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Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Must Begin with a Single Step--Lao Tzu

Be. Become.
No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again. The Buddha

What's happening in your life right now?

  • Do you feel like you've dodged a bullet when you see what other people are dealing with ~ yet you're still fearful about the future?
  • Or have you faced so many hardships and challenges you're left feeling hopeless and discouraged about ever finding your way back to a normal life?
  • Are you tired of thinking about your current situation and just wish someone would do something about it?

How to Start Over

When things get really tough it can be difficult to see your way out. Here are 3 keys to starting over and getting unstuck after having your life disrupted by economic hardship or personal crises.

Key #1: Take the First Step

Not much has changed in the thousands of years humans have been facing and recovering from the hardships of life. As Lao Tzu stated so long ago, 'a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step'.

We fuel our inner strength and sense of resiliency by taking action. But sometimes when faced with 'a journey of a thousand miles' we can be overwhelmed with the daunting task of where to begin. What is the first step?

The good news is any first step will do. Your hope, resiliency, and personal strength will grow stronger with every step you take. It doesn't matter what the first step is. As you experience yourself being pro-active and physically taking action, your ability to cope and hope will improve. So start with a single step--any step-- and then another.

Key #2: Take Small Steps

An old Chinese Proverb says, 'The man who moved a mountain is the one who started taking away the small stones'. When you're in total overwhelm mode, start 'taking away the small stones'--one small step, then another.

Key # 3: Build a Nest in the Eye of the Storm

Anthropologist, Margaret Mead, traveled on her life adventure, with change and uncertainty her constant companions. Her grandmother, a major influence in Margaret's life, sent her on her journey with the sage advice to 'Always build a nest in the eye of the storm'.

This grandmotherly wisdom has had a strong influence in my own life. Whenever major life events cause upheaval in my life, my mind returns to this saying, and I think how important it is to apply in my own life to get things moving and balanced again.

One thing I know--when you're in the middle of a crisis, the hardest thing to do is to think of taking care of yourself. You can forget to nourish your body, push your body to the limits with lack of sleep, and remain in a constant state of emotional overload. But if you focus on 'building a nest in the eye of the storm', you will begin to create a cushion to rest and a space for thinking.

What does it mean to build a nest in the eye of the storm? When life is swirling around you like a hurricane--you find a way to create a home-base of comfort--or nest--from which you can rebuild your daily existence.
Start with the basics to nourish your body and rest your nerves. Your body likes a regular rhythm that includes regular heart beats, breaths, sleep patterns, eating times, moving times, and rest time.
  • Start by getting your natural rhythms back in place.

  • Eat regular, well-balanced meals that nourish you.
  • Pace yourself--put a time limit on dealing with your difficulties--and take regular rest breaks.
  • Go to bed early.
  • Choose to have daily contact with uplifting, supportive people who can listen and encourage you in your strength.
  • If you're caring for others, take care of yourself first, so you have the strength and endurance to continue to help others.

Create a Place of Safety and Security

We all do our best thinking and acting when we do it in a place of safety and security. The key is to find a way to create your nest---no matter what storm is brewing. It may not be easy, but it is essential.

Life is a cycle, always in motion; if good times have moved on, so will times of trouble!
Indian Proverb

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For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before. Contact Susan to schedule life change coaching, weekend retreats, or engaging Lightarted experiences to share with friends.

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