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What is Stopping YOU?

I've been thinking a lot these days about the things that tend to stop us from reaching our potential. Because I am in a daily battle to maintain my health, I am aware of the pitfalls that can sometimes trip me up as I pursue new adventures. Even the weather can offer a challenge some days. It can all be quite maddening really - this compromise of lifestyle and happy plans. And it isn't just health. And it isn't only happening to me. I have had, conservatively, a half dozen conversations just this week with people who are facing the same blocked efforts. Today I write for them - and all of us who feel frustrated by those times when the circumstances of life are beyond our capacity to tame them.

Breathe. Just take a second, have a seat and allow yourself a few minutes of focus. Don't think about the can't do's. Concentrate on the fact that you're actually sitting there, breathing! Sometimes, that fact alone is enough to remind us that we are miracles of creation. We are aware of our own bodies and minds and place in the world! Now, as the little children's song reminds, "Count your blessings, name them one by one..." This can really help to focus your attention and "set your mind on things above". No need to compare yourself to anyone else's circumstances. Just take a beat and be thankful.

Once you're in a good "headspace", get yourself up out of that chair and DO something. ANYthing. Prove to yourself that the day is worth salvaging, even if you have to change your happy plans. If you can't get out of your chair, grab a pencil and paper and make a list. You get to decide what's on that list. Make them happy things, thankful things, things that inspire you. Consider sharing this list with others. My daughter practices something she calls 100 Days of Happiness, and has shared her "happys" with photos and captions on social media. She's pretty good at it. I attempt to post daily poems during April's National Poetry Month and monthly poems throughout the year. Since beginning this sharing, I've added thankfulness posts in November and daily bits of scripture or quotes for the period in the Christian calendar known as Advent. Perhaps this coming year, I'll add some Valentine love in February to brighten up the dreary days of mid-winter. Helping inspire others will help you cheer your own spirit.

When you feel stronger, do something more. Just a little something to prove to yourself that improvement in your circumstances is possible. Creating something that pleases you is a great start. Write a poem, draw a picture, take a photo, call a friend or pen someone a letter. If you can, get outside! Fresh air and sunshine do wonders for a flagging spirit. Take a walk, listen to the birds, go look at the moon. Plan a day trip or an overnight getaway. Counteract the feelings of being stuck with action. It doesn't matter if that action seems tiny in the moment. All action is forward motion! Altogether, these tiny actions create first steps.

Life can be difficult sometimes. The circumstances of daily living that keep you feeling blocked are frustrating and unproductive. It's okay to have periods of time when you need to care for yourself and deal with such things. Be good to yourself and take care. But if you want to get unstuck, creatively or otherwise, making the smallest move forward will soon have you feeling empowered to try bigger steps - and leaps into the unknown that may lead you in a whole different direction! I'll be here, taking steps and leaps right along with you! Let's go! xo

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