Always loved these words, and – thankfully – always believed them.
Nothing in Life worth having is free, or easy. Period.
We all have a different path, different goals, different failures and struggles… But the one thing we can have in common – if we choose it – is opportunity.
If you want it, you have to be willing to work.
Some days the journey feels insurmountable, but the results are always within reach if you keep at it. There would be no meaning, nor joy, in any of it were it not the case – to be handed what we have not earned will never give the satisfaction.
Sometimes we get so focused on the long-term, overall picture that we – inadvertently – land ourselves in a state of overwhelming, nigh-perpetual, high anxiety.
A long-term goal is GREAT to have – without our sights set on the future, how can we ensure that we can create a solid plan of attack to successfully achieve that goal? Not easily! (no goal = a lot of shots in the dark, sometimes without any progress at all.)
Generally, though, the path to what we want isn’t going to be a smooth, straight, upward-driving line – it’s probably “all over the map.” And you know what? That’s OKAY.
The stresses of daily life can add up quickly, and dominate every action and aspect of our lives. . .but it doesn’t have to be that way, even when we are feverishly striving for that end result.
Sometimes the best thing for our sanity is to focus on a day at a time. A MOMENT at a time if you have to – and I’ve definitely been there!
When we slow it down, and remove the mountainous task in front of us, we can put out attention to what’s more attainable (and manageable) in that moment. Maybe its crossing off one or two more things on the “to-do” list that day (instead of forcefully trying to accomplish seven or eight that will, no doubt, only end up rushed or riddled with mistakes.) Or it could be that just making one call will put you closer to fanning out the connections you ultimately need – one call might still be moving in the right direction versus none…or ten poorly executed ones.
Some days we can go full-bore – we feel able to tackle any challenge, and prepared to take on the larger projects. But when serious stress hits, and we are simply too overwhelmed, it’s okay to take a deep breath and focus on only what you CAN change – if anything – at that moment alone.
Progress is progress – it doesn’t have to be leaps and bounds to qualify as a step in the right direction.
More random positivity here…
Above hyperlink (“tackle any challenge”) is for the article “Overcoming These Challenges Will Make You More Successful by Dr. Travis Bradberry.”
Many years – moons ago, it seems – I was introduced to the concept of “mindfulness.” I’d been practicing mindfulness most of my life without realizing it…and I hadn’t realized, because I’d not always *quite* had the hang of it. Still, I was vastly more spiritual than I had words to explain, and my ever-wandering mind, and proclivity for all thing magical, led me – both knowingly and not – down the path.
After at least a decade and a half of Alexander Technique, Craniosacral and Somatic work, EMDR, Brainspotting, Martial Arts, and countless spiritual endeavors, I fumble a little bit less. . . But I’m still learning, and have leagues yet to go – lifetime pursuit, as so many things are.
But it isn’t required that we are necessarily graceful with it. Fluidity comes with consistency, and mindfulness is very much a way of life. It is therefore a quotidian ritual of sorts that we evolve with, and as a result of – to expect mastery instantly is almost an injustice, as the (sometimes clumsy!) journey is what facilitates learning at the deepest levels. It’s not unlike meditation – widely known to be a challenge at first – as it becomes smoother with time.
Life these days feels intensely hectic – I want to say more so than ever but I’ve only know this Earth, and time, for 38 years! The influx (and imposition – *cough* *cough* social media!) of technology has created a reality in which “connectivity” is at the ultimate high. 24/7, to be exact. There are many blessings born of such advances, but there are also massive changes afoot – ones which I daresay are reprogramming human beings at the most fundamental level.
We are all born with a magical capacity – ALL of us. We all have the ability to tap into the same natural resources that have allowed us to survive as a species from the beginning of time. But it feels frighteningly apparent that even children – generally more adept at awareness than overly-conditioned adults – are also losing the ability.
It isn’t just about looking down at a phone while crossing the street – awareness out the window and then some! It’s also in losing the ability to “read” others – the read the non-verbal cues, to FEEL, to SENSE… Children drown nearly as much in the virtual world these days, to the degree that even THEY don’t see the full picture anymore…
The good news? That extra-sensory ability never truly goes away. What’s happening is more that we are – byproduct of a civilized, modern society – conditioned OUT of our natural abilities. Our senses become duller because who needs to be aware of danger when getting dinner involves takeout, or benign shopping aisles?!
Oh, and that “6th” one? It gets completely shrouded by all the noise. Sadly, modern man somehow thinks a 6th sense is actually supernatural. Ever notice that animals have it? Right…well. . . *reminder* : we ARE animals. We have it too. Just —> noise, noise, noise!
The practice of mindfulness brings back the precise moment in time in which we find ourselves. For me, it is seeing each letter as I type my words, hearing myself speak them as they form, seeing the pause of my fingertips, hearing the music that is playing in the background…
Human beings have always projected ahead, and reflected on the past – for instance, planning a hunt to gather food, and drawing the hunt on the walls of a cave after the fact. But nowadays, that practice is so multi-fold that stress tends to weasel its way in to the process, leaving us frazzled and forgetful of the moment we are actually IN.
When we DO take a deep breath…and take the moment in…our heart rate actually slows down with us. Our very life force, how about that?
Mindfulness is the place in which perspective is purest, in which our emotions no longer control us (this is a wonderful practice for anger and the anxiety-prone), in which our innate magical abilities awaken.
It can have other great effects too – we might actually enjoy our food, eat less instead of devouring (I’m guilty of that!) It gives stress a swift kick for a time too (something we all need!) Mindfulness can catch us in the act of judging, or just before an argument that we needn’t have… It helps us to become better all around.
Mindfulness is like the free gift of wizardry! We have the power to create, to subdue, to awaken, to affect, to manifest, and to see. Our feelings are deeper, our heart unfolds, and suddenly. . ? It’s like we are truly alive.
At a time of the year when life is particularly stressful – and focused on the superficial in many ways – take a moment (or, better…SEVERAL) and relax into your breath.
The magic will do the rest.
This is something I try to be incredibly mindful of…
Having met with fear, failure, and success over time…as do we all of the human race…I cannot help but “fluctuate” – some days are good, some are great, while others feel somber and disheartening.
I sincerely believe that each experience provides wisdom and strength – while in some ways the construct of time is man-made (or made-determined), each moment builds, follows a prior one…and collapses as the next “tick” comes. It will march forward one way or the other and being “stuck” is a painful and lonely place to be.
Accepting and acknowledging our feelings is of vital importance – they are, after all, valid. That said, the deeper-colored they are, the more oppressive the shadows they cast over our positivity and well-being.
I had some flashbacks myself the other day about an abusive person who had very little good to say, and who wounded me very deeply. It hurt. It was frightening. It was sobering, and saddening… I coincidentally came across this quotation not long after them – what a lovely reminder!
Staying mindful, and as much in the moment, focused on the good things feels like the proper undercurrent for me – I have my moments, and I forgive myself that I am human, shaped by the ups and downs of Life. I remember that I am okay NOW – I am in a great place, I have fought to be where I am…and I am SO much stronger than I was.
When the past endeavors to persuade my heart and spirit to sink, I take a deep breath and focus on the path ahead of me, and the blessings of NOW. You are allowed to feel…but remember that you also have control, and you ARE doing great.