Well dog my cats! I went pack rafting today and didn’t shit my pants! I have this thing with drowning…and the way I tend to address my fears is dive straight into them. Inevitably they seem far less freaky than what my mind was making up. Buuuuut with whitewater kayaking or pack rafting, it feels a little harder to embrace being dumped into a rapid, upside down. It’s that “airway” thing, I guess.
The depths of the ocean freaked me out, so I learned to scuba dive. It was much prettier and mellow down there than the dark muddied world of ugly gray breasts that I’d made up whenever a strand of seaweed would brush against my leg at the beaches in Santa Cruz.
Heights made me dizzy so I learned to climb, and discovered that getting over that fear for the kick ass views was well worth it.
I was afraid to have my heart hurt again, so I flung it wide open for my soul mate, who is – as I write this on my iPhone on the banks of Clear Creek – on my mountainbike riding uphill 8 miles to go get the car, which we left at the put-in upriver. We’re uber happy, to say the least;)
In any event, until recently, I allowed myself to be afraid of whitewater, because I figured it’s ok to be afraid of <em>something,</em> right? But then whenever my friends did it, I felt like I was missing out. They’d come back all tan and happy, and with this cool shared experience. And deep down, I knew I could do it. And deep down, I wish I was better at it. So, I did it:)
Hey! There is it again! That fear I’ve written about a few times: FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out.
Well thank God for FOMO. Without it, I might be better rested and comfortable, but because of it, I keep having amazing new experiences, meeting absolutely amazing people, playing in the wilderness, getting stronger in body, mind, and spirit…and heart. And I feel ALIVE!
Of course, you don’t have to be on whitewater or a mountain to feel alive. We all have our own thing for that.
What is yours? What helps you feel alive?
And what are you fearing you might be missing out on? What could you do to drop into it and have a cool experience?
Does it require you to call a friend, or go on a date by yourself and check out that new wine bar and hit up that long yet awesome movie you’ve been wanting to see? Does it mean you need to stop protecting your heart so much that you don’t take anymore risks?
FOMO is a good fear – at least for me. The fear of missing out often overpowers the fear of whatever it is before me. And I grow as a result. I mean, I’m with my freakin’ soulmate!!!
It keeps me on my toes, taking inner and outer risks, and opening to the opportunities that the Universe present before me.
This planet is so utterly, epically, über amazing. Being human is such a precious gift. Our spirits and hearts are so much more resilient and magnificent than we can ever imagine them to be.
So, what’s your FOMO? Please do share below! I’d love to hear from you.
Note: Ana Neff is a personal life coach, guide and FreedomJunkie™ She helps individuals awaken their lives of freedom and personal success with confidence, clarity, self-love, and passion. Her monthly Jedi Juice ™ eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. Her Full-On 365 blog posts stem from her commitment to living full-on, every day, for 365 days in a row. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download her FREE Getting Clear Guide by visiting Anaverzone.com (note: it’s new look will be up to rock your world soon)! Sign up for her next FREE Jedi Juice Training call on the Law of Attraction at anaverzone.com/jedi-juice
Yeehaw! It is hard to believe that I started this journey just over 100 days ago (I wrote this late last night which was technically Day 101;) Since coming back from the river over the long weekend, I’ve had some time to reflect on what I’ve learned so far on this year-long (and hopefully lifetime!) adventure.
I was on the Smith River Monday and Tuesday, and as I pulled into town after those awesome days on the water, I noticed several things: 1) I was undeniably tan. SO TAN compared to others here in the Pacific Northwest just coming out of the Winter/Spring transition. And despite my history of melanoma, it meant to me that I was playing outside, which made me happy;)
2) I also noticed that I was so relaxed the rest of the week, and that I was less easily irritated and much more patient and present…and freakin’ HAPPY!
Well, I did admittedly catch on fire a bit when someone had been snarky with a student midwife I was teaching. I got all motherly and protective! You should have seen it. I reared up for her like a mama moose;) This happened in the privacy of the two of us hanging out, of course (I have learned a bit of diplomacy over the years) – but I found it more entertaining than unsettling. I’m not kidding though – other than that incident, it was like even if I had WANTED to get pissy I couldn’t have. It was awesome! And this has been growing ever since I started this challenge.
