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Things To Think About, Monday, August 20th, 2017

Back to School Special Edition

Happy Monday, or whatever Monday you choose.

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If you ever had to cook dinner while breastfeeding a child, rocking the other one in a swing and taking a conference call, you have a vague idea about the start of school. Starting school or college, or continuing education is a juggling act. You may feel like a sailboat being tossed about in a tsunami. It requires being adaptable, able to change on the fly, manage many tasks and still finding time to have fun. Can you ride the waves? Can you keep all those balls you have to juggle up in the air? What happens if you drop the ball? Is it the end of the world? Or something else to take in stride and keep moving forward wiser and stronger? Learning and gaining new skills will help you to propel yourself to the next level.

But, and there is always a but – it is easy to get caught up in the commotion and deny your emotions. I don’t know about you, but my crazy dreams are on the uptick. I was continually late and running out of time and kept waking up to be even later and running out of time. Are you having back to school dreams? What are they trying to tell you? What inner fears may they be hinting at? Starting something new can bring about strong emotions. Are you unwilling to face your deepest fears? No one will like me. I won’t make any friends. My teacher is the worst. I don't understand the lessons. I'm going to get lost. I'm too old to be starting school. Tackling the things that terrify you can lead to profound growth. Maybe you feel as if you can’t be your authentic self in this new environment. Know thyself. If you don’t, get to know thyself. Check in with yourself. How are you doing? Remember that nature runs in cycles. This too shall pass.

How do you overcome this challenge? Who do you admire? Who do you want to be? Take a page from someone you admire. If you want to be authentic, who do you know who is genuine? Or better yet, what do you envision yourself as when you are authentic? Who are you as a leader? Who are you as your best self? Do you want to be influential? Who do you admire who is influential? Leaders are authentic and true to themselves. Doing the same thing is not going to change your situation. Take a risk. Jump! Fly! Soar! You are bound to encounter many new people in this phase of the journey. What can you learn from others? Will you be open to other points of view? There can be a lot of temptation when you want to be successful or popular. Will you succumb or will you act with personal integrity? There is also the danger of getting caught up with all the newness and sacrificing yourself to please others.

What's next? Change is coming. Change is always happening. Your situation is like Florida weather. It can rain intensely and be over in a few minutes. It can go from freezing cold to stifling heat. You can wake up in a fog and have it burn off by sunrise. The point is this too shall pass. The only thing constant is change. What you are going through now will not last forever. If you check in with yourself, you can find that center. We don’t necessarily have control over what life throws our way, but we can control our response and our thoughts. A really dear friend of mine told me that the idea of something good or bad is just the meaning we attach to it. Don’t get too attached to the meanings you place on life. It is all subjective. You have to examine your thoughts scrupulously. I know I sound like a broken record. It is a simple concept, but challenging to put into practice. Find your center and let the storms rage on around you. You can be your own calm before, during and after the storm.


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