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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Leave it to chance: when the choice is no longer ours to make

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Since I began blogging in 2010, of all the topics I’ve covered in my posts, the vast majority revolve around a common theme: choice. Obviously, there are circumstances beyond our control—our best friend moves away, our spouse severs ties, we lose our job or we become ill. But, we still have a choice (see “It starts with a choice”): how we react to XYZ. If someone insists they don’t have a choice, then what they really mean is they lack determination, resolve, backbone. Free will. Bottom line: Even when we choose not to make a choice, it’s still a choice. When I went back to school as a non-traditional student to pursue my bachelor’s degree, I chose to embark on a new career path. Nearly a decade later, I feel, at times, that my age is a stumbling block to future growth, change. Yet the biggest obstacle is that one day the choice will no longer be mine to make.

What choice do you leave to chance?

Photo courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

10 ways you’re making your life harder than it has to be: reposted (+ 10 ways to turn it around)

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This is it in a nutshell: https://thoughtcatalog.com/tim-hoch/2014/06/10-ways-youre-making-your-life-harder-than-it-has-to-be/. Plus 10 quick tips on how to make life easier (repeat after me):

  • When we continue to rehash (supposed) offenses: Let it go.
  • When we look for affirmation from others: I’m enough.
  • When our worries escalate to panic-attack proportions: It’s temporary.
  • If unrealistic/uncommunicated expectations eclipse our blessings: Be grateful.
  • Sometimes we pray, sometimes we wait but we must always do our homework: Be wise.
  • It’s okay to be picky and/or less bold when taking risks: Failure is better than not trying at all.
  • The truth on comparison shopping: The grass is not greener.
  • We cannot retrieve time we’ve lost or fast forward to the future: Practice mindfulness daily.
  • Let go of [fill in the blank]: Focus on what we can control.
  • About giving back: In the end it’s not the years in your life that count; it’s the life in your years. ~ Abraham Lincoln.

How do you make life easier?

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.

Acceptance is a choice

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Acceptance

Do you ever find yourself wrestling with a situation, feeling unsettled, heavy in your heart, at odds with yourself and/or the world around you? In reflecting on my post, ‘Four ways to flush out frustration,’ I keep returning to the first way we can absolve ourselves from irritations and disappointments: acceptance. By accepting our reality rather than pretending it doesn’t exist, we make a choice— because we are either choosing a) to live with a particular situation or b) to change ourselves into more of what we seek. Making a choice, for some of us, affords a semblance of control in our lives that might otherwise seem lacking. Yet, when it comes right down to it, each of us entertains a choice every day. We can either allow others and various circumstances to pull us down, or we can choose to rise above. For me, this might comprise sweat, tears, prayers and/or all of the above. Today I choose to be love.

What choice do you make today?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Responding to life’s challenges (without allowing them to break us)

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Responding to life

 

My recent blog ‘How (not) to be miserable for the rest of your life’ is all about attitude, and how it can make or break us. The same day I posted these words, I met my own situation headfirst—one that screamed ‘pity party’ at the top of its lungs. Oh the irony. No pitching a tent, but I did unroll a sleeping bag and camp out for approximately 60 minutes underneath the stars. I allowed myself to feel discouragement, frustration, sadness. And then I let it all go, released that which does not serve me. Instead, I donned my thinking cap, laid out the choices in front of me and began to consider other options within my power. The act of seeking, in itself, oftentimes lifts us out of feelings of hopelessness and/or lack of control. Although we rarely get to choose the challenges we encounter in life, we do have a say in how we respond to them.

How do you typically respond to life’s challenges?

Image courtesy of scottchan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Just keep swimming

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After nearly a month of illness at the beginning of the year, I’ve made several lifestyle changes. More sleep; less commitments. More yoga; less worry. More leafy greens; less processed foods. Reading more and writing a new book (which hasn’t made it from my imagination to paper… yet). Getting more organized and less cluttered; spending more time serving others. Doing the good stuff while eliminating the bad stuff, all in the name of balance. I start each day with positive intention; I end each day with gratitude and an asana. But now I’m sick again. Up until January, I had not been sick for over three years. Yet even though I’m doing everything I should be, there are still no guarantees. Once again, the single thing we can control is our response to any given situation. And at the end of the day, we only have three choices. We can tread water (get nowhere), sink (give up) or just keep swimming.

What’s your choice when the water rises?

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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