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Things To Think About, Monday, July 22nd, 2019

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Happy Monday, or whatever Monday you choose.
I am feeling much better and happy to be back and writing. I did take my advice in my last cogent blog and completed all the tasks on the to-do list. Hopefully, you all are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. During last week’s hibernation, I watched “Iyanla: Fix My Life” and took away her example of the cup of pain. She said that everyone carries their cup of pain. You never get rid of the cup, but you can lighten the number of toxic substances you take with you. You get better at noticing the patterns. I used to get disheartened that I seem to repeat the same patterns until I noticed that I was getting more adept at spotting the trends and getting better at learning the lessons. When you get a black belt in martial arts, you do not stop learning. It means that you have mastered the basics. I get to make new mistakes and learn from them. Do you sometimes hesitate to do something because you do not know the outcome? Do you notice that this only happens in certain situations? We never know what life has in store. Places that are traditionally safe can be infiltrated by an out of control vehicle, or person. Most days, we get up and live our life with a confident expectation of normalcy.
But, and there is always a but – sometimes we are not faking it till we make it. We fool ourselves or get stuck in recrimination. In either case, we are stuck. Life continues to give you the lessons you need to learn. It is easy to become hopeless and feel that you will never be able to pass and move on. Are you adopting harmful or toxic patterns? What is the self-talk record on your playlist? Sometimes we go back to the golden oldies of “I’m an Idiot,” “Woe is Me,” “Music for Martys,” or the other greatest hits of the “Feeling like a Failure” playlist. Own up to your decision, take your lumps, and then try a new strategy. I love Eckhart Tolle’s definition of stress. He wrote that “Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.’”
You are stronger than you think. When you feel you have the skills to do something, you are more likely to be able to do it. When your back is against the wall, the reptile mind can take over, and the survival instinct kicks in. The trick is to tap into the clarity of the reptile while keeping your wits about you. Have you ever decided to trust your instincts and produce something remarkable? It is like when you are going through old papers and reading something you wrote and wondering how you pulled it off. Most of us get into the zone, but traverse it on autopilot and create without understanding the “how.” If you remember to be present, you will learn to tap into your intuition while maintaining control. Do not forget to treat yourself with love and compassion and use this as the basis when dealing with others. It is hard to achieve clarity when you are listening to the “Feeling like a Failure” playlist; use that as the basis of empathy when you recognize others are listening to the same playlist.
What’s next? Remember that we are not alone. When you accept yourself, warts and all, and become comfortable in your skin, you can get out of your way. With this clarity, you can see that the world does not revolve around you. Your cup of pain is not any more special than everyone else’s cup of pain. Have you ever had a friend that you enjoy being around because it is easy to do? They have this calm and flow about them? When you realize that you are complete, you become that person. We think we are alone, but our actions have ripples and repercussions. Is your frequency harmonious or a dissonant chord? Listen to your music and put on the “I got this” playlist. Celebrate the small victories and build on them. The off-notes make the composition exciting and memorable. Start a new playlist today.