“The difference between stepping stones and stumbling blocks is how you use them”
“Being Positive” does not mean that everything is always rainbows, glitters and sunshine. A state of aligning with optimism is not all feel-good, all happy go lucky—it can never be this way.
Rather, to hold a state of positivity is to experience these challenges, no matter their polarity, and to, eventually, see the blessings in them.
The more unfamiliar the terrain, the more a breakdown (after all, breaking down is the only way to build anew) may be in order. A healthy cry, emotional release, expressions of frustration…all perfect responses to the pressure of expansion—which show themselves to us as overwhelm and pain. At least in my own life, it is only after this initial purge, this non-denial of feeling completely overwhelmed, that there is a break—a clarity.
A clearing in the fog, in which I must decide: will I fight or flight?
More times than I care to admit in my past I have chosen flight—a brief moment of ease and self-gratification ensues. I feel a relief from the pressure of expanding that was urging me to step into the uncomfortable (typically in the form of commitment or a seeming restraint to my spontaneity) and grow towards my next best.
This ease is great—for a brief time. And then, it fades. It disappears and I feel worse than ever, so disappointed and low of confidence in my ability to embrace my limitless potential and step to the plate.
Those moments when I have chosen to fight? To embrace the challenge?
Those moments I have never regretted. They have done nothing but propel me forward, they have a way of rising up in my being the next time I faced an obstacle. They have added momentum to my spirit, and to my sense that I can achieve whatever I put my mind to.
In my past I have chosen to flee more than I have chosen to fight. I have accumulated more inertia in fleeing than enduring. Someone once told me—
“someday you’ve got to stop sliding by, pick up and run”, and by gosh I think Im ready to start jogging.
I’m rising into new challenges now, and from a fresh mindset: honesty with myself. I’m not kidding myself that this isn’t hard for me; waiting for the suppression to bubble up and explode.
Instead, I’m taking it day by day, looking for tools to remind me of why these tough commitments are important and how, in the business to still take time and return to my center.
I spent time the other morning listing my perceived challenges and their respective blessings…it took my morning and turned it on its head, in a great way. It zoomed out and took me to a higher perspective. From here, the ways in which my challenges will serve my growth were illumined.
Zooming out, taking the higher perspective means taking a deep breath, consciously taking a step back, detaching ourselves from our emotions and desires enough to rise above our day to day drama that clouds this vision—and see things more simply.
Taking a higher perspective can open us to a new possibility: what if each of our challenges aren’t punishment or error, and are instead our next propellor forward to our next best selves?
The universe wont give us more than we are ready for…what if every challenge we are presented is put on our path to feed our growth? What if overwhelm is calling us to act? What if these are our challenges because we are capable of rising to greet and surmount each of them? (Even if we don’t think so, yet)
When I finally sit and take the time to honestly peer into the challenges of my life, choosing to look for the silver lining, the hidden gem, I see it. We will always see what we look for.
Looking for & Listing Your Challenge’s Blessings (My new favorite morning activity)
1. Sit somewhere quiet, and take a handful of deep belly breaths. Pick up pen; begin allowing challenges which come to mind surface.
2. How would it feel if you could grow from each? What would that growth look or feel like?
3. For each challenge, describe a blessing…a way in which the challenge can make you better. (What, if you allow it: can each shift in you towards your next best self? What Characteristics can you gain? What Weaknesses could strength be given to?)
4. Spill the opportunities/blessings on the paper. Write them all, even the ones that might seem cheesy. Nothing is out of the question; you hold the key to how each challenge serves you.
5. When you think you’re done, sit for a couple moments. Allow any final inspirations to come your way.
6. Read your list, marvel at the perfection of your challenges—they may not be easy, but they can serve your growth.
7. Spend a moment feeling the buzzing potential in each, allow it to fill you up with confidence. These challenges were handpicked for you because you’re ready for em, baby!
In the midst of doing this I feel a sense of peace—gentle excitement and calm washes over me, settling my busy mind. Ive discovered that listing the blessings out I gain confidence in my ability to step up, if not only for the fact that they suddenly show themselves as just the perfect thing I need to grow…
Maybe not what I want but what I need.
Any new experience, any challenge we haven’t faced before that we choose to embrace will undoubtedly crash it’s waves against us, steadily carving new parts of ourselves that we haven’t seen before. Fresh, beautiful parts.
Taking a higher perspective we can rise above the water in the midst of the waves and see our live’s gifts unfolding—in all their forms.