I wish that today and all days, everyone you meet is blessed by you. Just by your twinkling eyes, your bright smile, your gentle touch, and by your sparkling presence. Thank you for letting these gifts overflow to bless those all around you! ~paraphrased from Brother David Steindl-Rast’s writings
When we find ourselves in the midst of difficulties, oftentimes we think it’s always going to be this way and nothing we do is going to change it.
We lose hope.
When we’re in this place of little to no hope, we don’t know how to help ourselves. We don’t know where to turn, what to do, who to reach out to.
This can be very painful. And scary.
But we can always turn to Mother Nature, who is always brimming with Life. Even in the most inhospitable of her environments, life is thriving. Not just one teeny organism hanging on by the skin of its teeth, but rather whole rich, diverse ecosystems thriving and flourishing in conditions that scientists thought nothing could survive.
Life wants to live. Life is built for success. Life is made for abundance.
Look around. We don’t see only one scrawny tree or one tiny bush. No. There are millions of trees and bushes and plants and flowers. All colors, shapes, sizes. Growing in cracks of rocks, on cliff edges, on wind-blown prairies. Animals, insects, raindrops, clouds, rivers…. You get the idea. Nature is all around us brimming with Life.
The next time you’re feeling stuck, unsure, and alone, turn to Mother Nature and Trust Life.
I’m a week late in honoring Mr. Roger’s birthday—he would have been 91 on the 20th of March. He is best known for his gentle ways and his homespun wisdom. Sometimes now, and especially when he was alive, he is/was ridiculed for this. My thought is that some people make fun of his loving goodwill not because they think it’s stupid but rather because they’re desperate for that gracious acceptance and are terrified that it’s a sham, like so much else in this world.
I assure you that loving kindness is alive and well in this world. There are many people who are welcoming, friendly, and reaching out a hand to others. They are right in your community. In fact, you may be sitting next to them in school or at work. Like Mr. Rogers, they, too, like you just the way you are. You can be yourself, and that’s enough!
As we head into the new week, some of us may be worried about how to prepare ourselves for the bully in our workplaces. No matter how much we arrange our schedules to limit our contact with them, sometimes they seem like guided missiles locked onto us intent upon maximum damage and destruction. That statement may seem overly dramatic but when in day-to-day proximity of a bully, their tactics can feel like they’re aiming for total annihilation.
Naturally we should stand up for ourselves as best as we can, but don’t bother trying to change their mind about us and we shouldn’t think that we can show/prove that we’re capable, competent, and worthy of their respect. Their minds are closed and locked against us, so let’s not waste our time.
Instead, let’s concentrate on filling ourselves with endorphins. Our positive thoughts about ourselves and about our happiness, contentedness, and fulfillment from other aspects of our lives are our most potent weapons to counteract a bully’s attack.
Here are some ways to flood ourselves with endorphins in the midst of the workplace:
~in our mind, repeating positive statements about ourselves: I am capable; I am competent; I am doing good work, I am helpful to others; I am cheerful,; I am creative…
~pictures of our loved ones: recreate the happy feelings we had when the picture was taken…
~quietly listening to uplifting music…
~quietly listening to inspiring messages…
~connecting with nature: taking a short walk during the lunch hour, closely observing a small bouquet of flowers we give ourselves to have on our desk, gazing out the window for a few moments and watching the weather, the clouds, the trees swaying in the breeze, birds and wildlife moving around…
~reading poems or essays that create feelings of hope within us…
~reading a short passage from sacred writings…
These techniques are a few ways to remind ourselves that we are much more that our work. We have way more potential and opportunity that just what’s available through work. This can keep us hopeful and looking forward to the Goodness that’s awaiting us in the future!
The more we do these and other techniques to strengthen ourselves within, the less affected we’ll be by the bully’s attacks.
As we craft soul-prospering lives for ourselves, we can go through challenging times, especially if we’re making seemingly drastic shifts and big changes. It can be very frightening to be out of our comfort zone. We can feel very alone and isolated.
Friends and loved ones to the rescue!
They hold our hand when we need it. They encourage us when we need a boost. They pick us up and dust us off when we fall. They cheer for us and celebrate us even when there seems to be no finish line in sight.
They like us and love us just the way we are.
Each one of our friends and loved ones adds a little something unique and special to our lives that without it, our lives would be so very different and diminished.