Whenever I’m in the mood to look hard enough, I can usually find some reason to get all frazzled and worried. Even though I try to keep an air of tropical tranquility about me, there are times when those nasty, negative feelings of doom and gloom seep into my being.
It takes a lot of practice to project a calm demeanor when you’ve worked yourself into an inner frenzy, when your stomach is churning or your neck feels like it’s in a vise.
But I guess I’m admitting my weakness to you as a note of encouragement. We all struggle at times with the turbulent waves of life. It’s comforting to know we’re all in the same boat . . . rowing our little hearts out.
Since it’s sink or swim, let’s find a way we can relieve some, if not most, of our self-inflicted tension. From now on, let’s agree not to stress about these 5 things anymore:
- “Tomorrow is going to be a tough day.” Talk about setting ourselves up for pain and torment. Even if (and that’s a big IF) tomorrow is going to be a difficult day, why in heaven’s name do we want to suffer BEFORE we even get there? I’ll tell you why. Because we think by agonizing and lamenting beforehand, it will lessen the suffering tomorrow. Nope, doesn’t work that way. And it’s sure not a fun way to live.
- “I wish I would have been a better [spouse, parent, friend.”] We all know we can’t change the past. So why do we dwell on it? Snap out of it! Move on! Forgive, forget, do whatever you need to do to wipe the slate clean. Then practice being the best person you can be RIGHT NOW. Let’s quit thinking and talking about our past regrets. It’s time for us to let it go.
- “My jeans are too tight.” Like a lot of women, I’ve wasted way too much time obsessing about my weight. “If I could just lose another 10 pounds.” “Does my butt look big?” Crazy, crazy, crazy. Pointless, pointless, pointless. If we really want to lose weight, let’s just do it. There’s plenty of information available to help us. If we don’t really want to, let’s accept ourselves the way we are and focus on more important things in the world.
- “I’m getting older.” This is a tough one. For every day of living, we’re one day closer to dying. That’s the reality. It’s inevitable, so why do we fight this? Most likely because of fear. But if life can be a wonderful journey to be explored, maybe we can accept death as a mysterious part of our journey as well. The Journey to Palm Canyon includes many amazing trails, let’s not be fearful of coming to the end of any one of them. Maybe it’s just the beginning of another . . .
- “I can’t seem to figure out my life purpose.” This isn’t something you can force by relentlessly thinking about it. If you’re not sure or confused about what to do with your life, just start with doing something – anything that serves other people in some way. Chances are good that the reason you exist has something to do with making the world a better place.
Let’s take this one step further. We can apply the principles of An Island Perspective to those same 5 stressful thoughts and create new, more hopeful thoughts. Here’s what I mean:
- Accept the “winds” of life that you can’t control.
“Tomorrow is going to be a tough day.” becomes:
“I’m doing everything I can to prepare for tomorrow. Whatever happens will be okay.”
- Manage your thoughts rather than letting your thoughts manage you.
“I wish I would have been a better [spouse, parent, friend.”] becomes:
“No reason to dwell on a past I can’t change. I’m thankful for the valuable lessons I’ve learned.”
- Appreciate and nurture your individual uniqueness and beauty.
“My jeans are too tight.” becomes:
“I love myself just the way I am. I’m going to focus on being healthy and taking care of myself.”
- Explore and celebrate your true essence, your deepest, authentic self.
“I’m getting older.” becomes:
“The wisdom I’ve gained over the years have made me who I am. The real me is vital, amazing and beautiful.”
- We are all connected. Radiate your light and compassion to others.
“I can’t seem to figure out my life purpose.” becomes:
“I know I have a unique purpose that only I can fulfill. For now, I will focus on being kind and helpful to others.”
Even though we’ve decided not to stress about those 5 things anymore, at times we’ll slip into the same old, negative thought patterns. But when we do, we can send them floating right on out of our minds. Picture them going in one ear and out the other!
By living with An Island Perspective, we really don’t have to stress about anything. That doesn’t mean our journey will always be easy. But those moments of tropical tranquility will make it all worthwhile.
What things are you ready to quit stressing about in your life?