I expect I’m not alone in that wish, feeling held back. Easy enough to look in a mirror, “Mark, you are the only one holding you back!”, and I would be right.
Aren’t these common issues simply excuses keeping us stuck in this valley between peaks of greatness, hollow quiet place looks like darkness, feels like failure and keeps showing up between triumphs?
If I’m knocked off my game by competitors, some health event or actions of someone else – well, I just need to keep on learning how to defend, deflect and overcome those issues better each time they arise. I can, I have, I will and I know they’ll never defeat me.
If I’m knocked off my game, as I have some history doing – my tendency is to be very harsh, reclusive and gloomy about it. I can say “snap out of it” to myself all day long, but it doesn’t work that way.
I have found a solution, gets me out of valleys, sets me straight and pointed forward/upward again – might not work for anyone else (borrow it if you like), but it works for me. Simple, clear, doesn’t cost a dime, but considering how much time we all waste, what is 30-45 minutes each morning?
Goes like this ~ somewhere between waking and bed-making, before or after my morning walk – before or after my morning treadmill time, before or after making coffee or reading newspapers, I start this simple routine. Anyone can:
~ read something (5-10 pages of whichever motivational book I’m reading/re-reading), read morning affirmations (focus on Mastery, review goals), write my current affirmation (reminiscent or writing lines in detention in my school days), write my morning column for two days hence, polish my column for tomorrow
~ begin work day with a note – handwritten preferably, or email – to connect with someone who matters or remember a birthday or share some gratitude
~ coffee, of course
~ start first task of my day
Each time I return to this routine I am reminded that I didn’t stray altogether, didn’t stray all at once but rather allowed myself to skip an item, skip a step and get lazy …
Each time I resume this morning regimen I am reminded how powerful it has become in the discipline of running my life and my work. I have a long way yet to go, but high peaks seem less daunting now and valley's floor doesn’t seem so deep.
P.S.: having said all that, I also recognize grieving is never a quick process. I look back at ‘big ones’ in terms of importance rather than sequence; loss of my relationship with Krista still tops the list, loss of Gusta is fresh and painful, loss of my dad is fading in time but not in magnitude, loss of friends Barry, Gary and Barbara are still palpable. Others which had been part of that baggage I was carrying around were financial things, divorce things, business relationships gone sour and their like. They really don’t seem to matter now. Lessons are still real, they sting or tug each time a button gets pushed. Mostly it’s fresh stuff which drags the spirit low, but getting up again every morning is my cure …