Monday, January 5, 2015


I love this time of the year - the very beginning of another twelve months. I so enjoy the enthusiasm everybody seems to have for the possibilities of a fresh, clean slate. It's fun to see the facebook posts, one after another, ranging from motivational to inspirational. I don't often see words about peace and contentment at this time; it's more of an assertive time than a passive time.
I believe, however, that some passivity is necessary during these times. It's important to listen to what your heart is telling you. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do things right - losing weight and quitting bad habits (like eating crap food and smoking and not exercising) are simply not something you can take lightly. These are ingrained habits, and without a game plan, you open yourself up to failure. Not that failure is a bad thing - tenacity is an important lesson too. But when you are trying to tackle something so huge as your hard-wired responses to stress, you had better open your mind to some alternative methods to combat those responses.
It personally took me a long time to figure out my formula for happiness ... I recognized that I have a tendency to become quite anxious about life. When I discovered running, I discovered an outlet for that nervous energy, and that realization changed my game forever. Meditation and Yoga, and the practice of Mindfulness are all part of my formula as well. Taking time out to laugh and play - not just with the kids, but also with my great girlfriends - all part of the formula, baby!
My advice to those balance-seekers is this:
  • Figure out what sets you off, stresses you out, makes you turn to those habits of yours
  • Ask yourself "How do I feel?" when it's happening
  • LISTEN for the answer (it might be quite simple)
  • Accept this dark truth about yourself
  • Find an outlet for the energy ....
You may need to find some time for creativity in your life, or you may need to get physical (that could even mean sex - a valid form of exercise), or maybe you need to take a challenging course at the local college, or perhaps meditation and yoga is the way to go.
Whatever it is that you decide to try - give it your all. Don't leave anything left unexpressed. And then reflect on it later ... you may not enjoy your chosen activity, which doesn't mean it's not the right thing for you. Challenge is important for us, because it pushes us towards something higher. When you reach that goal you set for yourself - Celebrate it! Look at yourself in the mirror, and marvel in the accomplishment of the once-thought-impossible.

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