Eight things we probably already know, but may have forgotten to apply.
Sometimes this ride called life can get a bit bumpy. Things don’t go according to plan, or they go utterly and spectacularly wrong. We lose half of the blog post we’ve just written (talking from experience here), we don’t get the job we so longed for, or the house we’d pinned our hopes on, or the guy or girl of our dreams just isn’t that interested. Let’s face it, sometimes life really does hand us a big ol’ truckload of lemons.
And I don’t know about you, but during life’s bumps, blips and setbacks, I often completely forget to apply all the wonderful spiritual teachings I’ve learnt along the way: those valuable life lessons that have taught me how to get back on track and how to turn the lemons into an inviting glass of cool, refreshing lemonade (complete with a straw and a pretty little cocktail umbrella, of course).
At times like these, when we just can’t seem to find our way back towards where we want to be heading, it’s useful to have a gentle, step-by-step guide to light the way.
So here’s a reminder of the eight things we probably already know but may have forgotten to apply:
1. Take A Deep Breath—Literally stop for a minute and take a big, deep, calming breath. Now take another one.
2. Wherever We Are Is Okay—It’s okay for us to feel sad, down, disappointed, angry, betrayed, ashamed, annoyed or any other crappy feeling. Allowing ourselves to feel our emotions is not a bad thing.
I have never liked the phrase, “it is what it is”, as I have always thought it sounded so defeatist, like there’s nothing whatsoever we can do about a situation, so why even bother trying. But what I’ve come to realise is that when we accept something for what it is, when we surrender to it, allow it to be, feel whatever it is we are feeling and stop struggling and fighting against it, then we magically find ourselves becoming unstuck from whatever it is that has been holding us back. Accepting that wherever we are is okay is truly empowering.
3. Let It Go—Three deceptively short, simple words, but oh-so-much easier said than done. I wish I had the magic formula for this one, but unfortunately I don’t. I think the first step is we have to be willing to let it go. Don’t try too hard, just be open to the possibility and allow it to happen. Letting go is a process; it’s similar to forgiveness. It happens bit by bit, until one day whatever it is that we’ve been holding onto just isn’t there anymore and we’re not quite sure how we did it.
4. Something Good Will Come From This—Know that there is a hidden blessing in this somewhere, even if it’s completely hidden at the moment (like totally invisible). Maybe there’s a valuable lesson we can learn, or maybe something truly, magnificently life changing will come from it. The Dalai Lama once said, “Remember not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck”.
Our something good is there somewhere and one day we will find it, unwrap it like the gift it is and feel truly grateful for it.
5. Edit Out The Bad—Stop focusing on and moaning about the stuff that isn’t going right at the moment, as this only creates more of it. It’s hard to do, I know, especially when we find ourselves slap- bang in the middle of something yucky. But let’s try to distract ourselves as best we can.
6. Edit In The Good—Focus on, and rave about, the good stuff. We need to keep reminding ourselves of the all the good things that have happened or are happening, all those things that are going well in our lives, no matter how small, silly or insignificant they may seem. Share the good stuff with friends and family, talk about it more, revel in it and celebrate it.
Which leads me swiftly onto…
7. Give Thanks —Spending a few minutes each day giving thanks for all the good in our lives can work wonders. Really feel those feelings of appreciation. Express gratitude to people, say thank you more often and genuinely mean it. I cannot begin to tell you how life-transforming the power of gratitude is.
And finally, but most importantly…
8. Rediscover Joy—This is the fun part. Step 8 is all about making time to do the things that make our heart and soul sing. If you’re feeling lost and unsure, write out a list of things in life that bring joy and happiness. Then. Go. Do. Them! They can be absolutely anything, from watching the sunset, to eating our favorite food, or spending time with someone who makes us laugh. Whatever it is that makes us smile and feel good, let’s do more of it.
It may take a little while to work through the eight steps fully, but don’t give up. Stick with it and soon enough this life bump will be a thing of the past and you’ll be able to skip out into the sunshine with a genuine heart-felt smile, knowing and feeling that you are firmly back on your path.
Author: Nina Lamy
Apprentice Editor: Brook Bentley // Editor: Caroline Beaton