Updated: Sep 23, 2020
As you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change!
So many recently have questioned, how can I remain "so calm" or "so positive" in times like these. My response is truly, it's the way I have learned to adapt, having experienced so much hardship in my life, the only way to make it through is to stay calm and positive. So this is actually basic survival mode for me.
Your children, family and community, absorb what you are personally going through, so be mindful of your thoughts and actions and the affects they have on those around you. They absorb our stress, just as they absorb our peace. They absorb our negativity just as they absorb our joy. We also have the power to control what they absorb, but first, we must tend to ourselves. Now is the time to focus inward and improve, to become stronger than before. Don't let these challenging times, hold you back or cloud the path.
Many ask: How can you think differently from the circumstances? I would say you are focused on entirely the wrong thing; you can't change the circumstances (the uncontrollable) but you can control how you think and how you react to circumstances. So let go of what you cannot control and focus on what you can!
Hide sight is 20/20!
It is often so much easy to understand things after it has already happened. But it's so often hard to fully understand things in the moment, as things are unfolding, and even harder to predict the future. So I share this today in hopes to bring awareness, evoke curiosity, and create an openness to the possibilities.
In times of hardship many of us revert back to the comfort of old habits. So for me this meant I have to go into battle. I had to become self aware of how these stressful times were affecting me (body, mind, and spirit), my family, and my community. Then I had to contend for the progress I have made, give myself grace that I am a work in progress, and get into action to wade through the chaos to find clarity and peace. In this self review I remembered something I had learned in the past and felt sharing, might help others that can relate to my story be compelled to keep going.
Blast from the past!
There was a time in my life where I would have to fight falling asleep on the way to work, when I would come home exhausted, grumpy, impatient, in pain, and just not the Mom or Wife I wanted to be. I remember the look on my young daughters face (with what I refer to now as "NO" days) when she would ask us if we could do something, we would say "not right now, mommy and daddy are too tired" or "mommy worked today, let's do it another time" I remember that look of disappointment over and over again.
I remember the times of feeling like I was failing at everything, but parenting was at the top of the list. I remember feel so mad and frustrated with the littlest things (which I now identify as short-tempered - which is so similar to how I feel now during quarantine). The most trivial, insignificant, minor inconveniences could trigger an explosion inside me (the opposite of inner peace), but that was the state of a stressed out, self-neglected woman who could no longer see the blessings, only the inconveniences, of her life.
I remember my husband yelling "I can't do anything right, you are never happy anymore" This of course made me enraged, I was fuming: I wanted to defend, I wanted to excuse, I wanted to deny, but I couldn’t, because I knew he was right (Boy, do I hate it when he's right)! I began to question: Where did that happy woman go?
I remember looking at my daughter and as she worried: oh no, Mom is MAD! At this point my family was basically trained, mom's stressed, tired, overwhelmed, so we just need to give her space. I remember overhearing a conversation, where my daughter asked "is Mommy mad at me, did I do something wrong?" These kinds of things can break your heart. My unhappiness we resulting in my daughter and my husband being unhappy.
It was clear what I was going through, was bleeding over into my family. Your children and family absorb what you are personally going through, so be mindful of your thoughts and actions and the affects they have on those around you.
Something has to give!
We knew things had to change but we didn't know how to make that happen, everything seemed overwhelming at the moment. I knew I needed to find balance, to become a more positive, present person. So I quickly realized the shift that needed to happen was within me which would have a ripple affect onto my family. The saying "a healthy happy mom equals a healthy happy home"... comes to mind. As Jerry and I both lost over 60lbs and transformed our physical health, we also went to work on our mindset and finances, so I could achieve that balance and be more present to enjoy the seemingly little things (like listening, laughing, dreaming, playing, connecting, and loving) that matter the most. It soon became clear to me that I wasn't alone and that others were struggling too. Perhaps I was meant to make it though all that I have, to show others what's possible. With this shift I was able to see all the things to be grateful for in my imperfect self and in my imperfect life, learning to give myself grace as I am a work in progress.
Years later, seemingly everything I previously felt was creeping back: I was stressed to the max, overwhelmed, gaining weight, disappointed, impatient, unhappy, and short tempered. I was finding everyone annoying and incapable. I found myself unable to delegate and micromanaging the most insignificant tasks. I now knew these cues. So I knew I was slipping back into old habits, due to the circumstances of covid-19. So it was critical I became self aware, mindful of my choices and course correct accordingly. I knew it meant I had to refocus on myself. I had to re-implement the importance of self care, and stop putting myself last and neglecting myself. It's easy to get STUCK... trying to balance nurturing yourself and your family. STUCK... knowing what you need to do but not having the motivation, willpower, or stamina to get into action and make it happen. Feeling like you want to be more and do more but you are failing at everything.
Let go of the baggage you don't need to carry. If you want to break free you need get crystal clear on what you want and you have to start with investing in your mental, emotional and physical health, becoming stronger than before. Emerge out of quarantine a healthier you. LIBERATING PARENTS FOR LOVE allows parents to gain balance by doing less, so they can achieve more.
As you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change!
These uncertain times can create so many challenges on so many levels. Change can be hard; It can be terrifying and unnerving. It’s easy to settle for the same things because we are creatures of habit, because we are comfortable, because familiarity is reassuring. But magic isn’t found in certainty. Magic happens when we believe in the power within and the power of our imaginations instead of dwelling in our current realty. I found this exercise a game changer in helping me get CLEAR on what I wanted, focus less on HOW to make it happen, and decide to do what it take to create what I desire. Often times you have to give up the good, to be able to make room for the great. Often times this process can be uncomfortable and scary but well worth it. Because on the other side of our comfort zone and that terror barrier is often times new freedoms and abundance. When we choose passion over security. When we ditch ordinary for extraordinary. Magic happens when we allow ourselves to grow and growth cannot take place without change.
So embrace change and view the obstacle as the way. Let transformation unfold. Do not be afraid to face new challenges, to see things from a different perspective, to meet the changing demands with flexibility, to seek growth and improvement, to create opportunities, and to pursue new passions. Let go of the familiar: we cannot become who we are meant to be, by staying where we are. Sometimes we need to go to places we have never been to find out where we really belong (of course not during quarantine, but generally speaking). Keep the faith. The most amazing things in life tend to happen right at the moment you are about to give up hope.
Here at Stretch Beyond Impossible, we believe in equipping people with the structure and tools necessary to live a life of balance and fulfillment. Our mission is to empower others to overcome everyday obstacles, experience everyday wins, realizing that you have everything you need within, to create the life you desire!!
Often times we become numb and we settle, the important thing is to have the self awareness to check in with ourselves to see where we need to put in the effort to continue to learn and improve. Take a FREE Well-Being Assessment to determine what areas to focus on first. None of us are perfect, we start where you currently are, let's setup a meeting to customize a plan to suit your needs, and create an action plan that takes you from where you are right NOW to where you WANT to be!!!