by Leslie Sann

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~G.K. Chesterton

Life IS upsetting and that is a GOOD thing. How else can we grow and expand? When the snake is shedding its skin I imagine it feels restricted as it pushes against the familiar and grows into something new. Something “next.” Growing is an unfolding, an expansion. It occurs through disturbance and discomfort.

A client was telling me “this is hard,” referring to the growth occurring in an intimate relationship. Not only was this a new relationship, she was choosing to show up differently than she has in the past. She was learning to be true to herself while sharing with another. This was a big classroom for her.

“Why is it hard? What does that mean?” I ask.

She realized it only meant it was new, different, unfamiliar.

“Why call that hard? Why isn’t that fun? Exciting? Even joyous?”

“Hmm,” was her response.

We define our experience by the words we use. By how we language our reality. Language creates our reality. Use different words, create a different experience. Perhaps instead of hard, her experience can be seen as exciting.

Back to anxietment. Eek Oh Boy!

I told her Life is crunchy.

Imagine stepping in a puddle that has become ice. It crunches under your weight, breaking up into pieces. Allowing it to thaw more quickly. What if “crunchy” was seen as what happens when we melt open and flow into “next?” This is how we are designed. Only hard if we say so — and not hard at all.

The Comfort Zone Monster calls it hard, with a whiny voice, “It’s haaaarddddd!!! Whaaa!” This part doesn’t want crunchy. It doesn’t want flow, or expansion. It wants life to stay the same while complaining about what is wrong with current circumstances. Talk about Crazy Brain.

I call this the Zone of the Groan. Crazy Brain chasing its tail going nowhere, a.k.a. The Hamster Wheel of Hades. Thought driven disturbance, pretending it is doing. Not doing anything but adding upset to upset.

Growing UP into “next” is about embracing the crunchy. Including the part that thinks this is hard. Learn to enjoy the crunchy. My favorite kind of nut butter. It is delicious. Those nuggets of goodness bursting open with surprise flavor. What if you choose to experience your life that way?

Crunchy, breaking open, growing into “next.” Not comfortable at all, and so what? Skiing down Taos mountain in 20 degree weather — packed inside warm clothes — boots strapped into polished wood — navigating giant bumps called moguls. Not comfortable at all. I call it exhilarating.

I’m still learning to ski the mountain of my life. At times, I forget and attempt to hold on to what was. Eventually I realize I’m holding onto nothing. Life has moved on to what is now. Letting go into “here and now,” I surrender to the moment. Often, if not always, I discover life to be better than I had imagined. But only if I’m willing to look for the blessings that are “here and now”. Willingness is key.

The willingness to discover what is here for you. Choosing to look for the gifts in the now. Like children on Easter Sunday, baskets in hand, they go out looking for eggs, knowing if they look they will find them. No matter what the experience, finding eggs is fun for the little ones, not hard.  Even if they are bundled up with a winter coat on top of their Easter best. They are on an adventure of discovery.

What about you?

Are you willing to find the gifts in the crunchy as you shed your skin while growing into “next?”

Are you willing to look for what is waiting for you to discover?

Is it really hard to be moved by Life into your next best self?

Maybe, or maybe not at all.

I’m here to assist if you want help navigating through the crunchies of life.