“Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for stars.”
― Casey Kasem
To be human is to dream. We all have hopes and wants for ourselves. Sometimes these dreams may be simple, and other times these dreams can be really big. Some hope for grand fortunes while others dream of a day when they no longer have a bad habit. Keep dreaming. Reach for those stars and then reach for some more.Advertising
While reaching for the stars it is important to keep reality in check. Some stars are not meant for us, and are beyond our reach. Some of those stars may need steps to get to them. If the dream is to make it rich the realistic way to approach making this dream come true is to start with a plan.
Start the plan with things that can be done right now, which means reaching for the immediate goal in the here and now. This can be accomplished by making a budget with a set amount of money to save on each payday. This may be a slow way to make it rich, but it is a much better step toward the goal than the one that was in place yesterday. Yesterday it was a dream. Today, strides are made toward making those dreams come true.Advertising
Mindfulness is simply learning to live in the moment. By living in the moment we learn to enjoy even the smallest things in life. The idea is to pay close attention to everything that is going on in the surrounding environment without interpreting it. This means that we do not allow our emotions to surface as we are observing life. At first, this is difficult as we tend to allow past events and emotions to guide our thoughts on a day to day basis, but with a bit of focus it becomes easier to leave those things in the past and live in the present.
This does not mean that when we stop allowing emotions to run us that we will become detached and cold. By living in the moment we are learning to use cognitive reappraisal, which means we are allowing our brains the chance to scope out the situation that is really happening instead of letting our memory banks decide how to feel about the situation.Advertising
By using mindfulness techniques, we are able to keep our feet grounded in reality, which will help guide us to the stars that we desire. Many people find that when they use mindfulness techniques the dreams that they once had changed, and they are able to see what it is they really do want in this life.
Dream or Not to Dream
Some people have problems taming their imagination. This type of person will often get frustrated when the big dreams they have do not seem to happen. When frustration sets in they will usually toss that dream to the side, and let their imagination conjure up another big, impossible dream. Other people have problems with allowing themselves to dream at all. It takes the middle road between the two to make real dreams come true.Advertising
Allowing ourselves to dream and to hope makes this life worth living, but be sure to keep a mindful check on how big those dreams can be. We cannot dream of becoming a giant butterfly if we were never a caterpillar. If a person does not take the steps toward a dream it will never become reality either. So have dreams, and dream big, but make sure there are steps to reach those dreams.
Featured photo credit: Photograph courtesy of Quote Addicts via quoteaddicts.com
Last Updated on February 25, 2020
5 Rules for Overcoming Adversity and Emotional Pain
“Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world, the disarray. I choose to see the beauty. To believe there is an order to our days. A purpose.” – from the popular show, “Westworld”
It’s different for us all. My personal quest for purpose began with five stages of grief and one startling realization that everything’s endlessly fragile. Adversity, as it happens by rule, found me terribly unprepared, so I decided to take my time. Today, I can honestly say that I’ve grown.
Ugliness and beauty, good and evil, pain and laughter – everything in the universe consists of two forces that are opposing but complementary. In the face of difficulty, that is the only mantra you need.
Here’s how I learned it and why you should too, with five simple rules.
1. Embrace the Complexity
Quite insidiously, adversities come in all shapes and sizes. Paralyzing physical disabilities, mind-wracking mental problems, ruthless emotional havocs, all leading to the same painful acknowledgement: all the beauty in the world cannot possibly make up for the ugliness that surrounds us. Shattered to pieces, helpless and bare naked, we sit in our therapy chairs, apologizing for being so negative.
Eventually, what it all comes down to is the nature of negative emotion. Our positives overshadow our negatives, thus wrongly teaching us that the road to well-being is paved with nothing but positive feelings and thoughts. How utterly wrong!
“If you’re not failing every now and then, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything innovative”, Woody Allen said.
It’s a classic “learn from your mistakes” rule, but in this case, it implies growing from negative experiences. Make peace with your negativities and embrace beauty and ugliness alike! Accepting this marvellously complex world just as it is will allow you to find purpose in adversity and meaning in misery.
