Last week was a rough one for me…first I started off with my bicycle breaking, then I ended up with a possible broken nose, then the transmission in my car goes out…should I keep going? It was a week that I started looking up to see if there was a black cloud lingering above my head and was checking my pockets to see if I was carrying ‘bad luck’ in them…I know, you’re probably totally sensing the sarcasm and cynicism in those thoughts right? I have quite a bit of that in my personality (truth be told haha)…but it’s that sarcasm that sometimes helps me stay positive. I started telling my friends and family they probably shouldn’t even go out to eat with me (because every place I went last week something went wrong…ha, black cloud I’m telling ya!) Well today starts a new week – woohoo – so the bad luck has to be getting weary by now. I found that I allowed myself to get a bit more wound up than I needed to be sometimes last week – I am not perfect y’all – but after I took a step back I was able to chill out quite a bit. If you allow yourself to stay irritated and down on yourself and life then life is going to stay down, bad luck is going to keep hanging out and you’re going to stay miserable. I get it – things can stack up leaving you all kinds of frustrated and pissed off (Apologizing profusely to all my friends and family that had to listen to me whine and yell) but you’ve gotta shake it off eventually and start forcing those positive vibes back in your life.
- Focus on what you have to be grateful for. – Like the whole possible broken nose thing, it was worth it, I had a killer fun day tubing in the river…and I am immensely thankful to my pal for me lending me his car so I wasn’t with no way to work and for the Universe for putting me only 6 miles from his house so I wasn’t stranded along the side of the road when my car decided no more.
- Remember that all things are temporary. – Bad times don’t last. Everything has an end cycle. I’m not going to be without a car forever, my nose is going to heal, the wrong food order can be fixed. The sun always comes back out!
- Take some time by yourself. – Process the thoughts and emotions you’re having. Let them move through you and out of your mind. Take deep breaths. Slow down and step back to let yourself calm down.
- Build a plan to get out of your challenges, troubles, out from under the black cloud. – My first reaction to my car breaking down was freak out mode – it’s quoted to be like $7k to fix everything…step back, write out all my options, build a plan (I’ve decided to go car shopping – it’ll cost more to fix it than it’s worth and I put a heck of a lot of miles on my car). And I’m going to admit to you that it took me a few days to get out of freak out mode…it wasn’t my plan to get a new car until next year sometime.
- Get back to positive thoughts. – Write them down and read them aloud to yourself if you have to. Try and list out the possibilities and opportunities that are coming out of your obstacles. For example, buying a new car gives me the opportunity to finance for lower payments and let’s me have the choice to get something with better gas mileage since I drive much more than I used to. Look for the silver linings!
I have been thinking of writing a post of this sort for a few years now…well since the year I turned thirty…this coming August I’ll be turning thirty-four…guess I felt I still had some lessons to learn before I was ready to share. I used to think that roadblocks, delays or procrastination were forms of failure. I thought that they were things holding us back from success. Today I sit and I ponder the idea that maybe all of those things get in our way to help us be more prepared for when the opportunity strikes. Take dating for example. I haven’t ever met anyone that doesn’t have a story of heartbreak. Heartbreaks are necessary for our growth, an opportunity to learn more about our ourselves and about what we not only want in our lives (and relationships) but also what we need. I believe that applies in several other areas of our lives as well. The failed business or career dreams that pushed us to learn new skills and new ways to prevail. I’m not the same girl I was twenty years ago, ten years ago, or even a year ago. I’ve evolved with every experience and it’s a beautiful and powerful process and I owe that to the challenges, the delays and the procrastination that gave me the time to absorb the things I needed to become this person.
- Learn to love yourself. – Learn to love yourself fully, unconditionally and fiercely. I know I preach this all of the time but this was one of my greatest lessons. Love yourself the way you love others. You deserve as much love yourself as you give out to others. This doesn’t mean I don’t get disappointed with myself, it doesn’t mean that I think of myself higher than anyone else either. It means that I have to see myself in the perspective that I look at others in. It means that I have to see the good in myself everyday, it means that I have to be accepting of who I am and also take responsibility for the things I want to change and how I want to grow. It means I have to make it a priority to take care of myself – body, soul, mind and heart.
- Learn to forgive. – Forgive everything, everyone, every situation. Spite and anger will eat you from the inside out. We’ve all been hurt, we’ve all dated the jerk, we’ve all been slighted or been cut in front of in line, life just sucks sometimes. Sometimes it just has to come down to spitting out the famous phrase, “shit happens” and moving on.
- Be patient. – I suck at patience. I want instant gratification just as bad as the rest of you do. I want to awake in the morning and have an empire sitting in front of me. I want the paint on my canvas to dry immediately…but time is something we need to discover possibilities. Time is space, space allows things to grow. Be patient and allow the process to roll out.
- Anger is okay sometimes. – Anger can be a motivator – if and only if you learn how to process it effectively and thoroughly. Anger is not a true emotion, it is a reaction to other emotions. You become angry because you are hurt, or scared, or disappointed or whatever. Expose the true root of the anger. Use this to motivate you to make positive changes.
- You are responsible for yourself, not anyone else. – For what you do and for how you feel. You want to be happier? Stop blaming it on circumstances in your life…either choose a new perspective or change the circumstances.
- Don’t accept the mundane. – Do something you love everyday. Add your twist on everything. Make every moment magical. Love glitter? Carry the damn glitter notebook. Live your life full of color. Shake it off and laugh often.
- Take time to be lazy. – I am actually one of those weirdos that likes to stay busy. I don’t know what to do with myself when I don’t have a notebook full of to-do tasks and at least ten projects in motion, but you’ll burn out. I know this from experience (lots of experience) and yes I still struggle with this one but I’m getting better, Netflix helps…
- Stand up for yourself. – In all places (respectfully of course) but in all areas of your life. Speak your mind.
- Never stop learning. – I believe that we are meant to explore, experience and absorb as much information and wisdom as we can in our lives. Life is supposed to flow, we are not meant to be stagnant.
- Take risks. – Make a bucket list. Don’t let fear hold you back from goals, dreams, or telling someone how you feel.