It has been interesting observing my mind this week and reflecting on how things have changed since I started this challenge. Something would happen and I’d say, “Oh bummer. This is totally going to irritate me.” Then I’d wait for the reaction…and it wouldn’t come! I watched it happen a few more times and I thought, “Damn! This shit really works!”
What shit am I referring to?
responding instead of reacting
observing the mind throughout the day (and sitting meditation)
taking care of my body – rest AND exercise…and I suppose lots of great sex doesn’t hurt either;)
honoring my values
surrounding myself with good friends and family
making decisions (even HUGE ones!) based on integrity with who I am and what my dreams are
building my confidence and courage to take the actions that move me forward towards my dreams
striving to be as present as possible with the people I interact with
being outdoors as much as possible
In short, all those things make up the definition of what Living Full On means for me. And when I do all those things, I am a happier, more joyous, more compassionate, patient,
loving, and present person. So don’t think for a moment that living Full On is a selfish thing! When you live Full On, you bring light and love and joy to the world.
I think the last time I felt like this – energized, passionate, calm, present, happy, patient, loving, compassionate – so consistently was when I was a climbing guide and living out of my car. It was brilliant. And it IS brilliant to feel that again.
I confirmed what I knew to be true but had a hard time implementing and experiencing in a balanced and regular way while working full-time (and then some;) and living far from big mountains: that I CAN feel that way again. I can feel that way without having to be in the mountains every day of my life and doing scary shit and traveling to remote places. Yes, I WANT to keep doing those things – and WILL. But there is a peace that come from finding this SOURCE, this place to tap into wherever I am.
It doesn’t mean it is OK to ignore my values of being in the outdoors, or finding adventures, or feeling healthy and sexy and alive. It simply means that when I can’t get or do exactly what I want, I am learning how to still feed my soul, and how to do so in a balanced way.
I think the next chapter of this journey is going to involve learning more about balance…refining this dance of living Full On every day.
I’d love to hear about what you do to find balance in your life to give me some ideas for what’s coming up. Please let me know in the comments below. I’m sure others will love to read about it as well! So…
How do YOU balance your passions with other parts of your life?
Also, what does Living Full On mean for you?
Note: Ana Neff is a personal life coach, mentor and Freedom Junkie™ She helps individuals awaken their lives of freedom and personal success with confidence, clarity, self-love, and passion. Her monthly Freedom Junkie ™ eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download her FREE Getting Clear Guide by visiting www.FullOn365.com
Many of us spend a lot of time doing things we’re good at…if we’re lucky, maybe even things we’re great at. However, very few of us hang out in our GENIUS for very long (or even know what our genius is, for that matter!). Read on for a little help finding out what your genius is so you can spend more time in it every day.
“I expand in abundance, success and love every day as I inspire those around me to do the same.” ~ The Ultimate Success Mantra in The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks
The above “mantra” is encouraged to be said regularly in Gay Hendricks’ book, The Big Leap. I put it here because while we are all trying to figure out what the hoo-hah we’re supposed to be doing to live our purpose and genius, we need to remember to keep moving forward during that process, and saying this mantra can be a good reminder. Plus I simply dig quotes.
Hendricks says it even produces results – just saying the mantra! Why not! But more on mantras another time. If you’re as impatient as I am, you probably want to know if there are any tools out there that can also speed things up towards your genius 😉
Here are four questions to help you move closer to discovering your purpose and living your genius (you can read more about them in The Big Leap) .
4 Questions to Discover Your Purpose and Live Your Genius
1. What do I most love to do?
I love to play in the mountains and have adventures. Ever since I discovered them, the mountains have been one of the most consistent joy-producing sources in my life. I also love to dance. Throw me in the mountains to dance, and I am a pig in mud, a bee on pollen, a bear on salmon. What do YOU most love to do, so much that you could do it for long stretches of time and never get bored?
