It all began with a simple but essential question posted to Facebook:
"i would like to worry about the future a little bit less.. any tips, tricks or advice?"
I felt that I was in a rut, and while in this rut, I could not stop worrying about what was to come in the future. I felt that I would never leave this negative space, I would forever feel exhausted and un-inspired, and I began questioning every life decision I had made and would soon make. Heavy stuff right? I wasn't a fan either! So... I turned to the guidance of Facebook - and was AMAZED by the response I received.
It was mind blowing how my one question affected so many individuals so strongly that they felt the need to comment and share their wisdom. Some of these individuals I haven't even spoken with in years - clearly the question hit a nerve. It was amazing and supportive to learn how many others are/or have been struggling with the same challenge that I face on a regular basis. Sometimes in life we continue along our path and keep our struggles to ourselves, or at least to our close circle of friends. But to put yourself out there and show your vulnerabilities leads to great awareness and acknowledgement. Yes it can be scary to show the world (or at least your Facebook world) that you're not perfect, that you have hard times and that you need help. But the payoff is astronomical. That feeling of belonging to a community, even if that community is based around overcoming a challenge, can allow your insecurities to rest and listen to and trust your intuition. It doesn't matter your country, your job, your marital status or favourite thing to do - we are all human and we all face challenges. Why not face them together, or at least help others learn from the disappointments and successes that you have celebrated?
If any of this resonates with you and you need a little boost in the positivity department, please take the time to forget whatever it is that's bullying your mind to focus on it, and read the insightful and thoughtful suggestions that were given to me:
"Throw yourself whole heartedly into every day as it comes. Focus on the now!"
"When you find your thoughts wandering, recognize that and try to bring yourself back to the present. Read Wayne Dyer and Eckhart Tolle."
where do you want to focus your time? image found at: http://alacartespirit.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/past-present-future-where-to-live-where-to-look/
"I used to get anxiety thinking too much about what is to come. The truth of the matter is that no one knows, anything is possible, and even the most bizarre / random / catastrophic things can happen to you and yours at any time. For the past few years I have stopped worrying about it and my stress levels are at an all time low with my enjoyment of every day being maximized as I am not wasting time "fretting." Today try and worry about these 3 things: How are you going to enjoy the sunshine, what to eat for dinner, and what movie u are going to watch before bed. I promise if that is all u worry about today you are going to have an awesome day! After all Deanna no one can promise you that today won't be your last."
enjoying the sunrise at Mana Retreat Centre, Coromandel, New Zealand
"I just came across a great piece of advice in my old leadership coursework: Mentor activity rather than outcome. If all you are doing is focusing on the end result and feeling instantly defeated when you are trying to figure out how to get from where you are to that end result, then what you should try is to focus on rewarding your activity. Reward yourself for the positive steps you make everyday/week/month that build towards achieving that goal. Whether that's reaching out to your network to continue your relationships, professional development, training, completing online courses or reading articles to build your skillset. I can say that it has helped me alot! Without realizing it, focusing on the positive steps helped to lead me to my desired outcome."
a beautiful image of a cat befriending a mouse - image found at: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tiny-mouse-takes-on-tabby-cat-762483
"Deanna! We are in the same boat. This is what works 4 me: I close my eyes & breath deep. Then I think: "Everything is well". (Do this 3 times). Then I breath again and say: "I am peaceful' (3 times). Then I smile. It feels soooo good. Then I go & do something that brings joy back into my life (even if it is eating a little piece of chocolate :))."
"...say "yes" to everything!"
"Live in the moment..."
The beautiful scenery during a yoga/5 Rhythms Dance Retreat at Mana Retreat Centre, Coromandel, New Zealand
"...my fave yoga teacher yesterday was talking about setting an intention for the day and focusing on the success of the intention rather than the outcome. For example, you want to get a lot of work done. Do your best to do it but if/when it doesn't happen, be happy with your effort."
Thank you to everyone who contributed to my exit out of and recovery from the previously mentioned "rut". I really appreciate your support, your courage in sharing your vulnerabilities and your kindness in helping out a friend.