Today’s blog post has been written by my guest, Lessie Miller.
I rolled out of bed on a recent Friday morning facing the paralysis existing in the outside world. The peacefulness of an ordinarily buzzing urban neighborhood juxtaposed against the wanderlust of my unsettled mind. It feels like another day of stepping into a repeat where days merge into sameness like a stuck circuit. And the energy of our household bumping together like atoms wanting to be freed from confinement.
I fantasize about running out to the yard and screaming until every emotion is drained. But I think better of it knowing that a neighborhood curtain-twitcher, or two, will post an “urgent” message on NextDoor about a crazed screaming lady.
Reality hits. We are living in an alternate universe and a new normal.
My morning routine of brewing an Americano coffee perks me up a bit, until I notice that my husband has left the news playing on a continuous loop and he is nowhere to be seen. I wish for my mind to grant me radiant, telepathic brain waves to turn off the NEWS from my spot in the kitchen.
I plop into my desk chair craving some internal quieting, though feeling the impossibility looming amongst a world filled with heaviness. Writing is on my personal agenda for the day, but too much is swirling in my brain. I am filled with worry about family, others who can’t afford food or medical, and how the country will look after all this settles out.
Sighing a pent up breath like a dragon breathing fire, I scroll apathetically through social media. Hoping for a reset or mostly a distraction, I pause on a friend’s live coaching session. She is a personal coach and entrepreneur. One I consider a rare breed of warmth and toughness wrapped with a beautiful bow.
Her message is upbeat and go getting. I halfway tune in. That is until I hear the tempo drop and her voice lower. Like the sensory effect of a whisper, my ears are on alert. Her words project in slo-mo. Every syllable enunciated for effect:
“Live a life of purpose, have no regrets, move forward even when the end goal is a mystery and the fear is paralyzing. Spring into action, own your power…go”.
Nice idioms. Maybe they will placate my mind for a short time.
Like a good coach would do, she switches gears to keep inspiration on high alert. Only now, the words are being channeled by a catchy, rhythmic ditty– her latest favorite being used as a strategy to shift our minds to a higher place.
It’s the type of melody that makes you feel like a dancing marionette and the person controlling the strings is having some wild fun up above.
As the music projects through the shyness of my laptop speakers, she mouths every lyric clearly, sight and sound senses working in tandem for greater cognition. Words such as: “ No should of’s, no could of’s, no would of’s. Don’t you...
A guest blog submission by Karen Schlaegel.
At the time of writing, the world is going through a pandemic. The Corona virus is dominating the news worldwide. It’s something we have never experienced and it is affecting every single one of us (without a doubt, some more than others).
And while the pandemic is unprecedented in this form, we all know and have experienced that life can be tough. We have all faced challenges of varying degrees. And when I say “challenges”, I also mean heart-breaking pain that at times seems all-consuming and which we feel we’ll never recover from. So, is it cynical to talk about staying positive in times of crisis? Is it even feasible?
While I agree that even during our darkest moments, we can take away a life lesson, a positive mindset to me doesn’t mean that we should push away feelings of pain and simply plaster over them with “positive feelings”. Cultivating a positive attitude does not equal denial of everything else nor does it mean forcing ourselves to look for the positives in everything.
So, what does a positive mindset look like then? And is it something we can maintain during our darkest moments or do we need to accept that it becomes useless during crisis times like these? I personally believe a positive mindset makes a huge difference to how we live our lives and how we cope with shitstorms. But it really mustn’t be mistaken for being happy all the time.
Here are the elements that I consider crucial in cultivating a positive mindset and the combination of which helps me personally to navigate life’s “challenges” (aka shitstorms).
- Feel it all.
This can be tough. Much tougher than it sounds. I certainly have the tendency of wanting to avoid painful emotions. We sometimes feel that if we let ourselves feel the pain fully, we’ll never recover. We feel it’s too much to endure. But trying to suppress them just means that they’ll resurface again. And again. Try to sit with all feelings. Cry and scream if you feel like it. Breathe mindfully to get yourself through the storm of emotions raging inside.
- Acceptance and self-compassion
We often exacerbate our feelings by getting frustrated with ourselves. When the whole Corona crisis kicked off, I had a few very heavy days. I felt very scared. At the same time, I also felt shame and guilt to even feel that way, when others were putting their lives at risks every single day – while I was sat safely at home. You are most likely always going to find somebody who is worse off than you – but that doesn’t take away your pain and it doesn’t make your feelings any less valid. It can certainly help to put things into perspective, but it does not help to condemn ourselves for feeling them in the first place (by the way, this also applies to judging other people’s feelings ). We need to accept our feelings as they are. And just as you would with a...
A guest blogger submission by Darlene Versak.
You are a work of art. I am a work of art. We were created by the Master Artist—–Love. I found a definition of Art that resonates with me.
“Art is the conscious creation of something beautiful or meaningful using skill and imagination.”
Every part of our body is beautifully made. Sturdy bones are the framework, sinewed to muscle enhanced by a nervous system that processes information from the outside. The human body is incredible when you think about it. We heal ourselves all the time, from cuts to colds!
Each of us is unique and yet we carry within us unifying desires, wants and needs. We are all beautiful in our own way. We get to choose. We can embrace who we are and allow the light within to shine through us and become the best version of ourselves accepting all that we are (even the uncomfortable parts) with laughter and joy. Or alternately, we can judge the crap out of ourselves, tearing ourselves down, focusing on our flaws and magnifying the worst parts of us and be miserable, angry and unhappy.
Surrendering to the idea that you are a piece of art is an interesting idea.
Everyday, you get to decide what face you will put forth in the world. You get to play each day with what you will wear, make-up or no make-up and if and how you will style your hair. You decide if you will be using props today (i.e. a hat, a scarf, a sparkly necklace) or not.
Since the Stay at Home order, I have renamed my closet T.J. Maxx and I go shopping each morning. I am consciously creating a new expression of who I am through the clothes I choose. Some days I’m whimsical (i.e. the Vacay sun hat, fluorescent fuzzy pink robe that says Flawless on the back and Mardi Gras beads), some days practical (yoga pants, sports bra and tank shirt), some days I dress in all one color (everything is blue) and some days I dress as normal (whatever that means-for me it’s jeans and a t-shirt). I have fun dressing up my body with clothes and accessories. My latest fashion trend is to wear two different earrings. Seems I lose one earring regularly and I’m left with a lone beautiful earring which I keep in the hopes I’ll find the other lost one. In the meantime, I’d like to wear them. I’m thinking I might do the same with socks as the gnomes keep taking them out of my dryer, but I digress.
I am also aware that who I am is what’s inside.
The tender heart that beats to the rhythm of life. The breath that inspires and feeds my body oxygen. The Soul desiring to be one with Love extending Love outward. Who we are, is a wonderful jumble of perfection and vulnerability. We can choose if we want to find beauty in the brokenness and accept what is or not. I believe each of us, is Art at its finest. You are a unique expression of the beauty of being human. You are a work of Art and you are beautiful!
Close your eyes, sit for a few minutes and repeat to yourself ...