Time to STOP and Appreciate Life

Hi EveryOne,

How are you all traveling down the road of life as it appears to speed up? I can’t believe it’s July already! So what do you do when life passes by in the blink of an eye?… What do you do when life continues to roll on as one chapter ends and another begins?… Take time to STOP, to breathe, to appreciate – so you can roll with it – that’s what! If we don’t regularly pause to take notice, we can’t enjoy all the wonderful experiences life brings. We miss important pieces of life’s puzzle and get caught in the webs we’ve each created (consciously or unconsciously) and the webs of others…

Being self employed (while living with chronic pain) can be very challenging, if I don’t balance ‘being’ with ‘doing’. When I’m too busy ‘doing’ I forget to practice ‘being’ and can easily get caught up (unconsciously heading down a path I don’t wish to travel). But when I remember to apply my brakes, to breathe and observe – I strengthen my inner tools that give me the power to appreciate life and my part in it. It never works the other way around! Stress management is one of my main ‘painkillers’ so when I experience stress or feel overwhelmed I know I’ve been too busy ‘doing’ (caught in my own web) – which makes the pain worse. Old conditioned patterns and reactions can pull us back again and again if we don’t consciously and continually change. Consistent practice, appreciation and acceptance of all circumstances is the key to learn, to grow, to let go and to move forward. We each create our own stories (the good and the bad) so we can’t take credit for the good but stay stuck and blame others for the bad :)

Life is made up of a series of events – composed by individuals to create a collective. A natural process of spinning and weaving and growing – a beautiful, wondrous experience we each have a right to be part of. But when we resist, force, expect, project or control – we lose that right because we give away our power of choice. That doesn’t mean we stand on the side lines of life and watch it go by, or allow others to dictate our experiences. Life is short – STOP struggling and START living! Start by letting go of the illusion that we can control life. We can’t! But we can (with practice) take control over our own responses to it! The world has become one giant web (WWW. doesn’t stand for ‘World Wide Web’ by accident). It doesn’t take a genius to see how easy it is to blame others for whatever we are lacking.

Life is a continual learning curve, with some curves steeper than others. At the end of one chapter and the start of a new one, there can certainly be mixed emotions. But when we immerse into being (in order to keep doing) we can finish one phase and start the next without regret – fulfilled and satisfied – knowing we did our best. A washing machine will agitate clothes to get them clean. Don’t let life ‘agitate’ you till you stop and pay attention. When we come clean with our own stuff ‘life’ stops being the problem. When we understand and accept life’s processes we can learn to take the good with the bad and over time, turn negative into positive. Instead of getting caught in an agitated struggle in the washing machine of life we can embrace and enjoy our individual roles. Appreciation keeps us real. It gives us space to believe. Meanwhile life simply continues on – that’s life – from one stage to another, to another. It has ups and it has downs. Allowing ourselves to appreciate and believe in life’s possibilities, we can actually enjoy the ride. So trust that the sun will always shine, that the stars will always sparkle and that the wind will always bring change – no matter how dark the clouds appear :)

Question: Do I regularly stop and appreciate the little things in life? If not, why not?

Consideration: Do I focus on the negative rather than the positive? Why?

Action: This month practice being grateful for 3 things every day. Write them down. You can start a journal or use sticky notes on your doors and walls, colourful whiteboard markers on your mirrors and windows, ‘abc’ magnets on your fridge (be creative). Remind yourself on a daily basis about all the good life has to offer, to help you let go of the negative. Freedom is a paradox – to be free from self enslavement, discipline is essential…

Love Annemarie

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