Walking back and forth in the desert sand next to the I-10 freeway outside of Palm Springs I had loads of time, three hours it turned out, to ponder how to sit with the many feelings that were present in me. And to consciously choose how I wanted to BE during this very unplanned for and frustrating event. We made a rookie mistake and didn’t top off our gas tank before heading into a long stretch of desert. So with only 50 minute left of our 8 hour drive we found ourselves searching for how to get more gas.

If you’ve been following along with my FB posts you’ve seen photos of beautiful sunsets, gorgeous desert scenes, mountains, flowers and fall trees.

This was not fun. And I had time to shift my thoughts and energies while feeling so frustrated and aggravated. It made me think of family caregivers who are in really hard, unplanned for, sad, frustrating and often scary situations. I had to use all my skills to not spend the whole time in a negative state.

Here are some of the tools I used (some more successfully than others) during that 3 hours:

  1. Naming and feeling the feelings.
  2. Distraction.
  3. Asking for help.
  4. Trusting all would work out (it did).
  5. Gratitude (we had: food, water, cell service which we hadn’t had shortly before, the ability to pay for help, each other, the physical ability to do what we needed to do).
  6. Breathing.
  7. Shifting perspective.
  8. Letting go of expectations.
  9. Moving my body to release the frustration.
  10. Laughter.

It was a rough ending to 2 weeks of travel to our winter destination of Palm Desert. And, we made it safely, and in time to see a beautiful sunset. Now we’re resting from months of sorting, decisions, letting go of things, saying loads of goodbyes and driving and driving.

It’s been so good to rest and relax and ride bikes, swim, float in a pool and stare at the sky, sit and catch up on my work.

When you’re living with ongoing challenges that are so overwhelming it gets exhausting having to use tools like these every single day. Taking time to rest and be still can help with the constant energy drain.

How can you create ways to give your sweet self the time to rest and renew? I’d love to hear.

Remember, it helps your loved one who is struggling when you are filled up. You’ll have more left to give to them.

Part of my practice now is watching the sun light up this mountain each morning at sunrise.