What I Learned From Adversity, That Can Help Right Now

Right now reminds me of my freshman year of college. That fall, my family learned that my dad had reached the five-year cancer-free mark. It was over 30 years ago, and Dad had had throat cancer, so there had been a lot of fear and anxiety for a long time.

What reminds me of now is that instead of feeling joy and celebration, I found myself a bit lost, going a bit off the rails.

Turns out it’s quite normal, after a period of intense focus and emotional survival, to feel a sense of limbo. We can’t go backwards. Things feel different. But what’s ahead is not clear.

So if you are experiencing some uncertainty or lack of focus, don’t worry.  Inspiration will return. Here are some things I like to do:

  • Take stock of what you’ve done. I know I say this all the time, but it’s significant. And this year, sometimes just getting up was an achievement.
  • Do the little things. A great lesson from Mom. When you are stuck, just do something small. If it’s something that brings you joy, even better.
  • Be kind to yourself.  Give yourself as much of a break as you’d give someone else.
  • Take a look at your habits. What are some automatic responses that may not be working so well right now?
  • Explore options you hadn’t thought of.  If you don’t fall back on your auto-patterns, what else is available?

There’s beauty in life’s challenging times.  They give you a much calmer perspective when similar challenges show up again.

All my best,

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