We’ve all experienced difficult times in our lives, often through events and circumstances outside our control. But like great trees, humans grow stronger when exposed to powerful winds. When extreme, unexpected, life changing, or scary things happen, how can we not only survive them but also grow from the experience? Here are 10 suggestions for dealing with the hard times when they happen:
Take responsibility and embrace the situation
Assume an “I can do something” attitude rather than pointing fingers. Its natural to numb in the beginning. Instead rather than avoid what is happening when you recognize that you’re in a trying time and accept that you can’t change it, you’re no longer a prisoner to your situation. You free yourself to deal the best you can with the challenge ahead of you. If nothing else, you can control your own response to the situation.
Try to see past the hardship
When you’re in a crisis, it’s hard to see any upside. But, with some distance, you may be able to see the situation in a different light. When you compartmentalize the difficulty, you can focus on a workable solution. “Take a ‘crisis break’ in which you relax and observe the situation as if you were an outsider. Take several deep breaths to calm your nervous system down, silence the mind and focus on your intuition. You are very likely to derive some useful thoughts you would not have come upon within the midst of your anxious state.
“Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.” ~Unknown
You may not give much thought to the existence of boundaries in your daily life, but they are everywhere. For example, when you are driving on a two-lane road, you stay to the right of the center line, especially if there is a car coming from the opposite direction. That’s a boundary you can clearly see but what about how you are in relationships.
Boundary issues are common to most of us; in fact, our personal boundaries are often blurred leading to conflict or feelings of resentment in relationships. Most of us come from a family where boundaries were unclear or barely recognized and maybe we don’t know what a boundary really is. The simplest way for me to explain what a boundary is, is where I end and you begin. They enable use to make choices about how we feel, think or behave.
Healthy Personal Boundaries = Taking responsibility for your own actions and emotions, while NOT taking responsibility for the actions or emotions of others
”There are 2 primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept responsibility for changing them.” -Denis Waitley
Ah, it’s the beginning of a New Year and we are roaring to get going……or not. Yes I know it’s the start of the New Year and we are all thinking of beginning the resolutions we set at the stroke of Midnight. Some of us might have already begun and for the rest of us we might feel like there is a trailer of dead wood we are dragging around with us…we feel like we are stuck in the mud.
I personally gave up on the whole “resolutions” mania. As a recovering perfectionist, I was tired of beating myself up when things did not go according to plan. I think it’s time to ditch traditional New Year Resolutions entirely in favor of something a bit more attainable: let’s call them New Year’s Intentions and creating a daily ritual.
I was having one of those days. You know, the kind of day where you do something really stupid and then beat yourself up over it for several days after. Here I was thinking ‘what was wrong with me, why have I not learnt this yet?’ So there I was well into day four of whipping myself – you know how it works, you start dredging up past wrongs, one after another, months and then before you know it a few years’ worth, and to make matters worse you heap those on top of the current ‘wrong’ you did. Pretty soon you’ve got a dark cloud following you around. Not to mention that extra weight on your back and you’re walking around all hunched over and angry. Mad at yourself for being so stupid, mad for trusting, seeing yourself as a total screw up, over and over and over. Geez Louise.
This month Valentine’s Day was celebrated, like any other year. If you are madly in love, this day would have been a very special day to celebrate with your partner. You might have put lots of thought into it – the perfect card or gift, flowers, a sumptuous candle-lit dinner and romantic music in the background.
But not everyone will be celebrating the love. It could be a day reminding you what you no longer have, the hurt you feel or the betrayal by another. Mending a broken heart is never easy; it’s much safer to keep it closed than feel the pain. There is no quick way to stop your heart
For most of my life, being an empath in a world where being emotional equaled being weak or foolish it was hard to manage my emotions. In order for me to cope I would disconnect from them and became a “Bobblehead”, always in my head ‘thinking’. Perhaps you can you relate? Always stuck in your head, constantly rehashing your thoughts and not really getting anywhere. Maybe a little control-freak issue creeping in various situations? Yes you have those goals or “To do lists’ and when you get to achieve them there’s that ’empty feeling’ and you’re onto the next thing?
