Life doesn’t always look the way we think it will. We have a path perfectly mapped out and in an instant that path gets ripped out from underneath our feet. Sometimes we have to pause and regroup until the world stops spinning and we get to step off of the disappointment and chaos that’s trying to keep us in that uncomfortable place. Reality is knowing that when one path leads to a dead end there is always another way. It may be hard to take that first step in the new direction but reluctantly we put one foot in front of the other and we start to walk. One step at a time, one day at a time until the disappointment is far behind us. Joy will come and this time will pass but until then we just breathe in this place of pain and we pray this heaviness on our heart starts to lift. Sometimes Gods plan is not our plan and we have to trust that He is leading us to a better place far better than we could ever imagine. He will see us through to the other side of this unexpected mess. It just takes a little time…
There are 4 seasons. Some I look forward to, and some I just don’t. Living in Oklahoma I know that spring is synonymous with tornado and is often referred to as tornado season. It’s important to remember that life has seasons too. Some seasons are filled with happiness and blessings and other seasons leave us counting the days until a new one arrives. Today, remember that all seasons pass. One thing is consistent no matter who you are or where you live and that is change. Change is a force that cannot be stopped or avoided. It’s impossible for things to stay the same. If you are in a season that finds you feeling complete and happy then embrace it and celebrate each and every moment that brings you joy. If you are in a time that brings you fear or despair, know that those days are numbered and a new season is on its way. Take comfort in change and learn to find appreciation in every season for one most certainly prepares us for the next one to come. What season do you find yourself in right now? What is it teaching you and what can you be grateful for in this moment?
There’s always that car ride after Christmas when I am traveling from here to there. I call it the in between. It’s that place of reflection when I look back on the previous year and I head into a new one. Some people never quite make it out of one and into another. They remain stuck there sometimes for years of their life while time continues to slip on by. When your thoughts and feelings drag you backwards there isn’t a chance of ever moving forward. Every year that passes is one less Christmas I will celebrate with family. When we get too consumed with ourselves or we remain stuck in the past, we lose sight of the fact that the sand in the hourglass eventually runs out. There are no do overs for days or years and one can only hope that each year we make the decision to live better. Our time is precious but it is also fleeting. So here I am in between last year and next hoping that I will leave this year with some positive growth. I don’t want to be the person I was yesterday and I am excited to evolve into the person the good Lord made me to be. So what are your thoughts today as you pause in this in between? Will you move back, walk forward or remain stuck in that place that holds you back from becoming the best version of yourself? The good news is you are the one who gets to decide. I always choose a word…a theme to enter a new year with. This year I have two, joy and change. 2019, here I come.
Isn’t it amazing that each new day has the potential to be so different than the one before? We wake up never knowing what the immediate future will hold and sometimes the reality is so much better than the worry that kept us up for a crazy amount of hours the night before. We have to stop living in a state of dread. There is no ball so stop walking around shielding your head with your hands waiting for it drop. There is simply change. Find peace and strength in change. There is no reason to be afraid for it leaves us, if we allow our minds to be open to it, an amazing amount of hope. There is strength in change. Embrace it.
It has taken me 46 years to realize that inner peace and true happiness are not conditional. I hear so many people speak about the things they want abolished or changed. If only we could take away this or change that… then we would be in a better place. Guns, the president and social media seem to be the most common. I hate to be the person to break this news but we could remove one thing at a time until there was nothing left except people and still there would be a problem and people would be stressed and unhappy. Unfortunately, people are the root of most problems and certainly the main cause of their own insanity and unhappiness. We can pretend to create a perfect world but perfect to you and perfect to me look like very different pictures. We waste so much life and energy wishing to change things instead of learning to be happy and find peace in the place we are in. You will only find true peace and happiness while being whoever you are, wherever you are , in the moment that is present right now. If you catch yourself saying, “I would be happy if I could remove this from my life”, remind yourself that you can be happy in-spite of it. That’s just a story you tell yourself that isn’t true. You have to find your place of peace and happiness in the reality you find yourself in today. There is no way around reality so find a balance and adjust your thinking. The world will not magically change because you think it should. The only thing you can control is your attitude and your perspective. Change your thoughts, change your world.
