May 6, 2016
anger, cure, demons, disappointment, exercise, exorcise, expectations, frustration, journal, journey, pastime, rejection, reminders, sparkly
The cure for anything is salt water:
sweat, tears or the sea. ~ Isak Dinesen
Many of my posts are written as reminders: I am good enough, strong enough, life is a journey, blah blah blah. Do I believe any of it? Yes. Do I ascribe to any of it? Sometimes. But let’s face it: I am not sparkly 24/7. I feel frustration, anger, disappointment, rejection. I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, forget to wear my crown, try to do it all and fail. I even manifest expectations onto my friends: Bam, it’s your fault I’m frustrated. Instead of allowing frustration to suck our lifeblood, however, flush it out. 1) Accept reality: if we can’t change it, then either live with it or be the change we wish to see. 2) Shift focus: involve ourselves in our favorite work, pastime, etc. 3) Exercise: exorcise those demons with sweat, tears (or the sea). 4) Journal it and/or talk it out.
What’s your remedy for frustration?
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
May 5, 2016
blessing, bloom, change, dreams, grow, hiking, Huffington Post, survive, takeaways, thrive
The article ‘Bloom where you’re planted’ talks about making the most out of our situation, whether we like it or not—until we can make a change or something better comes along or whatever it is that serves to transplant us. According to the article, Keeping our dreams alive is what uplifts the human spirit, and then it goes on to suggest four ways we can survive before we thrive: 1) [Understand] every step in life prepares us for the next one, 2) stop complaining, 3) be a blessing and 4) bloom through the concrete—changing ourselves instead of expecting others to change. Although I think there are a passel of takeaways in the article, if our environment is an unhealthy one—no matter how hard we try to bloom—we will encounter resistance. Also, as I mention in ‘5 Things Life, Hiking Have in Common,’ if we get too comfortable in one place, we may cease to grow altogether.
What’s your take on blooming where we’re (trans)planted?
May 4, 2016
Nontraditional College Graduate, Writing
accomplishments, early bird, experience, extra mile, learn, mountain, strength, takeaway
I never cease to learn or experience something new during my hikes in the mountains, and this past weekend was no exception.
- If you want the trails to yourself, you must make tracks: the early bird still gets the worm.
- Not every hiker is on a mission to burn calories or achieve a cardio workout: be patient with those in the slow lane (you might end up there).
- When you focus less on the ‘mountain,’ you appreciate your bite-size accomplishments: take it one step, one goal at a time (and hydrate often).
- Life is about the up (hills), the down (hills) and, sometimes, the smooth sailing: don’t get too comfortable on the latter terrain because this is not where we commonly grow.
- You will never know how strong you really are if you don’t push yourself the extra mile: choose a life filled with ‘oh wells’ rather than a life of ‘what ifs.’
What have you recently learned while enjoying a favorite pastime?
April 27, 2016
dreams, love, journey, kindness, freedom, intuitive, like-minded, half century, Autobahn, Just Hit Send, tribe, gentleness, Jody Vehr
Since taking that leap and crossing over the half-century mark this past December, the trajectory on the other side feels like I’m traveling Autobahn speeds. While the first 50 years took their own sweet time, now the necessity to apply imaginary brakes in order to slow time—to cram everything I can into each moment—grips me with a palpable intensity. ‘There’s just not enough time,’ I said to my girlfriend as we prepared for our 90-minute Bikram yoga class. Thankfully, a daily dose of soul searching has created space for like-minded, intuitive people to join my ‘tribe.’ One such friend recently gifted me a book—Just Hit Send, a journey to freedom—written by a dear yogi practitioner whose personal inscription syncs with my travels, both gestures a reminder I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. So be kind, gentle and love (yourself and others) with a fierce passion and live out your dreams with abandon. Fast or slow.
In which lane do you prefer to travel?
Image courtesy of mapichai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
April 26, 2016
big picture, creativity, distractions, focus, hiking, mountains, progress
While hiking in the mountains this past weekend (and especially since my graceless fall—see ‘What *not* to do…’), I’m more attuned to the trail in front of me. With each step I take, my eyes scan the terrain a couple feet ahead for tripping hazards and/or wildlife. Focus, focus, focus! How often must you deliberately pull your attention back to a task at hand because your mind wanders to myriad items to be checked off your list? In my post, ‘Road rage…’, I talk about missing the forest for the trees; however, there is a right time and place, even beyond the trails, to keep our eyes and thoughts trained in front of us; e.g., relationships, creative projects, work tasks, fitness goals. It is wise to keep the big picture in mind, of course, yet lift our eyes at periodic intervals to scan our progress. But, in order to (safely) reach our destination, we should ultimately eliminate distractions that take us off course.
What’s your main focus?
April 20, 2016
change, patience, practice, renovation, slow down, teachable, transformation
A major renovation is underway at the grocery store I frequent. A ‘pardon our dust’ sign hangs over the entrance and, inside, plastic curtains hide activity and workers move stock from one area to another, shelving in disarray. I don’t like it, but I can find a teachable moment if I pay attention. For example, I no longer know my way around like the back of my hand, which forces me to slow down, take notice, ask for and accept help—important attributes to practice in ‘real life’ as well. Also, although change is oftentimes painful, better things may be in store (literally and figuratively). As for my grocery store, the changes make no sense to me. Sometimes that’s how we feel about change in our own lives. Even when everything looks the same on the outside, major transformation might be taking place within. And if we are patient and wait to see what’s to come, we might be pleasantly surprised.
What kind of transformation are you undergoing?
Image courtesy of Supertrooper at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
April 19, 2016
beauty, blessings, blinders, faith, Gretta Brooker Palmer, happy, kindness, lack, loss, opportunity, pity party, self
When the familiar ache in my heart warns me a self-inflicted pity party might be in progress soon, I remind myself of the truth in Gretta Brooker Palmer’s quote about how making someone else happy serves to sprinkle joy into our own lives. A backwash of blessings, if you will. Mary, the woman I write about in ‘The secret to a happy life,’ whose partner withholds communication and touch on a regular basis, has taught me much about removing self from the equation. To take what I’m missing in my life and turn loss into an opportunity to pick myself up for the umpteenth time, dust off the ashes and allow my faith to create beauty in the lives of those around me. The hardest part is keeping our gaze fixed ahead of us, rather than focusing inward on our lack. Just for today, let’s discard our metaphorical blinders and do something kind for someone else. I guarantee we’ll both feel better.
How can you change your focus?
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.