Hey there my Resilient Friends!
This summer I have been sensing a theme among good solid friends I see a lot and great friends I see occasionally: change is in the air.
When we get to a certain place in our lives, we mentally hold pictures of how we think life is going to play itself out. But life has its’ own idea of what should happen and when we see that our lives aren’t following the groove we had hoped for, we are left with the expectations of what is no longer to be. I have noticed that life’s changes bring about more conversations about these unrealized expectations and there have been many long talks among my friends of all ages about how we didn’t see it rolling out this way.
What to do? Meltdown? Keep on moving forward? For me, I have felt the conflicting continuous desire to go away, as in travel out-of-town and totally escape, as in go somewhere else and veg for awhile and also wanting to push the so-called “slow down” button which sadly doesn’t even exist.
The tried and true philosophy of knowing I can’t control what goes on in my life but I can control how I react to it constantly runs through my mind as a coping tool. Sometimes it helps but other times it doesn’t offer much consolation.
Maybe it would be more effective if I just got a T-shirt with this saying printed on it and wore it every day as a healing reminder.
But short of acting completely silly in my effort be a true pal to myself and others, I don’t think I am alone in my desire to figure out how to re-align my thought process and develop the ability to quiet my mind in the midst of all these changes each of us finds happening in our lives.
There are times when I feel as if I am an air traffic controller of my busy brain, constantly prioritizing or re-evaluating the constant stream of competing thoughts, budding ideas and crunching responsibilities that I need to carry out or even try to process as part of my life.
In my head (and maybe yours too!) it goes something like this (without the curse words):
Okay, happy thought, you can land because you make me smile.
No, conflicted personal thoughts, you don’t have permission to take off because I’m not even sure what you are about yet.
Work thoughts, you can stay in your usual holding pattern because you may end up flying in a different direction.
Sad thoughts, you caught me by surprise and you’ll have to wait until I feel a little stronger to deal with you.
None of us wants to be at the mercy of constant stress, which can do a damaging number on our health. Having these kinds of thoughts is normal but it shouldn’t go on all the time. Yes stress is going to happen, we know that for a fact.
But the most powerful kind of healing is what we do for ourselves.
Whether it’s dealing with the loss of a treasured loved one or friend, the unexpected pink slip leading to a job loss, a traumatic health diagnosis or cancelled plans for something special you were looking forward to, life can be quite a bumpy ride.
Finding a quiet mind, takes practice but it’s so worth it because it smoothes out those bumps and contributes to an improved mental attitude.
Take a step back and be still. Close your eyes and breathe deeply at least four or five times. Enjoy your breathe and feel yourself slow down.
Observe your thoughts as though they were clouds in the sky. Don’t fight them and don’t try to control them. They are there and that’s all there is to it.
I don’t know about you, but I feel calmer now, and as we begin a new week let’s take advantage of any chances we get where we can practice staying focused in the moment.