Updated: May 6
Change is inevitable, but Buddha’s teachings say that change is never painful, only resistance to chance is painful. I repeated that mantra a lot in 2018, which brought me three surgeries, a decade birthday (I turned 40), two pet deaths, and I was laid off from my job. Despite having been through hardship (loss, miscarriage, divorce) before, the events of 2018 felt like so much all at once. But it gave me the chance to learn that unwanted change, when embraced appropriately, can be a chance to reshape your environment. It can be a chance for spiritual and mental growth. Good can come out of the bad.
As a group fitness instructor and an avid snowboarder, dancer and acrobat; pulling myself out of my athletic training for surgeries was met with deep waves of depression. My surgeries and pointers on the mental side of recovery deserve a blog post of their own, because these were by far the hardest of my unwanted changes to navigate. Although I did not recover as quickly as my surgeon thought I would, I have found my way back to happiness regardless, and good has come out of the bad. I used the down-time to build Levitation Nation as well as myself (including getting certified as a life coach, because I want to help others facing similar types of hardships).
As for my cats, I know that sitting with my first cat who passed as he left this world prepared me for future days dealing with death of potentially bigger significance. My kitties’ passings (though sad), meant that we were able to give homes to two more cats from the animal shelter. Good came out of the bad.
Out of my job lay-off came time to get my personal trainer certification that I have been thinking about doing for a long time. I also found a new job and am happier than I have been in some time. Good came out of the bad.
Turning bad into good took work, and here are just some of the resources which helped me through some low times:
o Life Coaching: I started working with a life coach in 2017 before so many things in my life started “changing”, but already having worked to define an authentic sense of self helped me better navigate my way through my challenging year and make sure I continued to live in alignment with my values.
o Book: Power Vs. Force by Dr. David R. Hawkins and Dr. Hawkins “Scale of Consciousness” shows that each human emotion has a vibration in the exact same way that matter does. According to his research, heavy emotions like fear, anger and shame vibrate at low frequency, while feelings of love, joy and peace vibrate at high, uplifting frequencies. Thinking of emotions as energy was mind-blowing but helped me to understand how better to create my “high vibe tribe.” For more on this, please visit: http://www.mind-your-reality.com/scale_of_consciousness.html, or, better yet, get the book!
o Book: Lost Connections by Johann Hari. This book on uncovering the real causes of depressions and the unexpected solutions helped me to 1) feel that I was not alone 2) understand depression (and solutions) better. Huge.
o EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Tapping: This is also sometimes called psychological acupressure. People who use this technique believe tapping the body can create a balance in your energy system and treat pain. I used it to help manage my stress and anxiety. For more information on EFT Tapping, please visit: https://www.healthline.com/health/eft-tapping#treatment.
o Guided Meditations: Another tool for managing stress and anxiety. There are many free guided meditations tools including Insight Timer (app for phone) and even simply YouTube.
o EMDR Therapy: It sounds like voodoo but this form psychotherapy treatment uses Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing to treat PTSD and alleviate distress. I was surprised to find an EMDR therapist here in Kalispell, Montana at the Wellness Resource Center.
Those are just SOME of the resources which helped me, and I will throw out there that anyone struggling with injury or change in general can use me as a resource as well. I am not looking to use my life coaching certification as a career path, but I am more than happy to help anyone struggling to find their way. This helps me as much as it helps you, because [spoiler-alert] as Johanna Hari says in his book: “The real path to happiness comes from [trying to make things better for] the people around you...from letting yourself flow into other people’s story and letting their story flow into yours."
Article by Mindy Cochran. Mindy is the founder of Kalispell's Levitation Nation Aerial Studio, where the catch phrase "fitness is fun" is embodied alongside a culture of movement & women empowerment. Mindy is also a columnist for "Montana Woman Magazine." Her column "The Real Levitation Experience" shares expertise for elevating health and wellness that she has acquired through her certifications as a personal trainer and life coach. For more about Mindy, please visit: https://www.levitationnation.org/mindy.