2. What work do I do that doesn’t seem like work?
When I am coaching, I remember the Double Dare Club I started as a kid (see below). I would feel a tickle in my stomach and a tingling in my whole being when I was doing something that stretched me, and watching and inspiring others to experience that as well. I could do that all day. I still feel that in my adult career as a coach. In the end, I can’t get enough of helping others see the truth that is already there: that they are magnificent, that the Universe wants them to manifest all their dreams (and is constantly conspiring to help them do so), and that life is so precious they need to get on it and LIVE it fully, right now, because they deserve to have a kick-ass time while they’re here.
When you’re at work, what are you doing when time seems to fly by, when you are feeling like you have endless energy to do that particular thing? Perhaps that thing even gives you energy. How much of your current workday is spent doing that activity? How can you increase that amount of time doing that? You must!
3. In my work, what produces the highest ratio of abundance and satisfaction to amount of time spent?
Gay Hendricks gives his example of allowing a few minutes of free-flowing thought every day. He finds that when he sets aside time for this (he takes an hour to meditate each day), he can have breakthroughs that result in marked increases of success in his work. Sometimes it takes months, but other times in a few seconds he’ll have an idea that will end up resulting in a product or book or workshop series that adds exponentially to his abundance.
This doesn’t mean YOU need to start setting aside an hour of free-flow thought a day (unless of course, that is your thang). However, it does mean it would behoove you to figure out what that special little thang is for you. And no, that’s not a typo. It’s a thang because it will bring you more satisfaction for the time and effort you expend at work than anything else ever would. For me its journaling and reading every day. Those two things gives me ideas for articles, workshops to offer, add to my skillset as a coach, come up with new programs…lots of great stuff! And I love doing it.
Maybe for you it is talking a walk in nature during lunch, calling up that colleague who really gets your creative juices flowing whenever you talk about projects, doodling…whatever it is, pinpoint what that thang is for you and spend more time doing it in your workday!
4. What is my unique ability (a.k.a. Superpower)?
I adore and appreciate how Gay’s granddaughter described one’s “unique ability” as a Superpower. So yes, let’s rephrase: What’s your Superpower? One client of mine excels at telling stories. Ever since she was a child she could captivate an audience with her stories. On a deeper level, she describes her superpower as knowing how to capture and hold attention on a deep level, and transport others with her voice. She could also tune into what story or lesson would be most beneficial to a group at a given event. Another client of mine didn’t discover her unique ability…ahem…I mean Superpower, until she was in her 40s. She discovered that she could see and be with others’ grief in a way very few people could, and this opened up a whole new career and way of being in the world for her.
Often this unique ability is developed at a young age. One of Gay’s granddaughters said her superpower is “sensing other people’s feelings” (she’s12 years old). It is not unusual that it develops as a coping mechanism to deal with some kind of stress, such as a volatile parent, an overbearing sibling, or being very shy in social situations.
For example, as a kid, I noticed that my cousins and friends and I got bored pretty easily. We were energetic, adventurous, bursting with life…and we lived in the ghetto. This meant we couldn’t run amok all over town lest something horrible happen to us. And our parents were strict enough that we couldn’t get away with even trying, lest something even more horrible happen to us at home. So, I had an idea: “The Double Dare Club.”
I think I was eight years old when I thought of starting the Double Dare Club. What was this club about? Well, it essentially consisted of me thinking up wild and crazy ways we could all expand our comfort zones in the relative safety of our own backyards. Then I’d double dare the club members to do it. “Expanding our comfort zones” is an adult way of putting it, of course. Back then I saw it as a way for us to have fun, be a little scared, and stop being bored. I was an only child and abhorred boredom. I’d cry from boredom, and avoided it at all costs.
No matter why we were in the club, however, it was paramount that what we did had to push our edge. Otherwise it would be boring.
These dares were customized by me. After all, members ranged in ages from 6 to 10 years old, and even boys joined my club. In fact, mostly boys joined my club. As an example of our dares, I had people climbing tall fences barefoot and launching off the fence into the neighbor’s backyard then stealing a basketball (which we’d quickly return once the deed was done) then coming back and shooting 3 straight free throws and making them, then jumping back over to return the ball all in 2 minutes. Did I mention the neighbor was mean? We also climbed up the REALLY tall redwood tree (yeah, we had one in the ghetto and it fell into our yard after a storm one winter and we didn’t have it anymore) and would see who could get the highest and then climb down, sometimes with one arm. Sometimes blindfolded. Sheesh. My poor mother. She didn’t know about any of that though.
