THE POWER TO THRIVE

Adversity follows a common trajectory.  In one way or another, we all have to get past the immediate trauma and devastation of the enormity of loss in our lives in order to go on living.  Ultimately, we get through the deep dive that accompanies great loss, and survive.  We move on and begin to stabilize our lives.  For me, this is when the most important recovery work of all begins because it involves learning to access the power to thrive.  It is also key to living a fulfilled life.  You will find value in the power to thrive long after disasters are far behind you.

Developing the power to thrive requires both inner and outer work that we begin while we are in the survival stage.  Often, we need help to stop seeing ourselves as victims of a monumental tragedy.  We need help to see our way forward to something wonderful.  We start looking for that help while we are learning how to cope with the enormity of our crisis.

Fortunately for me, I had returned to the faith of my childhood several years before the landslide.  I was actively involved in the life of the church, and when catastrophe struck, they were there for me.  Being connected to others in meaningful, reciprocal relationships yields a great deal throughout the recovery process.

Additionally, Peter and I shared a long term vision to have a large ranch, each for our own reasons.  We had no idea how we would obtain it, but we held the vision.   Immediately after the landslide, our purpose focused on finding a new home for us and our animals.

As I packed to leave the mud-filled house, I grabbed a couple books for spiritual support.  One of them was Dr. Wayne Dyer’s “There is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem.”  Each morning before heading out to deal with the house or finding a new one, I would read a page from that book.  Grace was with me and the perfect house was found the very day it was listed for rent.   I was grateful.

Once settled in the rental house, injuries surfaced from all the pushing, pulling and lifting involved in moving.  We went to a chiropractor who did emotional release work with me through kinesiology.  Somehow I knew that I needed to heal both outer injuries and inner issues as a necessary part of the healing process.  In conjunction with this emotional release work, I was able to evaluate what was working in my life and what was not.  I uncovered parts of my life that needed healing and began to forgive and let go of the past through 12 Step work and Centered Prayer.

From the rental house, we began to focus on finding a permanent home that would bring us closer to our vision of the ranch.  We spent a year driving out to the country each week to see what was available.  When we found it, we worked with the owner to allow us time to work through the financial and legal issues.  They were kind enough to give us the time we needed.  For that, we were grateful.  Once we moved into our new home, we were bathed in feelings of gratitude.  We felt profoundly blessed.

Not long after arriving, Peter developed a most fortuitous relationship that lasts to this day.  It offered new opportunities for his business and for that we are extremely grateful.  I felt the first urges to contribute in a new way – as a coach writing, speaking, teaching and producing in order to help others discover and pursue their dreams.  I wanted to share my experience in order to help other people face similar circumstances, reconnect to their purpose and get past the obstacles that appeared to stop them.   I began to take classes to become a coach, write a book, produce a podcast, and create a course – all to help other people bounce back from adversity and go on to thrive.

We continue to pursue those activities.  We are both enjoying the best positions in our lives to date and continue to nurture new visions and take action to make them happen.  We feel as if we are thriving in a world of infinite possibilities.

The outer actions we took are important in the process of getting here, however, the inner work involved is what sustains me to this day.   It is what enables me to continue to dream of even greater accomplishments.  Let’s take a look at that inner work as it may benefit you:

  • Faith in something greater than yourself through prayer and meditation
  • Community – meaningful, reciprocal relationships that are mutually supportive
  • Purpose combined with possibility thinking
  • Inspired Routine –
    • Begin your day with a journal entry expressing thanks and gratitude for at least 10 things in your life, blessings and opportunities to take action toward new accomplishments.
    • Affirm and Afform positive statements and positive why questions.
    • Use Centered Prayer to develop and maintain your connection to your Higher Self
    • Practice forgiveness for any perceived slight from others or yourself.
    • Allow yourself to dream, to play with an idea and imagine how it could benefit your life and others. Express your vision of what you want and how that relates to your purpose and God’s will.  These things contribute to your resilience and prepare you to take action the rest of the day.
  • Healing work – such as emotional release, kinesiology, 12 Step, Centered Prayer
  • Action steps to build belief that what you want is possible –
    • Figure out what would be required to pursue your biggest idea.
    • Take an inventory of your skills and abilities.
    • See what training might be required and sign up for it.
    • Make a plan of action steps you can take to achieve your goals.
    • Get organized and do one thing every day that helps you move toward your new dream.
    • Watch the results you get and adjust to stay on course in spite of obstacles or conflicts that may develop around you. As you take these actions, you will be developing some traction.  Call it momentum and momentum helps you persist.
  • Let go and allow possibilities to unfold –
    • Start to live as if you already had possession of your vision.
    • As it becomes second nature to keep doing what you are doing on a daily basis, you will see the results you desire unfold before you.

