Adjusting to a New Place

{by The Inspiring Bee}

Life is not supposed to be easy.

We’re not meant to sit in hammocks and twiddle our thumbs. We’re grown to be both hard and soft, both strong and vulnerable. We’re built to withstand hardship and to be supple and weak. We know this as children. We know it inherently, which is why children laugh as hard as they cry, play as hard as they sleep. We just forget as we lose our baby fat and childlike sensibilities.

But life does not want us to stay set in our own ways. It wiggles and shakes us to move. It sends storms our way and removes our umbrellas, raincoats and even the roof over our head in an effort to remind us: “You were meant to live BIG!”

It calls us over and makes us say things like:

“This is so unfair. It shouldn’t have to be this way. Why me??!!!”

And when we’re on the floor, sobbing in waves, breathless and tired and weak, it shows us a light. It reminds us that through sorrow and struggle, a door opens. It’s THE way. The path that was always meant for us to walk through. We just were too busy trying to lose weight, buy the perfect house or carve out the perfect life, to see it.

But as the dust settles and we find our place, the light, which was peaking through a small crack in the door grows brilliant. It shines over us and heals what we didn’t know needed healing. We realize that what once we labeled “tragic” was an unexpected blessing.

The new place feels unfamiliar and scary, but we dip our toes in it anyway. We sense as we leave our old life, a shift. We feel both sad about what we’ve lost, but ever hopeful for what we’re about to gain. It’s through this process of continuing to have hope and faith that lands us to the life we were meant to live. It’s the breaking through that gives the journey meaning.

As I walk on sand instead of concrete, my physical move has taken shape to an emotional one. Life cannot exist independent on what we’re going through internally. We must also shift with our physical experience and circumstances. In light of what ever you are going through, remember that where you are now is where you are supposed to be. Remember that you have the tools to get you through whatever you’re going through. And above all this, remember the light of grace that will always pave the way even when the world seems to have gone dark.

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Being Okay With the Unknown

{flickr photo}

I guarantee our ancestors were better at it than we are. They didn’t have smart phones back then, or tablets, or digital notebooks. They looked to the stars for guidance and their hearts for hope. And when it got really bad, they sat on the earth, lifted their palms up to the sky and prayed for guidance.

I wish I had their faith and confidence. (I’m the type of girl who needs to check her iPad for the weather before deciding what to wear in the morning.)

With all our fancy gadgets, you’d think we’d be stronger, more courageous and adventurous. In some ways, yes. But surprisingly, it’s getting good with the not knowing in life that makes us strong.

The Bad Thing About Technology

I think technology has just given us a false sense of control. And we’ve gotten too comfortable in thinking we can know and control everything. So much so that when something hits us (an illness, a death, a loss), when something alters the way we perceived things previously, we’re shaken to our core. And that unsettling experience propels us from the false veil/shield we thought would prevent us from difficulty.

I don’t think we will ever get to a point where we enjoy the hardships, look forward to the pain or feel automatically grateful for it. But I think in learning that none of us really had control to begin with, we can let go just a little bit. We can stretch our arms into the unknown, feel the fear and be in awe of its power. We can remember that our lives are both greater and smaller than we make it. And instead of feeling anxious and overwhelmed by the enormity of that knowledge, we can remember that love, spirituality, hope, and faith always trumps fear…

{Read more on my Happy Haven column for Beliefnet Health.}

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You Have Permission to Just Be

{flickr photo}

Like reptiles we shed our soft baby skins and soft, playful spirits when we leave childhood. We embrace a tougher skin and more brittle insides that we think come with adulthood.

“We’re grown-ups now,” we say to ourselves. That means no more lounging around, letting our souls dream, and watching the day roll on by the way we used to as kids.

We allow ourselves to harden the way flowers do when they’re on the their way to die. And we forget that life is about growing, not sinking into ourselves.

And why shouldn’t we?

Life gives us more than enough reason to. It takes away our loved ones, our dreams, our hope. And it does so in such an insidious, unexpected way, how can we not relinquish the playfulness and whimsy that characterized our youth, and grab onto what’s left: fear, discouragement, disappointment?

It is, but a choice.

{The rest of my post can be read on my Beliefnet Health column, “Happy Haven.”}

 

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One Way to Feel Better Fast

Sorry I’ve been posting so late these days! Truthfully, it’s because I’m still on Hawaii time. Last week I was visiting family and trying my best to soak up the sunshine (even though it rained most of the time we were there). But while I was on vacation, I did have a chance to get some writing done.

Here’s one piece that I published recently for Beliefnet Health that will help prevent a downward slide into depression. A tip we should all avoid if we want to improve not downgrade our mood. Please share it if you like it.

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The Forecast? Cloudy with a Chance of More Clouds

via pinterest. from http://ow.ly/6VkFh.

 

It’s pretty easy to bring yourself down. You can go from high in the sky happiness to the very low of the lows if you put your mind to it.

But I bet you don’t even realize you’re doing it right?

Put an alarm on your phone/laptop. Set it to beep every hour. When that alarm goes off, write down what you were thinking in that moment? Were you thinking about what you were doing, what you will do next, complimenting yourself on a job well-done or beating yourself up about the mistake you made a few minutes ago?

I tried this once and was surprised how often negative thoughts popped up into my head. I’m not alone. I recently read how author Julia Cameron even had a name for it. She calls it Nigel.

If you’re a creative person, you’re probably used to it by now. What you might not realize is how often that voice of negativity is sabotaging and dictating your life.

 

The solution?

1. Conscious awareness.

2. Confront it with loving-kindness.

Your negative inner voice will look for ways to pick on your vulnerable spots. He/she will find the dirt in a rose garden. But if you continually feed it with positive statements: “How beautiful today is.” “How much better life is getting.” “How great I’m doing to pursue my dreams.” It will gradually shrink back in its dark hole until you let it out again.

Try it and see if your future forecast isn’t a bit more sunny.

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