Everlasting Memories Blog About Life, Loss and Everything In Between
Happy middle to the end of January! Seems like the month has been so long yet really flown by…is that possible? First major storm of the season combined with brutally cold temps here in the Northeast has put me full on in to hibernation mode and I feel like I am finally catching my footing and getting back into the swing of life. Most of our goosies are back in school, we’ve hit the halfway point of kids in school and there is a glimmer, a hope of spring in a few months time.
And I have been in need of some inspiration. In fact, there has been some desperation in my search for inspiration if I’m being honest. It’s no secret that the past weeks have been challenging. Life has simply been a lot and I have felt a little lost. A lot lost. My get up and go seemed to have gotten up and left town, leaving no trace of where it went and when it was coming back. And I finally decided yesterday that I was through waiting, all done being desperate. I pulled up my big girl pants, planted a big fake smile on my face and went out to get this girl some inspiration RIGHT NOW!
And I found it.
For all of you out there that are feeling a little lost, a little uninspired, unmotivated, simply unable to get out of your own way - you so are not alone. I’m going to hopefully help you clean your lens just a little, declutter the mind and maybe, just maybe, help you find some inspiration. Because it’s there. So let’s look for it together.
Finding Your Inspiration
It’s so much easier to find that inspiration than what we realize at times. It’s most often in the little details that we pass over for the ‘bigger picture’.
Open up your eyes
I’m looking out my window and it’s gray outside. There’s snow on the ground. It has the look of cold and blah. Boo, right? But then I took a closer look. And sitting on the couch in front of the window is one of my girls. Who pretty much never leaves my side when I’m home, is truly one of my co-workers. And on the window looking out onto the snow are the doggie prints that are inevitable with their
‘neighborhood watch’ program. All of a sudden, by opening up my eyes, I am seeing things I am grateful for instead of focusing on what most would consider a less than beautiful day. Those little doggie marks on the window serve as a reminder as to how complete, how happy my dogs make me.
Open up your ears
We all have problems. All of us. But the next time someone asks you how you are, listen to what you say. Listen to those around you talking about their day. I overheard a conversation yesterday and it was all about drama. And negativity. Not just for a few minutes but for a good ten minutes. And I quietly observed the two people that were engaging in the conversation and the way in which they fed off of each other’s negativity. And I thought to myself - holy cow enough already. Open up your ears and listen. We attract what we put out there and whereas I’m all for discussing challenges with those in our inner circle, it becomes very easy to dwell on it. Let it consume us. Let those first words that come out of your mouth be positive and listen to how it is received. I bet in most cases that positivity is reciprocated.
Open up your email
Yep. You read that right. I signed up awhile back for this little positive email service. Tut. And every single day, I get a little dose of positivity that is there waiting for me first thing when I come downstairs for my cup of coffee and morning routine. Sometimes it’s a sentence or two, sometimes it’s a short paragraph. But always there is something there that starts out my day with a positive inspiring thought. And I much prefer that as a way to start my day than with turning on the news and hearing about all that is wrong with the world. I’d rather start off reading about what is right with me.
Open up your arms
When I got back from Montana and had my first day back at the gym, I was greeted by countless hugs. Hugs filled with I miss you’s, I’m here for you’s, I love you’s and so much more. Every day when my Rob goes to work he hugs me good-bye. I hug my children when I see them and when I send them back to school. Open up your arms and give someone a hug. That human touch, that warmth, that small act of kindness, care and compassion can inspire someone to turn their frown upside down and approach their day with a lighter step. It costs nothing but seconds of your time.
Open up your list
I’m going to hound on this one relentlessly. If you don’t have a gratitude list, stop what you’re doing and make one. A scrap of paper, a post it note, notes in your phone, I don’t care. Stop right now and make a list of five things you’re grateful for. Any five things, it makes no difference what they are. Write down five things that inspired you, five goals you’re working towards,
five things that people have said to you, done for you that changed the way you thought, the way you approached your days. Whatever it is, we all can come up with five. Put it in your wallet, in your purse, save it somewhere. And when you are feeling irritated, overwhelmed, upset, down, etc. pull it out and read it. Again and again. And force yourself to add one more to the list. It sounds ridiculous but it is one of the best tools I have ever utilized to readjust our focus almost instantaneously and clean the lens.
Keeping Yourself On Track
All of this is great, right? And maybe I’ve inspired one of you to stop what you’re doing, take a look around you and you’re temporarily in a better place, have found inspiration for an hour, a day, maybe even a couple of days. But how do we stay in that place of inspiration? Of seeing the positive, the beauty, the desire to live this day as if it’s the best day ever? I’m no guru and obviously it’s a work in progress for me too. I do have some tips that might help keep all of us on track and headed in the right direction.
