Act or Accept

ActOrAcceptI always find it helpful to have some “rules” to live by.  Short statements that help keep me pointed in the right direction, ready to handle the challenges of life.

And let’s be honest:  challenges are an unavoidable part of life.  Those who tell you that having struggles, challenges, or illnesses is an indication that you are doing something wrong?  They are wrong and misguided.  Life is going to challenge each of us… right up until we die.  Which every one of us will do.

So the question is how we live our lives.  Today.  Right now.  Regardless of what life is throwing your way.

What we often do, in the face of a challenge:  Worry, Complain, Avoid.  All three keep us stuck, frozen in place and to the challenge ahead of us.

So, I have decided instead, to adopt the rule of “Act or Accept.”  I will either act toward resolution, or I will accept where I am.  And the acceptance?  It need not be permanent.  It is about where I am right now.  It may be waiting for a possible action.

Let’s talk about this rule and how to apply it.  Listen to the podcast episode below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Getting Unstuck
Anxiety Resources
Rules for Living
Thrive Principles Book
Immutable Laws of Living Book

Clean Pain vs. Dirty Pain

CleanDirtyPainAnyone who tells you that you can go through life without getting hurt and feeling pain is either lying or hiding.

Life is rough-and-tumble.  Pain is unavoidable.

But there is a type of pain that we can leave behind.  That is more a result of our own thinking than anything external, any injury either physical or emotional.

Call it “Dirty Pain.”  Which is distinguished from “Clean Pain.”  Clean pain, that is the initial hurt.  When you hit your foot, it hurts.  That is the bodily response to the injury.  When someone says something to you that is mean and spiteful, your feelings are hurt.  That is the emotional pain.  It is initial.

But what if you chastise yourself about your being “clutsy,” or about your “stupid action” that led to that foot injury?  Or what if you made that hurtful comment about you, and not about the person who said it?  What if you kept dwelling about it?

Let me be clear:  it is fine to ask how you might prevent an injury in the future.  It is fine to listen to feedback from others, that might give you some insight into things you need to change.

It’s the next step after that.  When you keep berating yourself.  It’s when you take the next step… you attach to the pain.  Buddhism refers to that as suffering.  You and I can think of it as “Dirty Pain” (a term coined by ACT – a mode of therapy).  It is dirtied by our own mental state — not the cause of the pain.

What do you do about that?  We discuss it in this week’s Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Life Is Tough
Letting Go
What You Can Control
The Forgive Process Book

MORE Life Lessons from Jiu Jitsu

On multiple days each week, my wife and I play a game.  She points to a bruise and asks, “How’d that happen?”

Fair question.  But I don’t have a specific question.  All I can say is, “Rolling at jiu jitsu.”  Yep, my 52 year old body has to tolerate my decision to take up jiu jitsu last January.

A few months after I started going to jiu jitsu, I posted a podcast episode on Lessons I Learned At Jiu Jitsu.

MoreLessonsJiuJitsuWell, here we are, some 11 months later.  And I have learned a few more lessons.

Since I posted the first episode, I have continued going to class throughout the week.  And with continuing to go, I also progressed.  In the Gracie Academy framework, I earned my Combatives Belt back in November.  That means that… well… I am still a white belt.  Just an advanced white belt!

Which means that I am now allowed in the advanced class, the Blue Belt Cycle.

Which meant that everything I had learned up until then was met with a block or defense when I tried it on a higher ranked belt.  It had worked fine before!  But now, I was back to square one.

As I have told a few people, it is kind of like when you are in the last year of middle school.  You think you are “top dog,” and strut around a little, pretending to own that school.  Then, you go to high school.  And you discover you are at the bottom of the ladder.  Back to beginner.  That would be me.  Back to beginner.

Humbling?  A little.  But more of a reminder that progress includes lots of new beginning points.  So now, when I can’t make a move (or more likely, when I get submitted and have to tap), I just have to laugh… then learn.

Listen in to this week’s episode for 4 more life lessons I have (re)learned from jiu jitsu.

RELATED RESOURCES
Life Lessons from Jiu Jitsu
You Have To Show Up
When Your Ego Trips You Up

Perspective
Book:  The Immutable Laws Of Living
Book:  Thrive Principles

Embracing Discomfort

EmbraceDiscomfortHave you noticed how we all like to keep things in a narrow band of comfort?  We keep our houses not-too-warm, not-too-cool.  Most homes, all year long, stay in a very narrow band of temperature.

Most of us go to the same restaurants, listen to the same music, hang out with the same friends, and do the same activities.  Every now and then, something new.  And then, back to the comfortable.

But not much growth happens in comfort.

If you want to improve in yoga, you have to stretch a little bit further, hold the position a little bit longer… be uncomfortable.

Discomfort accompanies growth.  Sure, you can be uncomfortable, and it just be that — discomfort.  But if you are growing… if you are changing… there will be discomfort.

If we simply avoid discomfort, we also avoid growth.

Or, we could embrace discomfort.  See it as a sign of growth.  Use it as a potential sign that we are growing.  And accept that when we grow, we will be uncomfortable.

I discuss Embracing Discomfort in this podcast episode.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Embracing “I Don’t Know”
Embracing “We’ll See”
Certainty and Variety
Growth Mindset

Embracing “We’ll See”

EmbraceWellSeeFor me, “We’ll See” was my philosophy of survival when I was sick.

The doctor gave me a diagnosis with a bad prognosis.  Lots of ways I could be sick and die.  Lots of ways my body could betray me.