These were the things we did while stabilizing our lives and then moving into a thriving state.  When you begin to feel those first urges to take up something new or contribute in a new way, you are well on your way, not just bouncing back but bouncing forward into new and uncharted possibilities.  Act on those impulses.

Remember, regardless of the circumstances – both inner and outer – in which you find yourself, you can develop the power to thrive.  Choose your life.  Create your universe.  You can do it.

I believe in you,

 

Susan

About the Author:  Susan Sherayko is a 3 time Emmy nominated executive in charge of production for a daily morning television show.  She is also a life, success, power habits and media coach and author, “Rainbows Over Ruins” in which she shares her journey after a landslide destroyed her home.  Susan helps people release the obstacles in their lives so they can share their message and mission, impact the world and gain the freedom to live the life of their dreams.   For more information on how to survive and thrive, check out her website, http://www.susansherayko.com and pick up her “Survivor’s Guide: 12 Tips to Gain Inner Peace” as a FREE GIFT (http://GiftFromSusan.com).

 

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SIGNS YOU ARE READY TO BOUNCE BACK FROM SETBACKS AND PREPARING TO THRIVE

Recovering from a major setback or adversity is not an overnight experience.  It is a process that unfolds in stages as you heal.  Sometimes you get stuck; sometimes you surge ahead; sometimes you fall back.  You may find it helpful to look at an overview of the journey you may encounter.  Such a big picture may give you helpful signs that you are ready to bounce back from setbacks.  In fact, it may also help you prepare to thrive.

Dr. Randall Bell, founder of CoreIQ, is developing such an overview through his work with post-traumatic thrivers.  Dr. Bell has made his living helping communities evaluate and plan recovery from some of the world’s most devastating disasters.  Both economist and social scientist, he is the author of “Me-We-Do-Be” and several other titles.  He asked me to join him the other night to augment an earlier interview about our experience after the landslide.  The interview was structured around his new insights into the post-traumatic journey.

The beginning point is, of course, the setback that transforms your life suddenly and unexpectedly.  Dr. Bell calls it a dive.  You can also call it your pit.  After the landslide, I often mentioned that my world had come tumbling down, literally and figuratively.  It’s a shock and you don’t know what to do, who to call, or even begin to comprehend the full impact the event will have in your life.  People put off facing the reality of it all as long as possible.  Six months after the landslide, Katrina devastated New Orleans.  Watching people on the news, I wept for them because they had no idea of what was ahead of them.  They all spoke as if this would be a week long event, not months and years of recovery.  They were furious that enough was not being done to restore them to their regular lives right away.  I had been angry as well, not in the first days but later, when we found there were no easy solutions, no governmental aid for our situation and no insurance to help ease the financial burdens.

For quite some time after a serious event, you are consumed by its aftermath.  The physical aspect is right in front of you.   Instinctively, you know to escape the immediate damage, find shelter for family and pets, and deal with any physical injuries.

But, for us, the emotional toll felt more intense than the physical disruption.  The clear and present danger to our finances terrified me.  I had a pit in my stomach continuously and a terrible time sleeping.  Fear dominated my life.  Fortunately, I was part of a faith community.  Within that supportive group, I received a daily plan of action – a routine – that may have helped me stave off the depression that hits so many after an event like this.  And I was blessed by something else.  Faith – the ability to believe in what you cannot see – provided the strength to get us through this difficult time.

When you are ready to face the aftermath of your setback head on, you will recognize your thoughts and actions as signs that you are ready to bounce back from the situation.  It may take some time.  We were very fortunate.  A timely phone call moved us into the next stage of recovery — survival mode — within a day or two.  We quickly realized that we had to find ways to handle finances and look for resources to either rebuild or move on.  Our clear purpose was to keep our income flowing in order to find a new home, heal from injuries and address legal and financial issues.  We put our heads down and did what we had to do.

Notably, it was also a time of searching for help.  Our attorney told us to find a new rental home for the present as it could take 2 years to work through the problems.  While in that rental house, I studied.  I learned centered prayer, engaged in church activities, professional groups and other community activities.  I went to opportunity meetings to find something that would provide hope that the financial situation could be resolved.   All in all, it took 18 months to move into our new long term ranch.

