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13 Exciting Observation From Rock Bottom

13 Exciting Observation From Rock Bottom

In December I could not get out of bed. I would lay and cry wondering how much longer I would have to endure the pain of a hard break up. It was hard. It was rock bottom.

I was in the tunnel and I felt no-where close to seeing the light at the end. I had done a lot of spiritual work the previous months and was left wondering where the magic was when I needed it most.

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There was always a little voice that broke through the pain. “Just get out of bed.” it would tell me. And luckily I listened.

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Day by day the pain came and went, but the gift of time granted my tired and injured heart peace. Gratitude and grounding began to replace the fear and heaviness I had felt. Little things became big victories. Rock bottom changed my life for the better and I look back on that time with gratitude for the compassion it allowed me to cultivate for myself and for others. I do not wish to visit it again anytime soon, but I can see the impactful and beautiful changes that my life experienced because of the hardship I went through.

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Rock bottom is hard. Maybe you have hit bottom after a break up, a death of some you love, or getting laid off from a job. Don’t compare your rock bottom to some else’s. Hard is hard. However you got there – you are there, and it hurts. At rock bottom it feels like there is no hope. I’ve been at rock bottom before, more than once. It is frustrating. It is dark. Here I am to shed a little light on that dark place.

  1. You have nothing to lose.
  2. The thing – the thing you did not want to happen – it happened. Now you can stop fearing that it will happen.
  3. There is no ‘shoulding’ at rock bottom. There is no space for ‘shoulding.’ There is only space for putting one foot in front of the other and getting through the day.
  4. Rock bottom is RAW. Maybe you feel some emotions you have not felt in a long time, if not ever. Raw emotion is intense. Sometimes it knocks us in the face. But raw emotion is pure.
  5. You are cultivating strength. You will come out of this feeling stronger than ever!
  6. Everyday that you climb one step up you are gaining a confidence that will allow you to go out and happen to the world.
  7. The little things become big things. Getting out of bed is deserving of a pat on the back. Waking up to the sound of rain is southing. Life is slower at rock bottom, and we become grateful for things that we may have shrugged away at the top.
  8. Whether you know it or not – your vulnerability is inspiring others. Look at it like that: even at rock bottom you are an inspiration (well, duh! You already knew that right?)
  9. Self-compassion and self-care are no longer on the backburner. They are front and center.
  10. This is an opportunity to shed the BS. There is no energy to pretend to be ok. Destruction and lows bring clarity to our lives.
  11. Ummm…rock bottom is a perfect excuse to TREAT YOURSELF! Heck yes!
  12. Look at the spectrum you have created. Yes, feeling low is terrible. But sometimes we have to feel those things we don’t want to feel – we have to get into the raw sticky mess in order to feel even lighter on the other side. Would you rather live in here (5 inches between palms) or in here (4 feet wide wingspan of beautiful emotion)?
  13. When your life feels like it has shattered into a million little pieces, you can rebuild it however you like.

Featured photo credit: PicJumbo via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on January 13, 2020

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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