How to refuel, recharge + refresh your ‘joy tank’

Leave a comment

Photo source: conniemcleod.files.wordpress.com/

An important lesson I’ve learned since hiring a writing coach and living my best life—while embarking on a journey toward my future self—is that I must affix my own oxygen mask before attempting to care for those around me. In fact, the more I fill my “joy tank”—aka bucket—the happier and healthier I feel. And, with increased energy and enthusiasm to do what I love, including serving others. Because when we consistently function on half empty at best, we risk becoming run down, and/or possibly resentful. If you’re interested in ways to refuel, recharge and refresh your joy tank, check out these ideas to start:

  1. Indulge in a yummy treat
  2. Schedule a DIY “spa” date
  3. Spend time in nature
  4. Take an online class
  5. Play a game or assemble a puzzle
  6. Create something artsy
  7. Embark on a new adventure; e.g., road trip or scavenger hunt
  8. Binge watch your favorite show

How does your joy tank get filled?

Make peace with the past: say goodbye to unrequited dreams

Leave a comment

 

 

In a recent post, “Information overload…” I list six key points that continue to rattle around in my mind. Point number five deals with a hurting heart: for a world that appears to have turned against itself (yes, I know there is still good to be found) and for those in my life who daily battle demons I cannot begin to fathom. And even for my own fractured dreams. However, when a dream we dream seems to die a sudden—or a slow and painful—death to the point where it is no longer recognizable, it’s time to bury it, bid it farewell and then muster up the courage to dream a new dream. Maybe we can salvage the once-upon-a-time ideal. The Someday mentality. Or perhaps we simply accept that our dream was biased, its outcome never within our reach from the beginning. This fresh understanding permits us to make peace with the past and forge a new future. To dream new dreams.

What dream do you dream?

Are you living a ‘more than’ life?

Leave a comment

Future self

 

It catches me off guard at times: I mention in passing I’m a writer and the listener asks, Oh! What do you write? That’s when a marmalade-striped kitty catches my tongue and a brief pause touches my lips. I’m working on a couple projects, I say. The next query follows: What kind… anything published? At this point I don’t know where to begin—no published novel, but yes, several magazine articles—and I start to act almost apologetic for ‘posing’ as a published author. Because while my peers within the writing community celebrate recent successful book launches, as well as sought-after literary awards, I still work toward the goal of writing more than: more than a to-do list or a grocery list, more than a blog or a commercial trade article. Yet, each time I communicate through words, I stack a building block one atop the other. And I’m happy because I can call myself a writer. Because I write.

What makes your life the ‘more than’ kind?

Image courtesy of Stoonn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Practicing patience, perseverance

Leave a comment

ID-100292281

[Image credit: David Castillo Dominici]

If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.
~ Lao Tzu

I was ticking off complaints to a friend the other day because I’ve been stuck in an uncomfortable season for…well, a season. Often I look for an easy way out, but I was reminded if I attempt to avoid discomfort, it’s possible I’ll forgo a boatload of newfound strength and courage. Plus, the easy way doesn’t always mean the right way. And, if something is worth fighting for, then all the disappointments and frustrations I endure will serve as a reminder to hold on even tighter once I’ve reached my destination. No need to worry if I’m not where I want to be or think I should be now. What’s most important, in my opinion, is practicing patience and perseverance, while finding peace in the present.

What’s your MO for handling a difficult season?

Word-of-the-month: wake-up call (n.)

Leave a comment

Word-of-the-month

[Image credit: Arvind Balaraman]

Last year the word-of-the-month landed on Memorial Day, too (see fealty).  This year the word is wake-up call.  One online dictionary defines it as “something that serves to alert a person to a problem, danger, or need.”  For some it may be the current state of our country’s political affairs; for others, one of the recent devastating weather events.  For me, a few health issues and the death of a former colleague have forced me to open my eyes.  What I’ve seen is I’ve put certain areas of my life on hold to hitch my dreams on an uncertain future.  Someday.  The day when it all comes together.  But my wake-up call says differently.  Today might be it: the desert my ocean; the articles I’ve had published the only time I see my name in print … happily-ever-after may simply exist in fairytales.  And as much as I want to believe, I need to work with what I’ve got: the present.

What is your most recent wake-up call?

