How do you do it? How do you remain calm when your world seems to be falling apart?
People who are calm through all that life throws at them, emit an energy that is infectious and often helps calm those around them. These blessed individuals have learned that they are only in control of their own destiny and are letting go of everything else.
The reality is that the only things we can control in our lives is us. Our choices that we make on a daily basis - second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, are controlled only by us. You may be influenced by others who have strong opinions or want you to join them in their struggles, however, that is the time you ask yourself "what would they learn from my solving their problems?"
There is a certain freedom in releasing the responsibility of controlling others that brings instant relief from the stress of wanting to control people or a situation. I am often asked, how do I get to that place of not worrying about others and the decisions they make when it is a loved one who is struggling and needs our help? Perhaps the question should be - How will they be able to learn how to resolve their own issues if you are stepping in to solve their problem for them?
When you are faced with this in your own life, picture that butterfly that struggles to release itself from the cocoon where it is trapped. It takes every ounce of your strength and determination to break through when faced with your fears, sadness, heartbreak, addictions, etc.
You have the strength within you to overcome whatever is blocking your path and keeping you from your happiness - the power is within you.
We go through life day by day and never know what each day will bring. For the most part, the days are filled with pretty much the same activities, however, there are also those days that are filled with chaos and unexpected turn of events.
How do you respond when your day is turned upside down? Are you able to follow the series of events or does it cause you stress and anxiety?
Yesterday my day began as any other. Within a few hours I received word of a loved one scheduled for emergency open heart surgery and shortly thereafter heard of a friend's child who lost her battle against cancer at the age of 4. I've never learned to make sense of it all when days like this happen. What I have learned is that I offer what I can to those that are suffering and turn it over to a higher power asking to bring peace and love to those that are suffering.
The reality is there is nothing anyone of us can do to stop life's progression - or we end up making ourselves crazy over the "what ifs". A relative once told me when I mentioned that I didn't want the day to end, that I should welcome the end of everything. Whether good times or bad times, everything does reach a conclusion.
Therefore embrace those wonderful joyous moments and also know that when in the midst of sadness, stress, and turmoil - this too shall pass.
I love to share this with my clients from time to time. If you have the time to read through the list, I hope you are able to apply at least one or two of ideas.
1.) Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate antidepressant.
2.) Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.
3.) Watch your late night shows On Demand and get more sleep.
4.) When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to________ today.'
5.) Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
6.) Watch more movies, play more games and read more books than you did last year.
7.) Always pray. Always put God 1st
8.) Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of Six.
9.) Dream more while you are awake.
10.) Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foods that are manufactured in plants.
11.) Drink plenty of water.
12.) Try to make at least three people smile each day.
13.) Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.
14.) Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive present moment.
15.) Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class .......but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
16.) Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
17.) Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.
18.) Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
19.) Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
20.) Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
21.) You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
22.) Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
23.) Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
24.) Ladies - Go on and burn those 'special' scented candles, use the 600 thread count sheets, the good china and wear our fancy lingerie now. Stop waiting for a special occasion. Everyday is special.
25.) No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26.) Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
27.) Forgive everyone for everything.
28.) What other people think of you is none of your business.
29.) Time heals almost everything. Give time, time!
30.) However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
31.) Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch with them.
32.) Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
33.) Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. God provides remember?!
34.) The best is yet to come.
35.) No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
36.) Do the right thing!
37.) Call someone you love and/or is happy to hear from you often.
38.) Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:
"I am thankful for __________."
"Today I accomplished _________."
39.) Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
40.) Enjoy the ride. Remember that this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.
LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH.
LIFE'S A GIFT ... UNWRAP IT!
I had the good fortune this weekend to have private time with family and take in the beautiful fall weather. One of my favorite things to do is ride the trails on my bike without music - just taking in the sounds of everything around me - allowing my thoughts to wander. This is also a form of meditation for me as I think of nothing else except where I am in that specific moment riding my bike on a gravel trail through the tree lined paths.
Studies have shown that meditation is very important to actually rebuilding the gray matter in our brains - http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/12/11/harvard-study-unveils-what-meditation-literally-does-to-the-brain/
So often, we hear that we should be meditating on a daily basis, finding a quiet spot and getting rid of those thoughts that seem to creep in - when in reality, acknowledging them and letting them go is just fine. What you may not realize is that meditation may take on many different forms. The beauty is you are able to choose whatever works for you on any given day! There is no need to worry about clearing your mind, let the thoughts come and go and just be for however long you are able to meditate.
Why not find something that works for you, i.e., lying in bed at night or sitting curled up in your favorite cozy chair and just close your eyes for a while and let your mind "float".
In this meditation study conducted by Harvard University, they found that:
"For the study, participants engaged in meditation practices every day for approximately 30 minutes. These practices included focusing on audio recordings for guided meditation, non-judgmental awareness of sensations, feelings and state of mind."
Whichever way you choose to meditate, may you come to learn and enjoy that quiet time set aside just for you!