Once we were in our new home, we felt so lucky to have found a place that was even better for us than our old house.  Actually, we felt blessed.  We were blessed to have developed resilience.   We needed that resilience to recover from illness, depression, fear and the disaster itself.  We were also blessed with the gift of strong purpose that gave us the inner drive and tenacity to persist in spite of obstacles that we encountered.  We were blessed to have a strong support system in our community relationships.   It still took some time to stabilize and believe that we were going to be okay.

During those early days in the house, something else began to happen that Dr. Bell would say took us from just surviving to beginning to thrive.  Peter was able to take the blessing of new space to build up his business potential.  I wanted to find out why we had been able to get through this catastrophe so well. As I searched for an answer, I found I wanted to communicate what I learned to others by whatever means I could – writing a book, producing a podcast, creating a course, speaking online and, of course, blogging.

When you begin to feel those first urges to take up something new or contribute in a new way, you are well on your way to do more than bounce back by bouncing forward into new and uncharted possibilities.  Act on those impulses.  Keep visualizing and acting on those visions and you will rebuild your life and go on to manifest your dreams.  You can do it.  You can thrive.

I believe in you,

Susan

 

About the Author:  Susan Sherayko is a 3 time Emmy nominated executive in charge of production for a daily morning television show.  She is also a life, success, power habits and media coach and author, “Rainbows Over Ruins” in which she shares her journey after a landslide destroyed her home.  Susan helps people release the obstacles in their lives so they can share their message and mission, impact the world and gain the freedom to live the life of their dreams.   For more information on how to foster a vision, act on intention and rebuild your life, check out her podcast Rebuilding Your Life: Moving from Disaster to Prosperity and pick up a FREE GIFT at http://www.GiftFromSusan.com.

 

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HOW YOUR MIND GETS IN YOUR WAY AFTER A SETBACK

After a setback, when we attempt to make changes which may involve challenging our existing lifestyle and belief systems, the mind can get in our way  – specifically the subconscious mind.  The subconscious mind runs our automatic bodily systems in the background.  It’s our survival mechanism with a default negative position to stop any departure from the status quo.  But the subconscious (or non-conscious mind) also has another function that is often described as a search engine for problem solving.  When we develop our conscious relationship with this latter aspect of mind, we are engaged in what is known as our Inner Game.

In earlier discussions, we’ve been examining our Outer Game using our outer conscious mind.  We are most familiar with the sensory features of the conscious mind: seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling.  We use those senses to take in the external world and all the opinions and beliefs of those around us.  We then set up conscious thoughts and beliefs of our own based on what we have learned from others.   This is what we use to deal with the outer tasks that need to be done to overcome the circumstances you encounter after a setback.

To completely bounce back from adversity, we coordinate both our Inner and Outer Games.  Inner Work is done by looking at how the mind — our thoughts — get in the way of restoring our lives after a setback, then using tools and techniques to counter the negative results.  In any recovery program, it is essential to include both your inner and outer game.

Let’s look at a few methods you might utilize in your inner game in order to develop your resilience in the face of adversity and make progress in your outer attempts to bounce back.

