A Matter Of Priorities Letting Go Of The Little Stuff We experience numerous disappointments each and every day. Our expectations go unmet, our plans are blocked by circumstance, our wishes go unfulfilled, and we discover that our lives are subject to a myriad of forces beyond our conscious control. In some cases, our response is powerful because we must invest ourselves and our resources to overcome genuine hardship. In others, our reactions are far more passionate than our circumstances likely warrant. The tension that permeates our bodies and minds when we are late for an event, interrupted at work, or sitting in traffic is not inappropriate, but it can interfere with our well-being in profound ways. When we stop worrying about relatively unimportant matters, we can be at peace and devote so much more of ourselves to what is truly important.
The small frustrations and irritations wield such power over us because they rob us of the illusion of control. But every problem is a potential teacher—a confusing situation is an opportunity to practice mindfulness, and difficult people provide us with opportunities to display compassion. There is a natural human tendency to invest copious amounts of emotional energy in minor dilemmas and frustrations in order to avoid confronting those more complex issues that are largely outside the realm of our control. The intensity of our response provides us with a temporary sense of personal power that helps us cope with challenges that might otherwise overwhelm us. But it is only when we let the little stuff go that we discover that the big stuff is not really so devastating after all.
In the stress of a singularly tense incident, differentiating between an inconsequential annoyance and a legitimate challenge can seem a monumental task. Ask yourself whether the emotions you are feeling will be as vivid in a year, a day, or even an hour. As focused as you are on this moment in time, your reward for letting go of your emotional investment may be the very happiness and harmony of being whose loss you are lamenting. Needless aggravation is seldom worth the cost it exacts. You cannot distance yourself from life's inconsistencies, irritations, and upheavals, but you can relinquish your desire for perfect order and gain peace of mind in the process.
We don’t need to wait until tomorrow to start fresh, today can be a blank slate starting right now.
When today is not going well, it is tempting to focus on tomorrow as a blank slate with all the possibilities that newness provides. It is true that tomorrow will be a brand-new day, but we do not have to wait until tomorrow to start fresh. We can start fresh at any moment, clearing our energy field of any negativity that has accumulated, and call this very moment the beginning of our brand-new day.
There is something about the sunrise and the first few hours of the morning that make us feel cleansed and rejuvenated, ready to move forward enthusiastically. As the day wears on, we lose some of this dynamic energy and the inspiration it provides. This may be why we look forward to tomorrow as providing the possibility of renewal. Many traditions consider the light of the rising sun to be particularly divine in its origins; this is why so many people in the world face east when performing ritual. We too can cultivate that rising sun energy inside ourselves, carrying it with us to light our way through any time of day or night, drawing on its power to awaken and renew our spirits.
One simple way to do this is to carry an image or a photograph of the rising sun with us in our wallet or purse. We can also post this image on our wall at work or at home, or have it as our screensaver on our computer. When we feel the need to start fresh, we can take a moment to gaze at the image, allowing its light to enter into our hearts. As we do this, we might say out loud or quietly to ourselves, "I am ready to let go of the past and start anew". We might visualize anything we want to release leaving us as we exhale, and as we inhale, we can take in the fresh energy of the eastern sun, allowing it to light the way to a brand-new day
When things go wrong, it is easy to get into a bad mood, and that bad mood has a way of spiraling out and affecting our life for days to come. In the same way, when we feel badly about ourselves, we tend to act in ways that have repercussions, again creating a negative vibe that can negatively influence the next several days. While it is important that we allow ourselves to feel what we feel, and to be genuine, we do not have to completely surrender to a dark mood or feelings of self-doubt. In fact, the more we simply allow and accept our darkness as one part of the picture, the more easily we can also allow and accept our light. In this vein, we can temper our grey moods with an injection of sunshine in the form of sending good wishes to ourselves for the next 24 hours.
If you feel a bad mood coming on or find yourself plagued with negative feelings, take a moment to acknowledge that. At the same time, recognize that things can and will change, and that you can still have a good day, or a good week, especially if you take the time to visualize that for yourself. This is a great way to support yourself when you are working through tough times and hard feelings. When you visualize good things for yourself, you are sending yourself love and warmth, as well as encouraging yourself to keep going.
