If you had told me a few years ago I would be living through a global pandemic, I would not have believed you.
Up until just a few months ago I was enjoying pasta alla norma and vino rosso with friends in southern Italy, relishing the life I had created for myself there. Who knew that just a few short months later I would be back in my hometown of Perth, Australia, mostly staying indoors?
The answer is no one. No one saw this pandemic coming.
Life is a surprise party
We can never predict our next thought let alone what will happen next on a global scale, so in this sense life is a constant surprise party.
Sometimes we feel dressed appropriately and sometimes we really wish we’d worn something else.
As I sit here in my pyjamas for the third day running, reflecting on just how much has changed in the last few months, I’ve realised I’ve learnt quite a bit during this time.
What I've learned in the last six weeks
Firstly, get dressed. Four days is pushing it. Trust me, you’ll feel better for it.
Now that you’ve showered and cleansed your aura of yesterday’s wine and chocolate extravaganza, let’s contemplate what else you can do when things don’t go to plan. I call it the TRUST method.
Take a breath (T)
To get started: keep calm and take a breath. A deep breath. Life perhaps isn’t going the way you wanted, so acknowledge that you’re disappointed. It’s okay. We’re human. Once you’ve validated how you’re feeling, the energy can move.
Reset your foundation (R)
Get the basics right. Forget about all the peripheral things and focus on creating a solid foundation for yourself. Make sure you’re eating nourishing food, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep. Move your body. Take stock of what you’re consuming – remember this includes what you feed your brain. Is it really serving you to watch the news every day? Find your balance with the basics.
Let go of the idea that your life is meant to be a certain way. Grasping for things we can't have at the moment takes a lot of energy and sometimes we don’t realise how tense we are.
If you’ve ever been in a yoga class where the teacher tells you to relax your buttocks, then you know what I’m talking about.
‘What? Relax my buttocks – weird, but okay.’
Once you actually direct your attention there, the most amazing thing happens. You can literally feel your butt-cheeks slowly unclench. It’s enough to make your eyes pop open to see if anyone noticed.
So, UNCLENCH, whatever it is that you are holding onto. Acknowledge what you cannot control. Focus instead on what you can change. Put things in perspective, challenge unhelpful thoughts and assess your options.
Spread some magic (S)
Take some time to reflect on what you can learn. How can you make this obstacle one of the greatest things that’s ever happened to you? What is the world asking of you right now?
Re-state your goals and dreams. Get excited about the future. Adapt.
Talk and connect (T)
Maintain good relationships. Connect with those closest to you and ask for help where needed. Get resourceful. We can go so much further together.
Well whad’ya know, we just spelt a word!
Take a breath.
Reset your foundation.
Spread some magic.
Talk and connect.
We all face challenges, it’s inevitable, but we can learn to choose trust over fear.
So yes, I never thought I’d live through a global pandemic and you might remember from my last blog, I never thought I’d walk through the jungle without shoes on. (There seems to be a bit of a trend here.)
Things that we never thought would happen, do happen. Things we could never have imagined or were never ever on our radar, do happen. More to the point sometimes things we don’t want to happen, do happen. That’s life.
Really, we have two options
The way I see it when the brown stuff hits the fan, we have two options:
1. To work with an emergency mindset – that’s reactive and short-sighted.
2. To work with an opportunity mindset – that’s proactive and strategic.
It’s your choice, but only one will propel you to greater heights.
If I had never unclenched or let go of the idea that I was not somebody who went without shoes, I would never have gone barefoot in the mud in the Thai jungle that day.
Transformation is a process. And as it turns out, there’s often brown stuff involved.
So, I’ll leave you to decide which attitude you’re going to take the next time things don’t go to plan. In the meantime, #keepcalmandaupair and I will see you in the next blog. The last one of the series! *Gasp* But what will it be about?
Well if I told you that, it wouldn’t be a surprise.
And I've got something more for you right now: A new video where I discuss the TRUST principle in more detail and share a special travel story.
WHEN THINGS DON'T GO TO PLAN
Teaming up with AuPairWorld
As the Founder of The Au Pair Movement, I’m excited to be teaming up up with AuPairWorld to bring you a 3-part blog and video series. This is blog #2 - to help you #keepcalmandaupair.
So, grab some cushions, settle on the couch and enjoy. We've got lots to talk about!
Blog #1: Why are au pairs misunderstood: A personal report
Blog #3: Au pairing after the crisis: My thoughts on taking the leap
About the author:
Casey Aubin has climbed in the Himalayas, trained in Muay Thai and survived one and a half years as an Au Pair in Italy. Just like you, she never thought she’d do a lot of things and yet here we are. An entrepreneur, founder of The Au Pair Movement and teacher of various things, Casey is currently in Perth, Australia. Her book I Never Thought I’d Be an Au Pair: A Collection of Things I Wish People Had Told Me is available in Kindle format on Amazon.