Here I go, Part One…
Sounds familiar? It does to me and just might to you too…Here I am, moving onward into a different season in my life as of early summer.
By different seasons I mean not winter, spring, summer, or fall BUT something different in my life overall than what I was experiencing most recently.
For me, most recently means the past six years, I was immersed in full-time healing and recovery, surgical procedures, adjunct medical needs, and therapeutic work during that time. Despite the circumstances, I also learned, evolved a bit, and changed a lot!
Don’t be satisfied by the stories that have come before you, unfold your own myth.
You can read a bit about that here in this article: Today, I Begin Again. But don’t worry, I will surely reference and expand on the past six years as I write onward. How could I not?
These articles are all about the process, tools, methods, and thoughts I used and the story of moving onward! They are entwined, of course!
I know that life is always moving onward. I can’t argue with or go back to my past. It happened. It is over…I read a great quote one time:
If you argue with the past, you will lose 100% of the time.
It makes much sense to me. But yet, my past, coupled with my current choices, creates who I am. How do I move onward from it? What do I choose to learn? How do I choose to view my past? What story do I create now?
The story I take from my past about me
is up to me.
With all that has happened in my lifelong past, I could choose to be very wallow-like, blame many external factors, or believe that it has defined who I am without my choice simply due to circumstance.
I work with obstacles and find my way
Sometimes, I have done that. And, sometimes, I have not. I believe that my life is created by vision, not circumstance…even though Circumstance surely has had its way lately! What matters is how I navigate through and around it.
Here I go and I choose a way onward in which I use and learn from all these obstacles or happenings. Even though I may feel upset or frustrated or sad about happenings, that’s okay.
I just don’t carry it with me for too long.
That baggage can get too heavy!
My approach, writings, or way of thinking does not mean I have not experienced difficult circumstances or happenings in my life. I have. We all have. Some we share in and some we meet alone.
I have had a wide variety, and they have all informed who I am. I’ve had internal family issues, deaths, severe injuries, physical attacks, huge setbacks, and more.
At the same time, I have chosen how to interact and work with each traumatic experience. Sometimes at that time, sometimes later in my life here I go.
I know that what happens next in my life related all of these experiences is up to me..
I can redefine myself, my world, or change it completely. It also may be scary, stressful, and challenging. I worked at learning how to feel that while not quitting or over-fixating negatively. I try to build as much resourcefulness as possible while creating a new way.
Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop, Rumi
How do I practice that? It’s tough because it’s always easy to get worked up, stressed, or over-worry. But, when I work at meeting obstacles or emotions differently, I feel better and make choices that create outcomes I want.
I will expand on and share more methods about how to help yourself with this in upcoming writings.
To oversimplify so as not to keep you wondering too much: I allow whatever emotions I have to happen, but I’ve practiced feeling them cleanly, meaning not adding all sorts of judgment or blame. (Adding all sorts of judgment, reactivity and blame is the easiest path for our brains to follow and also feels fairly rewarding. So, you have to train yourself to do different just like any skill.)
I also notice the sensations in my body too, as there is always a physical part. I pause. There is more that I will share later, but know that this is a skill, and you simply practice again and again. It also works well for me. So I do it. And I do it over and over.
The body sets in motion the need for new stories when injury or disease disrupts the old stories. Anne Frank
I know as I move onward that I may stumble along, and I’ll share those stumbles and mistakes too. I want to be transparent so that you know how I have applied all these tools, methods, ideas, and practices to my health, wellness, and life. And that sometimes it takes a few tries.
I am willing to make mistakes; I am willing to fail. I am not afraid.
I see it as an opportunity to learn, as a do-over.
And that it is not always very easy, and I struggle with it too. But, I also know of and utilize simple strategies that create profound change.
To help myself move through challenging times over the years, I studied and picked up some good techniques on not carrying too much trauma with me or in my body.
During these writings, I will share some resources, tools, and methods with you. Know that even though these may work for me, you need to find what helps you. One super-simple tool in a box of many tools is to Shake-It-Out. Seriously. It gives the nervous system a reset. More about this later…
What I do, know, think, or how I live works for me very well. When it doesn’t, I just adjust and figure it out. (Yes, I might mix in a bit of wallowing in there for good measure too!) That is the biggest thing that I work on for myself all the time and lifelong: Being as adaptable, resilient as possible in any circumstance that I find myself in.