If you want a change of scenery, sometimes you need to take a different path. You’ve heard the saying right…insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Admitting I was completely insane was the first step in a new and different direction. I was overcome with so many feelings . I was falling, drowning in my own routine wondering why not a single bit of happiness was in sight. Then I answered my calling to go back to yoga. It felt strange to be back on my mat. Actually my mat was like an old familiar friend but the room and people were different from what I expected. I took yoga kinda seriously and it took some repeating the mantra, do not judge to overcome the oddity of the girl singing a long with the music on the mat beside me. The class was slower paced that I was used to. Do not judge I reminded myself. Afterwards I was feeling more like my old self than I had in a while. I was overcome by the kindness as each person in the class came over to meet me. This was more than just a yoga class. This was a yoga tribe that has been desperately missing from my everyday life. I am so grateful for the experience and I am looking forward to going back again on Friday. If you think a small gesture of kindness can’t make a difference, I am here to remind you that it absolutely can. Go out and spread your light. Someone has been in the dark too long. Show them how to shine.
Fall is a time of change. With every leaf that falls from the tree, I think of days of my own life falling quietly away. I imagine them all there, lying at my feet as I rustle through them. Some are beautiful and others aren’t worth noticing but all of them make up my past. They make up a large pile of me. Who I was, who I am and who I am yet to become. I am reminded that life is a beautiful process and journey of transformation. I often pick a word to set an intention to guide me through this time so that I will come out of it a little bit different and hopefully a little better. I’ve chosen this word before but the time has come again to soften. It’s time to soften those rough edges of myself. Time to soften my words and the tone of my voice. Time to soften my thoughts and my expectations of myself and others. Time to soften my thoughts and the hardness I sometimes carry in my heart. My intention is to soften in the way I react. To use softer words when emotions are raging inside of me. To soften my face to look more loving and less angry. Today starts the unfolding of a softer, more patient, more loving version of myself. Today I will soften. What is your intention today?
When I look back on my life a year ago, I am moved to tears by the gratitude I feel for some much needed change. For years I took a backseat in my own life. I accepted the circumstances and allowed myself to play the victim. At some point, I knew enough was enough and every intention and choice I made purposefully moved my life in a different direction. I am beyond happy now. Until I could picture myself feeling elated and peaceful, there was no way I would bring that image into reality. I had to want it enough to believe it was possible which then led me to find a way to make it possible.
Remember, where and who you are today will not be the same as where and who you will be a day or even a year from now unless you are too afraid to make a move. The same behavior and repetitive negative thoughts will only lead you down the same road. If you want to explore new, exciting ground then you have to take the first step in a different direction. Don’t wait any longer. Do it today!
We had a semblance of normal the last few days after my daughter arrived home for her first short visit since leaving for college. It’s hard to face the future knowing that everyday is a change in a new direction. It’s scary to break free from the same old, safe, familiar routine that has softly enveloped our small family the past 18 years. Change is frightening but at the same time, it is exciting and necessary. We learn to embrace the now and cherish the stability as we stand boldly in the middle of it. When we allow ourselves to stop reaching for the future and grasping for the past, the now feels pretty good. Embrace every day, every moment with the absolute certainty that this day will never be the same again. Learn to flow with the good, the bad, the happy and sad knowing that the next moment will not feel like the last. Life is hard. Letting go is harder but we can find peace by taking each moment as it comes and taking a deep breath as each today slowly fades to yesterday. Be present and feel it all but allow the winds of change to blow on through. You’ve got this, I remind myself as I crawl into bed and let today float away.
Be bigger than the smallness around you
Be a voice, not an echo
Choose your words wisely
Be better not bitter
Rise above pettiness
Make a positive difference