In any event, I LOVED seeing my friends’ faces after they did each dare. They were absolutely thrilled and proud and giddy! If it wasn’t a hard enough dare, everything felt kind of flat. My unique superpower was hidden somewhere in there, for sure.
So..how do I describe what it is?
Articulating your unique ability is a tricky one to get at, as it is often hidden under a lot of layers. So, here are a few questions to help you peel those away:
• I’m at my best when ………
• When I’m at my best, the exact thing I’m doing is …..
• When I’m doing that, the thing I love most about it is ….
When I did this inquiry of “What is my unique ability” several times in the past, I thought my unique ability was to coach clients into a fulfilled life, or to midwife families into an empowered pregnancy and birth experience, or take them into the mountains to push beyond being scared, and instead be inspired and discover their courage. However, it was deeper than that.
When I peeled back the layers I discovered that I am at my best when I am totally present and connected with my clients. The exact thing I am doing – whether I was coaching, guiding, or midwifing – is completely tuning in to where they are at. I am listening on all levels to what they are communicating, and feeling intense compassion for them and excitement about how their life is unfolding as they learn more and more about what is possible for them, and integrate these truths themselves.
In being with my clients this way, I create a safe and courageous space for them to take risks (by the way, this is what happens whenever ANY of us are being with others in this way). Over the years that showed up in births, in the mountains, and in my client’s wild-innerness. The thing I love most about when that is happening is that I get to witness another being discover their power and live their truth, and that is a freakin’ amazing thing to behold. It gives me boundless joy because I know yet another precious life on this precious planet is going to be lived even more fully, and we ALL benefit from that. And they will never be bored. This life is too precious to EVER be bored.
I hope you take some time to discover your genius and create ways to live in it more and more each day. The world doesn’t just want you to – it needs you to.
I’m writing this sitting on a plane ride from North Carolina en route to Ashland via San Francisco. Sitting next to me is Fred, a Texan hydrogeologist. He tells me a story. It starts with a dream. Back in the day as a single man, he promised himself that when he had kids, he would raise them in Mexico. For him, it was the perfect place for the way he wanted to raise his kids, allowing for cultural immersion and life-expanding experiences. Lo and behold, years later, at the height of his career, the kids arrived. Not the best timing. Did he freak out knowing he was at a highpoint in his career and tell himself, “Hellz no! I am not going to Mexico! Not now!” ?
Au contraire. And neither did his wife. He stayed true to his dream and they sold everything, moving their family to Mexico. The first six years were full of trials to say the least. It was challenging to find a job as a Texan hydrogeologist, even after having done work there previously. I think he may have used the words “it was actually kind of like hell.” They wondered, often, “What have we DONE?!”
BUT, over the course of about 6 years, things started turning around. He and his wife started a furniture business. It grew. It became a success. And now, after 16 years in Mexico, they are quite happy and content. In the end, he says he sees it as one of the best decisions of his life, and it has been a truly enriching experience for his kids, which was the whole point of taking that risk in the first place. Fred confirms this by saying thatto NOT have ever gone to Mexico – wondering “What if?” – would have been far worse than going through those challenging 6-7 years. Fred, my friends, has Ziji.
Ziji is all about confidence. But not just any confidence. True. Radiant. Inner. Confidence.
Where the heck IS this Ziji?!
Let’s start by imagining what life was like before anything “bad” ever happened to us (sah-weet!). I’d like to use the metaphor of a house. Once upon a proverbial time, you were in a big beautiful home. You had lots of open windows that brought in lots of light and refreshing breezes. It felt spacious and free. As you looked through the windows and doors of this home and the breeze wafted over you, you got to experience life “out there.” The windows and doors allowed opportunity to come in, and for you to seek it out. Over time, as you looked out different windows and doors, you had good and bad experiences with the world “out there.” However, as you experienced the bad ones, they hurt you so deeply. They scared you. They pissed you off. You wanted to avoid those experiences and protect yourself from them as much as possible, so that you never had to experience them – or anything like them – ever again. They made you…uncomfortable. You closed those windows and doors, vowing to keep them shut forever.
