Fresh Living

Last week I shared my life motto, “Essayons” (“Let us try”).  But I know – even without the guilt of a “just do it” philosophy, it’s not so easy.  How can we keep trying when life feels heavy and difficult? 

We offer some of our go-to how-to-try ideas:

From Holly:

1.  Clean your desk.  Take 30 minutes and literally create a blank slate for yourself by moving all the papers, books, bills, pens, tubes of lip balm, paper clips, and dog-eared catalogs to wherever they each belong.  The act is like a behavioral modification therapy to remind yourself that everything has a place, everything has a home – even you. And it’s so much easier to try when you’ve got a clean surface to start from.

2.  Do something crazy-fun.  Give yourself a little “oh, right, every day doesn’t have to be hard” brightness by doing something that doesn’t belong on that day or at that time, but is just plain rut-busting fun.  Like the 11:30 Thursday morning “Bellydance Fitness Blast” class that I will try to hit soon….

3.  Say it out loud.   Take a Stuart Smalley moment–look yourself in the mirror and break the silence by saying out loud something that you need or want to hear.  Then, reflection, do your part by believing what you’re hearing. Or, try to believe it…and if you can’t, ask yourself why not.

4.  Rest up.  You won’t be able to try very hard if you’re dragging an exhausted body around.  So rest yourself by getting enough sleep, or even by stepping away from a project to take 10 long, restful breaths, or as many as it takes to be refreshed enough to try, try again.

5.  Just keep going.  Put one foot in front of the other and see what happens.  Remember, the present moment is always in motion, and so is your life.  All you can do is be mindful of each step as it comes. Need more tips?  Ask Therese how to keep going, she knows.

Five more, from Valerie:

6. Make a list. Print this one, or write your own, and put it somewhere you’ll be likely to look when you get stuck. Keep it short and simple and do-able.

7. Put on some music. Music actually shifts your brain waves. It can be one of those meditation CDs designed to change your brainwaves, but really, it can just be something you like that re-establishes a rhythm in your body. I like to blast Prince, MC Yogi, 70’s disco, even some rockin’ moments of Krishna Das. I’d just say make it up-tempo and happy.

8. Get into nature. Even if it means popping your head out the window and breathing in some fresh air, connecting with something larger in a tactile way can be enormously shifting. Even better if you can go for a walk and see trees, sky, water. Whatever you do make a point of really connecting: touch a tree, kneel down and watch some ants build stuff, dip your hand into a stream, pick up a rock and carry it for a while.

9. Drink some water. A friend of mine once told me a spiritual teacher had told him, “Water is liquid love.” I adore thinking about that when I sip sometimes–just the idea that I am imbibing something cooling, nurturing, balancing to my cells. And so funny! I’m just noticing a bottle of Poland Spring on my desk right now that says: “Did you know your brain is about 75% water? Drinking water throughout the day can help you stay hydrated and mentally alert.” 

10. Make something for someone. Whether it’s writing a kind note or doing a little drawing or baking cookies, physically manifesting the love in your heart will probably make you–and someone else–feel pretty good. And able to keep trying.

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