Constructive use of stress energy has become a way that I manage stresses that I face. When it happens to all come at once, it’s hard to face and can be overwhelming. Stress from the workplace that combines with stress at home that gets complicated by stress from news of a tragic death in the family means that the stress takes on new heights. It becomes more than one can typically manage.
I know how I react when this happens. I can act before I have thought out my actions and speak without considering the impact of my words. Sometimes its the irrational part of me that takes over, leading to added stress based upon my own actions. I have learned this about myself and try to take steps to minimize it.
I have also learned that physical movement helps me deal with the stress. Today, I took a long walk with my dog. I talked to my soul sister; the one who knows me inside out. I took on a new project that has been weighing on my mind and sitting on my to do list. The physical work of manual labor takes away some stress and clears my mind to a point where I feel capable of managing it once again. These are all therapies that help me when I feel out of control.
I’m not sure how I came to find this solution to my stress management. I wonder what will be the solution when I finally have all my home renovations complete. Perhaps I will need to take up a new hobby, maybe woodworking?
Being content with what you have in life is not an easy thing in the world we live in. We are bombarded with advertisement, telling us that we need to buy this and that to make our lives better, or we need to travel here and there to get the most out of life. What this does is rob us from being fully content with the life we currently live. Living without that “fear of missing out” means turning off the noise of these merchants and looking at what makes you happy – not what these companies say should make you happy.
Contentment in my life comes from having affordable housing that provides the shelter my family and I need, my pets to love and cuddle, and the fulfilling relationships with those people I choose to spend my time with. I am content with my daily walks with my dog, my bi-weekly date with one of my best friends, and the easy conversation with the man who is quickly becoming one of the most important people in my life. There are, of course, other components to this, but these things are some of the most vital pieces that keep me happy.
Gratitude for what we have contributes to living a content life. Appreciate all the good things that are present, and value the experience of the not so good things because it helps to truly see what blessings there are in life. I hope to never lose sight of the truly important things that provide me with that sense of contentment that I have found.
There are times when the noise in the world is just too much to handle. The stresses affect us all differently. Some need to talk to others. Some get angry. Others cry, or crawl into their shell. Or there can be a combination of things that happen.
Emotions are sometimes difficult to deal with. What we feel isn’t easily explainable all the time. Perhaps we can’t always understand it ourselves, especially when there is a perfect storm happening within us. Eventually though, the storm passes. The waves of emotion subside and the tears that fell like rain dry up. The sun peeks through the clouds of despair and hope emerges once again.
Nothing lasts forever. Everything is temporary. Ride out the storm. Be kind to yourself. Be patient. Let yourself feel what you need to feel without judgement or contempt. Life is never easy, but it is worth it.
Summer solstice has arrived. With her, she brought beautiful sunshine and warmth. Summer is easy to get lost in, with the luscious gardens teeming with fragrant blossoms and bountiful vegetable patches growing steadily day by day. The days are long, lasting well into the wee evening hours when we are fortunate enough to witness the beautiful and colourful displays at sunset as they bid farewell to the daylight for just a few hours.
Summer, while it feels like it will never end, also seems to go by so fast. Enjoy every moment as you live in the present. Take the time to put your nose to a peony bloom and inhale its perfume. Spend a lazy afternoon in a hammock with a book. Take a walk through the forest trails and breathe in the oak and moss as you enjoy the cool shade from the canopy. Sit patiently at the lakeside and wait for the dragonflies to come rest their weary wings as they visit for a moment.
Have gratitude for the gift of summer. This present in this very moment is worth more than gold. Savour the time spent in the here and now and store these precious memories for those cold winter days that will eventually be upon us. But for now, right now, be present here with Mother Nature in all her summer glory.
I’m one of those people who will think something to death before taking any action whatsoever. It’s both a blessing and a curse. There are times where it paralyzes me and I’m too caught up in the details to make a move. I overthink things that shouldn’t be overthought. I plan until the planning makes no sense.
And I worry.
What if this dream isn’t what I should follow? What if it fails? What if I fail? What if this dream isn’t what I really wanted to pursue after all?
Sometimes, we need to leave the planning and doubt behind and take that leap of faith forward. It’s not easy for people like me to do that very thing. Sometimes we like to get our toes wet first. And sometimes that is ok, so long as we propel ourselves forward.
So there is a dream here. It’s been planned to death for a couple of years now. Perhaps it’s time to put my toes in the water.
Some things bring tears to your eyes. Not because they are sad, but because they are memories in the making. Tears of happiness or of joy but knowing that these moments will not last. Tears of trying to make the most of the time in the moment yet trying to freeze the emotion and feeling so that it can be felt again when that memory comes to mind in the future.
