Other ways to look at your situation differently are to take a far view as well as a close-up view of it.
Questions to ask yourself:
~What if I would take a very long view of this?
Can you mentally back up or get above the situation and see it in its entirety rather than the piece that’s right in front of you? Perhaps the situation you’re facing is not isolated but rather a part of a whole or another facet of an issue you’ve dealt with previously.
For instance, what will you think about this situation when you’re five years down your path and taking a retrospective view of this? Where do you think you’ll be in your life and how do you think this situation would have helped get you there?
~What if I would look at this in detail, in the tiny bits and pieces that makes up the whole?
Perhaps taking a microscopic view will show you a significant piece, and once that is resolved the rest of the situation is much easier to handle. Also, this might be the piece that holds the gift for you.
Additionally, taking a very close look might show you a pattern that runs through the whole and this pattern might be connected with a larger, overall issue you’ve been dealing with.
When you’re taking this long view and the microscopic view, jot down your thoughts and the ideas that come to you. Remember that all thoughts and all ideas are valid. They may not be ones you’ll take action on, but they are valid. In other words, don’t judge or dismiss them!
I’ve found it to be very helpful to have something tangible to remind me of happy events, important goals, and the things that I’m very thankful for.
For instance, while walking along a beach, I came across a heart-shaped rock. I keep it on my kitchen counter near the sink and I see it every day. When I see the rock, I recall the scent of the ocean, the call of the seagulls, and the swish of the waves on the sand. Also the heart shape of the rock is a note to me from the Universe that all is well, and that there is plenty of goodwill and caring for all.
Touchstones and reminders can be anything that’s meaningful to you. I’m sure you’ve heard–or maybe know–of people who have good luck charms such as a rabbits foot, a four leaf clover, and a horseshoe.
You’ve heard of professional athletes who have certain rituals before or during or after each game.
Your reminder or touchstone can be anything physical, not only something to touch or hold, but it can also be a scent or a taste or a sound. Here is a short video of two of my touchstones:
The hula girl, who I haven’t named yet (any suggestions?) reminds me of Girl Power! The turkey, who I’ve named Rodney (he looks like a Rodney to me!) reminds me that being goofy is a good thing!
What are your touchstones and reminders? Feel free to share them in the comments below. Thanks!
Today, let’s do the same thing and build a Gratitude Album for ourselves. By doing this, we are aligning with the “good stuff” in our life and the more in tune with it that we are, the more of it we will notice and the more we will bring into our life.
Making a Gratitude Album and referring to it often reminds us that there are wonderful things in our lives even if everything around us looks hopeless. Looking at the album first thing in the morning and last thing before sleep helps us also remember why we’re pressing forward in spite of the odds and in spite of the naysayers. Taking peeks at the album throughout the day can give us that boost we need so that we don’t give up or knuckle under.
Just like your Vision Album, your Gratitude Album doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy or contain every little jot of every little thing you’re grateful for. You can add to and tweak the album as you go along–it isn’t something chiseled in stone, so you don’t have to “get it right” the first time!
It can also have symbols. For instance, you can include a picture of the gorgeous cherry tree in front of the public library and this can be your symbol of your gratitude for all of Mother Nature’s majestic beauty.
Above all, have fun with this! Make it a point to pull a few pictures together today–even one image from a recent event in your life will do. Regularly add a little bit here and there as you go along!
You may be in the fight of your life right now–one that’s taking every ounce of your strength and every drop of your ingenuity to stay alive.
When I’ve been in situations like this, what I found to be most discouraging were the naysayers and the Negative Nellies and Dismal Daves telling me I was going down this time. I had moments when things really did look dismal and I was close, so very very close, to agreeing with the gloomy doom-eys and I was just about ready to throw in the towel.
During one of these tough patches, I remember being in the car and searching for peppy songs on the radio–something to lift my spirits. Randomly, I stopped on a station in the middle of a song and I heard the lyrics “…No! Not today!…” That stuck with me and it was just the boost I needed to help me dig my heels in one more time.
That statement empowered me and I felt the strength stirring again. Repeating the statement frequently, sometimes every moment, helped keep me going.
Your situation may look bleak and the overall odds may not be in your favor at this time, and maybe when it’s all said and done this situation will eventually get the best of you. But for right now, tell yourself: NO! NOT TODAY!!!
NO! NOT TODAY!!!!
Whenever you’re feeling that you have no options, or that giving up is your only option, I encourage you to say to yourself No! NOT today!
Say it as often as you need to each moment of each day and let its power push you through the “impossible” parts.
I have a special place in my heart for trees. I loved climbing them as a child and I loved playing in the tree fort my dad built for us kids.
Trees can be tall and stately like oaks or pines, they can be graceful like a beech and maple trees, and in the fall many delight us with their beautiful display of multi-colored leaves.
