June 29, 2018
I arrived in Iceland at Keflavík airport on Tuesday morning after weeks of preparation to avoid stress and challenges. I had made itineraries only to find that I never looked at or printed directions to my hostel where I was spending the next few nights. After a few moments of berating myself and trying not to panic after I found that the hostel is over a 45 minute drive away, I asked at the information booth to discover the airport has wi-fi for free. A few minutes later I booked a bus direct to and from the hostel.
Sharing this story in a group later that evening, I found one of my new friends from Mexico had his credit card frozen when he tried to get his ticket, even though they knew he was leaving the country. He called his bank and they told him it would be 8 hours before it was reinstated. He called a friend, who texted him a picture of a credit card he could use for the day.
Another woman I met got lost while walking through town after dropping all her luggage off at our hostel. Her receipt from the bus said that she was dropped off at Central Hostel-to which she showed up to and found out it was not the correct place. She asked what other hostels the bus service would drop people off, looked at all the pictures of those hostels online, and found her way back. She had texted me asking the name of the hostel, but I replied about 5 minutes after she discovered the answer herself.
The point? We all run into challenges in our lives-and no matter how overwhelming it may seem at the moment, there are resources everywhere. Often it takes us remembering to ask others for help. I know many people (me included) that hesitate to ask for help because of a feeling of weakness, perception others will think we are stupid, or a variety of other things. However, don’t you feel good when you get to help a friend, a family member, or a stranger on the street? Most things we need help with are not as much of a burden to another as we perceive. By asking, we also allow others to feel good and happy about being able to help. Or, if it is a challenging request, others also have the option to say “no” and practice their own boundary-setting.
Most adversities and challenges we experience are really not the end of the world. We may perceive them as such in the moment, or even during recall years later, which can limit us from tapping into resources of all kinds. I know sometimes when I forget to stop, breathe, and ponder my other options, I can fall into panic, anxiety, and negativity. Then I just run around in a fight/flight manner and block my mind from coming up with solutions because I’m in such a fear state. But when I pause, realize that I’m safe, that I have everything I need-even if it is not my plan or on a time/place/schedule of my choice-then I can be in the moment, enjoy the opportunity to problem solve and ask for help if I need. Now that I also can tap (I am still doing 1/2 price sessions to teach others BTW, and you can book here) to calm my system down, I find that things become simple. Perhaps not easy, but simple. And that makes all the difference.
In the last few days, I have had an opportunity to meet people from all over the world. I forgot to get permission to post pictures that include them, so I will have to share my own for now.
I’m in the airport on my way to Stockholm. Now I get serious about settling in, finding work and living situations, and re-learning the Swedish I seem to have stored away in the back of my brain. Challenges seem to arise, but patience and a willingness to ask for help have led to great learning and connection.