Trust me, when I first heard that thud and as we got out of the car, I was thinking some very unkind thoughts about us—we were fuck-ups, we’d ruined our lives, we’d ruined someone else’s life, they were going to take our kids away because we couldn’t be trusted to keep anyone safe.
Then I remembered something I need reminding of consistently, despite my 20 years learning the fine art of observing my thoughts:
There is always a loving reason for every catastrophe, minor or otherwise, if you look for it. Always. (Click to Tweet!)
There will be times when you feel “off” — your mood’s darker than you’d like, you can’t shake the same old worrying thoughts, it feels like you’re trudging through mud.
What follows is a list of things to do for those times. And the whole reason to do these things is that they raise your energy.
When I say “energy,” I’m not talking about what my grandmother used to call “pep.” I’m talking about your vibration, which I get is still a little hard to wrap your brain around. Energy is a little like your mood, but it reaches farther than your mind—it infuses every cell in your body and even extends beyond you.
Energy rules how you see the world and determines the effect you have on other people. It also plays a huge role in what happens to you—because what you put out is what you get back. If you are expecting something to be a waste of time, chances are it will be. If you are feeling hopeful about the world, you’ll typically encounter opportunities that reinforce your view.
If we’re connected on Instagram (@MsMindbody)or Facebook (if we’re not, I’d love to be!), you saw this photo this week. It’s me, making my “Grrrr” face.
I was seriously irritated by something that I just couldn’t shake, despite doing all the things I know typically help me feel calm—I meditated, I talked to my husband, I wrote an angry letter (that I didn’t send, just to get it out of my head), I squeezed the stress ball my daughter made out of a balloon and some Playdough. But still, the aggravation was sticking to me like glitter.
I wanted to post a picture of myself all agitated because people have a perception that if they could just “get Zen,” they wouldn’t ever get upset about anything ever again.
And while it’s true that giving yourself regular opportunities to de-compress and to hear what you really think will in general make you less likely to have over-size reactions to things, you’re still human. You still have buttons. They will still get pressed. And that is actually a beautiful thing. Because emotions are messengers from the subconscious. They let you know when there’s something going on that needs your attention.
Most often, though, that something isn’t necessarily what you think it is.
Feeling broke and wondering how to make money, fast? I’m guessing you’re also feeling some mixture of panic, defeat and self-criticism. Which—while natural, human responses—aren’t going to help you find your back in to the black.
Have a pity party for yourself if you want, but make it finite. Say, one day to feel bad about your situation. And then, get busy on this list of 11 things.
Whether you need money stat, or you’d just like to have a little more money flowing in to your life, these tips will help you get that cash.
Start where you are. The solution isn’t “out there,” several steps down the path. It’s as close as your hands can reach. It’s the person you already know, the contact you’ve already made, the thing you already know how to do. You already possess whatever it is that’s going to help you make that money! This is number one on the list because if you don’t accept that you already have everything you need to get going, you’ll distract yourself by thinking about going back to school or spending three weeks buffing up your resume. Read more…
Three years ago, I hadn’t been paying any attention to my writing career, and it was suffering. Like E.T. when he was gray and hooked up to all those tubes at the end of the movie – that’s the level of distress I’m talking about.
It wasn’t until I did this one particular thing that my career as a professional writing came roaring back.
This step didn’t take long, didn’t cost any money, and only required a piece of paper and a pencil. (Although I could have used a computer, I am old fashioned when it comes to getting important things out of my head.)
Want to know what I did?
(It’s so simple that it almost seems silly.)
“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” – Louis L’Amour
(Like that quote and that image? They are from my new book, A Year of Daily Calm, which is now shipping from Amazon! If you buy a copy there and would like to have it signed, email me your address and I will write you an inscription on a pretty sticker and send it to you. I just got a new batch of stickers in—yay, stickers!)
I love crossing things off a to-do list as much as the next person. Maybe more. The day we finish a bottle of shampoo—really finish it, as in you can’t get one more drop out—feels like victory.
And yet, there’s something really tricky about wanting to be done with something. Whether it’s a shampoo bottle, a job search or an outdated mindset that you’re trying to re-write, it’s all too tempting to not allow yourself to enjoy anything about the process until it’s in your rearview mirror.
I’m talking about thoughts like, Shouldn’t I be farther along now? What’s wrong with me that this isn’t over yet? ARE WE THERE YET?!
I do love going out. I get ideas, I meet interesting people, I form connections—all vital things to my personal wellbeing and to the health of my business.
But if I don’t stay mindful of managing my energy, the stimulation of big events can quickly feel overwhelming. Then I’m shut down. May as well be at home.
After attending one networking event, I joke that I need to go into my introvert hole to recover. Last week, I had three networking events in four days. Normally I’d try to space them out more, but sometimes you don’t get to say exactly how or when things will go down. They were all great opportunities to be with my people and to promote A Year of Daily Calm, so I went to all three.
Say No the Slog, Say Yes to Peace + Order a Signed Copy of “A Year of Daily Calm” in Time for Holiday Gift Giving!
We will all have times when it feels like we are standing at the bottom of the mountain and all we have to look forward to is a long series of uphill steps to get where we want to go. I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately who are in the midst of just such a time—a move, a launch, a job hunt. Heck, maybe you feel that way about the holidays!
I know the tendency—to feel like you’ve got to just hunker down and power through. Keep going at all costs and put everything else that’s not essential or urgent out of your mind. One day in hopefully not too long you’ll be able to kick back a bit and breathe easier, maybe even have some fun. Later.
But here’s the thing. When you do that, you’re trying to live in the future. Which is basically an invitation for anxiety.
No matter how much you have going on, peace is too important to put off for even one day. Because it’s in those moments when you are aware of and immersed in this very instant when you have access to your inner wisdom. And that quiet voice is what’s going to guide you to where you want to go, so long as you stop to listen to it.
Today, I’ll be on the bus longer than I’ll be in the city. But I am psyched. Why?
Because this is one of my mantras:
Good things happen when you leave the house. (Click to Tweet!)
There is something magical and supremely powerful about getting your butt out of your chair and out in to the world. It inspires you, it gives you a new perspective, it makes you appreciate what you have while also raising your awareness of what else is possible.
Better yet, traveling requires you to invest some time and money on things that you’re not exactly sure how they’re going to pan out—but what we focus on grows. Meaning, focusing on things that are speculative helps you grow your future.
High up on my list of favorite things to do is lie in bed or—when the weather cooperates—on our outdoor couch and read. Even just thinking about it has put a dreamy half-smile on my face. Nights I don’t read before bed just feel wrong.
The problem has been that since I finished Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir, nothing has grabbed me. Or so I thought.
I’ve been making do with stretching the Sunday paper out through the whole week, which is interesting, and does occasionally pull at the heart strings (particularly this week’s Modern Love essay, which has a similar theme of appreciating what you’ve got instead of longing for something you don’t have—tears!). But it hasn’t filled that need for being completely engrossed in a long-form, well-told story—what my friend and fellow writer Judi Ketteler so brilliantly calls “narrative mesmerism.”
What I had been completely overlooking is that each night, I’d been reading a fabulous book with the kids before they went to bed. Because it was a kids’ book, it somehow didn’t count.