  • Develop a relationship with your subconscious mind. Use meditation, centered prayer, walks in nature, art and music to connect with your Highest Self.   Then ask for clarity in your purpose and guidance.
  • Start asking and it is given. Start asking what you can do to recover, rebound and rebuild.  Do you have the ability to bounce back from illness, depression or all other manner of adversity?  Have you developed resilience?  Listen to what you are telling yourself.  Negative thinking affects your self-image and inserts doubt and fear into anything you are attempting after a disaster. Catch yourself when you make negative statements and flip your thinking.
  • Look at your belief systems. From birth, all of us adapted the beliefs of others into our own belief system.  These beliefs are often untrue.  They limit us.  What you are telling yourself can throw a monkey wrench in your attempts to rebuild.  It helps to surround yourself with people with whom you feel comfortable talking.  This might be a community group, a coach or counselor or a master mind group.  It’s of value to include people who love you unconditionally and believe in you before you can believe in yourself.
  • Develop tools and techniques like affirmations, Afformations and positive self-talk. Fear, grief and negative emotions like blame, anger, and self-pity are debilitating.    Try Afformations – positive why questions – to replace the thoughts that are self-defeating. Power Habits work in a similar way by replacing bad habits with more positive ones.
  • Check out tapping.  There is a school of thought called EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique – that works to eliminate emotionally “stuck” places in the electrical pathways of our brain.  Certain language and situations trigger old messages that are jammed at junctions of the pathways.  It is similar to the sensation of looping that PTSD patients experience to a greater degree.  Practitioners tap away negative feelings and messages and replace them with positive ones.
  • Develop a daily routine where you utilize these tools and techniques. Several daily actions I’ve written about before help prevent depression and fear:  talk with a trusted friend, help others, say thank you and surround yourself in beauty, prayer and meditation.   I journal.  My daily routine includes giving thanks, expressing gratitude, pre-paving what I would like my day to be like and Afforming.  You might substitute tapping or some other technique into a schedule like this.  Play the gratitude and appreciation game every day.  Taking the time to list at least 10 things daily takes you out of yourself in a very positive, loving way.
  • Evaluate what has been working in your life and what has not. After a setback, any bad habits you have can become the obstacle that blocks access to the very best resources you have within you.  Are you overweight?  Do you ever exercise?  Do you have any addictions?  Do you smoke?  You need to keep all resources available to you during the recovery process.  You may need help with this.  There are support groups with expertise in the specific area you identify as being of concern.  Be open to joining others.  They know what you are going through because they have probably been there themselves.
  • Write a new story. Often after a disaster, setback or other adversity, we take the victim’s role.  When we stop dwelling on the negatives, excuses and pain…when we stop telling ourselves or others the negative story, we can start writing a new positive story.  Take advantage of the opportunity to discover a new story.
  • Embrace positive change. It’s not unusual to discover that YOU have changed after a major negative event.  What you value changes.  You may be motivated to accomplish something greater and do something that makes a difference to others.  Go for it.  It is possible to be blessed by disaster.  It is possible to find rainbows over ruins.  You can bounce back from setbacks.
  • Remove any ambivalence in your thinking. The subconscious mind will pursue whatever you feel most deeply.  If you are undecided, it may pursue the opposite of what you really want because your negative feelings are stronger than the positive ones.  Discover and focus on what you want right now and why.  I found it helped to start with what lifted my spirit.  Look for at least one thing you can do today to move closer to your goal – to feel the way you want to feel when you achieve it. You want to feel that way NOW, not in the distant future.   Do something that helps you feel that way right now.  These actions will continue evolving.  Those first steps toward feeling better turn into bigger things.  It’s important to celebrate those steps in a positive direction and revise your plan as you see new things emerging.  Then follow a traditional success process to pursue your goals.

If you keep coordinating your inner and outer game, you will reduce the ways that your mind gets in your way. Be open to working with others to resolve your blocks.  It is your journey, but it does not have to be a lonely one.

You will develop your resilience in the face of adversity and make more rapid progress in your outer attempts to bounce back.   Keep sowing the seeds.  Persistence is everything. The more you keep at it, the sooner you’ll rebound. You can do it.

I believe in you,

Susan

 

About the Author:  Susan Sherayko is a 3 time Emmy nominated executive in charge of production for a daily morning show.  She is also a life, success, power habits and mindset coach and author, “Rainbows Over Ruins” in which she shares her journey after a landslide destroyed her home.  Susan helps people release the obstacles in their lives so they can share their message and mission with the world and live their best lives.  For more information on how to pick up the pieces after a setback, check out Your Survivor’s Guide: 12 Tips to Gain Inner Peace available FREE at http://www.GiftFromSusan.com

 

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WHAT GETS IN YOUR WAY AFTER A SETBACK?

After a setback, you’ll want to eliminate whatever gets in your way to move forward again.  As the short term benefits from the rush of adrenaline and the cushion of shock fade, the magnitude of what has happened to you and your family can be overwhelming.  We barely have the strength to cope with the situation.

To help you, I’ve made a list a few things that can get in your way.   If and when they crop up for you – and it can be immediate or years later – you’ll want to be prepared to acknowledge their existence and the positive changes you can make to get past them.