What kinds of things cause us to close off to the world and shut those windows and doors of opportunity?
Well, a few examples from some of my past clients’ lives are:
Being told it isn’t realistic to live our passions (dreaming shuts down!).
A partner leaving you for someone else (trust shuts down!).
Splurging on yourself for once, then losing your job (generosity towards yourself – and likely others – shuts down!).
Hearing your parents argue day and night about money (being comfortable with money and abundance shuts down!).
Putting your all into applying to the best gradate school out there and not getting accepted (taking big risks shuts down!).
Putting on your first art show and nothing sells (believing you can be successful living your passion shuts down!).
Blam! Slam! Boom! Thud! Eventually, all the windows and doors are shut, you are in a dark house, cold, dank, lifeless. But hey, YOU’RE SAFE! Woohoo!
Well, not really.
You think you’ve managed to protect yourself from those bad experiences ever happening again, but you’ve also closed yourself off to any possible opportunities, joy, and light. You don’t take risks where there is even the remote possibility of failing. You take apparent “risks” for things you are sure to succeed in, and are successful in the things you actually attempt to do. But you never take any real risks.
You only date people who likely won’t dump you. You apply for jobs that you’re overqualified for. You never take vacations or buy nice things for yourself because you need to save LOTS (“you never know what’ll happen”) and you pride yourself in being “frugal.” You have a safe job with good benefits and it’s “alright.” You paint as a hobby and your family admires your talent and tells you they are so glad you went to law school instead of art school. And you smile back. You put off starting that business of yours because you have kids, and no “responsible” mom would do that with kids so you’re doing the “right” thing.
By the way, we often write off living our passions and dreams with the excuse of needing to be “responsible.” Yet we seem to have the definition of resposible mean to only do things that are completely safe. No risks. Risks are “bad” and “irresponsible.” Well, perhaps Fred didn’t pick the “safest” option, but it didn’t qualify as irresponsible…at least not in Ziji land, or to his happy kids who now travel the world and dream big.
The result of not taking any real risks is you never know what might actually be possible should you live life full-out. Risks and all. And you’re scared as hell that you don’t have all your bases covered and something is going to sneak in through one of those windows and doors and knock you around again. And it probably will.
What a crappy place to be.
So what is the real fear here? And once again…where the heck is this Ziji?
Why do we protect ourselves with such fervor? It’s not because of what is actually happening in the NOW. Usually, it is because we don’t think we’ll be able to take what comes next, that we’ll be able to handle it again, or because we imagine the worse case scenario and we know we just don’t LIKE being uncomfortable (and its myriad manifestations of intensity)!
In her book Unconditional Confidence, Pema Chodron describes getting knocked down by ocean waves. Life is like standing at the ocean’s edge. Eventually, there will always come a wave that will knock us down. When the huge scary ones in life arrive that look like they will knock us down, we either try to run away or stand up with all our might to keep from getting knocked down. We try to protect ourselves.
Thing is, the ocean is powerful. The waves we’re talking about here always knock us down. It’s just part of being human. So you see, it doesn’t work to run away from them. It’s part of being alive. They always catch up to you, and if you run they just get ya from behind and you eat a bunch of sand and it gets in your eyes and in your undies. You can try with all your might to be “strong,” plant your feet, and not get taken out…but it’s exhausting, and once you’re knocked down, you’re just more tired at the end of it all. Sometimes you get held down a long time under water and get spun around like in a washing machine, and you barely make it up for air. Other times, you get a bunch of sand in your mouth and water in your ears. But what we seem to fail to notice is: we ALWAYS get back up!
Maybe one time we got knocked down and it took a few weeks…or months…or years to get back up. Another time it took a few days. Another time a few minutes. No matter what, we always stood back up. Shaken, but standing.
So our fear in the end isn’t in the waves themselves...it is the fear that we might not get back up.
