As I look out at the magnolia tree just outside our front door, I can see the pinkish petals of its fragrant blooms just beginning to peek out of their fuzzy bud cocoon. Each degree of increasing warmth, every burst of spring sunshine slowly coaxes these gorgeous flowers from their safe shelters. We’re all looking forward to seeing and smelling the tree in full bloom but like many things in life, nature takes its course. And we have to be patient and remain optimistic, especially this year, when we seem to have all endured a rather long winter. Spring is surely here…
It’s been a testing time for many people, and not just because of the extended chilly weather and long, drawn out winter. Many people have endured extensive personal challenges – from health issues or money problems to relationship break-ups and difficult work environments. For my part, well I’ve been blessed to have lots of good things happen accompanied by many changes, and although I believe change is good, it is often accompanied by upheaval and not just of a physical nature. Emotional, even spiritual too. So I have felt at times out of sorts with disturbed sleep and sometimes a sense of insecurity. In my last blog I’d talked about how I was doing the 21 Day Meditation Challenge from Deepak Chopra. I really enjoyed both the challenge of committing to the daily practice as well as the sense of peace and well being from the meditation itself. What I hadn’t accounted for was some other outputs: anger, frustration, even discomfort with myself. But of course this makes perfect sense; in our often busy lives we can brush our issues under the carpet of ‘haven’t got time’ and it is only when we truly give ourselves some time that those thoughts appear to us more clearly. They can no longer be ignored… I believe that practices like regular meditation, yoga, solo walks in nature and any authentic ‘time out’ we can give ourselves can help us ‘hear’ those thoughts and then confront them.
So, now you have some issues out in the open so to speak, how to deal with them? I find the only real way is to tackle them is with actions and a positive approach. Because in the end, the only way to change things is to change things. For me, my new focus is on getting healthier and losing some weight because if I want to look better and feel better on the inside, then I need to put my mind to it. I’ve started the Fast Diet, which caught my interest after seeing Dr. Mosley’s BBC2’s Horizon programme on Intermittent Fasting last year. I’ve got myself some new supplements and I’ve re-committed to my meditation practice. From experience with quitting smoking almost ten years ago (and let me tell you, I had a 30-a day habit), I know that what worked after several failed attempts, was that my attitude and optimism for my new-soon-to-be-healthier-life kept me motivated. In the weeks and months leading to the stop date, I reminded myself daily how wonderful it was going to be when I would no longer be a slave to the tobacco; when I would be able to leave the house without wondering if I had enough cigs or money to them for that day…Each irritating thing about smoking became another reason why quitting was going to be amazing. And when I reached the designated day, I awoke with a smile knowing this was the beginning of a new phase in my life, when I’d be back in control.
The problem with issues is that they are always there unless you face them; eventually they will bubble to the surface of your life so you can either go for it and change what needs to be changed or accept the things that can’t be and let them go.
Having a positive and optimistic outlook on what needs to be dealt with is helpful. Know that there is pretty much always a silver lining.
Share your woes. There is always someone – friend, partner, lover, coach – who will listen fully, you just have to ask.
Create a plan of action, or the very least do one thing you’ve not done before to tackle the problem.
“A tiny change today brings a dramatically different tomorrow.” ― Richard Bach, One
The wonderful thing about life, about us humans, is that each and every moment is a new opportunity we can embrace. No matter what has gone before, there is always possibility for change from now. You just have to choose it.
“Forget yesterday - it has already forgotten you. Don't sweat tomorrow - you haven't even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift - today.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free