Surviving Shifting Sand

It is officially the beginning of the holiday season!

Thanksgiving! What a wonderful time to be with friends and family without the pressure of finding the perfect gift and usually imbibing too much great food before vegging out in front of the television for the half-time show.

This year as Thanksgiving approached the word GRATITUDE has a whole new meaning for me.

In my recent blog, I shared that I had successfully bought a new home in Arizona and moved from my beloved Palm Springs.  Arizona has been so much more than I could have imagined!

I am now geographically closer to wonderful friends who have been in my life for over twenty years. The temperature is about ten degrees cooler than Palm Springs and we actually have “seasons” here, including RAIN (a good thing)!

My community has a mid-West feel including knocks on the door from neighbors bringing homemade goodies and introducing themselves. I have a built-in cat sitter (two doors down) who diligently takes great care of my fur baby when I am traveling.

It is an easy place to live and do business.  It is as if the world has slowed down with children playing in the cul-de-sac, and adults actually looking you in the eye with a smile on their face.

Lowe’s is my new fun place… I have never been so taken care of.

And of course, the stunning sunsets which seem to light up the entire sky with pinks, blues and purples; or the wide array of wildlife running across the front walkway (caught on my Ring cameras). So far, javelinas, bobcats, raccoons, coyotes and bunnies have been regular visitors.  I love it!!!

Well, back to the title of this blog… “Shifting Sand” … The good news is I ended up exactly where I was supposed to and wanted to be.

The journey, however was not an easy one. There were times I felt like I was in Quick Sand… not just Shifting Sand.

Not to bore you with all the details, but I do want to share some of the journey that resulted in that ugly word… STRESS!  Sharing in hopes that it will help you or yours in some way.

Once I decided to relocate, I had to decide if I wanted to buy first then sell my home or vice-versa. As I commented in the previous blog, the market was red hot… so since stability and security are important to me… I went for buy first then sell.  Something about being in limbo just didn’t sit well with me.

In early and regular conversations with my realtor, I always heard the same message, “you better be ready to move in 1-7 days. There is no inventory. Your place will go in a minute.”

The Plunge

That was my programming from multiple sources on a consistent basis. So, unconsciously I was forming expectations. So, as I said, “I Took the Plunge” and bought my dream home.

Since my family is located back East, the Winter months bring a slew of family and friends to my home in the West.  It is always great to see them, how the kids have grown, hearing about the guys’ golf games (kinda like fishing stories … the one that got away), grilling steaks and just being.

So, as I said, I was in regular contact with the realtor, with firm instructions that if he saw anything changing, we could list the house at any time. Same response from him, no worries!

The last group of company left mid-April and the house was on the market the next week. Then, what happened??? The bottom seemed to fall out of everything overnight! No one I talked with seemed to see it coming.

Interest rates began rising, it seemed like everyone was listing their house in a panic to capitalize on what had been a seller’s market, the stock market starting a downward spiral…

So, in other words, what was happening in the world did not match my expectations! Yes, I was angry –  but at who? Yes, I was worried – but what could I do about it???

I asked myself hard questions which produced no answers… Why me? Why now? I had worked hard and planned and been frugal my whole life, what did I do to deserve this?

Sound familiar? Ever had a “Why Me?!” conversation with yourself?

I mentioned this Thanksgiving season brought with it a whole new level of Gratitude.

Because this experience taught me that I have so much to be grateful for: the many friends and family who tried to tell me it would be all right (and it was); my great clients that I get to see stepping into the next best version of themselves; finding the perfect home in the perfect place; and finally (although a few months longer than I would have liked) that one, wonderful buyer who presented a nice, cash offer with no contingencies made my day!

I had told my realtor if I could just sell the Palm Springs home, my life would be perfect. When he called to present the offer, he said “I’m glad I could make your dreams come true!”

Yes, my faith had wavered a bit, and yes, I will admit I was in a “darker” place than I’d been in for as long as I could remember.  Even though intellectually I knew it would all work out, that little voice on my shoulder and that feeling in the pit of my stomach told me otherwise.

An Effective Tool

My friend and coach, Kamin Samuel, PhD., business coach and co-author of the upcoming Wealth Creation for Coaches (among many others) suggested a tool that I think might have saved my sanity… well maybe I’m being just a bit dramatic… but it definitely helped.

Kamin had me create a “DE-ACTIVATE” BOX.  When that voice in my head could not be silenced, I would write the issue or worry on a slip of paper, setting my intentions as I wrote and folded it, to eliminate it from my mind once the slip of paper went into the box. Then, depending on how many worries I had, I would burn the contents of the box when it got full.

Want to know something interesting, first of all – it worked!! I’m not saying the voice on my shoulder shut down completely, but when it started up, my response was … this issue is DEACTIVATED.  Secondly, as I took the folded-up slips of paper out of the DEACTIVATE box to burn them, I had no clue what any of them said… you see, I had stopped worrying. One of my favorite mentors and authors, Wayne Dyer, author of 21 Days to Master Success and Inner Peace, suggests “Simply have a mind that is open to everything but attached to nothing. Let it come and go as it will.”

If we could only remember to let things come and go as they will when we are in the eye of the storm… how much easier life would be!

You see I got “attached” to both a certain selling price, and a short time to sell. However, in the end, I did get a good price AND my home sold, while so many others are still on the market.  The Universe took care of me. My worrying did not change anything and it was hard on me.

But the greater gift was GRATITUDE… I had thought about all the bad “what if’s” and explored multiple strategies to take control. It was only in the end when I surrendered, when I let it go… that it all worked out.

 

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