These waves of life do recede. And we always have the opportunity to get back up. And we HAVE gotten back up many times in the past. So instead of trying to protect yourself, remind yourself of all the times you have gotten up in your life. THAT is where true radiant inner confidence – Ziji – comes from. And you can’t develop Ziji without having been knocked down and getting back up again. You need to know that you can stand up again and again. You always do! I’m not saying it is always fun. It’s way different than body surfing. I’m just saying you always get up, so stop worrying about that part.
If you start to embrace the waves, and if you cultivate your Ziji, your inner confidence, when these waves take you down, you will get up faster and faster each time. And the waves will feel smaller and smaller each time. You will stop focusing on protecting yourself from the waves, trying to figure out ways for them to stop happening, working out to stand your ground. Instead, you will accept that waves happen. You will have the confidence to know you will get back up. And somewhere deep inside, you will know that wondering “what if” is a hell of a lot worse than getting knocked down and getting back up. ZIji is inside you. In all of us.
The waves in life WILL happen, whether you accept them or not (they have!).
You WILL get knocked down (it’s happened!).
And you WILL get back up (you DID!).
You have enough. We all do. Build your Ziji, your radiant inner confidence, and you will be willing to take those risks, get knocked down, and get back up because THAT is living. Keep the windows and doors open, let in the light and the opportunities. The rewards are priceless: joy, fulfillment, passion, unshakeable confidence, contentment, peace of mind, growing beyond your wildest dreams, doing what you never thought possible, inspiring others around you to do the same.
So do it. Ziji Up! The perfect antidote to fear is action…even small action.
Bring it: make a list of the times you’ve been taken down by a wave and stood up again. See this as proof of what you already know: you have all you need inside of you.
“Who you are, what you are, and where your life is going are all choices”~Joseph Luciani
It can often be easy to fall into the mindset that life happens to us, and when we experience life from this point of view, we often fall into the pattern of complaining when things aren’t how we’d like them to be. “I hate how I am always so tired” “The house is so messy” “My boss is a jerk” “I hate that my boyfriend is always late” “I am so out of shape” “It is so annoying how so-and-so always complains” (that one is particularly ironic!). All these statements, while perhaps speaking complete or partial truths, send out an energy of helplessness when we just use them to complain. Enter: CHOICE. We can actually choose to do something about most of these things, and at a minimum choose how we respond to it. They need not suck us dry of our energy, which is what complaining does. We can be happier as a result! And that’s kinda the point, right?
The perspective of lack of choice begins at a young age. Back in the day when I guided mountaineering courses for at-risk youth with Outward Bound, I would remind the students that none of them had to be there, and that if they didn’t want to be there, they could go home. To be on a challenging expedition and have it be a success, you had to want to be there. The response was often, “I don’t have a choice. I have to be here or I have to go to a correction facility” or “If I went home, my parents would send me to military school, so I don’t have a choice,” and other such examples…and more complaining. The point, however, was that while the choices available may not be the choices we want, everything was a choice nonetheless. You can choose to stay and play and work hard in the mountains, or choose to go to military school, for example. These choices also shape the next part of your life, as well as how you experience the present moment and circumstances. As the days on these courses went by, these young kids starting saying things to each other like, “Well, if you don’t like what I cooked, you have a choice: either carry it out or eat it, but please stop complaining about it because I worked hard at it even if you don’t like it.” Harsh? Not really. Life is too short for complaining. There are way better things to do at dinnertime in the mountains, like watch the stars and tell stories. Complaining drains not only you, but those listening to you.
This perspective can get even stronger in adulthood after years of feeling limited in our options. In my coaching practice today, a common statement is, “If you only understood the circumstances, you’d realize I don’t have a choice.” Well, as in the above example, just because we don’t like the options doesn’t mean we don’t have a choice. Choices are often tough, and we’d often rather not make a choice at all. Yet, that too is a choice made (isn’t there a Rush lyric about that????). The main distraction in a situation where all our choices, well, suck is that we forget we have a choice about how we respond to it. After all, really we are complaining because we aren’t happy. So…how can we make choices that make us happier when we can’t change the facts?
