A big thank you to all of you who contacted me with your concern, support, and empathy in regards to my last post. I was truly moved by the outpouring of empathy for my situation and the recognition of my vulnerability. My mother’s surgery went very well and she is recovering nicely. But as fate would have it, we are not out of the woods. Unfortunately it appears that cancer has again reared its head in our family.
Although this is a trying time, I feel blessed to go through it. No, really I do. You see, now I will have a chance to practice what I preach. As I tell clients every day, self improvement is about a set of habits and tools to use daily, not a program what one learns and then goes back into their daily life. These tools are there to call on when things get rough or when we are pulled off course – just like I was recently.
So my first step was to go back to taking care of myself. That means getting enough rest, eating the best foods for me, and just increasing my awareness for my needs. I think so many times when things are rough or busy we don’t even notice what we need or that we have stopped giving to ourselves. Sometimes we do not believe we have the time to do what we usually do; responsibilities are added and all of a sudden we no longer can find time in the day to exercise. Or we put others’ needs before our own; we justify that helping others is more important than helping ourselves. Or we jump on the perseverance bandwagon; “if I can just make it through this week, month, year then I will have time for myself again.” But all of those tactics just lead to one being depleted, angry, and tired. Like a young child who doesn’t get their nap, we are irritable, unable to function, and no good to anyone. It is important to remember what they say on the airplane, “put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.” We NEED to take care of ourselves. We NEED to nurture ourselves. Otherwise we have nothing to give to anyone else.
Along with taking care of myself, a hard step for me is asking for help. I have an awesome triad of coaches that I can call on day or night for support, understanding, or coaching. But all too often I jump into that perseverance mode. I believe that I can make it through this rough time alone. But I can tell you that after a 45 minute conversation with my fellow coach I was able to make the mental shift I needed to address things differently. I was able to let go of some things that were holding me back and to reframe the situation I was experiencing. It is so important to remember that we are not going it alone. That no matter what our friends and family are experiencing, they can find the time to be there for us. We do not have to handle anything on our own.
Thanks to your touching support and concern, I have turned back to awareness, acceptance, authenticity, allowing, appreciation, and acknowledging. It is amazing too. Nothing has changed in my circumstances. There are still people experiencing cancer, there are still people in recovery, and I am still in the challenging growth phase of my business, but now I see this all with other eyes. This experience has really shown me that we can choose our own happiness. We can control the life we have. No, we can not always control the circumstances, but we can control our thoughts and reactions to those circumstances. We are amazing and powerful beings. We always have control. We always have power.
As you go through your day, notice times you feel trapped or victimized. Then think of the power or choice you have in that circumstance. And think of where you want to put your focus. If you are diagnosed with cancer, how long will you focus on the anger or fear of your diagnosis? What does that give you besides more anger and fear? How soon could you shift your thoughts to finding the best way to treat your circumstance and to focus your time on enjoying your family instead of feeding negative emotions?
How can you make a change in your viewpoint today?