By: Michelle Renee
Author, speaker, ExtremeResiliency.com
(Continued from last week)
11. Laugh out loud. After my daughter and I survived a home invasion kidnapping and hostage ordeal, our therapist suggested we only watch comedies for 30 days. That was some of the best advice I have ever received when it comes to overcoming adversity and violent trauma. We laughed so hard we cried sometimes and learned that nothing can take joy and laughter away unless you allow them to. It really is one of the best prescriptions for healing there is. Laugh your way to resiliency!
12. Tend to your financial, emotional, and spiritual garden. People who love to garden know that in the beginning when we plant a garden, we get excited watching it sprout. We water it and we watch it grow. Suddenly, we see a weed popping up, threatening the life of our plant and all it can produce. There is no difference when it comes to the gardens in life we cultivate in the spiritual, emotional and financial sense. When you see, feel or become aware of something negative that has the potential to harm you, your well-being, your peace of mind, your spiritual growth or your financial success, do you ignore it and allow it to destroy all the hard work it took to establish the garden in the first place? No. Be sure to get rid of the "weeds" in your life, pronto!
13. Make time for your inner circle. I have so many people in my life that I know. Some I know well and some I know on a surface level only. But most are on the periphery of my circle of friends or acquaintances. My inner circle is a very short list. These are the people we trust with every secret, every flaw, every confession, every heartbreak and every brilliant success-driven celebration. These are the people that fill our tank with acceptance and that is one ingredient you must have for resiliency to flourish.
14. Connect to something greater in the universe. I believe that all branches of spirituality or even religion have the same trunk of the universal tree of life. In order to tap into your resilient spirit, try tapping into those roots, the deeper meaning to life and why you are here in this world right now. There is a deeper meaning, that is for sure. But it may never be revealed to you if you don't take time to connect to it by asking these questions frequently in order to remain clear on your divinely guided direction during prayer and meditation: "What is my purpose and who am I meant to be or become?" Seek only an answer, not an explanation, and then take action.
15. Notice something perfect every day. I dated a guy once who, after six months, began showing signs of being a close relative to Eeyore. "Oh brother," became the normal-sounding answer when I asked him how his day was. His response to asking how his day was: "It was alright. Nothing special." NOTHING SPECIAL? Really? I was in disbelief. If you want to live a resilient life, seriously ditch the Eeyore attitude, wake up and look around and be a witness to the theater of life. Listen to the orchestra of life and discover something so perfect that it leaves you in awe and gratitude every day.
16. Think Global! We don't live in a town with others. We don't live in a city with others. We don't even live in a country with others. We live in a WORLD with others. Don't just settle for getting to know your neighbors. Get to know your global community of others that share this planet we call Earth. See how they live, how they celebrate, how they still smile in the face of the direst circumstances you will ever be humbled by. Our history individually is rich, but how much greater is our history collectively? Get out there and find out.
17. Distance yourself from drama queens and emotional vampires. The movie Twilight is a great way to explain my thoughts on drama. Vampires need to find others and attack them and drink their blood in order to survive. Emotional vampires are exactly the same way. They need to find others to attack emotionally and suck the life out of them or the positive energy out of a room the second they walk in, just to survive. They are so wrapped up and focused on the negative in their life and all that is wrong with it that they can't even hold a conversation for 10 minutes without starting to gossip about others, turning up the drama volume and talking about how everyone screws them over and playing the total victim. RUN away from them, not towards, an emotional vampire, a.k.a drama queen.
18. Keep it simple. We all have a tendency to over think everything. Many of us, including me, have control issues we have to keep a close eye on. I had to realize that control is an illusion that creates a wall that I couldn't even climb. I had to discover how to keep things simple even when they seem so complex. If you are confused about anything that is causing you to lose sleep or that is creating anxiety, take a few steps back and a few hours to bring it back to the simplest possible place. Look at it from a softer place. When we do this, not only does the question or situation become simpler, the solution does too.
19. Realize life is not a competition. Theodore Roosevelt said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." I agree. I have a great friend who is 6 feet tall, blonde, and could seriously be a Victoria's Secret model. I'm 5 feet tall and not in the best shape of my life. If I took one second of my time comparing myself to her, it would rob us both of a great friendship and beyond that, it would slowly destroy my self-esteem. I know that what I bring to the table of life is amazing in my own way. There is only one of me out of billions of people. Why compare myself to anyone else when we are all so different, all needed here as much as the next person to make this crazy thing called life work? Enjoy who you are. Cherish what you have to offer to the world and stop comparing yourself in any way (i.e. looks, money, and material possessions) to anyone else.
20. Treat yourself better than you treat your animals. This may sound crazy, but I actually know people who buy their pets' better food than what they feed themselves and dote on them, loving them more than they love themselves. They get them groomed and make sure they take them to their favorite places, but do they ever do any of that for themselves? Nope. Seriously, if you want to get back to living a life that is more fulfilling, start doting on yourself for a change.