A funny thing happened on the way to rehab

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A last-minute schedule shuffle recently brought me to Minneapolis, 1,700 miles from my Phoenix home. All-things travel rolled according to plan: until my first morning in town. While backing down a driveway in my rental car—a 2019 white Toyota Camry—on the way to visit a family member recovering in post-surgery transitional care, the sickening crunch of metal alerted me to the fire hydrant I’d overlooked with the tall red metal post near the curb. I examined the outcome (fire hydrant: 1; Camry: 0) and made a quick decision: pop the fender and grille back into place and go. After a heartwarming visit, I spent the remainder of the afternoon dealing with the aftermath of my fender bender. In spite of a change of plans, missed opportunities and extra expenses, I managed to handle the experience with grace under fire. And the favor that’s followed simply validates when the unexpected happens, our reactions open the door to receive blessings or cursings.

How do you handle the unexpected?

Love without condition: begin with yourself

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Today I asked my body what she needed,
Which is a big deal
Considering my journey of
Not really asking that much.

I thought she might need more water.
Or protein.
Or greens.
Or yoga.
Or supplements.
Or movement.

But as I stood in the shower
Reflecting on her stretch marks,
Her roundness where I would like flatness,
Her softness where I would like firmness,
All those conditioned wishes
That form a bundle of
Never-Quite-Right-Ness,
She whispered very gently:

Could you just love me like this?
~ Hollie Holden

I read this poem while scrolling through Facebook and tears welled quickly. For more than a half century, I’ve wrestled with the “bundle of never-quite-right-ness.” When I first joined ‘Club 50,’ I learned how to be comfortable in my own skin, as long as I practiced mindfulness. But what if I could love myself without condition? After all, if I love others this way, then I owe myself the same consideration. And grace.

What do you ask of yourself?

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Change up the rules to keep your mojo in the flow: update #2

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If you obey all the rules,
you miss all the fun. ~ Audrey Hepburn

Halfway into my 30-Day Reboot Challenge and following the culmination of a 30-day abs challenge (which “only” took me 33 days), I’ve learned what helps keep my mojo in the flow: 1) If I “slip” during my challenge(s)—take a day off, change the rules, etc.—that doesn’t mean I’ve failed or that I must start over. I just “reboot” the next day, if needed. 2) Some challenges in life take longer than we expect—whether real or self-imposed. For instance, your family succumbs to the flu and you simply cannot add one more thing to your overflowing inbox as you juggle between work life and caregiving. As a result, your 30-day challenge might take you: wait for it… more than 30 days. Allow yourself the space to have fun. And extend grace often. You might decide you play better by the new rules anyway. Who knew?

How can you change it up today?

Image courtesy of mrpuen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

No wrapping necessary: the gift of grace

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With the holidays in full swing (wasn’t it just Christmas?), I’ve noticed tempers are quick(er) to flare, smiles are less forthcoming and a pall of malaise feels all too real. In addition, the hours in our days are set to fast forward. I read an article recently about patience suggesting: instead of praying for it, try practicing it. With Christmas and the new year making appearances in a mere few weeks, I have no doubt there will be opportunities galore to practice patience, to extend grace. For example, choose the longest checkout line at the grocery store. Pick the slowest lane of traffic. Yield to other drivers. The more we mindfully practice patience, the more it will become second nature when we don’t have a choice about which line, lane or crisis we’re muddling through. What about the harried pharmacist, receptionist or caller, colleague or spouse, child or stranger? Practice patience, and give the gift of grace this holiday season. No wrapping necessary.

How do you practice patience?

Image courtesy of freebieshutterb at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Loving yourself: a lesson on self-worth

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Perhaps, we should love ourselves so fiercely,
that when others see us they know exactly
how it should be done. ~ Rudy Francisco

It’s funny how we can learn how to operate something complex, like a smartphone, in a matter of hours (maybe minutes), but it can take a half century or more to figure out the simplest of truths. My self-worth, for more years than I care to think about, had been wrapped up in how others perceived me: Was I pretty enough? Witty, skinny, engaging, smart, creative, strong… enough? Admittedly, over the years, I have not measured up in my own eyes—whether true or unfounded. To see my value from a higher perspective has required trial and error, (mental) kicking and screaming and a conscientious effort. It means extending grace rather than criticism. And perhaps, instead of labeling our flaws as flaws, we should view them as perfect imperfections that set each of us apart as originals.

What one thing do you love about yourself?

Photo courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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 FreeDigitalPhotos.net.