There I was, on the beautiful Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic, having a relaxing and long-anticipated vacation with family. We had just made a big move from Florida to Kentucky, in the middle of the winter, mind you (bad idea!), so I was feeling desperate for a warm getaway.
Not the entire trip was full of sunshine; in fact, it rained almost every day. That wouldn't have necessarily been a problem had it not been for the danger it posed on my third full day there...As I was getting out of an SUV, trying to jump under a shelter, my shoe slipped on the soaked cement and I hurt my knee. It might not have been so bad if it had happened toward the end of our trip, but we had 10 more days to go in paradise!
Immediately I began to wonder why that happened to me right at that time, far away from medical care and on my vacation. It left me some alone time while my family got out to explore the area, which was just what I needed after all. I began turning my thoughts to why this might have happened for me, not to me. It gave me more time for spiritual connection and introspection. I had just been through a lot of changes over the past months (planning a move, leaving my career of over 15 years, starting full-time on this passion of mine, relationship strains, and the move itself to a place where I had met about 3 people).
It's not only okay but very important to pause and reflect on the experiences we go through. Sometimes we don't even realize how traumatic they can be, both on an emotional and physical level. Stress and anxiety play a powerful role in our health and well-being.
And here I am, almost 5 months later, still trying to heal from this injury. Just when I have more time on my hands than ever to work on my fitness and get back in shape, I have physical limitations. Ugh, how frustrating! Besides, everything is shut down now and I never got a diagnosis, so I don't even know what exactly is wrong with my knee. I definitely experienced some "story-telling" in my head about my injury and started worrying about permanent damage. That was my initial response when I stayed focused on "what happened" and all the bad things that "could happen."
That's one point of view I took, but another more useful viewpoint I chose to adopt was to be patient and focus on what I CAN do to help myself heal as quickly as possible. Just like I tell my clients, I'm pushing myself through discomfort but stopping at true pain. That's how my body and mind are building a relationship. I'm learning the limitations of my knee and how to push myself to strengthen it, even when it's hard and I don't feel like it.
So I would ask you,
"What is your current situation teaching you right now?"
We are all facing unique situations, some more difficult than ever, putting more stress on us and causing increased levels of anxiety, even depression for some. And the uncertainty of outcome just adds to the mix, right?
Don't you find that it's easier to handle difficult situations when the end is in sight? But a lot of us don't know when or how things will end for us, for our society.
If there's one thing I've learned about myself and in coaching clients it's that our minds can hold us back or catapult us forward. They're that powerful! I love and often repeat a quote from Billy Blanks when I go through difficult times:
"Where I am today, my mind put me.
Where I'll be tomorrow, my mind put me."
If you're curious about the role stress plays on our bodies, check out this post.
If you're ready to learn how you can actually do something about it, with just a few simple steps each day, get this free download including 7 Tips for Reducing Stress + Happiness Meal Plan with delicious recipes!
You CAN get control of your stress so it doesn't control you. You get to CHOOSE the life you want to live because life is just as much about reactions to what happens as it is about our pro-active decisions and daily habits.
Let me help you bridge the gap between surviving to thriving with this free download. NOW is the time to make the small shifts that will have a big impact on your health goals.
Look back on this time with pride because of what you made of it, what you made of yourself.
In Love & Service,