There’s no denying that sometimes life deals us challenging cards. Sometimes, no matter how much we try to keep going and pushing on it can feel that things are beginning to stack up against us, leaving us feeling overwhelmed.
While there may be many challenges that arise throughout our lives, I cannot help but feel that one of the most important things to remember is that, no matter how difficult or how unrelenting things may seem, in life there is so much to be thankful for and that we do not come into this world entirely unequipped for the rigours of living.
In this business of living, we are all in possession of a set of tools which we can utilise in order to help us through the onerous days that invariably arise. A bag of tricks if you like that can assist us in our growth and our ability to cope with everything that comes our way. Not just physical tools such as financial care or health services but the tangible, often overlooked components that go a long way to making us who we are and may greatly shape or carve the life that we experience.
Tools such as……….
Self love, self worth, valuing our thoughts, our bodies, our emotions and valuing the love that is given to us by those around us. Love is so powerful and transformative. It holds the ability to completely alter circumstances when we embrace it. The ability to love and to act out of love is inherent within all of us. When we approach a situation in loving kindness, rather than out of irrationality, fear or anger, the responses we are met with may be dramatically different and potentially life changing depending upon the situation.
What we think and our thoughts can have a significant impact upon the life that we experience and the outcome of a situation. Our thoughts are powerful and where we direct our attention is where we are likely to find ourselves heading.
Each thought holds a specific vibration of energy. So when we think something, whether it is about something we would like to have or experience or whether it is about something or a situation that we no longer want or do not wish to happen, with our thoughts we are tuning into circumstances that match our energetic frequency. Whether we realise it or not we are literally telling the universe to give us more of this or more of that by the frequency of our thoughts.
I have experienced this first hand in so many aspects of my life. It is a hard cycle to break, especially when one has spent the entirety of their life so far knowingly or otherwise believing that they are unworthy of happiness or abundance.
What we think, intentionally or not, we are likely to end up with.
It is easy to say but harder to do but restructuring the framework of our thoughts is a very powerful and empowering practice to integrate into our lives. Some of the practices that help me include writing out daily affirmations (or running them over in my mind if I wake up late) and seeking for the positive aspects of a situation rather than dwelling on what I don’t like or don’t want.
Become aware of your thoughts. Do not judge them. Do not criticise them or yourself nor dwell in abasement if you find that they do not promote a sense of self-worth. We are here to learn and to grow and only by becoming aware of the areas that need love and care can we better understand our path and our part in the creation of the life that we are experiencing.
There are so many things that I am grateful for. Gratitude can play an immense role in helping to tackle those down days (or weeks or months). I write in a gratitude diary all the things that I am thankful for; all of the things that have or still bring me joy. This exercise in itself can make the challenges of everyday much less significant when my focus shifts toward what went well or what brought me happiness. And during particularly difficult times, sometimes the act of looking back through all that I have been thankful for reminds me that life can be and is beautiful.
Take a moment to think about three things that you are grateful for within your life right now. It doesn’t matter how small or seemingly insignificant, what matters is that you are taking steps to shift your perspective
Yes! The Natural world and all her beauty. Seeking solace in the changing seasons, a beautiful sunset, the sound of the waves. These things go a long way to helping to remind us that we are part of something so much grander than our comprehension. That we belong and are deserving of life and health and abundance. Nature is healing and grounding and gives us time to reconnect to our inner shadow that is all too often forgotten in the fast paced world of progress and technology.
So, when life is getting tough or you’re feeling stressed and anxious, giving yourself time to head outdoors and breath can do wonders for our ability to remain calm and focused even in the face of adversity.
That most important support network. People who care for us and who we care for in return. True friendships are not built upon expectation or what we can get out of one another; they are bonds forged out of love, respect, mutual trust and understanding.
They can be some of our greatest teachers, our bedrock and allies.
Never overlook the bonds of friendship, wherever they may appear. Not all friendships come in the form of humanity – some of my closest friendships have been with the animals that I have shared my life with over the years. Sure my dog may not be able to offer me financial support when things hit the fan but his ability to sit by my side in times of sadness, grief, loss and confusion and his happy, loving nature reminds me that everything will be ok.
Like any relationship, friendships take time, effort, honesty and nurturing but the effort we make will be returned threefold by the love and support that we receive from our fellow travellers along the road of life.
This is something that we all possess whether we are aware of it or not. It is something that is inherent and which can be nurtured as we discover more about ourselves. No matter the setbacks, the adversity or the difficulties, true resilience is in our ability to stand up and to keep trying. To persevere with that which we seek to create or manifest.
To have faith – in ourselves and in life and also to know when it is time to let go and to trust the process.
Yep, I mention this a lot but I really do think that having a creative outlet is so important to our ability to cope with the things that life can throw our way. Allowing ourselves to throw our self-imposed limitations to the wind and say “Yes, I can do this!” Giving ourselves permission to do something that brings us joy. Whether that is the process of creating art, writing, dancing, study, musical exploration, cooking, whatever it is that holds your interest, when life gets tough having an outlet for our souls light can bring respite from the struggles we face in this realm of physical experience.
When we are children we inherently express a desire to experience new things and to create, both with our imaginations and through physical activities. When we are young we are explorers of life but as we grow we seem to lose sight of the wonder of this world. In fact sometimes things may become so overwhelming that as adults we do not how to express what we are feeling.
