Archive | June, 2016

Sand

28 Jun

If you’ve ever been to the beach and played in the sand for any length of time you know how insidious it can be. The shore is covered with sand and as we walk on it, play in it and swim around it we get it in our swimsuits, in our shorts, in our shoes, in our hair and everywhere else. But we’re having fun and although it can be annoying and gritty to deal with, it’s worth the trade-off. In our lives there are lots of people around us all the time. Though not as numerous as sand particles on the beach, there are many continually in and out of our lives. If we surround ourselves with good, strong people our associations may be beneficial and helpful. But if we continually interact with others whose choices aren’t positive, and who do things that bring problems and heartache to those around them, our time with them may hurt us. Like the sand that finds its way all over us and then begins to chafe, if we continually associate with those who hurt us we will be unhappy.

We build and create our relationships for lots of reasons. Sometimes they evolve because of association, sometimes they are part of our family, sometimes we build them because we like what they bring us, and sometimes we’re in them because there is history that cannot be undone. And sometimes our relationships change and become difficult to navigate. We don’t have to keep any relationship that makes us uncomfortable or that brings us hardship but it can be hard to stop a pattern if we’ve been involved for a long period of time. We might try to distance ourselves from a toxic situation but if we don’t sever the ties that hold us to it, that will do little to fix the problem. It’s like brushing sand off the outside of our bathing suit but doing nothing to wash out the grit that has made its way inside it. Things may look better on the outside, but the problem is still there. No matter who we’re involved with, and no matter what their relationship is to us if we are not happy, we can change it.

If we stay in relationships that hurt us and do nothing to change them, our unhappiness may increase. No matter what the situation is we always have the power to modify our circumstances so we can move forward comfortably and happily. If we’re dealing with someone who is rude and offensive, we can speak up and clearly state our boundaries. If we have a difficult family member we can set the example for patience and insist on being treated with respect. If we’re in a relationship that isn’t working and we want to move on we can do what is needed to make that happen. There isn’t anything we can’t manage and if we’ve got sand in our shoes, we can shake it out. If it’s in our hair, we can wash it out. And if it’s in our clothes, we can change them. Our lives belong to us and we can do whatever is needed to be happy and successful.

Today if you’re in a situation that is making you uncomfortable, be honest and do what is needed to change it. You deserve to be happy. Take charge and change your course. Shake out the sand and enjoy the beach. You have everything it takes to move forward.

Seeing and Believing

27 Jun

Most of the time we think we see ourselves as we really are.  We think we know who we are and how others see us.  But it’s possible we aren’t seeing ourselves objectively and sometimes we may be wrong about how we appear to those around us.  For instance, we might think we seem quite sedentary because we don’t like to work out but in fact others might see us busily doing things most of the time and think we’re quite active.  Or we might think we’re intense because we can feel all our emotions while others think we are easy going. It takes effort to see everything objectively but if we step back and really look at what we’re doing we can get a better picture of who we really are.  Part of the reason we miss our personal cues are the expectations we set for ourselves.  If we set very high standards for ourselves and don’t meet them, we may judge critically and reflect the perceived deficiency as failure.  But we don’t need to do that.  It’s possible we’re doing better than we think we are.   And it’s also possible we aren’t seeing that.  If we step back and really look objectively as an outsider sees us we may find we look different than we thought.  And we might even find we look great.

Personal expectations can be very high.  Sometimes when we set them we expect to achieve them right away.  Expecting to change immediately just because we’ve decided we want it never works.  It takes time and effort to do things in new ways and adopt new behaviors.  We need time for the adjustment it takes to get there.  If we can change our thinking to consider our personal expectations instead as personal goals and then make a plan to achieve them we’ll feel more confident as we’re learning the new pattern.  Nobody’s life is perfect and we all want to make changes from time to time.  Anticipating immediate change will defeat us.  We can allow time to learn new behaviors we want to adopt and then clearly see the steps we’re making each day that take us closer to them.  If we acknowledge our progress as we’re moving closer to where we want to be we’ll be more self-assured and confident that we’ll succeed.

