Flexing our muscles: use ’em or lose ’em

Leave a comment

 

Write every day.
Writing is a muscle
that gets stronger
with use. ~ Abbi Glines

It’s a no brainer, isn’t it? That unworked muscles lose their strength. I’ve witnessed this truth in its extreme: following my husband’s car accident and during the course of his two-month hospital stay, his muscles begin to atrophy from lack of use. Over time, however, through daily PT sessions, he regained a lot of strength. Some days, I arrived at the hospital to find my husband in his wheelchair—pushed front-first against the side of the bed—and his body slumped onto the mattress to rest between sessions. It’s not easy to get stronger. It requires determination and perseverance to overcome in spite of obstacles. Although my struggles with writing are a poor comparison, I know that even if the writing I do today is bad, it’s better than anything I don’t write. Progress only happens with consistent work. Even if that means resting in between.

What muscle do you need to strengthen?

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Anger slays: discovering a balm for calm

Leave a comment

In a recent USA Today article, Ken Fisher offers 11 ways to protect your money and sanity as you age. His final tip is worth adopting regardless of age, income, social status, vocation or education level: “Remember that anger slays.” He references a psychologist buddy of his who taught him to live his actions as if he’d live forever and his emotions as if he knew he’d be dead in 30 days. This brought a huge peace of mind to Fisher and every time he’d anger, he’d ask himself if he’d waste time over “this” if he knew he had only 30 days to live. He never did. Of course, my husband told me about this article after I had become disproportionately angry over something so small in the larger scheme of things (isn’t that usually the case?). Anger does slay: relationships, progress, health, peace of mind. Ask yourself: will whatever it is matter if my days are numbered? Because they are.

What is your balm for calm?

Photo courtesy of Ben Schonewille at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Never the perfect time: sticking to our priorities

Leave a comment

You know when you plan to do “the thing” and there’s always another thing that comes up? Because life. Last year I devised a plan to apply for my MFA in 2017. My goal was to apply by Feb. 1. Then life happened and pushed out my application to May 1. Now it might be July 1. I mentioned this to a friend who said, “It’s like having kids… you are never really ready for it, just adapt when it happens and, surprisingly, it usually works out just fine.” He’s right: because life. Another friend is embarking on a new adventure of her own, denoting a big change in her life—which means conquering her fears. Change and fear are often synonymous with life, but we do our best to adapt, or to overcome. With that in mind, after work I didn’t pass go or collect $200 but, instead, drove home, stopped procrastinating and made significant progress on my application paperwork. Because life.

What must become your priority?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

When the wind gets knocked out of your sails

Leave a comment

Wind in your sails

 

So, do it. Decide.
Is this the life you want to live?
Is this the person you want to love?
Is this the best you can be?
Can you be stronger?
Kinder? More compassionate?
Decide.
Breathe in.
Breathe out and decide.
~ Meredith Grey

You’re going along feeling ‘on point,’ looking good, making progress and then someone says something that knocks you down a peg or four. When it comes from a close friend or relative, it’s a double whammy. Those feelings of I’m not good enough, I’m unforgivable, I can’t do anything right return with a vengeance. But you take a deliberate look at yourself and realize that, although there’s room for improvement, you like the person you’re becoming. So you resolve to shed that which holds you back and remind yourself not everyone will like you, and that’s okay. Then check out my latest guest blog post to begin pursuing your passion regret free today. And breathe.

How do you add wind back into your sails?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

One way to stay on course

Leave a comment

Focus focus focus

While hiking in the mountains this past weekend (and especially since my graceless fall—see ‘What *not* to do…’), I’m more attuned to the trail in front of me. With each step I take, my eyes scan the terrain a couple feet ahead for tripping hazards and/or wildlife. Focus, focus, focus! How often must you deliberately pull your attention back to a task at hand because your mind wanders to myriad items to be checked off your list? In my post, ‘Road rage…’, I talk about missing the forest for the trees; however, there is a right time and place, even beyond the trails, to keep our eyes and thoughts trained in front of us; e.g., relationships, creative projects, work tasks, fitness goals. It is wise to keep the big picture in mind, of course, yet lift our eyes at periodic intervals to scan our progress. But, in order to (safely) reach our destination, we should ultimately eliminate distractions that take us off course.

What’s your main focus?

Celebrating small victories

Leave a comment

small victories

At the beginning of August 2015, I rejoined a local gym. Weight training and cardio added the balance I sought to complement my regular practice of yoga. But, it had been over a year since I’d worked out and, in my overzealousness, I pulled a couple ‘somethings.’ Whether at the gym or at the Bikram studio, I now felt like a beginner all over again. At one point I thought I might need to quit yoga as I found little to no relief in the asanas. I decided to stick it out, however. Days turned into weeks turned into months. Nearly a half year later, I’ve begun to recognize miniscule improvement while on my mat. Each time I show up, I discover a new victory. I can see it in my relationships, too. Gradual progress is in the works, even when I observe nothing. And, with each small victory, a stronger foundation is built. Now that is cause for celebration.

How do you celebrate the smallest of victories?

Image courtesy of noppasinw at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.