As children we spend much of our time absorbed in creative exploration with the world around us and the enjoyment that can be witnessed in children free to create is evident in their responses to their emotional needs and interactions with peers and caregivers. It is such a pity that as we grow we deny ourselves the right to go and create.
It had to be said. It had to be included. I must confess that I have tried hard over the years to nurture meditative practice but finding time each day to sit down, close my eyes and still my mind simply isn’t inspiring to me. Traditional meditative practice and I just don’t work well but it is none the less a tool that cannot be overlooked, especially when we consider that meditation doesn’t necessarily have to take the form of sitting cross-legged in perfect repose with a mind that can be silenced at will.
For me, that elusive meditative state comes easiest when walking out over fields, besides rolling waves or sitting outdoors in the warmth of the sun. It is in these moments where I lose myself to the will of the ego and where I find my deepest connection to my higher state of being; where I feel complete.
Try different techniques. Don’t get hung up on shutting off your mind and achieving complete serenity. Even a few moments spent each day in quiet contemplation, simply allowing the mind to flow in acknowledgement and release is far more beneficial than forcing yourself to sit down for half an hour of frustration because the mind won’t shut off in an already busy day.
Consistent practice leads to a more tranquil state where we begin to think more clearly. Meditation fosters a much more centred approach to the events of life as we give permission to nurture ourselves and contemplate our life lessons, our hopes and aspirations.
We all know sleep is crucial to a healthy mind-set and that a lack of sleep can make the trials and ordeals we have to face harder to bear. Switching off the mind when it is spinning around in the dark of night mulling over events is next to impossible but laying there becoming more and more frustrated when sleep will not take us can be debilitating long term.
Being mindful of our activities in the hours before we retire to bed can help the body and the mind prepare for sleep. If sleep simply will not arrive I find that getting up for a while or listening to music can help divert the stream of thoughts running through my mind and therefore helping to induce a more relaxed state in readiness for drifting off.
When life is tough, lack of sleep can be inevitable but it can also make us much more susceptible to ill-health and poor decision making. The body and the mind require sleep to function optimally and good quality sleep (by the way just because we may get 8 hours of sleep every night does not necessarily mean it is good quality, nourishing sleep) can go a long way in helping us to face what life brings our way.
I believe that knowledge is empowering. Life is one big journey filled with lessons and the people that influence us and the experiences that we participate in deliver so many opportunities for knowledge and growth. With knowledge comes a greater ability to fulfil our desires for a happy, productive existence.
Knowledge enables us to participate in life and to understand the part that we play. Knowledge also enables us to respond much more effectively to the challenges that we encounter as we better understand a subject or circumstances as they may arise.
When things unlooked for arrive, when we are better informed and invested in ourselves and our education we can form rational, compassionate ideas and actions, thus enabling a better outcome. Lack of knowledge can induce a state of fear for when we do not understand something, if we do not seek to comprehend what is happening or what has arisen our choices and reactions are limited and often far more damaging to our own health and well being as well as to those around us.
Never stop investing in your self and your education. Every opportunity is an opportunity to grow and to learn and the better informed we are the better able we are to cope with what unfolds in life around us.
Feed your body and you feed your mind, your heart and soul. Being mindful of what we consume, and of it’s origins and impact upon ourselves and our earth, enables us to ensure that not only are we doing our best to care for the temples that are our bodies but that we are also doing our utmost as custodians of this beautiful earth to care for and nurture all that we have.
Wholesome, living foods are far more nutritionally dense and beneficial for us than pre-packaged, processed foods that may not always have been sourced conscientiously. When we feed our bodies a varied diet the body responds by functioning optimally. It is better equipped at fighting off fatigue, injury or illness and can take us through life in a much more harmonious state.
For me, I choose to eat a plant based diet incorporating a variety of pulses, nuts, grains, fruits, vegetables and healthier alternatives when I crave a sugar fix. This is one way of nourishing the body and the mind, it is not necessarily the right way. I have been without meat for around twenty years and I have been transitioning to a vegan lifestyle for the last three and I find that I have begun to regain energy, drive, motivation and focus since removing dairy and the last vestiges of animal products from my diet.
However you choose to nourish your body, wholesome food, prepared from scratch where time allows will always be far more beneficial to mass produced products that support the industry of control, manipulation and addiction. A happy, well nourished body supports a strong mind and equips us with the ability to take on all that life deals us with vigour.
Our life experience begins with US. If something happens, if challenges arise it is healthier to acknowledge their existence and seek to integrate the life lessons they are teaching us.
Sometimes it feels that the easiest and safest option is to run away or to ignore the presence of a difficult circumstance or person but this will only increase the issue (life has a way of refusing to let us ignore the life lessons we chose to learn).
But knowing that there are a whole heap of resources at our disposal to help us overcome and grow from these obstacle, we become ignited in our strength and desire to be all that we can be, to reach our full potential and to move forward into an enlightened state of being.
I’d love to know what tricks or tools you call upon to help you through life in order to remain strong and focused on your purpose in this life time.
Knowledge is empowering, health most certainly is wealth and you are infinitely worthy of living in abundance, joy and happiness.