I am hearing from a lot of you that you’re tired of “this”. You’re saying you’re worn out. You feel tired, sluggish, and heavy. You are feeling despair.
I hear you and am here for you.
The Antidote to Despair
The key to living a life you love lies in our ability to align our inner values, dreams, and desires with our reality. This takes deliberate and intentional planning and action. The antidote to despair is action.
The antidote to despair and hopelessness is not sitting around complaining about what is going on. You will not feel better if you sit around criticizing what someone has already done or which decisions have already been made. This is a waste of energy. These things have already happened.
Do not argue with the past. The past always wins.
We must take action in order to feel better. We get to look forward to our lives and choose how we want to feel. Use the tools from the post on deliberate thinking to help you. What is the other option? Staying stuck? Moving backwards? Living in the past?
Hardships Prepare Ordinary People for Extraordinary Lives
When I was going through my divorce, I needed to live in the unfinished basement of our family house. The laws in the state in which I lived stipulated that husband and wife had to live separately for a year before their divorce could be finalized. Because of the nature of our divorce, moving out with the kids was not an option. My ex would’ve brought me to court for kidnapping. Likewise, moving out without the kids would’ve landed me in court with a charge of abandonment and would’ve cost me in custody of my children.
And so, desperate, scared, and alone, I moved into our unfinished basement and made the best of it. Was this ideal? No. Certainly not for me or the kids. It was a dark place. Literally and figuratively.
And in that dark place my inner light was called upon to shine. My inner strength grew. I started to show up for myself in ways I never had in the past. The growth I experienced in that period of time was exponential.
I had quotes and inspirational sayings stuck all over the wall by my bed to help uplift me on dark days. I’m reminded of two during this time:
- “HARDSHIPS PREPARE ORDINARY PEOPLE FOR EXTRAORDINARY LIVES” CS Lewis
- “Circumstances don’t create woman they reveal her.” Oprah
And Here We Are: 2020
A year unlike any other.
And, unlike my rock bottom, this is a forced pause for all of us.
It’s as it the universe saw what we were doing; to ourselves, to our planet, to each other; and threw us all in the unfinished basements of our lives.
I choose to view it as a gift.
Similar to my time in the unfinished basement.
I never want to relive that time but I actually look back to it in an odd way with fondness for it was the foundation from which this warrior rose.
If I didn’t live through that struggle, if I wasn’t asked to pull on the deepest reserve of strength that I possessed, would I have known it was there?
Similarly, I can’t say I’m enjoying this quarantine.
I acutely miss travel.
I miss my australian sons.
I miss spontaneity.
I miss hugs.
I miss flexibility.
And yet, I can say already see evidence of my and my family’s growth. It’s shining a super spotlight on what was soul filling in my life and what was soul sucking. It is bringing clarity to what I was doing that was adding enjoyment. It is bringing clarity to what i was doing that was adding stress. It has shown me what I was tolerating. It is showing me where I was running on autopilot.
The quarantine has helped me slow down. Slowing down has helped me live more deliberately. It has helped me get more deliberate in choosing how I want to spend my days. It has helped me question why I do what I do. It has nudged me to investigate how I feel when I do what I do.
The Gift of the Pause
And so, I invite, urge, encourage us to use this pause. To approach this as an opportunity for a new beginning, rather than a blip where we then return to the past way of doing things.
Because, well Warriors, things aren’t going back to normal.
And that’s wonderful news.
Instead of hunkering down and waiting for the past to come back, I invite, urge, encourage you to use the pause that 2020 is affording us.
2020 has stripped away the things that were distracting us from seeing how we were really living our lives. 2020 is allowing us to feel how we were really feeling in our lives. To look at what was working and what was not.
Marriages have disintegrated and marriages have strengthened. Jobs have disappeared and jobs have been created. Health is being improved and health is being eroded. Weight is being gained or lost.
This is not a year we wished for but now that we are here, pause, examine where “here” is and then, I invite you to get deliberate in choosing where you’d like to go.
Those Without Vision Will Perish
This was another quote that was on my wall. I simply had written the following on a sticky note: “Those without vision will perish” Scriptures
It was to remind me to deal with the present but to take time to look up and beyond as well. In my darkest days, I knew that I needed to think about how I wanted things to be in the future; and that there was a future. This is incredibly crucial.
People without vision or hope lose the spark in their lives, they lose the desire to wake up and seize the day. When people don’t take time to deliberately think of how they want to deliberately live, they end up on autopilot and feeling like they’re in a haze. They may even think that they have nothing to live for.
They look to the past with rose colored glasses and pine for their unrealistic view of what was. Going back, pining for the old days is not only a waste of energy but also goes against our natural evolvemnt. Human beings are made to evolve. We are either growing or shrinking. Let’s have the courage to see what wasn’t working. Let’s be brave enough to stop looking to the past as evidence for what the future holds.
Let’s Get Deliberate
Here we are. Whether you’re reading this in 2020 or 2028, wherever you are, let’s choose to be here and get deliberate and intentional about our living. Square your shoulders, take a deep breath and dig into imagination. Dreams. Goals. What do you want your life to be like?
I refuse to settle for a “good enough” life or a life where I consistently feel despair.
This is our one life.
How are you showing up?
How do your days feel?
How do you want your days to feel?
Now’s the time.
Allow yourself to dream
Get out paper and write down the answers to those 3 questions above.
Start planning. Start getting deliberate. Be intentional.
This is not a Time for Excuses.
2020 has certainly spotlighted where I was making excuses in my life. Be brave enough to look at where you were making excuses in your life. Where you were making excuses for what you tolerated or how certain things were.
You don’t need to live in an unfinished basement for growth.
You don’t need your days to get darker before you step into your greatness.
Now is the time for action.
Deliberate and intentional living.
The antidote of despair.
My program, Finding Joy In Everyday Life, is open twice a year and it’s open now. It includes the habits necessary for deeper happiness and sustained joy. I support you as you learn the tools to live deliberately and intentionally. I support and lead women just like you find more joy in their everyday life, quarantine or not.
Let me help you shine your light