Obstacles for Change

obstacle9.jpgI have been sick this week with a never-ending virus…   I’ve had an on going fever and headache, and haven’t felt up to doing much of anything.  Luckily, I’m off from work in the summer and can rest.  It got me thinking about something though.

The last thing you want to do when you feel terrible is go to a bright crowded place like the grocery store.  My sweet brother did bring me some essentials for the first few days that I had a fever (soup, pop-cycles, etc).  When that ran out and I was still sick, I didn’t want to bother my friends or family that are near by too much.  (side note: living alone is mainly wonderful, until you are sick)

I decided that I would have to make do with the food that I already had at home until I felt better.  I’m sure you’ve said it before too, “I have nothing to eat”.  And sometimes that truly is the case, but most of the time not.  Instead of convenience, I decided to finish up cooking my veggies, made rice and beans, and tried out that butternut squash soup.   PLENTY to eat!

This is just a small example of something special about obstacles that push us towards something better for us.  Whether that be more awareness, softness, appreciation, drive, creativity, invention, etc.  The thing about these obstacles is that we have to be more allowing of them, instead of being resistant or getting taken over.

When things are easy or always go smoothly, we don’t have to learn.  We can stay in auto pilot mode.  This safe and comfortable mode of being is fine and needed, but I think that we become our best and most resilient self, when we face challenges.

These challenges don’t have to be terribly difficult things, but sometimes they are.  And sometimes the challenges we bring on ourselves, and other times we have no control.   Did I forget to put gas in the car and now I’m stranded?  Now I can learn how important it is to be responsible for myself and be aware of my surroundings.   Did someone I love lose their job?  Now I can be supportive in whatever they need.  Instant increase in awareness and empathy in those situations.

This openness to learning from obstacles allows for the greatest and most genuine growth.  It’s the resistance that I mentioned that constricts the mind and body and tries to keep you from being in the reality of the present moment and keeps you from moving forward.

This week I had no control over being sick (Obstacle #1).  I did however create a new obstacle for myself of not going to the grocery store (Obstacle #2).  I could have very well dragged myself to the store to stock up, but part of me knew that I needed to use what I already had.  I wanted to see if I could do it.  Instant increase in self reliance and appreciation for what I have.

Can we create obstacles in our lives to help us grow?  Would we even want to do that?? Would we decide not fill our car up with gas, so that we were forced to ride our bike to work? Would we decide not to use the internet for a week (maybe just outside of work if that is needed) so that we can choose genuine interaction?  Would we be willing to initiate a difficult conversation with someone, in order to help move things in a more positive direction?

Whether you have an obstacle in your life that you did or did not put there, it’s important to remember that the goal is to be open to learning from them.  Take a deep breath and allow yourself to find your way through.  You are still you, but you are a stronger you.

 

Advertisements

A Love Affair with Mugs

mugs

If I had to pick a “thing” that brings me great pleasure, it’s ceramics, more specifically, mugs.

I think they are so lovely to look at and hold.  I feel grounded when I hold a mug that was crafted by a local artisan. One that is not perfectly shaped, but fits the contours of my hands and fingers.  I breathe a little easier, heart beats a little slower ~ my hands were made to hold this life giving vessel.

uiiiiiiii8 (Miles, my cat, contributed this part)

When I am out and about, I am drawn to mugs.  I can’t help but notice their beauty.  Each one has its own history and uniqueness.  They tug at my heart, but I am reminded that I don’t really need any more.

What is this heart tug about?  I know that I have plenty of beautiful mugs.  I know that I will acquire more once I donate ones I no longer want.  But the heart knows what it needs and wants.  It seems to be about this feeling of staying connected to the earth.   

I don’t feel this way about many other “things”.  I certainly don’t breathe easier when I am holding my cell phone.  In fact, my hands tend to cramp up or fall asleep.  I find this difference quite telling about what my body knows it needs.

Whether it is an actual “thing” or something abstract, I’m going to keep listening to what my body is drawn to and what makes it happiest, and I hope you will to!!

Desire

I’m back at peace now–

But for days, what seemed like years, I felt I needed this “thing”.

This desire felt so strong, and I was certain that this would be the next step.

It would definitely propel me to increased happiness and fulfillment.

However, this excitement transformed into a strong wave of anxiety that was about to engulf me.

Which is how I knew this couldn’t be decided now, not because I was giving into fear,

but because in that moment I realized that I am truly at peace with what already is.

The wave receded, for I knew that I didn’t need anything else.

I gave myself the opportunity to explore this desire, and listened when my soul said, I am full.

Becoming Unstuck

As I drove home from work today, completely exhausted (the pollen isn’t helping things), a smirk of delight and of peace came across my face “I can’t wait to write this evening”~ I said to myself, for the first time with no hesitation at all (i.e. it will actually happen this time, NOTHING will take it’s place).  So here I am.  I’ve been thinking about doing more writing for a while now.  Like…years.   “I love writing, I should do more of it” ~ “I really think that I should figure out a way to get writing into my life” ~”I want to write, but there is NO WAY I’m going to wake up earlier than I normally do”~ “I have so much to say, but people probably already know about things I want to share” <—– this thought right here is the thing I realized has held me back the most.

I not exactly sure where this assumption originated, but I’m thankful that I was finally able to hear it, get a really good look at it, then transform it.  I realized today that my insights are like none other (I could mentally say this before today, but at my core it still didn’t feel true until now), and that many people will truly benefit from them. Yay me, for getting unstuck.

I have a bit of a commute to work, and sometimes this is beneficial for time for productive thinking and other times it turns into unproductive thinking loops.  Today was the former kind of commute.  One of my first thoughts this morning was, how you do anything, is how you do everything.   My old way of thinking tells me you have probably heard this quote, but the new way says, perhaps not.  I love this quote and remind myself of it frequently.  (If you happen to know the origin of it, let me know 🙂

If how I do anything is how I do everything, then I was adhered like gorilla glue.  If I am stuck with writing, then I’m stuck with everything.  If I’m stuck with something that I am passionate about, then I’m stuck with all things I’m passionate about.  And that’s not how I want to live my life.

Here’s to reminding oneself that it is of utmost importance to listen to what you truly want and are passionate about ~ stop the second guessing, and procrastination. If you are stuck, figure out what assumptions are holding you back, and work on ridding yourself of them.

I’ve generally thought of myself as a free spirit kind of person, go with the flow, and all that jazz.  But you know, now I know that wasn’t really the case.   It won’t be until I unstick all that needs to be free.   But today how I did anything, was how I did everything and that was all kinds of freedom.

I’m hopeful that this will work for you too.