The Burden of Thriving in Troubled Times

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Life is amazingly persistent at teaching us salient lessons along the way. We may not always clearly recognize them, but, if you slow down, be still and let go during times that have something to teach you, there is much to be learned.

“The problem is you think you have time” -Buddha

Sometimes it takes a tragic major life event to shake things up and break the routine just enough to help us rethink our world. What seems like tragedy may actually be an opportunity. Growing and making the best in the aftermath of a terrible loss will not change what has already happened. Using a dark time as a springboard into better times will pay homage and honor those who have been hurt or lost. When faced with any type of personal tragedy you always have a choice.

Often the most essential lessons about ourselves are presented in the most somber times. These are times when we stop and reevaluate our lives, our purpose and our plan. We feel heavy and burdened, not ready to take on any of life’s obligations. And just like learning, we all grieve in different ways. There is no right or wrong way to experience a loss just as their is no right or wrong way to learn a lesson. Life has a way of being gently abrasive. Life will find a way, but we all have the choice to absorb it independently, in our own way. The point is always to just internalize it in the end. Whatever you think the lesson is, it is. Being able to see the opportunity for growth means you are on the right track.

Troubling or challenging times is the perfect juncture to question dogma. Be brave and grow in the face of hardship. Experience profound movement in times of struggle. No need to be a hero, just be one for yourself, quietly, in your private moments.

Challenge Yourself

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I challenge you to ask yourself some tough questions. 

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you” -Fred DeVito

Sit with yourself and have a conversation. Take your life’s temperature, see what you find. As we approach the new year, consider how you want this one to be different. Just changing a few small things can make a big impact. If you really want things to be different then make it happen. Here’s a few ideas to get you started, but you may want to add a few of your own.

What do you think about more… your wealth or your health?

Health, cared for and adored, can lead to wealth, but abundant wealth on it’s own seldom leads to health. Which do you spend more time thinking about? Which occupies more space in your thoughts? Which do you feel is more important? Are you happy with your answer?

Can you find more time to enjoy healthy activities in the great outdoors? 

Fresh air and movement. That’s what you need. The stale air of the gym and riding a bike that never gets anywhere is not my ideal way to get in my exercise. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been known to take a spin class, but I much prefer to get outside and go for a walk or ride my street bike. Spending time outdoors can be refreshing, meditative and rejuvenating. How can you devote more time to getting yourself out there? Just decide you want to and you will.

Are you constantly trying to morph into something or someone else or are you taking the time to enjoy the body and mind that you have right now?

If you are reading this that tells me a few things. You are alive. You know how to read. You have access to a computer and the internet. You have free time and you use it wisely.  🙂

Does it really matter whether or not your measurements match up to societies definition of beauty? Isn’t it more important to be healthy? I challenge you to let go of your finish line and enjoy more present moments. Live happily and satisfied in the body you own right now. That body needs to be healthy, but it doesn’t need to look a certain way or weigh a certain amount to make you happy. Focus on your health, and happiness will find you.

You may not know exactly where you’re going, just keep going…  Life never stops or slows down, but you can. We work so hard to create space where we feel comfortable, now find a way to enjoy it. Forward movement is good, just don’t forget to take a breath, look around and enjoy the view. Challenge yourself to make a few changes today so you can enjoy more of tomorrow. The moment you stop accepting challenges is the moment you stop moving forward.

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