Getting ready

Leave a comment

[Image credit: Ambro]

In yesterday’s post, When you least expect it, I talked about how I’m afraid if I don’t stick my nose into fate, then I might miss out on what I’ve been waiting for my whole life — or perhaps what I never knew I’ve been waiting for.  But then I worry that tampering with timing and logistics may alter the course of my future altogether.   Instead, I must move forward with the expectation that my limited imagination underestimates the fruits of my labor and that I will be overwhelmed with gratitude once I finally arrive.  However, I have a feeling it’s going to take a lot more patience than I think I possess, while at the same time filling the time and gaps to equip myself for Someday.  And on the days when I’m feeling discouraged and see no progress, I need to remind myself I’m not missing out.  That I’m just getting ready.

How do you fill the time as you wait for your dreams to come true?

A happy soul

Leave a comment

[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

Happy is the soul that has something to look backward to with pride,
and something to look forward to with hope. ~ Oliver G. Wilson

Unfortunately, when I stop to look backward, it’s easy for me to get stuck on the poor choices, the lessons it’s taken me countless re-tries to learn, the selfishness that held me back from being a better mother, daughter and friend.  But then I realize that there are twice as many wise decisions that have come out of the eventual lessons learned.  And I understand that time has afforded me a second chance time and time again to get it right.  With that insight, my soul is happy as I look forward with hope.  Because the pride, for me, comes in picking myself up and not allowing myself to dwell on what I didn’t do right, but what I improved upon.  After all, life is practice, not perfect.

How easy is it for you to look backward with pride, and forward with hope?

A timid sign of courage

Leave a comment

[Image credit: digitalart]

Resignation is the timid sign of courage. ~ James Joyce

Sometimes, no matter what I do, it doesn’t seem to matter.  The starting and middle points may look differently each time, but the ending place — or outcome — is relatively the same.  I might change my attitude or choose to travel an alternate route to get where I’m going, believing these little differences may modify the near or distant future for me and/or others.  But instead, I’m confronted with a familiar terrain.  It’s called resignation.  Eventually I learn that resistance is futile and, even with the best of intentions, I find it’s better to courageously accept that which I cannot change.  I have yet to perfect it, but I am learning that some things simply defy explanation and it’s easier to acquiesce than to put up a fight.  Throw in a little patience, too, and hopefully I possess a recipe for a successful outcome.

Do you resign yourself to the inevitable or work hard to change an end result?

A reality check of sorts

1 Comment

[Image credit: Salvatore Vuono]

My current health issues have doubled as a reality check for me, keeping me on my toes with the unknowns.  On the one hand, I think the thrill in life may come from not knowing what’s around the next corner, whatever it may be.  On the other hand, what if we were privy?  A close friend and I talk often about how we’d like to possess the inside scoop to our futures.  Would we approach life more cautiously, or feel safe enough to release our inhibitions?  Would we take the time to get to know someone new, or maybe drag our feet, miss an unexpected surprise or simply quit trying altogether?  Or would fear grab hold of us, choking our enthusiasm?  In some ways, it would be nice to know; in others, it’s probably a good thing we’re all in the same boat.  Finding out as we go can be fun — if we let it.  It’s the perfect way to allow (force) us to focus on the reality we live in, rather than getting lost in our hopes and dreams for Someday.  Do I really believe that?  I don’t have much choice.

Have you had a reality check lately?

The ache of longing

Leave a comment

[Image credit: Liz Noffsinger]

There is a space between man’s imagination and man’s attainment
that may only be traversed by his longing. ~ Khalil Gibran (Sand and Foam)

Two nights ago, I found myself daydreaming.  It’s a recurring dream in which I’m living the life I envision for myself … Someday.  In my imagination, my fantasies unfolded in Technicolor: the bluest water and silkiest sand as far as the eyes can see.  Success.  Passion.  The fruits of my labor.  It was — is — everything I’ve always wanted and everything I never knew I always wanted all rolled into a future of my own making.  On this side of Someday, however, I still reside in the space of yesterday, today and tomorrow, coveting a glimpse here and there of what to expect when I finally arrive at my destination.  But it’s still as if a void remains to be filled by the attainment of my dreams.  And the ache of longing — of something I’ve only hoped for — continues to remind me my efforts in the here and now are not in vain.  It’s simply a part of the journey that must be traversed.

What do you find yourself longing for?

Older Entries