Have Courage

img_0785Off on a new adventure! It took me an hour just to find a working bike rental system. It only gave me 30 seconds to remove it from its automated lock and it was stuck. It took me three tries to unlock the rented city bike with a basket.  

After figuring out how to free the wheels, off I was down the Rabbit Trail. What a beautiful and freeing feeling to ride with the breeze flowing in my face and not being strapped down to obligations at the moment. It was quiet and the trees and flowers were coming to life from their dormancy of Winter. 

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Amongst the new green grass, budding trees and blooming flowers were colors of purple, pink, yellow and white.  The sounds of the river rapids next to the trail were calming and lightened my spirit.

As clunky as that bike was, it sure put a smile on my face to bust through the fear of being a little woman going somewhere unknown, alone and unprotected. While it may seem like a simple experience to many people, stories of kidnapping and people going missing had been close to home for me and thoughts of not being so lucky next time raced through my head.  However, if we live in fear we are not living.  While we must take precautions it is exciting to discover a new path.

Nature was awakening. The birds and sounds of Spring made me no longer feel so alone.  They replaced the noises in my head.  My gut was feeling safe so I decided to listen to the truer voice.  The voice of reason.

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Sometimes we lack the courage of trying new things for fear of the unknown. However once we do discover there is nothing to fear, that freedom renews our energy and confidence and brings a new life to us much like nature comes alive in Spring. When was the last time you were held back by unnecessary fear?  If you listen closely to your gut, you can sense the difference between moments where you need to use precaution and other moments where you need to shut off the negative voice and go for it.  Next time, have the courage to listen closely.

Lion Statue taken near Reedy River Falls in Greenville, South Carolina 2019

Giving Up Your Right Arm

Sometimes it takes a negative life event to appreciate the simple things.  When you no longer have something that you used to take for granted, it changes your perspective on what satisfies you.

March 2, as I was turning 45 an accident during a ski trip led to an AC joint injury and rotator cuff surgery.  In other words, I am unable to use my right arm for several weeks and I am told I have a year-long journey ahead to get used of my arm back to close to normal.

Normally I am an active person who loves hiking, bicycling, and most of all kayaking.  My career also drives me to work 50-60 hours a week.  All of which including keeping up with the household chores like folding laundry is very reliant on my right arm.  I have spent a lot of time with family, reading, and realizing how hard it is for me to shut down and be patient and control my mind.  The days where I’ve had breakdowns of frustration coincide with the days I have not practiced what I have read and studied for so many years.

I picked up my first self-help book at the age of 18.  That’s where my journey for self-transformation really began.  It was a book I read the summer before entering college on overcoming test anxiety through self-hypnosis.  It taught me to imagine myself doing well, through first relaxing my body, controlled breathing, and visualization.  It helped me go from a 2.6 GPA student in high school to a 3.4 student in college.  More importantly, it helped me change my self-image from someone incapable of someone capable.  Through even more personal development I went from a poor shy backward farm girl that battled lots of depression to a high performing sales professional and household breadwinner that has persevered.

Even while surpassing my income goals and material possessions the relentless drive for checking off the accomplishments wasn’t leaving me feeling satisfied.  With the combination of teachings from others wiser than me and my halftime break at 45 this year, the reality of needing to concentrate on the daily rituals of filling the soul is even more glaring.

No matter who you are, we all have a story.  Some are just better than others at hiding their struggles and some are better at coping.  Others will admit they need all the help they can get to be present and fight off negative self-talk and depression.

What is consistent in all the studies for learning to be grateful, finding your joy, life satisfaction, or as I would like to call it having your soul feel fulfilled, boils down to doing the list of things below that all encompass “Everything for the Soul.”  Beyond the natural highs, nothing will leave you fulfilled.

  • Daily gratitude journal
  • Discover new things
  • Establish a positive streak
  • Exercise
  • Read something positive
  • Create something
  • Get Sunshine
  • Connection

As you review the list of what it takes, you may recognize they aren’t material things, food, alcohol, drugs, sex or any other unhealthy addiction.  It is purely a list of things you can do to reframe your way of thinking.  All of us encounter negative self-talk.  Those happiest have been able to reprogram for the positive.  It is up to you to use the tools and resources provided to put them into your own daily practice.  Once you have recognized how the tools have helped you find satisfaction in your abilities to control your thinking please share your story in the comments section of any of the posts.

On the scale of life events for many, my temporary set back of having the use of my right arm taken away is a small price to pay for appreciation of my health.  During my recovery, I have learned of others facing even more serious health scares.  A mother, friend, and wife is battling stage four cancer, a father, son, and brother facing news of a discovered brain tumor.  Another person grieves over their lost loved one who chose to end his daily mind battle through taking his own life.

No matter our struggle, there is always someone facing something worse.  By sharing my story and findings and encouraging others to tell their stories through everthingforthesoul.com may it inspire more people to use these daily practices to reframe their mind and live a more fulfilled life.  What better life purpose than to fulfill souls!

Resource: If you struggle with addiction here’s where you can find help: http://www.mission-addiction.org/about-us/

Photograph take at Diamond Peak Ski Resort