Celebrate your story

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Celebrate your story


In “Do you play the comparison game,” I talk about how easy it is to compare our stories and experiences with those of others, and how we might enter into situations or relationships with preconceived and/or unrealistic expectations. Not only is this a waste of time, but it devalues what we bring to the table as far as our knowledge base, background, opinions and emotions. We also have to understand these qualities have shaped us into the unique individuals we are. Oftentimes when we make comparisons, it results in dissension, hurt feelings, low self-esteem and misunderstandings. I think it’s healthy to recognize our differences, but then we must accept and embrace them. If we approach each encounter—each connection—with fresh eyes, an open mind and a pure heart, we can focus on and appreciate the process, rather than worry about the outcome. And, at the same time, rejoice in the journeys of others while celebrating our own.

What will it take for you to celebrate ‘what is?’

Exhale the old, inhale the new

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jan 1 2015


[Image credit: Danilo Rizzuti]

So far the best saying I’ve stumbled across that pertains to the New Year is: Exhale 2014, inhale 2015. I love the visual this invokes: Shed the old in order to fill up with the new. But I believe that in order to make room for more of the good stuff, it’s important to acknowledge the bad stuff and then let it go. Didn’t get everything crossed off your bucket list? Pare it down this year, make it more attainable. Loved and lost? Give thanks for those who made you feel alive. Ran head first into a few hiccups on your journey? Learn and continue to live. Each moment is an opportunity to love more, forgive more, appreciate more… be more. My personal focus for the New Year is balance—while at the same time doing more (of the above). And remember: Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product (Eleanor Roosevelt). I’m ready.

What is one area you plan to focus on in the coming year?

Spending time alone


[Image credit: mapichai]

I think we’re all made for fellowship at one time or another.  That while we’re on earth, we’re here to laugh and cry alongside the ones we’re lucky enough to cross paths with.  But I also believe we must spend time alone.  It’s these moments in which we’re afforded the opportunity to figure out what makes us tick.  Or to enjoy a favorite hobby or expand our knowledge.  During my lunch hours, I like to drive home and read or just enjoy the quiet.  And although I’m with numerous other students at Yoga, during the 90 minutes while we’re guided by the voice of the instructor, we focus 100 percent on ourselves.  So I’m able to recognize each nuance of my body — from tightness or aches to my breath and heartbeat.  Whatever I end up doing, spending time alone helps me better handle the other demands on my time, as well as appreciate those in my life that much more.

Do you take the time to spend alone?

Finding the positive amid the setbacks

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[Image credit: pal2iyawit]

It was the end of January when I sprained my ankle, cutting off my plans to run in my first marathon and train for a triathlon.  Right around that time, I also started suffering with abdominal issues.  Between these two setbacks, my gym time has ebbed and flowed.  Some weeks I’m able to show up every day, barely limping in, while others I stay in bed with my good intentions.  One morning my trainer pointed out my weight loss and diminishing muscle mass.  But over the past few weeks, I feel like I just may be back in the game.  Not ready to run a marathon or enter any fitness competitions, but my endurance is improving, my muscles are becoming stronger and dare I say it … I’m filled with optimism for healthier days ahead.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned during the first half of this year, it’s to appreciate every day — each moment — I feel strong and healthy.  And to understand how quickly that can change.

Where have you found the good amid your setbacks?

A is for attitude (adjustment)

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[Image credit: Arvind Balaraman]

I know I’ve touched on the topic of attitude adjustments in a past post (or half-dozen), but it bears repeating simply because we can all use them from time to time.  When my ankle kept me from my regular training and working out at the gym, I could have appreciated the time off from the daily commitment by catching up on some reading instead of feeling sorry for myself.  If you planned to vacation on the beach but could only afford inland, that isn’t stopping you from building sand castles or taking a stroll along the shoreline every other morning.  If your new home is half the size of your previous residence, consider yourself fortunate that you have a roof over your head with less to clean.   Then there are the old standbys: if the dirty dishes are piled in the sink and the laundry ceiling-high, be thankful you have food in your tummy and clothes to wear.  And one of my favorite quotes to date can easily be applied to improving our attitudes: mistakes are proof that you are trying.  I can safely say I am trying each day.  Multiple times … without fail.  That’s really all anyone can ask.

Where can you make an attitude adjustment today?