When we hit a rough patch, we can take a lesson from the trees. For the most part, they stay firmly rooted during storms–they have unshakable foundations–yet they are flexible, bending and swaying in the turbulent weather. Even when they suffer damage–limbs are ripped off in high winds or a lightning strike seared them in half. they grow new limbs, new trunks, and form new leaves and seeds.
In what soil are your roots planted?
To be strong and firm, they need to be in excellent soil, and that soil is you. To have your roots outside of yourself makes them too vulnerable to forces that you can’t do anything about.
Are your branches flexible?
To develop and maintain the ability to handle change well, devise a program of self-study where you are pursing topics that interest you and delving into subjects that capture your imagination.
Do you sprout new shoots when setbacks occur?
We all have obstacles and disappointments. Instead of wallowing and getting stuck, can you find a new perspective or has new information come to light that you can build upon?
Are you adding beauty and grace to the world?
Offer shade or rest to others through kind words and a helping hand; share information and your skills with others and help them as they live their lives. Remember, too, to have fun! Play Frisbee with your friends, toss a ball back and forth with your kids, go to the playground and swing on the swings!
What lessons and gifts have you received from the trees you’ve known? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks!
Summer is in full swing and Mother Nature is at her most bountiful abundant prolific time.
This week we’ll talk about the wisdom we can glean from Mother Nature. She has much to teach us, if we’d only pause a moment and become aware of her. She doesn’t use abstract concepts that we have to wrap our minds around, rather she actually shows us through the actions of living things the Guiding Principles of Life.
Let’s make a pact that this week, as we explore and extract the teachings from the natural world around us, we’ll spend as much time as we can outdoors quietly watching, looking, and seeing what we see. Then we’ll take the time to note our observations and ponder how they might apply to our life.
Let’s start this today!
In the comments below, feel free to let me know what you discover. Thanks!
When you’re feeling bad about yourself and can’t seem to shake it, here’s what to do:
1. Ditch the negative people around you as fast as you can! The reason you can’t shake feeling bad about yourself and your life is probably because you’re hanging around people who don’t value you, appreciate you, and/or celebrate you. They’re also the people who see nothing but woe and disaster ahead of you, which is most definitely NOT what you need right now.
What do you do? DISTANCE YOURSELF FROM THEM AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!!
Call up a few of your friends who make you feel great about yourself and always have something nice to say to you. Be up front with them and tell them you’ve had a hard day and you need them to remind you of a few good things about yourself. Jot them down and keep them handy in a scrapbook or in a folder on your mobile device or computer.
2. You’ve forgotten or lost–or never had it in the first place!!–a vision of the fabulous future that awaits you.
What do you do? REMEMBER THE DELICIOUS FUTURE THAT’S WAITING FOR YOU!
Get out your vision board, your mission statement, your Scrapbook of Optimism and remind yourself that the rough patch you’re in right now is NOT permanent–it, too, will pass. Remind yourself that better days are ahead. Remind yourself that, no matter how wonderful your life may have been in the past, your best days are still yet to come–they’re still ahead of you!
And, if you don’t have an exciting future imagined for yourself, then immediately and right now and at this very instant start dreaming! Write it all down, make a collage, choose some sort of item or symbol that reminds you of your dreams and keep that symbol where you can see it every single day.
3. Get the icky feelings and emotions out of your system! Best advice from a dear friend: vent, steam, rant, rave, cry, gnash your teeth, shake your fist, scream if you have to and then take the next step forward.
What do you do? DON’T WALLOW; KEEP PRESSING ONWARD!
4. Pressing forward looks like this: networking to find a new job, bartering with friends and loved ones to get the help you need to clear out the clutter in your home, taking classes online to improve your knowledge and skills…. Put on your Thinking Cap and come up with the things YOU can do that will help YOU.
What do you do when you’ve done all you can? LET GO AND TRUST THAT THE GOOD WORKS YOU JUST DID ARE GOING FORTH AND BRINGING GOOD STUFF BACK TO YOU
5. Make your waiting time productive by pursuing things that interest you, that make you feel good, that bring you peace and contentment. I’m not talking about hedonistic pursuits, I’m talking about the soul-prospering pursuits.
What do you do next? GET BUSY!!
Some soul-prospering pursuits are: spending time with your hobbies, enjoying the people you love and who make you feel loved and cared for, following the thread of a new idea or activity that has captured your interest, taking a class in a topic that, for you, is “off the wall”, volunteering your time and helping others…. I’m sure you can come up with your own ideas to follow through on.
6. What do you do after all this? REPEAT THESE STEPS AS OFTEN AS NEEDED.
Let me know how these simple steps work out for you. Thanks!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Crafting a deeply meaningful, soul-prospering life