Managing Life’s Struggles

May 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

So, I’m in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  The people are beautiful and friendly and the beaches can be exotic or inviting – it all depends on your mood.  But, I’m really here to visit my aging parents.  Rio is the city of my birth.

Anyone, with older parents knows how difficult it is to see our loved ones struggle with things that used to be easy to do.  To witness their health wane.  In my case I also have to deal with the distance between Los Angeles – where I live – and Rio de Janeiro.

My visits are always full of mixed emotions; happiness in seeing them and stress for not being able to stop life’s unstoppable march.

By nature I am a caretaker.  When my late husband became ill, I spent the better part of two and a half years taking care of him.  I was by his side every minute of his journey.  My husband died at home by my side.  We slept in the same bed till his last night.

Through all my experiences of care taking, I have learned that we can only give if we take care of ourselves as well.  If we don’t fill up the well, it will eventually dry out.

Pain is part of the human experience.  There is no way around it.  Even if nothing tragic ever happens in your life – yes, there are a few of you out there – one day you will have an aging parent.   One day for sure you will have pain.

It is in these times of emotional stress that we need to remember to willfully seek beauty.  As sure as I am that we all deal with pain so am I that we can all have beauty.  It is all around us.  We just need to open ourselves up to it.

Beauty comforts inspires and fills up the well.

Diligently taking breaks to renew our emotional well allows us to go through the different pains life brings us from time to time.  It also allows us to give more.

If you are today going through a difficult time find the beauty in your world.  I know it can be difficult.  I know you can easily dismiss it by thinking “I have no time for this”.  But, you do.  And it is the only way you will be able to sooth yourself and others.   Go out with a friend.  Do something that is fulfilling to you.  Beauty is pain’s antidote.

 

 

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Are We Addicted To Struggle?

April 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured

I really like the below post by Mike Robbins. I truly get it.

I have been addicted to struggle for most of my life. Somewhere somehow I became convinced that without struggle I would never get what I wanted. Be a job or a relationship.  Only hard work could bring success and if something came easily, I was immediately suspicious of it.  Thoughts like: “When is the other shoe going to fall?” or “I feel like I cheated because it happened to easily” came easily.

Pretty much I thought without struggle there is no success or happiness.  How wrong I was.  Getting what we want is not a consequence of struggle.  I’m not saying we don’t have to work hard for things, but what I mean is; there is no direct correlation between struggle and happiness. Or struggle and achievement.  In my erroneous thinking I had left out that life has its own rhythm.

Actually, if we stop trying to control life by muscleling for what we want, we might actually be surprised that sometimes 1 – things can happen nicely and easily without struggle and 2 – other doors we had not seen before are there open for us.

If we allow ourselves to relax and to believe we deserve contentment then life doesn’t have to be a never ending struggle.  We don’t have to suffer to appreciate goodness.

What is the most unfortunate is we become addicted to struggle and often don’t feel like we are making progress if we are not suffering.  How can I be advancing my life if I’m not staying up at night?

Changing this damaging mind-set takes time.  Drama is addictive.  Struggle is addictive.  We have to constantly remind ourselves to relax and appreciate the life we already have.  Then we have to embrace the concept that we don’t need to pay a price to succeed.  Success and contentment is already there for us to receive.  We don’t have to prove anything.  We already deserve it.

Please read on…

Are You Addicted to Struggle?

By Mike Robbins

During a session I had with my new coach last week it became clear to me that I’ve been addicted to struggle for much of my life. While I wasn’t super excited to admit this, it has actually been quite liberating to address my struggle addiction directly and to see how it impacts just about every aspect of my life and work. How about you? Are you addicted to (or at least very familiar with) struggling in your own life? Continued…

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Finding Beauty In Our Own Lives

March 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

I have many friends who live with a physical disability.

I’ve always had great empathy for others, but since my late husband’ illness and passing, I have added knowledge to my empathy.  That may explain a great new number of people that have come into my life suffering some form of loss.

Every day I learn from one of my friends what it is to live with a disability.  The struggle doesn’t end with the acceptance of the loss.  There is self-esteem, reinventing a life, and there is the constant health struggle.

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Changing Our Lives

September 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Popular Posts

By Angie Rubin

Reading a post on The Frisky this morning made me think back to a turning point in my life.  First let me set up the article entitled: “I’m Changing The Voices In My Head”. In the post the author writes of her struggle with her own inside chatter, constantly challenging who she is and what she thinks at every turn. In essence her “voices” are always telling her she is not pretty, lovable, or smart enough.  In that state of mind she went to see a therapist who told her she needed to change her cognitive distortions, which means her all or nothing thought pattern; either she is loved by everyone or by no one.  Either she is the prettiest woman or the ugliest. The day after seeing the therapist when she caught herself again thinking in an “all or nothing way” she said no to herself.  That was the beginning of her transformation.

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My Friend

May 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

I was just looking at a friend’s pictures on Facebook.  I have known this friend for a long time.  I knew him when he was a single man and I now know him as a man married to a divorced woman and a mother of four.

He thought he would have kids with her, but that was not meant to be.  What was meant to be was him raising the four children of his wife and another man.

He often complains about him not having children of his own and of having to raise someone else’s children.  But when I look at his pictures, I see a happy man. Whoever gave birth to these children is not important.  What I see is a man who has found a family, a place and a world of his own.  But he doesn’t want to let go of his pre-conceived ideas of what his life should look like.  So he struggles between what it is and his fantasy.  But I know he is happy.  But he can’t see it and that is his loss.  And so he feels cheated.

When I think of him my heart aches because I see his misguided unhappiness.  He has all that he wants but he doesn’t see it.  How many times have each one of us not seen the gifts life has brought us until they were gone?  Let’s not do that.  Let’s see what we have TODAY and let’s cherish it.

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