The secret to letting go (of what you can’t control)

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The key to letting go is giving up what is
beyond your control to embrace
what you can change. ~ Suzie Eller

There are times in life when you might run into situations that cause you to second guess yourself and maybe even desire a “do over.” However, in the long run it is typically healthier to forgo your former ways of thinking, doing or wishing by releasing whatever is beyond your control. The secret? Mindfulness. In my post “7 tips to incorporate mindfulness…,” I describe mindfulness as the act of consciously directing your awareness, without judgment—moment by moment. Take this a step further: If you discover that something doesn’t serve you in the present, then you must let it go in order to make room for new ways of thinking, relating and living. Instead of wishful thinking, choose mindful thinking. When you embrace what you can change today, you begin to entertain hope for your future.

What have you let go in order to move forward?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

What’s ‘in’ this season: new outlook, new you

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This past weekend, I joined another hiker for a six-mile trek through new-to-me desert terrain. As the two of us navigated the dusty trails, we discovered common interests and beliefs despite the decade that separates our birthdays. Recently, my friend quit her job because it interfered with her hikes, her yoga. Her sanity. Although she resides in a different season of her life than me—where her plans lean toward retirement—the outlook she embraces is one I strive for daily. My friend lives and breathes the old adage that there are seven days in a week and Someday isn’t one of them; that we need to do what we can [enjoy] now, so we can do it for years to come. I knew I couldn’t move the mountains ahead of me, but I could kick aside the bad habits and negative chatter that clutters my path and replace them with stepping stones—small, manageable changes—toward success. Regardless of the season.

What does your makeover look like?

 

When others rain on your parade: dance in the storm

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When we change our thought patterns, we change our livesSpend enough time with Debbie Downer, or Negative Nick, and you will begin to notice more of the cracks and blemishes rather than the silver linings. What can go wrong will go wrong. It’s hard to remain sparkly when others in your circle focus on the dark clouds or even try to rain on your parade. However, I believe this is when we’re supposed to learn how to dance in the storm. Admittedly, over the past several weeks, I’ve allowed others to dampen my spirit and dim my sparkle. But, now that I’m jotting my blessings down daily, it’s easier to recognize other steps I need to take toward self-improvement. One area I’ve recommitted myself to is a healthier lifestyle to better manage my heart health and overall well-being. There are just too many blessings waiting for me to do anything but dance—and sparkle my way—through this one life.

How do you weather the daily storms?

Image courtesy of radnatt at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Be a miracle worker: start with yourself first

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What lies before us and what lies behind us
are small matters compared to what lies within us.
And when you bring what is within out into
the world, miracles happen.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-improvement: this term conjures up a bevy of images. To some, it might mean a healthier lifestyle by logging in extra Zzzzs each night or increasing water intake throughout the day. For others it could look like volunteering for the soup kitchen, learning a new skill, pursuing a creative outlet or taking online classes. There is no set formula for improving oneself. And, thankfully, it’s a lifelong process. For too many years, I played the part of victim (see #4 in my post “Let go…”)—complaining because nothing changed in a particular situation. But I realize that, in order for miracles to happen, I must change myself: First, by concentrating on my personal growth. And second, by being receptive to what lies ahead.

What area(s) can you improve upon to make miracles happen?

 

Breaking free: rote action is no action

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I write about change. About Someday. About setting goals, taking baby steps, chasing dreams. Extending kindness and sparkles. Eliminating toxic people from our lives; hopefulness. Perseverance. What’s next. And then I “get” busy. Push it all to the back of my closet as I flit from task to task. Pretend I’ve taken hold of life by its proverbial horns. But my tiara is tarnished and I’m tired and all I want to do is jump off the non-stop roller coaster and figure stuff out before it’s too late. I think, for me, discontent no longer points to an unrealized purpose but, rather, my own personal purgatory where life isn’t just passing me by (see “Take action…”). Instead, it’s the rotten stench of anguish and despair that almost suffocates and renders me ineffective. Rote action is no action. Busy-ness can only put off, so long, what must be accomplished to escape from the grip of fear: of failure, regret. The unknown. So, what’s next?

How will you break free?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Never the perfect time: sticking to our priorities

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You know when you plan to do “the thing” and there’s always another thing that comes up? Because life. Last year I devised a plan to apply for my MFA in 2017. My goal was to apply by Feb. 1. Then life happened and pushed out my application to May 1. Now it might be July 1. I mentioned this to a friend who said, “It’s like having kids… you are never really ready for it, just adapt when it happens and, surprisingly, it usually works out just fine.” He’s right: because life. Another friend is embarking on a new adventure of her own, denoting a big change in her life—which means conquering her fears. Change and fear are often synonymous with life, but we do our best to adapt, or to overcome. With that in mind, after work I didn’t pass go or collect $200 but, instead, drove home, stopped procrastinating and made significant progress on my application paperwork. Because life.

What must become your priority?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

How to excel at this one life

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how-to-excel

Many self-help articles share a common theme on how to grow and excel at this one life: stop complaining. This doesn’t mean we can’t vent our frustrations, but how about a new approach? Rather than spew negativity to those around us, let’s try writing it down; i.e., spend a few minutes daily journaling our angst. Maybe your partner behaved inconsiderately or you forgot to fill up your gas tank for the week. Or perhaps the first work email of the day rubbed you the wrong way or your alarm went off much too early this morning (it can’t be Monday already, can it?) and your stomach is in knots—knowing that after an eight-hour day, a 2 ½-hour HOA board meeting follows. Once you’ve written everything down, release these thoughts and mindfully replace them with thankfulness: It’s a new day. You’re breathing. Friday’s coming. Everything is temporary. Most on-point quote (by Heraclitus): There is nothing permanent except change. #truestory

Is your MO to complain or to be grateful?

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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