2. Find Balance, Regain Control
Still, accepting adversity is only the first step toward eventual victory. One can endure only so much trauma in life; if we’re not prepared to deal with difficulties in a productive way, even the minor setbacks can get us off track. Our strengths come from learning, and the best way to learn is through a series of trials and errors. Just like phases of grief or stages of drug addiction, adversities suggest a disabling loss of control, so find your way to regain it.
Some call it the coping mechanism; for others, it’s a spiritual will. However you choose to name yours, know that not all supporting systems are equally beneficial, though each is effective in its own way. Escapism was mine, but it only helped me retain the illusion of beauty. It wasn’t until I opened up toward the ugliness and accepted the naked truth that I was finally free. Whether you choose to dwell in art, religion and spiritualism, thus feeding your resilience from within or to reach out to others for help, choose wisely.
Whatever the means, the second rule is a golden one: find your inner balance and stick to it. Eventually, it will lead you out of the vicious circle.
3. Fight with Patience
My bargaining turned in depression with a single touch. Fearless and free, my dance instructor timidly put her hands on my shoulders and I realized, for the first time, just how tense, stiff and cloistered I was. And just like that, I started letting go. Adversities have their sneaky ways, but in my experience, becoming aware is what hurts the worst. It took me a year to recover from this little moment of self-discovery, and I know remember it as the edge of the rabbit hole.
Some sufferings are impossible to console; I know that now. The only way to get through is to, well, get through. Depression and despair are only the beginning of the excruciatingly unnerving process that ravages the mind and shrivels the soul, and once they strike, there is no easy way back. So, fight them with patience. When your head starts spinning and your feet lose ground, go to your happy place. Over there, you’ll be reminded that nothing is forever, not even our little existential psychosis.
Take a deep breath and say “om”. When things cannot be combated, they have to be endured, so practice patience and learn to let go. Finally, keep repeating to yourself that this too shall pass.
4. Keep Swimming
Nothing is impossible, in the end. Your negative thoughts will gently pour into your positive ones, just as two streams come together to become a river. In the event of the inevitable disaster, one can only be as calm as still water. Suffering teaches patience, and the latter gives rise to flexibility. Ultimately, what is life than a series of unfortunate events and a handful of bright moments in between? If adversities are impossible to avoid, than learn to glide through as smoothly and patiently as water does with rocks.
Even if spirituality isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you have to admit that this is one solid metaphor. Staying adaptable in the face of change will soothe your panic attacks and keep you sane and sober-blooded. Even if you fail, you’ll know exactly how to breathe and face what’s in front of you once it eventually strikes again. Stay calm and visualize a better tomorrow; if anything else, it will give you strength to dive deep and weather the storm. And, in case there’s somebody’s hand to reach out to, grab it firmly and don’t let go.
Being flexible against adversities takes a lot of learning, just as staying brave demands a lot of courage. It’s a long, arduous step-by-step routine, and you can reach the end only by swimming on. Persist, even when you fall.
5. Never Stop Searching for Inspiration
And, if it’s a guidance you need, where else to seek it than in experiences of others? Find it in art, in people around you, in chance encounters. The pure beauty of perseverance can be discovered where you expect it the least, so never stop searching for inspiration. If self-help literature soothes your pains and clears your mind, don’t let cynics discourage you. Your path toward reconciliation is nobody’s but yours to choose.
Ever heard of Nick Vujicic? Or Nando Parado? Inspiring people sound their yawps over the roofs of the world, sometimes voiceless, sometimes limbless, sometimes both. Born without arms, Jessica Cox became the most unusual certified pilot in the world, and you can rarely see her without a smile on her face. If you’ve already ripped all of your bucket lists and said goodbye to your dreams and plans, meet Sean Swarner, who’s officially became the first cancer survivor to climb Mount Everest. The stories just go on.
Make your own guidebook! Pen down your positive thoughts, cover your walls with quotes and devise your personal mantras. Whenever things get hard, they’ll be there to remind you of what you need to do. It’s the simplest of all life hacks, and one of the most effective ones.
Find beauty in the world, but never stay blind for its ugliness. However daunting, adversities and emotional pain challenge our inner strength, thus making us resilient and allowing us to grow. As soon as you recognize them as the wind in your sails instead of the devastating storm, the purpose will become simple and clear.
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com