  • Not knowing what to do, where to go, who to call – This is generally part of the panic in your immediate response to a setback. During a full blown emergency, you will be in reactive mode.  This is where you think on your feet, checking to make sure everyone is okay, dealing with true emergencies, calling for help and getting to safety. The best thing you can do is call for help.  At the very least, you’ll have someone to calm you down, offer support and help you get it.
  • If you’ve been preparing for disasters, you will have an emergency call list posted in a prominent place in your home where you can find contact information quickly. Who should be on that list?  911 – for fire and ambulances.    Utilities.  Your minister, rabbi or other faith based leader.  Friends.  Family.   Neighbors.  You’ll have your own ideas as well.   If you still have a telephone book, you’ll find many useful emergency help ideas in the front of the book and, if you can get on your computer or smartphone, there is a wealth of information to be found online.
  • For the long run, as you go through new challenges along your recovery path, keep watching and praying for resources that are available to you. When you are actively seeking solutions, an internal system is activated that makes you aware of what is already around you.
  • Health emergencies and beyond – When a health emergency occurs, you need to get help immediately or as soon as possible. There are 3 critical areas that need attention – is the patient bleeding, breathing, conscious?  Do what first aid you know to render help.  Follow the directions of the 911 staff and get to safety as soon as you are able.
  • If you’ve been preparing, you will be up to date on your first aid training, have packed your Emergency To-Go bag, as well as water, a first aid kit, space blankets and life straws, and may have a generator so that any equipment will keep running until you can get assistance.
  • Your health takes priority in the recovery process. Do what has to be done.  It could take some time before one is either healed or moves into a chronic situation.  Be aware of the difference.  If and when you realize that a health emergency will become a chronic issue, be sure to explore accommodations that can be made so that you are able to recover from this setback in spite of lingering health issues.
  • Finances – Often setbacks wipe out your asset base or force you to bear staggering costs in the recovery process. They are not necessarily covered by insurance.  As soon as possible, take stock of your financial situation.  To take this inventory, ask yourself:  What do you have with you?  What did you lose?  What remains?  What will you need as you go through the recovery process and what resources are available to you to rebuild your financial situation?  What skills do you have, and who can you call?  Even if you have lost all of your physical belongings, you have talents, abilities and resources.
  • The key to recovery is maintaining your cash flow. You can rebuild from there.  If you have savings placed in diversified, passive income generating areas, everything is not lost through one setback in a given category.  You may have a business or a hobby that can generate income if your job is downsized or destroyed.  You may have additional resources available in the form of credit or grants to handle extraordinary expenses you may encounter.  Check out government assistance.  It may be challenging to navigate the procedures, and may involve loans, but there are multiple sources to investigate.
  • Be prepared. The process of rebuilding your financial base can take years if you are starting from scratch.  It can be humbling.  Remember cash flow is king.  Be creative.  Identify a service you can provide where someone will pay or barter with you.  Be willing to accept jobs that keep money coming into your hands even if they are not your dream job.  Without money your emotions and physical well-being become tangled and worry impacts your mental state.  Get on a budget; manage your spending.  Look for resources that can help you.  After you get back on your feet, you’ll be able to expand again. 
  • Emotional Distress – Fear, grief and negative emotions like blame, anger, and self-pity are debilitating.  If you get stuck – which I did – be kind to yourself.  Recovery doesn’t happen in a moment. And it doesn’t necessarily happen smoothly.  Humans are messy creatures.  We carry a lot of baggage with us.  Use meditation, centered prayer, walks in nature, art and music to connect with your Highest Self.   Then ask for clarity in your purpose and guidance.  Develop tools and techniques like affirmations, Afformations and positive self-talk.
  • It’s very helpful to re-establish routines as soon as possible, especially with kids. There is something about the structure and normalcy of daily habits that helps you believe you can get through anything.  And the actions involved also help prevent depression and fear.  A psychologist at church gave me my first list of suggested daily actions:  sleep 7-9 hours, eat well, exercise and breathe deeply, laugh, learn, talk with a trusted friend, help others, say thank you and surround yourself in beauty, prayer and meditation.  With a structure to your day, you can begin the process of moving forward.  
  • Negative/destructive habits, addictions – After a setback, it’s a good idea to evaluate what has been working in your life and what has not. The bad habits you have can become the obstacle that blocks access to the very best resources within you.  Are you overweight?  Do you ever exercise?  Do you have any addictions?  Do you smoke?  You need to keep all cylinders available to you during the recovery process.  You may need help with this.  There are support groups with expertise in the specific area you identify as being of concern.  Be open to joining others.  They know what you are going through because they have probably been there themselves.

We have been looking at what I call the Outer Work required to recover from a setback, but it also includes some of what is called Inner Work, meaning that it takes place within our minds.  In any recovery, it is essential to include both your inner and outer games.  In my next post, we’ll look at some of the inner work you can do to improve your ability to successfully bounce back from setbacks.

