the spot, when we are discontented – these are the times to start looking into our lives honestly and address the things that are simply not working, the sooner the better. It is time to stop pretending, find the truth and live from genuine joy.
If we bring our entire reality to full consciousness and take positive action, we will never find ourselves with the choice of being stuck behind a building or being drenched in the rain. We will be home and dry. Are there any additional ways your mind and body uses to alert you when something is wrong?
You can find out more about how Penni brings people closer to their own truths through her workshops, discussions and coaching on her website.