Practicing patience, perseverance

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[Image credit: David Castillo Dominici]

If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.
~ Lao Tzu

I was ticking off complaints to a friend the other day because I’ve been stuck in an uncomfortable season for…well, a season. Often I look for an easy way out, but I was reminded if I attempt to avoid discomfort, it’s possible I’ll forgo a boatload of newfound strength and courage. Plus, the easy way doesn’t always mean the right way. And, if something is worth fighting for, then all the disappointments and frustrations I endure will serve as a reminder to hold on even tighter once I’ve reached my destination. No need to worry if I’m not where I want to be or think I should be now. What’s most important, in my opinion, is practicing patience and perseverance, while finding peace in the present.

What’s your MO for handling a difficult season?

Turn your frown upside down

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Pessimism

[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

In a Men’s Health February 2014 article, negativity is likened to parasites that eat away at your health. That’s because pessimism begins in your brain and works its way down the spinal cord to the lungs, heart, liver, adrenal glands, kidneys and gut, which can cause long-term damage. It’s even possible to experience benign pain as a result of stress (Tension Myositis Syndrome). Conversely, if your state of mind is happy and hopeful, you’re apt to be more cognizant about fitness, as well as healthier food choices; you’re also likely to either quit or refrain from smoking tobacco. While negativity breeds negativity, you can pump up your optimism by exercising it on a regular basis. Increase your outlook with these three simple activities: 1) reflect on accomplishments and events that made you proud; 2) recognize gratitude by citing three good things that occur each day and 3) picture your perfect life, detailed, five years from now, and focus on what’s attainable.

How do you exercise your positivity muscles?

Navigating a new normal

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Navigating a new normal

[Image credit: digitalart]

Since my last post, I’ve been muddling through most days in a film of malaise. My beloved father passed away mere weeks ago. I vacillate between feelings of abandonment and guilt, relief and hope. But often I stumble around life in ill-fitting emotions I’d prefer to shed. Yet I attempt to find my new normal among the living. I’ve been told to be gentle and kind as I navigate this unforgiving territory; to learn to say no and to accept myself wherever I’m at … that I’ll reach a point where I’m angry enough at my depressive state I’ll finally be ready to move forward. Some days are better than others. Some I wish I could turn back the clock and see my pop one more time on this side of heaven. My last post shared The meaning of life according to Gast—about truly living. Now I simply long for my sparkle to return—spark by small spark.

How are you gentle to yourself in times of loss?

The meaning of life according to Gast

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The meaning of life

 

[Image credit: Keerati]

One day you will wake up and realize that life has passed you by,
that your dreams of today are gone,
that the things you wanted are no longer there.
Not today.
Not now.
Not your life.
This is the day where you take control and create your future.
Life isn’t about waiting, hoping or wishing.
It is about creating, doing and truly living.
Today is that day. ~ Brad Gast

If you could do anything, what would you choose? Have you already arrived? Or is there more? I’m always hoping my dreams come true, waiting for “Someday,” wishing wishing wishing when I blow out my birthday candles each December. I’m always trying to decipher the true meaning of happiness, to be content today so I don’t miss out on a single moment. No regrets. But mostly I’m taking control and creating a niche for myself, doing doing doing so that one day, I will have truly lived.

In your own words, what is the meaning of life?

Relax! it’s just social media

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Social media gaffe

[Image credit: digitart]

Wow wow wow. My head is still spinning over a social media gaffe I still can’t believe happened. It began with a harmless little joke I wrote on a friend’s Facebook status (which had also picked on another friend). But it became apparent right away that saying anything at all about their post, even in jest, was offensive. To make matters worse, after I apologized I tried to lighten the tone and wham, out comes the profanity. Seriously? This is Facebook, people—a forum for sharing inane prattle, family photos, weather forecasts, silly memes, political rants and ice bucket challenges. News flash: When you post anything on the Internet, you expose yourself to public ridicule and the possibility for a debate. It’s the nature of the social media beast. Bottom line: If you can’t take the heat, you know what to do. Or why not just unfriend the offending party … that’s what I did. Play nice, people.

Have you ever been reprimanded for your social media behavior?

What I learned after skipping yoga for more than a week

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Yoga Toe Stand

Over the past two years, I’ve only missed three or four consecutive days of Bikram yoga practice, until last week when I missed nine. Beforehand, I wondered what I’d do with the extra time, or if I’d go a little crazy(ier) without my regular dose of moving meditation. But not only did I survive, I discovered:

1) I had almost forgotten how to spend time alone, and how to make plans without working around my yoga classes. Life exists outside of the hot room.
2) The practice of “yoga” (the “physical, mental and spiritual disciplines that aim to transform body and mind” according to Wikipedia) looks differently to everyone. It can be a walk or bike ride, or may consist of stretching exercises, devotions or breathing through a difficult situation.
3) I need to make a habit of scaling back in life. This allows for other ways to nurture my physical, mental and spiritual health.

How easy is it for you to take a break from your favorite activity(ies)?

Do you play the comparison game?

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Apples and orangse

 

[Image credit: Suvro Datta]

Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

Lately I’ve been reading myriad materials and thinking, I wish I could whip out prose that eloquent, or I can write better than that. Of course, when the latter thought crosses my mind, the one immediately following is: Then why don’t I!? Sometimes during a Bikram yoga class, my eyes wander to the practitioner executing an effortless asana beside me. Why can’t *I* touch my head to my toes? And then, But did you see my rock star warrior pose? Each comparison we make to our neighbors ends up wasting precious time. Our main focus should be fixed on becoming the best we can be with what we’re working with today. And that might just look like a book-signing tour or nailing standing head to knee.

In what area(s) do you compare yourself to others?

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