The most important lesson I have had to learn is that Feelings Buried Alive never Die!
With all our best intentions and goals, why is it so hard for us to slow down, simplify our lives, and take better care of ourselves? Why do most of our ‘New Year Resolutions’ fall short or peter out?
Why are we so afraid to let go and embrace a new way of being? Is Change really that scary when deep down we really yearn for it?
As a society our drive to attain and keep ‘busy’ comes at a great cost to our soul. We are malnourished when it comes to compassionate self-acceptance, awareness, and care. We yearn for a simpler, less stressful life, but struggle to find it. We ache for balance but can’t sustain it. There is no time to juggle it all, let alone clear the things and thoughts that have caused us to feel so overwhelmed in the first place.
Stop and take a good, hard look at who (or what) is taking up space in your life. If you want change to be effective in your life this year it starts withAWARENESS. You can’t change what you are not aware of. We all have blind spots, things we know deep down are swirling away but we avoid looking at for many reasons. Until we do and are completely honest with ourselves we are doomed to pass another year of carrying around what is weighing us down, holding us back from being who really wish to be and living the life we really want.
Do you feel that you have lost your sparkle? Life is guaranteed to knock us all down a time or two. What’s important is that we get back up. The hard part is overcoming the apathy that comes with loss of energy and feeling a little ‘meh’. We’ve all been there; everything sucks, everyone is stupid & in your way, you can’t do anything right and nothing is ever going to get any better.
When you were little and the teacher asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, you surely didn’t answer “miserable!” At every stage in life, unhappiness is not a state to which we aspire. Emerging research shows that while the impact of life’s circumstances has a profound impact on the brain, the brain is not as hard-wired as previously thought. We can learn & retrain ourselves to be happier.
When you’re in a funk it can be really, really hard to see your way out of it. I’ve experienced my fare share of funks & it’s good to wallow in it for a while, as staying with the emotion and embracing it can bring about some insights. But having said that we don’t need to stay there forever, as like Thich Nhat Hanh (a Zen spiritual teacher) says we might “miss the wonders of life”. So I want to provide you with some easy, practical ways that have helped me get out of that nasty funk!
Is it me or does it feel like the whole world is going crazy? I would say yes to both of those questions. We’ve all heard of it…the dreaded time when Mercury goes retrograde. Geez Louise! And to top it all the full moon (known this time as the Bloodmoon because of it’s vibrant redish colour) had to add it’s two cents into the mix. Holy smokes, for anyone sensitive to cyclical energy spurts you might have felt you were on a speed wobble! There are certain cycles where the energy feels confusing and ungrounded and it’s not uncommon to for you to react emotionally & feel ‘out of sorts’.
Most of us dread Mercury in retrograde. We think of it as an extremely negative period, a frustrating time filled with irritating technical problems, confused communications, and mishaps. Mercury in retrograde often gets a bad rap, but this is also a great & optimal time to let go and clean up as well. At this time patterns can be broken now as you tune into what is not working in your relationships or in your life. With the powerful energy your intuitive abilities will be heightened along with your emotions.
If you are like me, at times you probably catch yourself falling into the ever-alluring yet emotionally-dangerous trap of comparing yourself to others. On one hand we unconsciously do this in an attempt to make accurate evaluations of ourselves, perhaps for personal growth. But at what cost? While comparison can be a valuable source of motivation and growth, it can also spin us into a tail-chasing frenzy of self-doubt.
This brings me to an experience I had recently at an event where I was showcasing my new book on Forgiveness as well as a Soul Vision Board workshop with a twist. Out the corner of the eye I caught this woman who had just come through the door make a beeline for me. Being an empath I felt a woosh of energy come charging ahead of the woman. Lets just say it was not a pretty pink loving colour but more of a sharp cutting edgy feel.