You can start over again.
You can decide that today is a new day.
You can choose what you do and how, no matter what's going on in life.
You can love yourself and your life right now by APPRECIATING WHAT IS.
That's the message that came through loud and clear on my birthday last week. Two days beforehand, I was rushed to the ER, thinking I was having a heart attack. Fortunately, all checked out and I'm super healthy, but it was definitely a wake-up call for me.
It made me ask:
- How do I want to live?
- What matters most?
- What is all this for?
This isn't the first time I've asked these questions, and it probably won't be the last. We go through spirals in life – ups and downs and curves – and we often have to get off track in order to begin again more strongly.
Every moment – even the challenges – is for purpose.
Often, the challenges show us how strong we are, how resourceful, resilient and capable we are. Often, challenges make us appreciate what we have even more.
I've been watching the hurricanes and praying for the survivors, sending money and packages, wondering how people will rebuild everything. And then this weekend I met a family who escaped Miami with nothing but their passports, their wedding photo, and a whole lot of gratitude that they were alive, together, and able to afford to get away. They knew they could start again.
And here we are on 9/11, an anniversary that reminds us of how resilient we are, and shows us that we can not only start over, but that the challenge can empower us to rebuild higher and become stronger.
I was teaching this concept in a workshop at PBS headquarters last week, and we all realized that we have done this in our lives and can do so again. You can do this, too. You can look at any challenge you're having as a catalyst for growth. From going off of your diet, to overwhelm with kids going back to school, to a parent's illness, to abandoning your dream of being a writer, you can start again. You can use it as fuel for growth and let desire consume your mind so that you choose for this to be a moment of purpose.
This is not to minimize the pain or suffering, or to say, “Just get over it.” You must feel all of it, being gentle with yourself and allowing grief. And then you can grow.
Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG) is rising to a new level of functioning as the result of adversity. In other words, it's growing not “despite” challenge, but because of it. Researchers Tedeschi and Calhoun found that we all can experience PTG and not just start again, but start better, stronger, and more alive.
So what challenge are you experiencing? How can it help you grow? Here are a few questions to journal about:
- What does this experience show me about my strength and courage?
- What do I now appreciate as a result of this?
- Which relationships can this help me to strengthen?
- What wisdom do I wish I had known? (Said another way, what would I now share with a 20 year old to help them manage this?)
- What would it look like to choose a new way?
So my love, what do you need to do this afternoon or tomorrow to start again? How will you choose to treat a new day? What will you promise to love about yourself and your life right now, as is? I'd love to hear from you.
With so much love,
PS – If you're struggling with overcoming a current or past challenge, email me. It's my honor to do a 30-minute call with you and identify what you want and where the blocks are.
If you want to discover who you are and your true purpose… if you're ready to claim your birthright of joy and self-love, if your heart is calling for transformation this fall, then I invite you to email me now. I can't wait to connect with you!