A funny thing happened during quarantine. My peace-emanating, violence-detesting partner, Chase, became obsessed with watching mixed martial arts and the UFC (thanks, new ESPN+ streaming subscription!).
Regardless of what you think about the UFC, its leadership, or its mission, I (begrudgingly) have to admit that I learned a little something when I paused my eye roll long enough to let Chase explain a few things.
There is actually a method to what appears to be total madness in that octagon. And these are talented, tenacious, badass athletes who have relentlessly honed their skills.
Don’t believe me? Check out the greatest women’s fight in UFC history between Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Yep, I’ve seen it. Nope, it wasn’t pretty. But wow, was I impressed with these women.
◼️◼️◼️ I even picked up a few life lessons from the UFC that came in handy over the last month when some big life changes came our way. #didntseethatcoming ◼️◼️◼️
Namely, after a year in Petaluma, we made the bittersweet decision to let go of our Seattle home. We listed said home during the pandemic, wondering “Who in the world is buying houses right now??” To our surprise, we were under contract within a week. We were beyond grateful (thanks, Universe!). And also terrified that letting go of our roots in the one city that has felt like home over any other for us was becoming a reality.
We made an essential trip to Seattle to tie up loose ends and close on the house. We then made the long road trip back to Petaluma, with our Airstream and the last vestiges of our life in Seattle in tow. Within a day of our return, one of our kitties landed at the emergency vet. He came home with a terminal cancer diagnosis and instructions for hospice care. Now we wait.
And all of this littler life stuff amidst the bigger backdrop of the continuing pandemic and America’s reckoning over racial injustice.
It’s a lot.
Many of my clients are experiencing similar upheavals right now around their marriage, their finances, their values, their housing, or their work. As chaos and uncertainty reign in the macrocosm, I bet you’ve got some chaos and uncertainty in your own personal microcosm.
So what are we to do?
Well, I never thought I’d be saying this, but I’m looking to the UFC. Not for the fighting, but for those life lessons I mentioned earlier.
So a standard UFC fight consists of three five-minute rounds. Not one big fifteen-minute brawl, but three little ones. In between, the fighters go to their respective corners to rest, recharge, get patched up, and receive a little encouragement and direction from their coach. Then, back out to resume the action.
◼️◼️◼️ And if things get too ugly, too dangerous, or too exhausting, the fighter always has the option to “tap out” (read: tap the cage floor, indicating they are done and ending the match). ◼️◼️◼️
In the ongoing uncertainty around the pandemic…under the onslaught of media that assaults your senses…in the fight for racial justice…among all the voices and “experts” screaming for your attention…in the octagon that is your relationship, your work, your life…you are going to need a break between rounds. You will need to go to your corner for a pep talk and some metaphoric Vaseline on your brows, so when you return to the cage floor, life’s blows may not be quite so injurious.
And at some point, you may just need to “tap out.”
I’m not suggesting a permanent retreat from anything, whether you are fighting to fulfill your calling or end racism or save your broken relationship.
It is simply a tap out when you know you’ve had enough…
◼️ Enough doomscrolling through disheartening and scary news…
◼️ Enough engaging with hurt people who are hurting people through their viciousness and ignorance…
◼️ Enough listening to the deafening cacophony of noise from the outside world that clouds your ability to hear your own inner guidance.
It is a tap out to protect yourself from real damage and give yourself the opportunity to train and be ready to get back out into the arena.
I did it myself this week. After a month of too muchness, I called this fight of the last few months and tapped out.
◼️◼️◼️ I tapped out of my news and social media feeds. I tapped out of the competing opinions, heated discourse, and discouraging headlines. I tapped out of forcing myself to show up when I was frustrated and depleted. I tapped out of the world and instead tuned in to the quietude of my heart, the knowing of my soul, and the things that fill the well of my spirit. ◼️◼️◼️
Tap out to tune in.
Because when we tune in, we connect to the voice of our own soul and the soul of All That Is…
◼️ Where infinite possibilities for inspiration and creation reside.
◼️ Where the magic that can alchemize true individual and collective transformation and healing is available.
◼️ Where the power that creates worlds is found.
◼️ Where the knowing of when it’s time to enter the fray again is accessed.
And when you do go back to your own octagon, you are rested, trained, replenished, and ready. You can be an effective force for goodness and change in your life and the world. You can be a fighter for the Light at the top of your game.
So where do you need to tap out right now? And where will you tune in?