Even if we’re capable of seeing others objectively as they are, we may struggle to see truth when evaluating ourselves.  We are often harder and more critical of ourselves than we are of others.  We may expect to do things right every time, to never falter, and to achieve everything we set out to do without problems.  It’s fine to set lofty goals but our lives are never defined by unmarred lines in the sand.  We are fluid and will sometimes make choices that aren’t perfect.  There is no way to prevent wavering from time to time.  It’s the overall picture that counts.  If our feet are pointed in the right direction, and if we strive to do the best we can at every turn, we are doing well.  We aren’t perfect and we will make mistakes.  But if we can look at the big picture of who we really are despite our imperfections we may see that we are more accomplished and capable than we thought.  We do a lot of things well, and we do some things very well.  Seeing those honestly will bring us confidence and clarity as we move forward.

Today if you feel you’re less than you want to be, step back and look at yourself objectively.  You may see you have more going for you than you thought.  You have accomplished many wonderful things already.  Acknowledge them and be confident. You have all you need to be successful in everything you choose going forward.

Chrysalis

24 Jun

Every day as our lives move along we learn new things, and our situations change.  We develop traits, preferences, desires, and goals based on what we experience and what we want.  We become who we are with each new experience but who we are now isn’t a permanent state.  We are capable of changing anything in our lives whenever we like.  There may be times we look at ourselves and don’t like the reflection we see.  Maybe we don’t look the way we want to look, or haven’t done the things we want to do.  If we are unhappy we can change our course.  Like a chrysalis we leave behind we can move forward from where we are and evolve into the people we want to be.  There isn’t much we can’t do if we really want to.  We can change our appearances, our professional goals, our relationships, where we live, with whom we associate, our ethical and moral standards and anything else that defines us.  Everything is fluid and if we aren’t happy where we are, altering our course is always an option.  The changes we seek may take serious determination and time but no matter what they require if we want them we can achieve them.

The world sends out a lot of messages about who we should be, how we should look, and how we should live our lives.  Those messages are everywhere and if our lives don’t mimic them we may feel we aren’t enough.  But we are the only ones who decide how our lives should be and who we really are.  The opinions of others don’t matter.  What matters is living authentically according to our own desires.  If we do we will find contentment no matter what we’re doing.  We don’t need to fit into the designs set by others and even if we achieve them, it’s unlikely we’ll find true happiness.  Only we know exactly who we are and what we want and we are entitled to create lives that reflect that.

We all deserve to be as happy as possible.  If we aren’t, we can change our course.  If we don’t like the relationships we’re in we can change them.  If we’re unhappy in our jobs, we can look for something else.  And if our family situations are not working for us, we can find better ways to navigate them.  There really isn’t anything we can’t do.  We can change anything and we can be completely happy.  We don’t need anyone’s permission or blessing.  But true happiness doesn’t just happen because we want it.  We have to determine exactly where we want to be and then do everything in our power to get there.  We can design our lives to fit us perfectly and have real and lasting happiness.  We have the power to make all our dreams come true.  We deserve everything we hope for and we are capable of achieving whatever we desire.

Today if you’re unhappy with where you are right now or you don’t like something about your circumstances, make a plan to change and leave the things you don’t want behind.  Start today to re-chart your path forward.  You can achieve all the things you want.  There isn’t anything you can’t do.  You deserve to be completely happy.

Big Shoulders

22 Jun

As we go through our lives trouble comes to all of us.  We have the regular aggravations that crop up and there are always some sort of complications as we try to do things.  Sometimes we encounter serious problems that are difficult to navigate and if we have more than one to deal with at once, we can feel beset.  They say that in every life a little rain must fall, but if we’re in a deluge of trouble and struggling to get through, it can be very uncomfortable to navigate.  There is a limitless variety of problems we may encounter.  If we have all the skills we need to solve them we get through them more easily than when we are caught unaware and unprepared.  We can’t read the future and can’t be prepared for everything that comes to us but we can be confident that no matter what it is, no matter how hard it is to overcome, or how complicated it becomes we can find a way through.  Nothing will come to us that we can’t figure out.  It might take some time, and we may feel daunted and confused for a while but we will find our way.  If we are confident and calm there isn’t anything we can’t face.

