Letting go doesn’t mean loving less

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At times, it feels like our journey through this one life is fraught with trials and setbacks more so than smooth sailing. Times when we could use an encouraging word, a hug or a shoulder on which to cry. A friend of mine is going through such a time and, earlier this week—despite my attempt to practice mindfulness (see ‘A month of mindfulness…’)—I allowed frustration over a situation out of my control to instead control my tongue. Unfortunately, this resulted in words spouted off between us, words that stung, words that could not be retracted. And, ultimately, a falling out. Although I tried to right it, the damage had been done and I realized the only thing I could do was to let go. To give my friend space. It doesn’t mean I love any less; it means I love enough to allow someone else to take my place. To pick up where I left off.

How do you know when it’s time to let go?

Photo courtesy of usamedeniz at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Shhh… nobody is watching

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Shhh

A couple of days ago, a transaction at a local home improvement store—worthy of a mere minute or two—took long enough for several patrons behind me to lose their patience and switch lanes. Although the cashier explained to me I was in the wrong (then did not apologize when, in fact, she discovered I was right), I remained calm, respectful. Gracious. I’d like to think I was practicing my yoga breath outside of the hot room. Not too long afterward, I bumped into a gentleman at the grocery store who had witnessed the earlier checkout debacle and we laughed over the situation. But later that evening, I wondered, what if I had handled myself differently with the cashier—lost my composure? I think many times we can feel our frustration or anger is justified. Yet kindness, rather than a harsh response, most always does more to pacify. Ripples, my friends. Even when nobody is watching.

Are you quick with a hot temper or a cool demeanor?

Image courtesy of stockimages 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.

Four ways to flush out frustration

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Flush out frustration

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.

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?

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Step 2 toward making a positive change

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step 2

[Image credit: imagerymajestic]

In my post, Two weeks to a new, improved you, I shared the first step of five to help you change your life in 14 days. I also included a sample from my notebook on how to complete the first step. This post reviews step two: List everyone and everything that drain your energy. Examples can be work life, home life, your relationship with a significant other, your health or body image. If it helps, begin with broader categories and be as detailed and focused as possible. What are the things bringing you down at work—is it lack of communication or a particular colleague? Is your home cluttered, are projects left unfinished or do you spend the majority of your free time picking up after others? Do you need to confront someone about unresolved feelings? Are there certain health issues that cause you frustration? Use this checklist to explore any negative energy in your life to prepare you for step three.

Were you surprised with your list?

Releasing the want

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Releasing the want

[Image credit: David Castillo Dominici]

I was talking to a friend the other day about something I wanted with my whole heart. My friend questioned if wanting that something had done anything for me. Admittedly, I wasn’t getting what I wanted, which made me frustrated. Or rather, I allowed the lack of obtaining what I wanted to keep me from true satisfaction. Plus, I should be happy with what I already have … right? So my friend suggested I release the want by letting it go and living without it. I could always go back to it later in time. But, for the moment, I should live unencumbered by want. Because wanting did not produce manifestation except for more want. And emotional suffering. Instead of wanting peace or more money or a better [fill in the blank], perhaps ultimate happiness is discovered by working toward bettering ourselves and accepting the fruits of our labor. Maybe then we’ll want what we have.

Do you want what you don’t have, or have what you want?

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