Serendipity (n) finding something good without looking for it
“Sooner or later, everything old is new again”
“Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution”
Have you ever been in such a state of mind that you can’t calm down or think straight? You’re full of anxiety and stress? You can’t rest your mind, sleep through the night, eat healthy – you either over indulge in junk food or not eat at all? Then you decide to talk it out with people who “understand” your situation. In the midst of garnering support you find that you’re more upset and unproductive. Why? Harping on a problem rather than strategically mapping out a plan to address it makes the situation worse, and being fueled by others with negativity prolongs your misery.
I feel a good solution to combating negativity is 1) staying away from more negativity – including people, 2) taking time to breathe and gather yourself – clearing your mind will help you gain a better perspective of the situation, 3) counting your blessings. Show gratitude for the smallest blessing: like breathing.
When you come up with great ideas and you share it with others and you’re not met with excitement, rather discouraging words – all the reasons that you shouldn’t or can’t pursue your dreams, ignore it. Don’t be discouraged by the naysayers. Pursue your goal, go for it. Whether it takes you time to achieve it and you have to revise along the way, or you achieve immediate success, or even if ultimately it does not work out. You’re not a failure. Having ambition and putting in the work itself is success. Now any wins along the way are extra blessings.
Keep going, even if the road seems a bit lonely. You’ve got this!
“So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing”
It was dark by 6 pm, but pitch black by 7 pm. At first I read a few pages of a book by flashlight. When that got exhausting I played with the flashlight by creating different shapes in the shadows with my one free hand and voices to go along. I amused myself for a while. This power outage brought into sharp focus how dependent we are on electricity – being without tv, smartphones/tablets, and especially the Internet is hard. As I relaxed in the dark I imagined what people did before the days of radio, tv, and Internet to entertain themselves.
After a while I caught myself smiling. Why did I feel so happy though I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything? I was brain exercising. I was reciting stories and songs I learned as a child; “What a wonderful world” by Louis Armstrong came to mind so I belted it out loud as if I were back in the 5th grade in my elementary school auditorium with my music teacher on the piano; then I was in my neighborhood park jumping rope, swinging on metal swings with my friends, eating 50 cent ice pops. I thought of people I hadn’t seen in years, I wondered how they are? I thought of some people I need to check up on, send cards to, or visit. I made a mental list. Finally, I remembered a few good things that I have been blessed with. All these memories and thoughts brought me joy; that’s why I was smiling.
In the still of darkness I sat still long enough to remember the beauty of living. In spite of the daily chaos that comes with life, if you pause long enough and disconnect from the news, social media, tv shows…you may come to realize the beautiful moments you’ve lived through, the memories you’ve created, each person who left a footprint in your life. I’m sure there are some great ones you could share. Take time to do so. There’s nothing like the human connection.
The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.
Toughness. The ability to recover from difficulties. Resilience.
This is not always easy. Especially when the problem is challenging and long-lasting. You can feel defeated, hopeless, tired, and want to give up. But giving up should never be a first option. True, at one point you have to learn to let go, but that’s only after you’ve tried everything possible to make the situation work. Once none of your efforts pan out then maybe it’s time to consider a different option, another angle, a new strategy.
In the meantime find the strength to endure by praying for courage and to have the right attitude. Find a confidant and reveal your concerns, share ideas and solutions. Take time for self-care, to rest, have fun. Contemplate on all that you’ve overcome and survived, all your blessings. Sing a joyful song loudly, go on a nature walk and enjoy the magnificent creation around you. You’ll find a measure of peace and clarity.
Challenges don’t define us. But the lessons we learn and the characteristics we develop from them often do. So learn resilience. Don’t give up quickly or give others your power. Resilience will help you cope with life’s challenges with hope -eager expectation, expectation of good . This way you’ll always be victorious.
I heard this word today by a motivational speaker. She made the point that when you know you are enough you will stop the struggle to get more and learn to accept, allow, and attract all that adds to you instead of who/what subtracts from you. When you know you have enough the desperate drive to get more will be replaced by the comforting flow of gratitude.
I paused and reflected on this and I must say she made valid points. Thoughts that kept coming to mind after this were: rat race, perfectionism, being over spent, overspending, keeping up with the Jones, anxiety, frustration. None of that is appealing, or lead to happiness and peace.
When we’re content we’re happy. What defines your contentment? I value peace tremendously. If it means staying away from the malls and online shopping for months to cut back on financial stress then I do it. If it means getting together with a friend at my favorite gelato shop I do it. If it means buying a plane ticket to an exciting new destination…yup I do it. But if it also means saying no….I do that too. With time I’m learning to be content with enough. I have enough of what I need, I am enough as a person so I make a great friend/companion/mate…
But truly, when you learn contentment- being satisfied with the things you have without constantly focusing on what you don’t have- your joy increases. You’ll realize you have enough.
I long for peace that flows like a river.
“Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.” – Bob Marley
It’s all in your attitude. What your mind thinks your heart feels. What your heart feels reflects in your speech, demeanor, and health.
These past few weeks have been tough. I allowed myself to be filled with negative thinking and overwhelmed with anxiety. Some problems I created in my mind- situations that really didn’t even exist, or wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be. I felt physically and emotionally drained, barely able to get on with my days. What I learned from this is the mind is very powerful, what we feed it will define what we get from it.
So to get over this slump I had to actively work at controlling my thoughts. Each time I was well up with anxious thoughts I prayed. I prayed for a calm heart and positive thoughts. Then I focused on something good, like the picture of my nephew being silly trying to eat his first cantaloupe 🍈. Other times I talked it out with a friend. Friends are blessings for sure. Exercising helps too, you release negative energy while taking care of your health. But I think what step must be taken is taking time to analyze the situation. Is it really as bad as you made it out to be? Oftentimes you’ll find the situation is workable. What can help you feel better is how you view it. If your thoughts are negative you’ll stress more and find you have little energy to make it through the situation. On the other hand if you put things in perspective you’ll find a bit of courage to carry on.
So don’t just get wet in the rain; feel it. Yes life is tough, but there are many blessings to be had if we appreciate the little things- like the rainbow that came out after the rain. Focusing only on bad things will rob you of joy. You can’t live fully without joy. Continue to count your blessings and make each day count.