Sometimes we can sense when problems are going to happen.  Perhaps we notice changes that point to complications coming our way.  Maybe we can try to head them off at the pass and solve the situation before it gets too big.  But sometimes we can’t do anything to stop the issue and have to navigate it when it arrives.  There will almost certainly be other people involved when we face difficult issues and although we may have our ideas about how to go about resolving them, their influence and impact may be significant.  If we can’t agree on how to correct the situation it will take longer to let it go.  But we can be patient and clearly give our opinions and advice.  We may have to compromise our plans but when we find a workable answer everyone can agree on we can move forward.

When we have very difficult personal problems it can be hard to navigate the other arenas of our lives.  If what we’re going through is so painful that we can’t concentrate, finding the solution won’t wait.  Our lives are important and our happiness depends our ability to navigate and resolve whatever is holding us back.  Sometimes we may need to reach out for professional help and we can do that.  Or we might want the advice and counsel of a trusted friend.  We don’t have to face anything alone and if we want help, we can find it.  No matter what comes, there isn’t anything we can’t do and nothing we can’t manage.  We are capable of facing even the most difficult of trials, and our shoulders are big enough to carry them.

Today if you’re going through a difficult situation and feel beset by the problem, remember there isn’t anything you can’t do.  You can get help if you need it.  You will find the answers you’re seeking and you will resolve the issue.  You are stronger than you know.  Be confident.  Be brave.  You will prevail.

The Two Step

21 Jun

Few things in life go as planned when we start out. Rarely do we go from one point to another in a perfectly straight line with no deviations. Even if we know exactly where we want to go and are confident we know how to get there, obstacles will often arise that impede our path. It’s like doing the two step. We go forward for a while and then have to step to the side. Or we have to step back for a time and wait. It can be frustrating as we deal with whatever detour or complication has presented itself and when we finally get things worked out again we’re eager to get back on track. It seems so easy when we’re making our plans. We just need to go forward and get to the goal. But life is complex and there are a lot of things happening all the time. While we’re making plans, so is everyone else. And there are many things outside our control. It’s true that we can accomplish almost anything we set out to do. But it’s also true that straight lines in this life rarely exist. That doesn’t mean we can’t get where we want to go but it does mean we may have to adjust again and again along the way.

When we’re impatient to achieve something and eager to move ahead, complications in our way are frustrating. In our desire to move forward we may simply shove our way through problems and try to keep going. However, rushing through any development often leads to further difficulties if we’ve neglected to resolve the issue before moving on. It’s hard to slow down and process every problem to find the best solution when we’re eager to move past it, but brushing them off with a cursory glance won’t allow us to resolve them and they may pop up again. If we stop and look at each development clearly, and take the time to completely resolve it we have a better chance of leaving it behind for good. Loose ends have a way of tangling our progress. If we tie them up and close them off, we can let them go and move on.

When we’re making plans to achieve anything it’s important to look at everything that may prevent us from success. Sometimes because we’re in a hurry or determined to get to the goal we may miss some important cues to watch out for. It’s rare that any plans we make won’t involve others in some way. It’s important to plan for how that involvement will work and how to navigate any complications it may cause. Just like taking a road trip we have to make sure the tires are in good shape, we have plenty of gas, our GPS is set or we have a map to get us through any detours, and we know exactly where we’re going to end up. There are always many things to consider when we choose a destination and there will always be unexpected surprises. Planning for them and expecting them will help us get to our goal. Straight lines are nice but learning to bend with the curves can be critical. We can do the two step and do it well. We can bend and turn and weave and dance, and still get to the goal.

Today if you’re trying to move forward but there is something blocking your way, stop and resolve it completely. Take the time to make sure all the loose ends are taken care of and then continue on. There isn’t anything you can’t manage. You know where you want to go and you have everything you need to get there.