Waves, Gardenias and Einstein

Do you ever have those times when you feel like everything is stacking up and you just can’t deal with it all, manage it all, find time for it all? Even the good stuff loses its shine and seems too difficult because there are so many competing issues to deal with, projects to begin, people to see, plans to fulfil? I’m in that spot right now.  It is like a massive wave has engulfed me and I’m rolling around inside, tangled, tumbling, tossing about without a level surface upon which to set my feet. I’m off balance.

I’m in a state of overwhelm, a state of ‘woe is me’. I’m in that place where it’s easier to throw my hands in the air and do nothing, to bury my head in the sand and hope it will all go away. Procrastination is my ‘go to’ behaviour in times like these.

Strange I should be visited by this devil, this monkey on my back now. Things have been going so very well of late. I’ve enjoyed a wonderful holiday, I’ve made some personal shifts that have been very satisfying. I had great intentions for the several projects I had in place. Why now?   Is there really a part of us that likes to maintain the status quo, that likes to keep us in a place of mediocrity, of longing, of never quite being where we want to be? If so, breaking that barrier, breaking the cycle of highs and lows is a challenge.

I know I won’t be in the whirlpool of my dispair for long. But I know if nothing changes I’ll be back at the beginning of the same pattern, the same cycle of longing and hoping that things will be different. I’ll come out of the whirlpool, I’ll pull my socks up and I’ll line up my projects again. Things will swim along pleasantly and happily for sometime, I will feel like I’m making progress  and, BAM, the wave will roll in and suck me under and into the turmoil, yet again!

What needs to change? What can I do differently to break the cycle, to cut the cord, to move on?

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That was several days ago. I didn’t have the answers but I faced my fears and took action. Action that I saw me emerge from the depths of the tumultuous wave, with my head above water noticing the brightness of the sun rather than the murkiness of the sea bed.

Firstly, I looked for something to be immediately grateful for and something to bring beauty into my seemingly helpless, hopeless world. I wandered into the garden and gave thanks for the newly budding flowers, the lush herbs and the gorgeous smell of gardenias, lavender, rosemary and mint.  I selected three beautifuly formed, pure white gardenias and placed them in a small crystal vase near my workspace.

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Then, beyond all impulses to run away, to hide, to procrastinate, I set about addressing the one critical task that needed to be fulfilled that day. I slowly worked my way through it, allowing time for small breaks to stretch and drink tea. I pushed aside my overwhelm to focus for the day on this one significant task and I am proud to say I achieved it. I ticked it off the list.

These two small acts, acts that differed from my past behaviour, achieved something akin to a miracle for me. Instead of being tossed about for weeks on end, sinking deeper into self pity and despair I now, just a couple of days later, have more energy, feel more motivated and have a brighter outlook than I expected was possible.

It wasn’t rocket science but maybe the key to changining the cycle is to do something different. I can see the truth in that old adage of Einstein’s:

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten”

I raise my cup of tea this morning and propose a toast to life, to the power in taking action and to breaking habitual cycles by doing things differently, one small step at a time.

Here’s to you too. Wishing you a wonderfully pleasant and fulfilling day.

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Hope is not a strategy

Hope is not a strategy. I heard this phrase in a meeting, it struck a chord and has lingered in the back of my thinking all week.

Hope can provide a light in the darkness; it can help get us through a rough patch but hope alone does not get us to where we want to go. Hope alone does not create the world in which we want to live. Hope is not a strategy any more than throwing some coins in a wishing well is a strategy.

Hope is not a strategy that moves us forward

Hope is not a strategy that moves us forward

As a spiritual person I belive in manifestation, the intervention of the universe and the biblical meaning of ‘hope’ but I also know that hoping to lose weight, hoping to win the lotto, hoping to become proficient at a new skill won’t happen without intention, a course of action and taking small steps toward the goal.

Hoping for change diminishes our responsibility; it allows us to skirt accountability, it leaves us helpless and at the mercy of something or someone other than ourselves. Intention, however, followed by action empowers us. Intention forces us to stand on our own two feet and accept responsibility for where we are and where we want to be.

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Intention and action suggest movement. Intention and action suggest commitment. Intention and action suggest strength and determination.

Martin Luther King gave one of histories most powerful speeches – I have a dream – in which he listed all the good things he hoped for America. Did he merely have a blind  hope these things would manifest of their own accord or did he have a plan of action to enact, that ensured these dreams would become reality?

In my work there are key messages I want my clients will learn but without setting the intention prior to my planning and without planning and incorporating specific content and learning experiences I might as well hope the message is transferred through osmosis.

While I firmly believe we are supported and guided by the universe I also believe our spirit guides, our God, our guardian angels want us and expect us to take the first small step in the direction we are hoping to see some outcome or change.

we need to take steps toward our desired outcome - even baby steps help.

We need to take steps toward our desired outcome – even baby steps help.

We can’t manifest a new home for ourselves without first looking at what is available, without checking our finances, without making an offer. We can’t hope to lose those five kilos without making some changes to our diet and lifestyle. We can’t hope to live a peaceful life if we don’t set aside time for ourselves to enjoy peace.

Next time you hope for something to manifest in your life, consider the first small step you can take toward achieving your dream.

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