Consistency trumps heroic
Realize that finding your inspiration, living your best version of you, being happy more than you’re unhappy - it’s like anything else. It’s not an overnight transformation. It is a marathon and all about being consistent. You need to build that solid foundation for the long haul - not for those few days where your effort is superhuman than you dwindle back to nada. There will be setbacks, days that get the best of you, moments where you feel weak, tired, alone, unhappy. That’s okay. The goal here is to have fewer of those days and more days that inspire you to be more. And that takes time. Consistency is key.
Your tribe matters
We are whom we surround ourselves with. Think about your circle. Do you have that ‘friend’ that is always complaining? That friend where when you say, “Hi how are you?” you get a litany of everything that is wrong with their day? What about those people in your life that are always smiling? Have any of those? Do you walk away from them feeling better? Walking away from the negative people in our life is one of the hardest and most liberating things we can do. I’m not saying cut them out - you have to do you. But the people that we keep company with often are a mirror for our own attitudes and gratitudes and often times we are accepting what we are reflecting. Make sure that’s a tribe you want to be a member of.
Move your body
This matters tremendously. When we move our body we release endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive response in the body. The equation is simple. Go for a walk, get to the gym, hop on a bike. I don’t care what it is but when we are moving our body we are creating all kinds of little happy positive sparks. Even a bad workout is better than no workout.
Here’s the thing - a smile is contagious. When you smile at someone, 9/10 times they are going to smile back. And it’s really hard to be mad when you’re smiling. Not only that but it takes more muscles to frown than smile and if you’re like me and gravity and age is playing ping pong on your face, smiling costs less than Botox and I would much prefer explaining my laugh lines than an overabundance of frown lines.
Act as if
Drop the word ‘want’ from your vocabulary. If you want something you must act as if you already have it to get it. You want to be inspired? Act as if you are inspired. You want to be positive and live a life that is full and rewarding? Act as if that is the life that you are living. When we drop the want and feel like we already have what we want, it comes to us.
Realize you are enough
You are worth it. You are enough. This desire to prove ourselves, measure up - I think it’s all garbage. Desire to be inspired because you in your own right are inspiring. Marvelous. Magnificent. Beautiful. Perfect in your imperfections. Look in the mirror and be inspired by the fact that you chose to get out of bed and take the day. Make it yours. That no matter what life throws your way you will rise to the challenge to the very best of your ability.
Continuing to Raise My Inspirational Bar
I so love to be inspired. I love to see the good, the positive, the blessings, the gratitude. Why wouldn’t you? I know so many unhappy people and although I certainly have reason to be not very happy right now, I am going to find the inspiration in my days.
I am inspired by the athletes that I work out with and the dedication they have. Their busy lives don’t dictate when they hit the gym - the athletes simply make it part of their routine - make their health and well-being a priority in their lives.
I am inspired by my children and their confidence. Truly in awe that at such young ages they have the guts to strike out on their own and forge their own paths, looking back with a smile as they let go of my hand.
I am inspired by the husband my Rob has become. He has grown with me and supports me, respects me and cares about me not just as his wife but as the woman that I am.
I am inspired by the strength that my mom has shown. She has dug in her heels and gone about getting things accomplished, things that need to get done all the while dealing with her own grief.
I am inspired by my girls, my friends. Humbled by their unwavering love for me, their determination in letting me know that I am going to be okay and that they are ready to pick me up and dust me off. No matter if it’s 100x a day.
I am inspired by me. Without question, 2018 has been the most challenging year of my life. And I didn’t give up. I didn’t quit. I woke up almost every day of this past year, determined to try again and give it the best I had. And my best, whatever it was each day... It. Was. Enough.
The inspiration in our lives is there, peepers. It is easy to get wrapped up in all the garbage - don’t let it happen. Find those things that bring out the positive emotion - a feeling of being loved, success, joy and dwell on those feelings. Dwell on the feeling of being inspired and that is the vibe that you will project in your life. Get out there and move your body and strap in for the long haul, focusing more on being consistent and smiling every chance you get. And throw in a hug or two.
And realize that you are awesome. That you are enough and that in and of itself is inspiring.
2019 has just begun. Act as if you are already inspired and hold onto that inspiration like the Abominable Snowman holds onto Daffy Duck. Love it, squeeze it, live it to the very fullest you possibly can.