Interrupting the flow: Now what?

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You’ve gotten your mojo back on track. You’ve adopted a daily (maybe hourly) mantra that helps you stay focused. You challenge yourself every day (to be better than you were yesterday). You’re on a mission to be grateful for the little—and big—things in life. But now you find your flow interrupted. In other words, you’ve gotten off track. That happened to me last week. “I need a break,” I said to no one in particular. “From what?” my friend asked me. “From everything!” I said. “You’re in a funk,” someone else said. Ironically, that was the whole purpose of employing my reboot challenge. But now I can put my finger on the “why” of it all. Okay, so now what? Just like changing up the rules can bring new insight, so can taking a break. A few nights ago I did just that: I put my to-do list on the back burner. And I slept better than I have in weeks.

What typically interrupts your flow?

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Get a grip

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Get a grip

The other day I read an article about how to create a paradise and daily balance within our homes (for free!). The steps listed in the piece revolve around applying a vacation mindset to our everyday lives (instead of waiting until we’re actually on holiday). This includes removing clutter from our surroundings, retaining only those things that bring us happiness, establishing rituals in our home that invoke peace and tuning in to whatever makes us excited to jump out of bed each day. I feel like I already live in a paradise of sorts, but there are so many areas I want to transform both internally and externally that I don’t know where to begin. Instead, I do nothing and then wonder why I’m in a funk… again. I know all about the take the first step, make one change today mentality. But I feel like I’m wearing waders and I need to get a grip before I sink.

What one thing makes your home a daily paradise?

[Image courtesy of Feelart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.]

Getting to the root of it all

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[Image credit: kangshutters]

A couple of weeks ago, the weekend started out on the wrong foot.  First, my plans were derailed, and then a dear friend and I experienced a big miscommunication.  At the same time, I was fighting a major post-vacation funk and feeling sorry for myself.  Add to that some off and on stomach distress, as well as hurtful words volleyed back and forth with a close relative, and I possessed the Rx for a disastrous two days.  Even though they were all symptoms of a deeper malady, it seems it’s oftentimes easier to dwell on these surface things that can bring us down.  But the next day at the gym, I poured myself into strengthening my body and disciplining my mind.  And when I arrived home an hour and a half later, I was energized and determined to put on my big girl panties and get to the root of it all.

Do you focus on the surface things, or try to find the cause of the greater problem?

I’m working on it

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

One of my goals for this year is to improve myself by breaking a bad habit.  The good news: at any given time, I have several to choose from.  The bad news: at any given time, I have several to choose from.  With so many areas of my life I’d like to improve upon, you could say I’m in a constant state of flux.  This isn’t so bad unless I become overwhelmed with all the changes I’m attempting to enforce, like working on being more spontaneous, speaking up, making better choices (and then not complaining or regretting the ones I do make), improving my body image, being more timely — to name a few.  But I notice that when I try to work on too many modifications at once, my common MO is to shut down and withdraw.  It seems easier to just talk the talk and forget about the walking part.  Not to mention, it sometimes leads to those unpleasant funks.  To keep on track, I need to focus on one thing at a time, and then pat myself on the back when I succeed.  After all, it’s not like anyone else is keeping score.

What’s one thing you’re working on to improve yourself this year?

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands

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[Image credit: Sarunyu_foto]

Each day my big sister comes up with four things she’s thankful for.  Last week, she and I must have been on the same wavelength despite the 2,000 odd miles separating us, because I learned we shared equally funky moods — misery loves company, or perhaps it’s one of those “sister things.”  Either way, at the end of her email, she listed the four things she was thankful for that day.  I did the same in my reply to her and, not long afterward, discovered I didn’t really feel so funky.  After all, it’s hard to remain blue when you realize your cup is half full.  And considering I’m the only one who has control over the contents of my cup, I choose to fill it with gratefulness.  The four things I’m thankful for today are: 1) the ability to bridge the distance through technology, 2) a day job I enjoy that supports my writing, 3) the gift of sisters and friendship, and 4) fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

What are four things you’re thankful for today?

A case of spring fever

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[Image credit: dan]

You may be familiar with the TV commercial catchphrase from the 80s: I’ve fallen … and I can’t get up.  On that same note, I’m stuck in a rut … and I can’t get out.  I’ve periodically written about the occasional funks that move in with me, the longest one taking residence shortly after I returned from my trip to the Midwest in January.  But I wouldn’t label this one a funk.  I’m happy and fulfilled in my day job as I continue learning the ropes of the publishing trade.  I’m also 19,000 words into one story, drafting another and invited to write a new magazine article.  Further, I continue to tackle my yearly goals one at a time.  But I’m restless.  My mind keeps drifting to the should’ves, could’ves, would’ves, didn’ts — how the years ahead have started piling up behind — and I’m afraid I will be forever stuck in this place where I’m comfortable, but not really living.  I just wish I’d muster the courage to seize the day I can’t seem to reach.  Or maybe it’s simply a case of spring fever cured by a change of scenery.  In the meantime, a good seasonal cleaning might not be a bad idea either.  More on that later …

What would you do if you could throw caution to the wind and seize the day?