One woman at a coaching workshop I was at described being targeted at work to be pushed out of a partnership that she had spent years working towards. She felt absolutely helpless and attacked and was complaining effusively about it (note: sometimes when we are complaining, we can convince ourselves we are actually just telling a story). When asked why she was choosing to feel so defeated about this, she responded by saying, “I don’t have a choice about feeling this way. If you just understood the situation, you’d see I have no choice about how I feel right now. This stress is REAL.”
Well, exactly. The stress IS real. However, it is also real that we choose how to respond to a situation. This does not dismiss the complete awfulness of her situation. There is a time and place for processing the grief around that. However, she had already done that, and now her goal was to feel better in a circumstance that wasn’t going to change anytime soon. She spent many minutes describing her scenario in detail trying to get people to understand why she felt so bad. She was asked once again to think about why she was choosing to feel that way. As you can imagine, there was a lot of resistance around this. However, eventually, after quiet moments alone and support from others, at the end of the day she realized she could step out of her anxiety about the situation, and move into a place of more grace and power. She had decided that’s how she wanted to be in this situation. When this finally happened, it was a huge shift for her. It didn’t change the circumstances. They were still very real, and very awful. However, it did change her experience of it to one that better served her and made her happier. It stemmed for realizing choice in what we do and how we choose to be. Her complaining and helplessness were draining her, and now she could come from a place of more clarity and action.
So, what to do when all that annoying stuff gets in the way? If you can, start with trying to make requests instead of complaining. For example, if someone is always showing up late with you, instead of complaining to your other friends about how they always do this, make the request that they be more mindful about being on time because it is important to you, and being on time is a sign of respect for you (some people don’t feel that way!). If they continue to be late, then either don’t expect them to come on time, or don’t make plans where being on time is important. If your dessert at a restaurant is bad, don’t call the waiter over and complain about it. Just make a request to get a different one. If they don’t oblige, write a review stating the facts and don’t go back. Make a valiant attempt to change the situation. Complaining will just wear you down. That’s the last thing we need!
If you honestly can’t change it (not just thinking that you can’t change it, or are immobilized by fear about changing it), then try this: LET IT GO! Try your best to shift your perspective and see the bigger picture; do the work to be in a perspective that serves YOU better and allows you to be happier. How to do that is a huge topic, but you get what I mean. We’ve all done it at some point in our lives: However hard it might have been to let go of being totally angry or jealous or sad, at some point we realized that it was no longer serving us, and we moved on to bigger and better things.
Choose to be happy, either by changing your circumstance, or your perspective. You deserve that…and more! I realize this is easier said than done. But isn’t that the truth about most things in life worth doing?
“If you can change something, why be unhappy? If you can’t change something, why be unhappy?”~ Shantideva
“If you’re interested, you’ll do what’s convenient. If you’re committed, you’ll do whatever it takes.” – John Assara
This quote is about taking action and it has inspired me to do whatever it takes to continue to create a life in which I am fulfilled and feel balance. I was supposed to be going to Yosemite to meet up with old friends, do a bit of climbing, and check out the Telluride MountainFilm Festival that was on tour and showing at the Lee Vining Gas Mart (you should go if you get a chance). My partner in crime got called for jury duty…bummer? Could be…but it is also a blessing, as I have had so little time to put my energy towards the many other things that feed my soul. As a result, I am taking this opportunity to focus on planning my future workshops and taking the time to nourish my body and soul…perhaps some long hikes in the hills of Ashland, a spa day, and more yoga and meditation! My boyfriend and I have some family coming in from out of town, and it will be great to share this gem of a town with them, which I would have missed otherwise. I decided to put a picture of me doing my first “mixed climb” (which is climbing both rock and ice) because so often in climbing, you get stuck at a point where you wonder what to do next…and in the end, you just have to do whatever it takes to make it happen to get to the top! Here, I was in a totally new element climbing rock with ICE tools as I made my way towards the next ice fall, and I had to work with what I had to keep heading up. It was exhilarating!
What could you be doing today to move you towards a more balanced and fulfilled life? Perhaps take some time to reach out to that friend or family member you haven’t connected with in a while, or put your nose to the grindstone and get that project out of the way that you’ve been putting off for a while (it’s always easier than we think it will be, isn’t it?). Whatever you do, today, take action to make your life a little more whole…you deserve it!