Tears come to my eyes often. I am an emotional creature. Tears are healing. They help to wipe the past hurts away; to open the doors to new and healthier experiences. Tears are therapeutic. To soothe and hug you when you need consoling.
But tears in these happy moments are the ones that remind me that these things—these moments, are the ones to remember and cherish, because they are the ones that I will want to remember in years to come. These are the moments that life was made up of. The growing years and the happiness that made for a good life.
Stepping outside your comfort zone is uncomfortable. It feels uneasy and sometimes scary. But that space just outside the little box that we have created for ourselves is where growth lies. That wide expanse beyond the box we live in holds opportunities that we haven’t experienced. Wonderful and new experiences that will open up a whole new world to us.
Stepping outside your comfort zone will allow you to find other like minded people; new people to add to your tribe. It will give you the opportunity to try new and different things other than the same drudgery that you do day to day. These opportunities open your world even more and help you to see parts of yourself that you never knew existed.
Stepping outside your comfort zone will expand your horizons. It will change you in ways you didn’t realize. It will open you up to new and exciting opportunities that would have scared you into your shell before that first step outside your little box.
Take that first step. Feel the excitement of something new, something slightly uncomfortable, and see what happens. You just may discover a whole new side of yourself that you never even knew existed.
Take the time to take a walk in silence in nature. See with your senses. Smell the earthy aroma of the soil, the sweetness of the grass, the flowers, the muskiness of the trees. Breathe in the fresh air. Feel the tingle of the breeze against your arms, your hair as it dances with the tiny currents in the air; embrace its caress on your cheek. Notice the warmth of the sun on your skin as it plays hide and seek through the canopy of the trees. Notice the coolness of the shade when the sunshine ducks playfully behind the clouds.
See with your eyes the beauty that surrounds you as life carries on synergistically around you. Watch as the birds play amongst the branches. Observe the bees as they explore the blooms, dusting their tiny feet with pollen. Look for butterflies and dragonflies as they dance and with the wind to music that can only be heard with the heart.
Listen with your ears. Pay attention to the love songs amongst the birds and the frogs. Hear the rustle of leaves as the mice and little critters forage through the brush to find breakfast.
Feel the world with your intuition. Connect with the earth in an unseeing way. Give your compassion to Mother Nature and all her precious beings and let her return that love to you. Spend time in silence to discover all the things that go unnoticed in the busyness of life. Give yourself time to renew in the healing bond with nature and feel the serenity that lives amongst us in our busy world.
There are times when all we truly need is a good friend by our side. It’s more than just that they are our friend. It’s the years of trust that have been built in that relationship. The good memories and the hard times somehow solidify the structure of the friendship that allow us to simply be in each other’s presence.
When we have those particularly challenging days, most of us have that go-to friend that we can count on. It is a treasured thing, to know that someone always has your back; that you matter to them just as much as they matter to you. That friend who you can tell all your darkness to and still be loved, or just sit nestled up to, alone with your thoughts yet cradled in their love and compassion.
Friendship has the power to heal hurt. There are no conditions present, no keeping score on who has done more for whom. There is love and compassion. There are good times and sadness, yet all of it gets shared equally within that friendship. Perhaps that is what keeps a friendship alive; the ability to be completely and vulnerably yourself in the presence of the other person without fear of the power of friendship being abused.
Perhaps the power of friendship is that you are accepted, completely for who and what you are, and the ability to give the same back.
Life changes in a single moment. There are events that lead up to that time, but a single defining moment changes everything. Many parts of my day focus on that single moment changing life in a negative way, so I am acutely aware of the impact that can happen. Perhaps because of this, I am also particularly aware of the times where those changes affect life in a positive way.
Rewind to March; there was a single moment that so far has changed my life for the better. It wasn’t expected, planned, or even prepared for. Quite the contrary, in fact. Truth be told, I had seriously debated not making an appearance. It was a friend’s birthday and there was a party at a local establishment. I had already been to my regular evening commitment that night and was feeling like my social timer had almost run out for the week. There was internal guilt, that if I didn’t show up, that it might hurt feelings or what have you, so I took in a deep breath or two and made my way to the party.
As I stepped through the threshold of the pub, all the moments leading up had finally fallen into place. I scanned the room from right to left; a contradiction to the norm. I noticed the karaoke singers, the notables from my friend’s circle, a couple of my own acquaintances, the birthday girl, then, in that instant, that single defining moment, I saw him.
That single moment began the chain of events that brought us together. He wasn’t new to me. Perhaps the timing was never right before. Perhaps it was the magic of the evening. Or the way he straightened up when our eyes met. Whatever it was, that anxiety or whatever you choose to call it that I was feeling before walking in the door, had all melted away when I saw his grey blue eyes looking back at me.
A single moment. Life changes in a single moment.