Written by Kayla Reetz, Trauma-Informed Director + Yoga Teacher
"During a time where many people experience overwhelm, high anxiety, stress, self-deprecating or doubtful thoughts, and many other emotions, thoughts and feelings, I experienced more calm.” ~ Kayla Reetz
If you’ve been following my blog posts, you already know of recent life changes for me. If you haven’t- or don’t remember, because let’s face it, things are not always about me 😉- I’ll give a brief recap.
This past summer, my husband and I took the leap to move back home to Storm Lake, IA. My husband found a new job. I kept my job with Challenge to Change, but my focus became bringing our Mindful Education in Schools programming to the area for the first time.
Furthermore, we decided to move in with my parents…yes, you read that correctly…with plans to build on the same property. We heavily downsized our belongings, sold our house and moved July 1st.
Okay, now that I’ve shared all of that, take a moment to think about the thoughts, feelings and emotions I might have from these particular life circumstances.
There was so much uncertainty with that change- not only with our changes in housing, but also in financial stability, job security and future planning. Self- doubt, anxiety, and planning…so much planning...were huge factors to our physical, mental and emotional health.
Luckily, I had a saving grace...
Developing a Relationship with Yourself: A 3-Month Challenge
That summer Challenge to Change offered the Developing a Relationship with Yourself Challenge to help guide your journey toward personal empowerment.
This is Dr. Liza and Molly’s lifelong work. It is a look at our thoughts, feelings and emotions as data from our soul. There is a KNOW part of the process, where we work at identifying the emotions, thoughts and feelings we have in a given situation. Then, we try to look at those thoughts, feelings and emotions objectively. As we do that, we are able to CHOOSE our response- rather than reacting. Finally, after doing those two steps, you can then GIVE of yourself in healthy ways.
It sure seems like a lot of work when I spell it out like that, huh?
But the truth is, I made it my goal to sit with the work for 5-20 minutes every day. I carved out time to make my morning cuppa coffee, go to the big bean bag in my living room, practice a breath technique, light my candle, and crack open my Developing a Relationship with Yourself journal and affirmation card deck. Each day had a question and/or activity for me to consider. I worked on the two pages in front of me, and when it was done, so was I. I moved on with my day, but sometimes, that meant journaling before continuing on.
How was this my saving grace?
Well, during a time where many people experience overwhelm, high anxiety, stress, self deprecating or doubtful thoughts, and many other emotions, thoughts and feelings, I experienced more calm.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am a person just like any other person, but I would say I noticed this difference based on the reactions and questions of the people I'm close with in my life.
Many people in my "tribe" expressed doubtful thoughts of us actually following through - let alone doing this successfully. In fact, that still happens. Others expressed anxiety and worry in the planning stages- mainly the moving itself.
And through all of that surrounding us, I was able to keep my calm, my center, and move forward with what my husband and I felt was the right thing to do.
And before I tell you where we’re at in our story, I also want to highlight my favorite activities from the challenge. In the Know section, it was identifying my core values. I was limited to only three, which, I have to say, was really hard to do!
But in doing so, I was better able to recognize and live things that were important to me.
In the Choose section, I used creative problem-solving through emotional intelligence (EQ). Basically, it made me be aware of challenging situations in my life and ask these three questions:
What am I feeling?
What choices do I have?
What do I want to happen?
These three questions made me practice the PAUSE. It made me question my response instead of regretting my reaction.
Was I perfect at responding and not reacting all the time? Of course not! Was I better than before? Definitely. And, it’s something you can start right away.
In the Give section, I loved answering the question of “Who’s in Your Theatre?”. It made me consider who helps me to be the best version of myself. How do they support me and what effect does their support (or lack thereof) have on me? Where do they sit in the “Theatre of My Life” based on that information? How much influence do I want them to have over my “performance”.
And now, we are still living with my parents. My husband found a job that has better hours than before and I still have my job. In fact, my job changed for the better! I am currently in training for the Trauma Supports Director with Challenge to Change.
And as far as the house building, financial stability, job security and future planning goes - all I’ll say is we can pay our bills with some extra on the side as we continually work toward the dream of building on the same property. We have our hearts set on a tiny house on a permanent foundation. Hopefully I’ll be able to share pictures with all of you one day. 💙
One of the things I love about this challenge is that it's the gift that keeps on giving! I look forward to participating in the challenge again this winter and seeing how it helps me create my dream life.
If this feels like something that could help you get through a difficult time or just get to know yourself more, I suggest you try it too.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. The Developing a Relationship is back and better than ever! The challenge officially re-launches on January 8th, 2023 but you can join anytime.
What you’ll get in the Digital Bundle 2.0:
50 NEW videos from Molly for each day
EXCLUSIVE downloadable challenge journal
Digital Positive Affirmations card deck*
Access to our private Facebook group to connect with Molly and other changemakers!
*If this is your first time joining, you can purchase the Digital Challenge Bundle by clicking here. I would highly suggest purchasing the physical journal and printed affirmation card deck bundle that Molly created just for this challenge.