A writer at my studio who sees me at work every day also reads my blog, so he’s learned about some of my anxieties and pressures. But when he sees me in the office, I’m always smiling and enthusiastic. He asked me recently how I stay positive and grounded even when I’m struggling.
The truth is, life’s never easy. Everyone is going through something. There are days when life is amazing and filled with blessings, but also days when life just sucks. The key is putting a smile on my face even when you’re going through something awful. Or at least try to.
I lost my father in a very tragic way, and I’ve spent years in therapy to get over the horrible feelings and emotions that came in the wake of his death. It helps me put things into perspective. Any problem I have these days isn’t as serious or severe than what I dealt with in the past. From losing a parent to betrayal and bullying… the list goes on.
I recently read a book called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: a Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life.” This book is amazing because it teaches you what to give a fuck about. Life is short, so there’s no time to waste. When and how are you going to spend your energy? If someone cuts you off in traffic, will you put your energy into anger and rage against that person? Or will you save that energy for something that’s important to you?
I’m a wife, a mother of two kids under 2 and I have a stressful job running a company where I’m in charge of a group of talented people. I need to be responsible for the sake of my kids, husband, family and staff. My mood influences people and that has a ripple effect. As a leader, I have no time but to be anything other than excited.
My children remind me everyday that there’s always something amazing to be excited about. No matter how difficult the day is, both my kids wake up excited in the morning. So that’s what I’m trying to do in my life: be excited!
Here are some helpful tips on how I handle any wrench that gets thrown into my life’s gears:
1. WAIT A MINUTE
Everytime something awful happens, I like to wait 60 seconds before I react. It helps me gather my thoughts about what I should say or do next. Sometimes when we react too quickly, it can be damaging and hurtful.
I meditate daily, and it’s my medicine. Anytime I feel especially frazzled, I try to meditate more than once a day. Even a short session helps, whether it’s 20 or even just five minutes. It’s important to set aside time to yourself, for your peace of mind and body.
3. STOP CATASTROPHIZING
Maybe you spend energy worrying about how things could go wrong, or you blow a current situation out of proportion. Sometimes we make up stories in our head about how things are, but those thoughts are often just manifestations of our fears. We think the stories we make up reflect reality, but they don’t really.
4. THINK ABOUT THE BIG PICTURE
When life gets bad, step back from the problem and think of the big picture. Sometimes when you see the big picture, you won’t let the little problems get in your way.
When tragedy or trauma affects your life, you’ll need time to heal from it. Ignoring your emotions won’t help. Speak to a therapist, a shaman, a life coach or whatever works best for you and your life. No matter what, talking it out is crucial for healing.
I recently started doing some breathing work, and it’s helped me a lot. It’s helped me get to a place in my life where I see and understand things in a different light. Breathing work is relieving and so therapeutic.