Defeating the demons: pressing in to get your head (and heart) unstuck

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In my recent post, “Make peace with the past…” I contemplate the choice to salvage the Someday mentality [“Someday my dreams will come true, I’ll accomplish X, Y and Z or fill-in-the-blank”]—or to let go of the one-sided dreams. You know the type—where the outcome centers on circumstances beyond your control. Today, I’m at a crossroads as I fight a few familiar demons: rehashing old habits, rethinking past choices, dwelling on the old. Yet the only way to reclaim my reality is to dig deeper, to press in to those areas which best define me: my passion and my purpose. To pursue, with greater intent, life’s simple pleasures and the transformative power of prayer, the mindful practice of gratitude and self-compassion. And to finally release those things which I cannot change in order to appreciate the life that’s smack dab in front of me. Not a million miles away. Not within the pages of a fairytale. But here, and now.

How do you defeat the demons?

Image source: askideas.com.

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Information overload: the good, the bad and the ugly

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I’ve got a lot on my mind but, rather than write multiple posts, I condensed my innumerable thoughts into six key points so I can say my piece and move on. You’re welcome.

  1. Consistency and mindfulness: Hey, they really work! My recent blood workup illustrates the positive results of both. See “Consistency is key…” and “7 tips to incorporate mindfulness…” for helpful reminders.
  2. Authentic change requires forgiveness: Did you commit a wrongdoing that compels you to ask forgiveness? Or are you waiting for an apology? See “Forgiveness is a funny thing” and “Forgiveness leads to freedom.” Only through forgiveness can we experience authentic, life-altering change.
  3. Health stuff: Nothing major, but a new pesky concern to monitor.
  4. Enough with the negativity: Quit bellyaching (note to self) and see “What we speak is what we get.
  5. My heart hurts: For my friends and family who suffer with illness, disease, loss, heartache. For my own unrequited dreams.
  6. Humanity: God help us.

What’s on your mind?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Effecting change: love harder, forgive more

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During my lifetime, I’ve met basically two kinds of people: The ones who are grateful simply because they are alive and breathing, equipped with the ability to contribute to society in some way; and the ones who greet you with, “It’s going to be a bad day” and proceed to tick off a barrage of superficial complaints. In my own experience, each set of people exhibits certain stereotypical qualities. The former kind seeks to put others’ needs first, walks his/her talk, leads by example and always looks for the good in humanity. The latter kind tends to obsess over messages of hate and judgment, holds grudges and finds fault with (seemingly) every little thing. Oh, how my heart aches for storm-ravaged Texas, the condition of our world, for the division that separates. My deepest desire is to collectively become one kind of people who learn to dismiss the small stuff, love harder, forgive more and unite to make a radical difference.

What can you do to effect change?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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?

 

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