I challenge you to…..LIFE!
I love the theme Lance picked for the month of December: Life Challenges. First off, I appreciate the way the word "challenge" insinuates that there is opportunity. I know that in my past I have viewed the word in a negative light. I would automatically think disaster, tragedy, confrontation, perhaps even pain and suffering were synonymous with the word challenge.
Maybe aging and life have finally taught me to embrace challenge. After all, the more I have gotten through the times when I felt that life would never be the same, I was right. But in a good way. For in those times when I faced the toughest challenges in life I became more resilient, awakened, and peaceful.
So how did I get there? I changed my perception. Gradually, over time, if I was having a difficult day or an unexpected circumstance, I started redefining my words from negative to positive. The way we talk to ourselves is powerful! And there is opportunity to grow and learn from challenge, whether it is a simple challenge of getting a chore done, or the heart-wrenching challenge of being there for a loved-one on their deathbed. Two very different circumstances-but one mindset that works for both.
Remember, opportunity is there. Here is a suggestion on how you can find it through challenge.
C Change your language. Print out a list of positive words and post them in view. When a difficult circumstance arises, see if you can reword what your brain usually says and replace it with positive language.
H Hope. Hope implies perseverance, something that we all need during challenges that may come our way. Never. Ever…..give up hope!
A Acknowledge the way you react to circumstances, and vow to make changes where needed. When you start to understand your own reactions, it is easier to face and overcome daily and life challenges!
L Love every day. And tell someone you love them EVERY DAY!
L Let go of petty problems. Write them down on paper and rip them up if you have to. What you will see when you read them back is a glimmer of how true it is that we shouldn't "sweat the small stuff!"
E Eat healthy. Seems basic, but it is true. A diet filled with fruits and veggies will support you if you have to support yourself through challenging times.
N Nurture yourself. Do not speak badly of yourself, to someone else, or to yourself! Believe that you have purpose on this earth, and that you are worthy and amazing! So take care of yourself by practicing kindness and appreciating your beautiful talents.
G Grin. Not as in "grin and bear it." NO! What I mean is SMILE. Laugh. Enjoy silly jokes and being silly. My kids think I am weird, but I see the smile in their eyes anyway, and I know someday they will recognize the importance of laughter to lighten up difficult times.
E Exercise. Much like your eating habits, a good jog, swim, or gentle walk with a friend will do your mind and body good!
S Spirit. Whatever way you practice your spirit, whether it is through church, the greatness of mother nature, friendship, or perhaps meditation, spirituality will help you through. The premise of spirit, no matter what the means to you, is basically the same: to find hope and healing in difficult times.
PS…I am wishing you all a beautiful and bright holiday season!
by Jen Slayden