What Tina Turner taught me about “what’s next”.

What Tina Turner taught me about_what's next - Pam Sterling

Yesterday, on my hour and 27 min drive back to Castle Rock, WA from Portland, OR, I was listening to Oprah's Super Soul Conversation with Tina Turner.

Oprah was interviewing Tina about her new book, My Love Story, in which she chronicles the last five years of her life since marrying the love of her life, Erwin.

In those 5 years Tina experienced a litany of serious health challenges.

First she had vertigo, which was followed by a stroke that paralyzed her on the right side of her body. Then she was diagnosed with colon cancer, which caused both kidneys to shut down, requiring dialysis for nine months and ultimately it kidney transplant.

Oprah asked,

"Did struggling through all those illnesses make you think about your life differently."

Remarkably Tina replied,

"I didn't struggle…I didn’t struggle at all. It was just a matter of ‘what was next’".

When she had the stroke and was on the floor unable to move what was next was to move her right arm, and then her right leg, and then to get up. What was next after that was learning to walk again and heal her body… which incredibly, she did.

When she was diagnosed with colon cancer what was next was to have surgery, and then chemo, until she was cancer free.., which she did.

When her kidneys shut down she was told what was next was dying, which she was fully prepared to accept… But her husband was not.  When they learned that he was a perfect match for a kidney transplant, she knew that what was next was nine months of dialysis to prepare her body to receive his kidney.

When Oprah asked Tina how the experience of dialysis was for her?

Remarkably Tina replied,

"I liked it. I liked it because that was how it was. Either I did that or I died."

Oprah’s final question…

"After all of that, after everything you’ve been through, what are you most grateful for?"

Tina’s response?

"That I survived it all without hating or blaming anyone. I did it. I got it done."

How is it, that someone is able to move through these experiences experiences {plus experiences of serious childhood and domestic abuse, and the recent suicide of her oldest son} with such grace, so unriled by the circumstances?

In addition to having a 20-year Buddhist practice, it is very clear that Tina's ability to move through life without struggle, without blame, and simply accepting what is, is a choice.

Her mantra is simply "keep moving forward".

So when I arrived home last night to discover that there was a leak in my newly installed tongue and groove ceiling, in my newly remodeled sunroom, I had a choice.

To be honest, my first reaction was… shall we say, uninspired.
"You’re kidding me!"
"I can’t believe this."
"I don’t have time for this."
"I’m gonna have to rip out that whole ceiling???"

But then I remembered Tina, and the inspiration she shared, and I realized…

This was just "what was next" for me.  And all I needed to do was "keep moving forward".

So I took a deep breath, got out my saw, cut out the affected boards, pulled out the insulation, found the leak and have a little repair project lined up for the weekend.

Done… without struggle, feeling proud of the way I handled it, and grateful for the inspiration of Tina Turner.

So what’s next for you? Where are you being given the opportunity to "keep moving forward"?  What would it look like for you to move forward without struggle? Without discouragement? Without blame?

I encourage you to embrace "what is" and allow yourself to move forward without struggle, and feel the joy, peace and contentment that comes when you do.

Here’s to your "what’s next".

❤️ Pam

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