Renewal

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Re-invigorating Your Self and Your Life

Two weeks ago we took a look at self-care as a strategy in a world and lives that are often overwhelming. (Click here if you'd like to read it.) Self-care is certainly a valuable place in which to practice in and with our lives. Yet there is a more profound underlying challenge we must face.

Life is fundamentally disruptive. No matter your skills or plans, the forces of the universe not only dwarf your capacity, they are insensitive to your needs, wants and desires. That does not mean that life is risky, but it does mean that you should never assume life will cooperate with your plans. It might. It might not. Regardless, we need to approach our reality with some humility and honesty if we are to find a way to live to greater effect and balance.

That said, let’s talk about renewal. But first let’s talk about the nature of our beliefs and how they often mismatch reality, which keeps us from being renewed.

Since life and our lives are dynamic and in flux, we need to have a good look at our beliefs. Most of us come from the perspective that we should not be disturbed, that life should not disrupt us or our plans. We are apparently deeply conditioned to think that everything should somehow be orderly. Can you see the fallacy in that thinking? Especially can you see how having such an expectation automatically sets us up for conflict with our own selves and lives? That in itself is stress producing.

While we’re at it, we might as well admit to ourselves that we often think that life and its ways should not be a challenge. Once again, our beliefs and perceptions about the nature of life can be at odds with reality. The truth is that moments where we are not challenged are actually brief interludes between all the challenges that make up a life.

Let’s do a little reframing.

What if in fact we are creatures that thrive on engaging the world? Could it be that the play we see in children is nothing but the developmental preparation for real life problem-solving? Isn’t it possible that we were created and have evolved to be well suited to taking on the challenges that any day might present? What if our sweetest spot is actually on the cutting edge of life where we can figure things out and experience them to the fullest?

Maybe we’ve misunderstood our most fundamental purpose, that we are uniquely designed by life itself for engagement rather than relaxation.

While we’re at it with this reframing, why not question the nature of the life in which we find ourselves?

What if life was never designed to be static? Could it be that the very purpose of being alive is to be in flux and always experiencing the dynamic nature of all things?

If we weave these ideas together, isn’t it possible that our truest selves are perfectly designed to fit into the very nature of life and to thrive as a result?

What if we saw our lives and circumstances not as an obstacle course but as a playground?

Seeing True™ in Action

There is no question that our perception is instrumental in our experience.

If we perceive threats, our bodies and psyches prepare us to fight, freeze or flee.

If we can instead question our perceptions, and consider the possibility that in fact we are in a constant dance of adaptation, our innermost self gears itself up for wonder and engagement.

Teach yourself to ask key questions such as these:

Is this really a threat, or is it opportunity?

Could it be that anxiety is actually anticipation?

Am I best suited to engage or retreat?

Isn’t the evidence of my life to date a demonstration of growth and development?

Renewal is a moment by moment recalibration. See what happens when you introduce a new way of seeing.