Oh, and this was 15 years ago.  WebMD was the “go-to” for facts on how we would die from any symptom or condition.  So, family and friends let me know all the ways my body could fail me, based on my diagnosis.  And shared the facts in excrutiating detail.

I was not in denial.  I simply knew that there were many ways things COULD go wrong.  But that meant little on how things WOULD go wrong.

It was overwhelming to face the “could’s.”  I had only space to deal with the “would’s.”

So, I took to a single response, “We’ll see.”  For a bit, the tone and volume would go up.  Until the person realized that “We’ll see” was where I was standing.

I find it most helpful to deal with things as they happen, not trying to figure out all the many things that might happen.

This is something I suggest for all of us.  So many things we could worry about.  Or we could just use the energy to deal with what is.  What becomes.  What happens.

Embrace “We’ll See.”  I discuss it in this episode of the podcast.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing With Worries
Dealing With Change
Facing “What Is”
Embracing “I Don’t Know”

Forgiving: Resources To Help

Stuck in the past? Time to forgive.Since the publication of my new book, The Forgive Process, I have had lots of conversations over the topic.  Enough to know that it is an incredibly important topic… and a thoroughly misunderstood topic.  Myths abound.  And many people just don’t know how to do it… even if they wanted to!

I knew that when I wrote the book.  But I have become even more clear about it over the past month.  People see the book and have a question.  Which generally leads to a conversation about wanting or not wanting to forgive.  Those who want to just don’t know how.  And those who don’t want to often misunderstand what forgiving is about.

So, I wanted to provide some resources to help clarify and even start the process.  Each link below will take you to a special training to help you make a shift toward forgiving.

FORGIVE RESOURCES:
Misunderstanding Forgiveness
Why Even Forgive?
Find Freedom From Forgiving
How To Forgive
The Forgive Process Book

From Heartbreak To Wholeness: Kristine Carlson

Kristine Carlson, Author of From Heartbreak to Wholeness

What do you do when you think your life is right where you want it… and then it all falls apart?

That’s what happened to Kristine Carlson.  Her husband, Richard, was traveling the world and sharing his message of Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff.  Kristine was doing some writing in the series and raising their teen girls.

As his plane was descending, on the way to yet another presentation, Richard suffered a pulmonary embolism and died.  He was 45.

Kristine was left with life without her soulmate, and with the mantel of her husband’s message.

What did Kristine do?  She grieved.  She questioned her life.  She questioned “why?” and “what now?”  And then, she found a path through the grief.  She found herself on what Joseph Campbell called, “The Hero’s Journey.”

And here is what Kristine realized:  we ALL suffer losses.  We ALL have struggles.  And we ALL have to make a choice about the path we choose.

Many of us want to take that same journey, that path to our Hero-ness… but we don’t know how.

So, Kris decided to share her journey in her new book, From Heartbreak To Wholeness.

And I had the joy of having Kristine on my podcast for this second time, to discuss the journey.  And to discuss how this is everyone’s journey.  How do we choose Hero over Victim?  Listen in as Kris and I discuss this important journey.

RELATED RESOURCES
My First Interview With Kristine
From Heartbreak To Wholeness Website
Kristine’s Blog and Website

Attacking Anxiety

AttackAnxietyDo you feel anxious?  Have anxious moments?  Maybe even struggle with anxiety attacks?

If so, I want to offer some strategies to help you deal with those feelings… the emotional storm that can hit.

Anxiety isn’t a sign of weakness.  It is actually a sign of ancient survival strategies that have ramped up to the point of over-reaction.  Hyper-vigilance has taken the survival strategy of fear and caution to a level that can interfere in daily life.

There are some strategies, though, that can help you cope, re-wire, and live with lower levels of anxiety.

Don’t let it run your life!  Learn to cope and move beyond anxiety.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing With Anxiety
A Thought Is A Thought
How To Beat Depression
Dealing With Down Days
The Immutable Laws of Living

 

Rules For Living Series

What Are The Rules For Living?Do you have any “rules for living”? Thoughts or ideas that you follow as guidelines for living? Maybe you don’t always follow them… but you intend to. You treat them like rules. They aren’t really “laws,” concepts you MUST follow, or you find yourself in trouble. (See my Immutable Laws for Living book for these.)

Rules just make life easier. They keep you moving forward, in the direction you want.

If you have some, great! See how they compare to my 10 rules.

If you don’t have rules, consider trying out my 10 rules.

Below are links to trainings on each of the 10 rules for living.

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present
#3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future
#4 Grieve Losses and Celebrate Gains
#5 Forgive to Live
#6 Listen to Your Higher Self
#7 Teach Others How to Treat You
#8 Control What You Can; Release The Rest
#9 Do Your Part and Wait for the Moment
#10 Live Each Day As THE Day

Weathering The Storms Of Life

WeatherStormsLifeLife can really dish it out, can’t it?

A sunny (metaphorically speaking) day suddenly gathers rain clouds.  And then, the storm (metaphorically speaking) hits!

As I recorded this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, people were still trying to dry out from Hurricane Florence.  I had family in the path, so I had a vested interest in following it closely.

Which reminded me of those other “storms of life,” when something hits you… illness, loss, change… things you were not wanting or expecting.  They hit, though.  Sometimes, with some warning.  But sometimes, “out of the blue.”

What do you do?  How do you weather those storms of life?

Because, guess what?  They WILL hit.  Not if they hit.  But when.  What do you do?

I talk about some strategies for weathering life’ storms in this week’s podcast episode.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing With Loss
Live Each Day As THE Day
Control What You Can
Does Everything Happen For A Reason?

The Forgive Process Book