Updated: Jul 11, 2021
“It does not come from the outside, but happens when we draw our energies into focus.”
For the first time in a long time, I’ve had a chance to slow down and reflect on the last three years. There have been many successes and celebrations for my family and my extended family. College graduations. Master’s degree admissions. First jobs. First car. Teaching credential. New puppy. Enrollment in yoga teacher certification. Lots to be proud of and relieved about. I could go on.
But I could equally go on and on about the obstacles these last three years. Four hip surgeries. One spine surgery. Parent hospitalized. Doggy death. Unending PT visits. Lots of fun money drained from my account for medical bills. You get the picture.
I was recently privileged to have my favorite musician, Girish, co-host a workshop which focused on music and mantra - breathing and self-care. He talked about dissolving obstacles.
I’m so grateful that I have surrounded myself with my obstacle dissolvers. Some of them are people. You know who you are. Some of my obstacle dissolvers are strategies and outlooks. As you know, there have been physical obstacles of having a body that does not always follow my plans and goals. There has been the sometimes-daily obstacle of maintaining a positive outlook. I have stared down the obstacle of trusting the process, my strength and my resilience. The obstacle of learning how to lean into and breathe through the challenges also has taken time to climb over. I have done it!
To reiterate, lots of obstacles. There has also been plenty of opportunity for my hope to dissolve. For me, it would have been super easy to have a pity party and to have my goals and identity dissolve into a heap of despair, disdain, disappointment and discouragement. The tough part of this journey has been finding ways to dissolve those obstacles before they became mountains.
So here are my best suggestions:
According to one of my favorite musicians, “draw [your] energy into focus.” What does that mean to you? To me, it means, focus your energy on what is important. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Think, “At the end of the day, is this going to matter?” Center your optimism so it frames the picture that is your life.
Focus your life's picture with resilience. In the words of Nick Hannah, Physiotherapist, understand that, “resiliency isn’t about unshakeable toughness or being unaffected by challenges and failures. It’s about absorbing the impact of these things, growing forward, maintaining internal consistency throughout and becoming better off for it.”
Feed your body. Whether it is good food, soulful inspiration, people to walk with you shoulder to shoulder on your journey, find what nourishes your body. You are not the sum of your challenges. You can be, however, the sum of a healthy body, spirit and mind.
Be intentional. Practice gratitude. Practice self-care. Love yourself - imperfections and all.
Embrace flexibility. To me, being flexible means allowing myself to have an idea of how I want to approach life’s challenges, allowing myself to have some wiggle room to have a meltdown and then get on with living my life – weakness, flaws, challenges and all.
Find music that inspires you. Find the music that will be your fight song. Find the music that will serenade you into resilience and hope.
Check out this video on resiliency so you can be inspired to "draw your energy into focus".