Last week I went on a vacation to Florida with my two children. The tickets had been purchased many months prior. When I went to check in, I realized that the airline had changed our flight itinerary and given my son’s seat to someone else. I called the travel agent to see if they could help. The agent did his best, but I still had to call the airline. My first instinct was to rant and rave. I actually did, for a few seconds. But, thankfully years of training kicked in and I remembered the truth about ranting and raving: it was not going to give me what I wanted. In fact, being angry or upset in anyway was not going to help me improve my situation in any way. What I needed to do was to stay focused on what I wanted, which was solving the situation in a beneficial way for everyone.
Setbacks are part of life. It is easy to get frustrated and want to lash out when things do not go our way. However, as a Life Coach and an Energy Worker, I find setbacks to be an incredible tool for self-awareness and redirection. The very things that do not go our way are the things that teach us who we are and help us become better versions of ourselves. If we are willing to face these experiences in a new way with a more powerful thought process, we can reclaim our energy and our power. By doing so, we increase self-awareness, self-esteem and self-love.
Energy flows. Energy is attractive. These two ideas are the most important to remember when facing any situation. Every setback brings with it a set of solutions, not just one. But, if you are angry and upset, you are positioned to attract solutions that match anger and upset. The first thing to remind yourself is that you attracted the situation in the first place. You had a role in creating the situation, no matter how difficult this may be to see at first. Taking ownership of the setback will keep you from blaming others. Why is this important? Blaming others takes your focus off of finding a solution. If you didn’t create the problem, you do not have the power to fix it. Everything that is in your life is there because on some level you attracted it. You are an energy being with an energy broadcast that is always attracting situations. In this particular situation, I received an email from the airline a few months after I made the reservation. I did look at it, and noticed the time had changed a few minutes. If I had taken a moment to look a little deeper, I would have noticed my son’s seat was no longer on the document. Of course, in some setback situations ownership of the problem is not as clear cut. However, own that you created the problem anyway, even if you do not understand how. This will help keep you focused on creating what you want instead of lamenting over what you do not want.
When I finally got in touch with the airline, it became obvious this was not a quick fix. When I started to flip out I said to myself, “Stop this now! I am focused on what I do not want. I need to focus on what I want, which is a seat for my son.” I literally needed to turn my energy around from fear to peace. After that reminder, I started searching my mind for thoughts that felt real but would also put me in alignment with the truth I wanted to create. I took a deep breath and remembered that it was as much in the airline’s interest for me to be happy as it was for mine. Also, no one wants to separate a single mother and her children. By thinking these thoughts I started to put myself in the path of the solution. I had to assume that there was a great solution out there, we just had not come upon it yet.
Not all setbacks are as simple as a seat on an airplane. Energetically, however, there are no “levels” of setbacks. The pain may feel more acute with some setbacks than others, but the solution is always the same. There is a line in the book, “A Course in Miracles” that sums this up perfectly. It says, “There are no small upsets.” This means all upsets are the same. If anything shifts your attention from the truth to fear, its power to affect you is the same. Whatever causes you to focus on the pain of what you don’t want is an upset, from the loss of a job to a seat on a plane. This may be a tough thought to wrap your mind around. It seems practically ludicrous to say those two things have the same power. But, energetically speaking, you are always in charge of what you think about, believe and focus your attention upon. You can find peace alignment and peace in any situation, the choice is yours.
So, when I was on the phone with the airlines, the thought I eventually focused my mind upon was, “everything always works out for me.” That thought always gives me comfort because I know it is true. Things may not work out in the short run, but eventually things do sort themselves out. So, I found myself relaxing as I focused on this thought, and everything did work out. I did not get my original seat, I ended up having to sit across the aisle from my children, but it was a solution we all felt good about.
A setback is the universe’s way of telling you that you were not clear and not in alignment with what it is you were trying to create. It is an opportunity to clarify your desire. When you overcome a setback you are claiming your power to the universe. By owning your part, focusing on what you want and finding a way to feel peaceful about your desire, any setback can become a bump in the road reminding you to use your personal power with more deliberate intent.
The HOW TO with Kim Mazzella is a weekly column featuring Kim's expert life coaching tips for the modern woman navigating entrepreneurship, motherhood, work-life balance, and more!
ABOUT KIM MAZZELLA:
Kim Mazzella, founder of the Life Guidance Center, is a Healer, Teacher, Spiritual Coach and Writer. Her work is based in the belief that our natural state is health and wholeness. Her job is to help those she works with remove the blocks that they have placed in the way of the free flow of energy and healing. She integrates the knowledge from her study of A Course in Miracles and universal laws with her study of massage and understanding of the body’s energy system to create a holistic approach to healing and change.