Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Emotional Health, living with chronic illness, overcoming adversity

Life is a Series of Adjustments

It would be wonderful if life were predictable. You may have behaviors that are predictable, but only within a given context. We don’t have any notion of what tomorrow will bring and I’m not saying that just to be cliché. We can make assumptions about what’s ahead of us, but until we live it there are no guarantees.

Think about when you drive a car. You start to drive and your goal is to keep the wheels straight. In order to do that you make adjustments with the steering wheel. Throughout your drive you’ll make minor adjustments multiple times or you would have crashed into numerous other vehicles.

It seems to me that life works the same way. Within certain parameters we live our lives with a certain degree of certainty. We go to the same coffee shop, exercise at the same gym, or go to the same movie theater. However, what happens when there’s a long line at your coffee shop and there’s another shop around the corner? What do you do when the aerobics class you want to take at the gym is full? These are minor adjustments, but they direct you to different actions.

When facing a challenge whether it is health or some other form of life interruption, adjustments become more the norm than the exception. We find ourselves making adjustments with our time and resources. We modify (an adjustment) our workout routines depending on our energy level. We begin to ask questions that are deeper in nature because we’re looking for a solution to the interruption life has set at our feet.

We have to be careful not to over-adjust. I’ve met numerous people who think the way to solve their challenge is to do a complete 180 in their behavior. It’s important to remember that more is not always better. Minor adjustments may be just the thing to keep your life’s status quo.

It’s not uncommon for us to over adjust when we feel anxious, uncertain, or scared. We’ve been conditioned for the quick fix. This is most prominent in the diet industry where big results in a short amount of time headlines every commercial. Learning to take care of your body is paramount to good health and keeping off the weight. If you don’t learn how to “eat” without the program are you willing to make the “program” your new lifestyle instead of a quick fix?

I wrote a post earlier in the week about the importance of learning. We must learn healthful ways of reducing stress, alleviating pain, or minimizing distress. There are resources such as meditation, journaling, or moderate exercise that relieve stress and allow you to become better acquainted with your body, mind, and spirit.

Watch for those minor adjustments through the day. Be conscious of these adjustments and make sure you don’t drive out of your lane!

Facing a challenge in your life?  Looking for education, support, and inspiration?  Visit http://www.survivingstrong.com

Want to ease your adjustments with your creativity?  Visit http://www.timetolivecreatively.com

Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Are You a Home Run Hitter?

One of the great things about being an artist is meeting other artists.  One of the great artists I know, Kyle Bannister, had a birthday yesterday.  Kyle’s art is devoted to baseball.  Baseball is his passion and his work of baseball players and everything else baseball is incredible.  When I wished him Happy Birthday I told him that I hope the day hit it out of the park; trying to use sports metaphor (I’m not very sports inclined) to punctuate the day.

Later that day on Facebook, Kyle had responded back to me, “I always aim for the fence”.  I got to thinking about his philosophy and his action plans for his special day and his life.  Do you aim for the fence every time you get up to bat?  You’re in the batter’s box everyday.  When you step up to the plate what are you thinking?  Do you strive to hit a home run everyday or do you set your sights lower?

You may think about everything related to sports as physical, but the truth is every sport has a huge psychological component.  Many athletes engage the services of sports psychologists to get past the blocks (like an artist) that prevent them from playing their best.  There are times when unbeknownst to us, we hold back.  Do you hold back from fear of how powerful you might be or that you won’t measure up to your own expectations of the expectations of others?

If you were going to be a starting athlete in your own life, what kind of training do you need?  Do you need to journal, speak with a coach, a therapist, or a spiritual director?  What will make you stronger emotionally?  Should you look into support groups or engage in expressive arts like dance or theater?

My hope is that every day when you step in the batter’s box you, like Kyle, aim for the fence.  Having the vision and the belief in the possibility of a home run is critical on your journey to health and healing.  You’re the star of your team…hit that home run!