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HOW DO WE PICK UP THE PIECES AFTER A DISASTER?

When a landslide destroyed our home several years ago, I had no idea how to pick up the pieces.  I learned.  The biggest lesson I took away from it is that we are not alone.  Everyone has significant setbacks in their lives.  How we handle them is what matters.  The good news is that we can turn things around.

Our journey began when I discovered that a landslide had torn through our home.  At first, I was in full blown emergency, reactive mode.  This is where you think on your feet, checking to make sure everyone is okay, dealing with true emergencies, calling for help and getting to safety.

I wasn’t functioning very well at that point.  I was running around trying to figure out what had happened and who to call for help.   In our case, friends from church helped me that first night.  One of the women took me to her house.  Church members gathered to sit with me.  We shared some snacks, had a cup of coffee, talked about what had happened, and finally put me on a sofa to get some sleep.  It’s important to get that time to decompress and take in what has happened.

In the morning, my husband returned from out of town and we met at the house.  The fire department had been there and told him that the house was condemned – red tagged.  It was a staggering moment.  Nature provides a defense mechanism – shock.  It cushions you from the blow, but also blocks your ability to think clearly for a bit.

During this period of uncertainly, you’ll need to summon your inner strength.  A mentor of mine, Susan Crum, calls it G.R.I.T.  It helps to tap into your faith, resilience, inner direction and tenacity.  After Susan shared that with me, I added the word TRUE – the reason underlying everything.  To me, that meant drawing upon our sense of purpose in the moment.   That along with a strong faith in something larger than ourselves gave us the resilience, motivation and persistence to deal with what lay ahead.  It also helped us look ahead rather than be drawn back into the disaster.

Your natural instinct is to re-establish routines as soon as possible, especially with kids.  Something about the structure and normalcy of daily habits helps you believe you can get through anything.  And the actions involved also help prevent depression and fear.  A psychologist at church gave me my first list of suggested daily actions:  sleep 7-9 hours daily, eat well, exercise and breathe deeply, laugh, learn, talk, help others, say thank you and surround yourself in beauty, prayer and meditation.

With a structure to your day, you can begin the process of moving forward.

  1. Focus on what you most want next. This is not about your most forward looking goal or life purpose.  It’s about what you need right now.  So in our case, we knew we wanted to get our own home again.  Our animals were all over the San Fernando Valley and we wanted to be together again.  That gave us focus.  We had research to do to find out how we could do this, and we came up with a plan.  It helps to begin thinking forward, away from any negative experiences.
  2. Take an inventory – what do you have with you, what you have left where you were, what skills do you have, who can you call, that sort of thing. Even if you have lost all of your physical belongings, you have talents, abilities and resources.
  3. Grab a pen and start to journal. Allow your mind to yield up its treasures, ideas.
  4. Find all the resources that are available to you in your area. Reach out for help.

Once you have even the beginning of a plan, you can pick an action and take it.  Look for at least one thing you can do today to move closer to your goal – to feel the way you want to feel when you achieve it.  You want to feel that way NOW, not in the distant future.  Take action.  Do something that helps you feel that way right now.  These actions will continue evolving.

I found it helped to start with what lifted my spirit.  Seeing our family back together again came first.

In addition to knowing how you want to feel when you get what you want, imt’s also important to know WHY you want what you want.  These feelings are the energy of your blueprint to bounce back.

Write down your plan.  Draw a mind map of what you will be doing and then work that plan every day.  Keep at it.  Keep sowing the seeds.  Persist.

For us, these were small steps in the beginning.  It was important to stay focused and keep track of our progress.  It helped to surround ourselves with other supportive people.  As we got back on our feet, we took on bigger projects.

Be kind to yourself.  This doesn’t happen in a moment. And it doesn’t necessarily happen smoothly.  Humans are messy creatures.  We carry a lot of baggage with us.  If you get stuck – which I did – you need to take a look at what’s stopping you.  Use meditation, centered prayer, walks in nature, art and music to connect with your Highest Self.   Then ask for clarity in your purpose and guidance.  Look at your belief systems.  What you are telling yourself can throw a monkey wrench in your plans.  It helps to have people to talk with – a community group, a coach or counsellor, a master mind group – people who love you unconditionally and believe in you before you can believe in yourself.   You may have to do this on your own, but you do not have to do it alone.

