written by Erica Quam
Here in the United States we enjoy many different freedoms - in theory. However, there are so many people today who feel stuck: in a rut, in their job, in their marriage, in their family situation, or just stuck in a cycle of old habits. The reality is that's all mindset stuff.
To find your freedom and change your mindset...
1. Choose your thoughts.
William James said, "The greatest weapon over stress is our ability to choose one thought over another." You have this ability. It sounds so simple, and when we are stuck, its the hardest thing to do. Every event in our life leads to an outcome. That outcome is dependent on our reaction to it. That's the point of power in this equation.
E + R = O
For example, I had a friend that lost a job when she wasn't expecting it. She was totally blindsided. Instead of getting bitter and angry, or feeling like a victim, she chose to see it as an opportunity to do something different...something totally new. Now, she's been so successful and in what she's created that she can't imagine being back in that job. Her reaction created her outcome and changed her life.
When we learn to respond for the best outcome, we realize how absolutely powerful we are in creating the lives that we want.
2. Be present.
Most times when we feel the most stuck we're in a state of overwhelm. Usually, when we feel overwhelmed, we're dwelling in the past or worrying about the future - instead of handling what we need to handle right now.
When you find yourself in that state of overwhelm, pause and ask yourself, "what's my next step?" When you can focus on that next step and take action on it - even a very small step can give you momentum to move forward. To create even more momentum, stop long enough to acknowledge that small step that you took - and then move to the next step.
3. Work towards balance.
Balance is freedom. Everyone talks about having more balance in their lives yet balance seems to elude us. Life is an ebb and a flow - we may never find perfect balance, however, we can always work towards it.
I practice yoga to find more balance. When I find more balance I feel more freedom - in my body, in my mind, and in my soul. I find I am finally able to connect with myself and then with world around me. Every yoga class we do poses on both sides. There always seems to be one side that is tighter than the other - in the various yoga poses that we do. Even with a consistent practice, there are many imbalances in the body. The point is not to be perfectly in balance - but to work towards it each day - through attention.
In a quote from Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets, she talks about how there are times throughout the day where she is aware and amazed to confirm the existence of the soul. Through her words she explains that she connects with it only through attentiveness. When we are attentive to ourselves and our own unique and ever-changing situations, we learn what we need to do to be more balanced.
When we pay attention, we find ways to get back on track. We can get back to the balance that our body, mind, & soul is looking for. When we do that, then we find more freedom.
Take a moment to be in the moment...and be grateful for the freedom that you have exactly where you are.
Comments or ah-ha's to share? Add them here. I'd love to hear what you think.