I am the biggest part of my solution process.
So are you.
Often it leads to failures and mistakes. But that is okay as when I am committed to working with adaptability and resilience, I learn from my mistakes, and I fail forward.
When this happens, I work hard to develop bravery and confidence and notice the small steps and gains.
According to the philosopher, Epictetus,
there are always two handles of every event,
one by which it can be carried and one by which it can’t.
Of course, I may have outcomes from whatever mistake or choice I make; but that is how life works for me. I find that during the course or process of having a failure or making a mistake, I might have had a ton of gains and positive changes along the way–even if the ultimate outcome ended up not being what I wanted.
Learning that was a massive part of me trying to be resilient, and it still is.
Failure is just Feedback
I have to show myself evidence that I am doing okay enough and good enough how I am. While I am also creating change, at the same time, I am good enough and doing okay enough. I hope that makes sense!
I love who I am while I am also evolving and creating my envisioned future self. I don’t believe that in order to be happy, I must change. Most of the time, I make shifts in life because I want to or they are aligned with a purpose.
My life is my practice.
A lot of times since this summer rolled around, my mind has told me that I am not well enough, I can’t rebuild my physical capacity, and that I have not recovered.
My mind is very used to how I functioned over the past six years. Those ways kept it safe. They served me exceptionally in creating rock-solid recovery and healing functionally. But now, it does not serve me.
So, back to needing to show my mind evidence so that I can change those unhelpful thoughts.
It’s been hard to do that. It takes practice. But I also have a lot of evidence that I can. I also have a lot of evidence that I am doing well enough right now.
We are disturbed not by what happens to us; but by our thoughts about what happens.
I show my mind this evidence by listing it in my journal. I also create some new thoughts to think about. Thoughts that are helpful and that I know I believe. Finally, I repeat them to me. A lot.
The most important aspect of doing this is that you must believe your thoughts. When you do, they are incredibly powerful tools.
Some of these thoughts are:
- “I am moving onward and living my life even when I don’t feel well.”
- “There is no waste of time here.”
- “I am okay enough, I have enough. I am taking the time I need”.
You come out on the other side and your soul has moved.
You’ve become a different human being.
Finally, I am prepared for resistance. I decided ahead of time to honor it but not let it hinder me. It’s natural to feel resistance.
I tell myself: “I notice you, Resistance. I may not feel like it, and it’s uncomfortable and easier not to do it. But I am going to do it anyway as it’s helpful for me, and I’ll feel better.”
I have a variety of thoughts like the former about ‘resistance’ that works for me. Know that I am not forcing myself to do something unhealthy or hurtful.
If you would like to try out thinking some new thoughts, feel free to check out this list I prepared for you. Here.
The actions that I am trying to help myself take are pretty simple steps but feel very hard for me right now. But over time, it fades away. Not by forcing myself. I believe in it, it’s meaningful, and I help myself do it.
Then, I sit in celebration, noticing the small, small steps I take.
Especially right now! Noticing my gains and celebrating the small steps. As I transition away from the past six years. It is incredibly challenging, and that is okay.
I can begin right now. I can do a little bit right now
I have colossal resistance at times and feel tired, and that is okay. Why? Because it’s okay to be a bit uncomfortable when you are doing something that matters or will shift your life along a path that is meaningful to you.
Transformation and change are difficult and take time. Even though I may not want it to be that way!
Sometimes, the shifts we make are small and sometimes the shifts we make are immense
I leave you with some bigger-picture questions that I ask myself. I’ve learned that my mind loves questions, and it often works on them in the background!. Answers will pop up at random times, especially if I am walking or more feeling relaxed. I picked a few that might be more generally relevant:
- What step that you thought you couldn’t take before could you take now?
- How could you take that step in the tiniest way possible? Like a micro-shift?
- What matters most to you right now?
- How can you create a more meaningful life while also co-creating the world / community /family you want to live in?
What you think, feel, and do is always up to you.
Even in the face of serious obstacles
To be continued…
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Resources Linked in Article Above:
- Check out my “Consider These Thoughts” List for working on creating new thoughts.
- Questions to Ask, Click Here