The sooner you can get in touch with your purpose and create a plan to follow, the faster you will bounce back.  Those first steps toward feeling better turn into bigger things.  It’s important to celebrate those steps in a positive direction and revise your plan as you see new things emerging.

When we stop dwelling on the negatives, excuses and pain…when we stop telling ourselves or others the negative story, we can start writing a new positive story.  After a disaster or significant setback, you have an opportunity to discover a new story.

It’s not unusual to discover that YOU have changed.  What you value changes.  You may be motivated to accomplish something greater and do something that makes a difference to others.  Embrace it.  It is possible to be blessed by disaster.  It is possible to find rainbows over ruins.  You can bounce back from setbacks.

About the Author:  Susan Sherayko is a 3 time Emmy nominated executive in charge of production for a daily morning show, mindset coach and author, “Rainbows Over Ruins” in which she shares her journey after a landslide destroyed her home.  For more information on how to pick up the pieces after a disaster, check out Your Survivor’s Guide: 12 Tips to Gain Inner Peace available FREE at http://www.GiftFromSusan.com

 

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HOW WELL WILL YOU REBOUND AFTER A DISASTER?

How prepared are you to rebound after a full blown natural disaster with catastrophic consequences?

I wasn’t prepared when it happened to me.  I left for work on a rainy day and came home to find a landslide had gone through my house.  The fire department arrived and “red tagged” the house, indicating that the structure was condemned.  They allowed us to grab a few things. We rescued and slowly rebuilt our lives.

Are you prepared for the tornado that rips through your home town?  Or the mudslide that sweeps away everything you own?  Or the fire, flood or earthquake that drives you from your home for days or even weeks?     Although these disasters are different, they have some things in common.  They are all encompassing –they affect you physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  They come fast, unexpectedly and you slip into survival mode.

Each and every one of us will face major setbacks.  The question is not so much “if” it will happen, but how well you will handle it.  The good news is that you can train yourself to respond quickly in an emergency, on automatic pilot, and provide yourself a solid support structure to help you rebound as quickly as possible.

WHAT PHYSICAL PREPARATIONS CAN YOU MAKE?

Make a checklist of what you might need for a variety of time frames or in different scenarios.  Numerous examples are available from the Red Cross, FEMA and other online sites.  We’re talking the basics.  Medicine.  First Aid.  Food.  Water.  Shelter.  Clothes.  Games. Tools.  Computer.  Communication.  Finances.  Fuel.  Power. Skills to barter.

At the very least, pack a couple emergency To-Go bags.   We never know when disaster will strike or where you will be so it’s a good idea to have one at home, one at work and one in each of your vehicles.  The bags you grab as you escape should include a first aid kit, any medications needed by you, your family, your pets; food and water, critical items such as your computer, cell phones, contacts, money, batteries, and flashlights.

If you have enough time, you can think through what you will need for more than an overnight stay.  How will you prepare food?  How much water can you carry?  Do you have a life straw to purify water once you run out?  What will you sleep on?  Where will you go?  Who can you stay with?  What clothes will you need?  What tools and protective gear might prove helpful?  What about credit cards?  How will you pay the bills if you are gone for a while?  Do you have enough fuel?

Start thinking through “What If “scenarios and do some “If – Then” Planning.  This is a great exercise to do with your family, friends and community.  What would you need for a few hours, 3 weeks, or to rebuild?  Do you have an escape route?  Transportation?  What if someone or something is injured?  Do you have a first aid kit?  Do you know how to use it?  In some cases, you’ll need to stabilize a situation before you can move.  Can you call for help?  How can you get to safety quickly? What are you going to take with you?

Start making your lists and gathering those things long before it’s an emergency.  Even if you don’t have to leave your home, you may need this kind of preparation if services are not available for a time.  Fuel, heat, stoves, light, power and water services can all be disrupted.  Most of our lives are connected to power in some way.  What will you do without it?   Can you generate it?

Practice new skills you may need so that you can react automatically if a situation presents itself.  Take advantage of classes to learn first aid and CPR or how to use tools.

HOW CAN YOU PREPARE BEYOND WHAT YOU HAVE OR CARRY WITH YOU?

Prepare for longer situations.   Once the food, water and cash run out, what do you do?  Being prepared for long term situations gives you confidence and helps you bounce back more quickly.  Do things to be more resilient. Fear and a sense of devastating loss accompany disasters.  Being ready and able to face challenges dissipates fear.  Being ready to jump in and help others helps you as well.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO BE MORE RESILIENT?

