08/04/2014 10:27 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

5 Ways to Find Peace When Life Feels Crazy

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A few weeks ago I received some big news. The owners of the lovely place I call home are doing renovations and I need to move out by Sept. 8. We have been openly communicating about their intentions to remodel at the end of the summer or early fall for months. When I received the email, however, I did still feel some surprise that it really was happening.

My first reaction was excitement, wonder, and awe. "What is waiting next for me? What is in store? What new adventures places, and people will come into my life?" I had a similar blissfully awestruck reaction a few weeks prior when I received news that one of the main yoga studios I teach at is planning to restructure their schedule. This would mean many of my classes would be switched to different times and styles. When I heard this news I initially felt excited and thrilled. "What is opening up? What new students can I inspire?"

It didn't take long, however, for fear to creep in. Soon after I received the news about my home and the possible schedule changes, my positive outlook started to shift into a downward spiral of chaos. Before long my thinking had me living on the streets with no job.

Here are five ways I shifted my perception and feel at peace with whatever happens!

1) Have faith you will be taken care of.

I reminded myself of my initial excitement, awe, and wonder and realized that those intuitive initial feelings are my soul and my truth. The rest is just silly ego stuff that can be coxed away. I began to think of some recent times that "The Universe Had my Back," as one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Gabrielle Bernstein says. A big one came to mind in the summer of 2011.

It was right after I got sober in San Francisco and the restaurant where I was working at that time cut a lot of shifts and decided to stay closed one night. I honestly did not know how I was going to make ends meet. Right before I started to panic, I received a voicemail from my old job in Tahoe at a night club. It was my boss and all the other girls I cocktail waitressed with saying: "We miss you! We need you to to come up and work the celebrity golf tournament weekend with us!" This was always a huge money weekend, and it was in 2011 as well. I went home with a fistful of cash and a heart full of faith.

2) Check in with a trusted person or two.

Only share delicate and vulnerable feelings with trusted people. You know these people, they are your "spiritual running buddies," and when you share something with them they listen, support, and reflect. They do not judge or provoke fear by demanding more information or anything like that. The best way to identify these people is to check in with how you feel after the interaction. Do you feel supported, heard, uplifted, held, and inspired?

I decided to share my fears and thoughts with one of those people. "I know, I trust that I will be taken care of, but I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something. Like its time to make a big move or something," I confessed. Her reflection was so powerful: "Yes, thats true, it can be interpreted in many ways, so check in with what YOU really want." Woah, stopped dead in my tracks. Another special person encouraged me to not only trust in the universe but also trust in myself. HE is right, wisdom and all the answers we need, lie within.  

3) Take action.

I took the advice of those gurus and checked in with what I want. Where do I want to live? What does the next 10 years of my life look like? Who feels important to live near? Two dates with my journal, and a sunny patch of grass in the redwoods provided me with an abundance of clarity. I was ready to continue to take action by beginning my search for new places to call home.

The first spot I visited was damp and smelled lightly of mildew. My ego wanted to put down a deposit anyway because then it would all be confirmed. Gratefully, I heard an intuitive voice loudly say: "Ye of little faith!"

I smiled as my soul cried out this part of the Bible that I probably learned when I was a kid. There was no way my highest self was letting me move into a moldy home even though the new roommate and I synchronistically had a mutual friend. I continued taking action by getting clear on what I really wanted in a home and created my own ad. I met some cool people in some great towns and the process became light and lovely.

4) Practice gratitude.

Every night write out five or 10 things you are grateful for. When you practice gratitude and feel gratitude, more circumstances to be grateful for magnetically show up in your life. I love the quote by Maya Angelou: "If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you will look forward do so prayerfully. But the wisest course would be to stay in the present gratefully."

5) Surrender.

A couple of weeks ago, I was having a blissful mellow Friday night. I was working on an oil painting and listening to my favorite music. Several gorgeous lit candles adorned the scene as I sipped on hot spicy ginger tea. I was feeling so much gratitude and enjoyment. I got up to refill my tea cup, when I felt this wave of surrender rush over me. I literally got down on my knees and prayed to my higher power. "You know what is right for me, may all my desires and dreams unfold only if they are according to Your Will. Help me stay open to any outcome."

In that moment I knew that it was going to be all good, no mater what place I call my home, what classes I teach, however I serve in the world, it's all taken care of. It's just a matter of alignment on my part.

Having faith, checking in with your trusted few, taking action and practicing gratitude are so important to this process to feel peace.

I know, however, on a visceral level that when I surrendered, when I was waltzing around my home in my creative bliss THAT is the time when the universe loves to do her thing.

May an abundance of peace and blessings shower over you all, when life gets crazy AND when it effortlessly flows.

In Light,

Carolyn Jean

Photo Credit: Carolyn Roney