Before you even get out of bed in the morning, you can take the time to send good wishes to yourself all the way through to the next morning. As you picture your day, take the time to fill in the details—where you are going, who you will see, what you will do—and send love and good wishes ahead to yourself, as well as everyone you encounter. It will be like arriving in a new place and finding that an old friend has sent a bouquet of flowers from back home to welcome you and remind you that you are loved.
Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is past , tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.
WE MISS YOU ON THE TEAM PLEASE COME BACK AND JOIN ME TO GET HEALTHY
One experience builds on another and that is how life evolves. We should not simply "live and learn" but rather "live, learn, and improve." We all make mistakes in life. Do you learn from yours or do you have a cycle of making the same ones over and over? Perhaps you want to lose weight but always seem to fail, never seem to finish your reports at work, or have a hard time following through on your obligations. Examine some past failures and review where you went off track with your goal. Don't mistake failing with "I am a failure," as no one is perfect all the time. Take what you have learned and apply it to the next situation
To anyone at the start of their journey or looking to refocus, here is my advice. (It is advice to me as much as anyone else)
1. Nobody can do it for you. You can without a doubt do this.
We all want motivation to sweep us up and away towards great things. Ooh, isn't it easy when we're excited and things are going great! Even if that does sometimes happen, eventually a time will come when we are left alone with just ourselves and the same old issues we faced (poorly) in the past. As I've said before, BE THE CHANGE YOU DESIRE. You are capable of anything, you just have to keep fighting, keep wanting it for yourself. Take responsibility for your actions, own all of them and know you are capable of great things. Be the change you desire.
2. Don't limit yourself. Be active.
The person who changes from a couch potato who only gets up to go to the fridge into the daily walker or 5K/10K/half marathon/marathon finisher, bike rider, zumba booty dancer, circuit workout superstar can be you. You may jiggle and wiggle in ways you don't like. I have and I do. So what? We're human. Don't let that stop you from doing ANYTHING you want to do. You might be the slowest person out there. That person is the most awesome person!!! You don't have to do any of these things, it can be whatever you enjoy that keeps you moving. Just don't limit yourself.
3. Be positive.
Stop putting yourself down, put yourself up instead! We can all drag ourselves down and feel terrible about ourselves. That gets us nowhere! Congratulate yourself on every good thing you do. Know you can succeed and make it happen.
4. Surround yourself with foods that will make you and your body happy.
Fruits. Vegetables. Fruits. Vegetables. Fruits. Vegetables. Fruits. Vegetables. When you eat healthy, high-quality foods it makes you happier. The food can taste so scrumptious and so perfect for you, that you want to sing and smile and laugh with delight. Not just at the moment, but later on, because you just feel so darn good. Once your body has gotten off of the over-processed /over-sugared /over-salted /chemical fare that is to be found everywhere it is amazing how the palate can change. There have been times that I have eaten fruit and I want to run around from person to person telling them how incredible food can taste now. If you are surrounded by quality food and there is no junk around you, what are you going to choose to eat and then feel good about? I have drastically reduced the meat and dairy that I've consumed down to 1 meal a week. But, do what works for you!
Tracking food can teach us a lot and be a fantastic aid on this journey. I would always suggest that those starting out or needing help track their calories. I still need to, but I do think that we are capable of doing well without always tracking. Again, do what works for you. It all starts with quality foods.
5. Appreciate the journey and as many steps along the way as you can.
Trying to 'lose weight' can drive you crazy. It can be particularly rough when you have a whole lot of weight to lose. Even when you're doing great, it can seem like such a very long way to being anywhere you want to be. Stop that! If you are better off than last year or last month or last week, be it stronger, fitter, lighter or just more able to live a full and happy life, then you are winning! Be happy about it, celebrate! If a timeline drives you crazy, get rid of it. You can keep going and achieve more and more, but don't belittle today. You have made yourself mighty today. Enjoy the heck out of every moment!
6. This isn't a diet, it's your life. Don't stop!
That is a good thing! You get to feel awesome and be awesome forever! You have all the time you need to keep making progress towards a better you. Be unstoppable. If you never allow yourself to be stopped then what nothing will hold you back.
Now, I will boil this all down to...
You can do it, if you are positive, active, surround yourself with great food and appreciate every step of the way. Be unstoppable.