Have a supportive routine that you can re-establish as quickly as possible after a disaster.  Routine, daily actions help us keep our sanity.  The following list is recommended to prevent depression during a crisis : exercise, eat well, sleep 7-9 hours, find something to laugh at every day, talk to someone you can share your thoughts with, learn something new, be in beauty or meditate, and be of service to someone else.

Learn a skill that you can trade for necessities.  Learn carpentry, something manual.  Plan your finances around diversification — from where you store your records to multiple sources of income.

Get physically fit, manage your weight.  Eliminate bad habits so they won’t be in your way.  You may need your body to sustain you through some touch terrain.  Join a hiking group or a sporting team.

Get active in your community.  You want to know the people in your immediate area so you feel comfortable calling them in difficult times.  Know what your local government has in place.  Know how you can be of help to others.   Take part in survival and other community preparedness days.

Do things with your family.  Play problem solving games; schedule times when you don’t have anything electric with you.  Play games that have a winner and a loser.  Resilience develops in the face of failure.  Have fun learning survival skills together.  Camping is fun and teaches important skills at the same time.

Finally, focus on more than your Outer Game.  Become aware of your Inner Game – listen to yourself.  What are you saying to yourself?  Develop positive self-talk now so it’s in place when you need it.  Learn to meditate; do centered prayer.  And if you are at all religious, connect with a church or any center.  In our disaster, it proved to be one of our most important resources.

Cultivate the inner keys to bouncing back:  faith, resilience, purpose, persistence and your relationship with your true self. 

If you are proactive now and embrace positive change as above, you can do more than survive a disaster, you can bounce back and thrive.  To explore more, claim a free copy of “Survivor’s Guide: 12 Tips to Gain Inner Peace” at www.giftfromsusan.com.

About:  Susan Sherayko has been the executive in charge of production for “Home and Family,” a daily television show that airs on Hallmark Channel, for several years.  She is also a mindset coach and author, “Rainbows Over Ruins,” in which she shares her journey that began after a landslide destroyed her home.

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Are You Struggling to Get Through a Disaster?

A few years back, we found ourselves in the same situation facing the reidents of Montecito, California right now.  We had a mudslide come through our home.  It was a mess.  We faced financial ruin, physical and emotional losses, fear (lots of fear) and the uncomfortable feeling of not knowing where to go for help.

Fortunately we had a great church community  They were our rock during the worst of it.  Government help was not available.  Insurance money was not available.  As I said, it was a mess.  But we got through it.

That’s really my message here.  You can do it too.  You can survive and, more than that, you can go on to thrive.  That may be so far from your mind.  It’s more likely that you are feeling overwhelmed with no vision of a future at all.

But I repeat.  You can get past this disaster, regardless of the circumstances.  You can survive, rebuild, refocus and go on to thrive.  You can make choices to let go of anything that isn’t working in your life.  You can embrace what you loved and reincorporate it into the new lifestyle you create.

9781452592619_COVER.inddI write about our journey back in my book, Rainbows Over Ruins. What’s important to know is that we not only survived, we now feel as if we are thriving.  The finances worked out in a couple years.  We have a new community, with new friends and business opportunities.  Our home is closer to what  we had always envisioned, but never imagined achieving.  Our lifestyle fits us to a “T.”   And I feel as if I am at the apex of my career.  It’s a far cry from the night we stood outside the house that was filled with mud and looked on helplessly at the boulders piled from ground to rooftop behind the house.

I went on to create a 12 episode podcast series, “Bebuilding Your Life: Moving from Disaster to Prosperity.”  It’s on iTunes and Stitcher.  It’s designed to take you through the steps to get past a disaster.  There are some wonderful people who participated to help others by sharing their own experiences.  There’s no charge to hear that information.    image-43253.jpg  I also wrote a free Survivor’s Guide with tips to help you get through this experience.  It’s available at http://www.GiftFromSusan.com.

These are all available to help you get your feet back on the ground  If you are reading this and have friends going through this experience, please share this post with them.  It’s very lonely on the down side of a disaster.  Help seems so far away.  And if these shares can help inspire someone to begin to rebuild, they will have served their purpose.

Please stay in touch.  Let me know how you are doing.  Share your questions.  Working together, we can plot a course to move past these life events.

I believe in you,

Susan

 

 

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