Hurts so good: pushing through pain for gain

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Have you picked out a word for the year, yet (see “…20/20 vision”)—or has your word picked out you? How do you know it’s your word? Here’s a tip: if a particular word or phrase continues to pop up in your day-to-day life, there’s a pretty good chance you’re onto something. For me, the word “growth” resonated prior to yearend. And, only a couple weeks into the New Year, I’m convinced it’s a perfect match. Especially when it seems everything in my life is under construction. Because: ouch. The “pruning” I’m experiencing during this season has proven a bit painful, yet on point. Perhaps you’ve found that a word or phrase—one you’ve chosen as your mantra for the remainder of the year—forces you to address areas of your life that require a good pre-spring cleaning. In my own circumstances, to create the space required for new growth, I must let go and let Him.

In what one area must you push through pain for gain?

Gain vs. gap: realigning our focus

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I’m notorious for making things harder than they need to be. And often creating more work for myself in the process. Anyone else relate? <raising hand> Lately, however, I’m finding peace in that space between now and then. You know the space I’m talking about: the gap. Recently, I read an article written by a popular motivational guru who encourages readers to focus on the gain, rather than the gap. Loosely translated, I take this to mean we must look at what we’ve accomplished vs. what we have yet to realize. Consequently, rather than fight the process—of growth, of attracting abundance, of [fill in the blank]—I’m learning to go with the flow when necessary, and to identify when a means or a method no longer serves me before I wind up spinning my wheels in frustration. To quote my good friend KM: “assimilate; make connections.” And then trust yourself to know when to act.

What things do you usually make harder than they need to be?

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Time is running out: make it matter

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There are three months

left in this decade.
In. This. Decade.

If you’re on social media, you might’ve seen the above words pop up in your feed. Now tack on the phrase: “Take that risk” or “I think you should go for it.” As humanity collectively stands on the cusp of a new season, I’m reminded of the patterns that accompany the inevitable changes, whether in nature or our own lives. A well-known Bible scripture begins: For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. Once trapped in a cycle of repetitive behavior and thinking that prevented me from moving from past to present, over the last year I’ve experienced both loss and gain—culminating in acceptance, forgiveness and blessed freedom from bondage. I’m ready, now, to take that risk. To go for it. To make it matter before time runs out.

Are you ready?

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Taking the plunge is not for the faint of heart

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Take the plunge

In any given moment we have two options:
to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.
~ Abraham Maslow

During my yoga practice the other day, the instructor praised me. Not for a flawless asana. Not for holding the pose the longest or for my kick-ass yoga shorts. No, he commended me when I fell out of the posture. ‘Good job, Chrissy,’ he said, as I caught myself before plunging into the mirror. Although my practice proved more grace-less than grace-full, I did the one thing the teachers encourage students to do: fall forward. This means I moved somewhere new—I stepped into growth. Yes, I fell, but I fell forward, the result of stretching more than I kicked. Had I fallen backward, my body would’ve missed out on what it feels like to dig deeper, which ultimately leads to muscle memory. Each time we seek safety over growth, I believe we set ourselves up for loss versus gain.

Which step will you take today?

Image courtesy of Rosemary Ratcliff at

Correcting our minds

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correcting your mind

[Image credit: MR LIGHTMAN]

If you correct your mind,
the rest of your life will fall into place.
~ Lao Tzu

This concept of controlling our destiny with our thoughts makes a lot of sense.  I wholeheartedly made this my mission in 2012.  For instance, instead of focusing on a glass that appears half empty, I’ve attempted to refocus on its half-full attributes.  I have chosen gain over loss, strength over weakness, winning versus losing and the positive rather than the negative.  But it’s almost like I need to be beaten over the head with the idea before I accept that my thinking affects the bottom line.  And, if my mind is stuck in a rut, then my life will forever be in a continuous maze of wrong starts and stops and turns and missed passages — or opportunities.   No doubt I’ll be saying the same thing days, weeks, months, years even decades from now if I’m not careful.  And Someday may never arrive.

What’s the best way you practice correcting your mind?

Going for the gold(en) nugget

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[Graphic image: smokedsalmon]

Typically when I travel — especially back “home” to visit family and friends — I learn something new.  In a past post entitled Quality or quantity …, I discussed the importance of enjoying any time we’re afforded to spend with our loved ones, as we never know how much time we’ll have.  For instance, I discovered it doesn’t matter if my dad and me are sitting on the sofa holding hands and laughing as we watch America’s Funniest Home Videos, or if I’m savoring a moment with an old friend when no words are even necessary.  And sometimes if we’re lucky, we’re presented a golden nugget — an unexpected prize.  Maybe it’s in the form of a story you’ve never heard before, or a deeper connection formed between you and your sister or great nephew or best friend.  Whatever it is we gain, it’s ours to do with as we will.  These are the pieces that make up the whole of us.

What golden nugget have you been presented lately?