“I'm so tired of life!” a client said to me. “I find myself pushing so hard and collapsing completely with no outlet in sight. Continuing forward while I trudge through monotony makes me feel so alone. You've lived through so many challenges Stace, how do you stay so hopeful and motivated?”
There is nothing worse than feeling like you’re spinning your wheels and getting nowhere. A day-to-day experience of feeling stuck. The preverbal rewind of the same old crap we shoveled through yesterday…and here it is again today. This will wear you out emotionally, mentally, and physically, and fast!!!
We say to ourselves in our humanness, “If I can just figure out who is to blame for this three-ring shit show that I call my life, the shit show will end, and I can move on and finally be…HAPPY! I will finally get to go for my dreams, be a great parent, pay my bills, go to school, be productive, solve ALL of my problems, and find someone who truly loves me!”
And it seems that until we can come up with some answers for who is to blame for all of our shit, we wait, and hope for it to get better, and wait, and wait, and wait, and occasionally in our waiting we ask:
“Do I know who to blame yet?”
“Have they accepted blame for causing my shit show?”
“Am I feeling better yet?”
“Nope! Ok…” sigh, “I will wait some more…”
Are you waiting around to be happy and to experience joy, love, and connection in your life?
If so, today I am here to shake you up and say don’t wait!
Waiting creates more shit, and when I think of shit, I think of it as being sticky, stinky, dark, and lonely.
Regardless of what your challenges and problems are today in your relationships or otherwise; I encourage you to use your ability to make a choice (cause you are not going to feel like it) and create the best experience you can in this moment.
Something that you can DO to feel better, not fantastic…just better, even if everything else is a three-ring shit show in your life. Yes even if you are fighting with your partner, your kids, your boss, or the neighbors.
Yes, even if you can’t pay the bills, yes, even when you don’t know how to manage life and you’re tired, and feel like shit!
Choose a small step you can do right now that will get you out of hell or at least give you a moment of reprieve from it!
Do something that makes you feel better. It just takes a little bit of better to make a huge difference.
Here are some things that I have done to take small steps out of my shit towards feeling better that has worked for me over the years:
1. Take a Break
When my kids were all small and my then husband was struggling with his bipolar disorder, life could get pretty intense. When I needed a break, I would slip out into the garage and into the family station wagon where I had a pillow and a Diet Coke stashed under the front seat. I would scream in a pillow for as long as necessary, and then turn on my favorite radio station and sip my Diet Coke in peace. I could then walk back into the house feeling a bit more ease and thinking to myself, “Ok, I got this!”
2. Get Physical
Dancing and music have always been great tools for helping me manage the challenges of life. Many times while my kids were growing up, we would load up the stereo with Natalie Cole and Michael Jackson CDs and just dance ourselves silly. It did wonders for all of us to just let go of life for a minute.
I will never forget a time right after my divorce. The kids and I had just moved into a condo on the second floor (god bless our neighbor that lived below us). Of course the music and dancing ritual started shortly afterward. Our neighbor downstairs would often knock on our door asking us to turn it down…I must confess, I would reply to him: “Oh those kids and their loud music, no problem I will tell them to turn it down!” Until one day the music was so loud I could not hear him knocking, so he politely walked in to see me dancing to the blaring music all by myself. He was as stunned as I was!
Dancing to music has always helped me feel so much better.
3. Do Something Different, Silly And Ridiculous
Oh, I have a lot of this! The silly and ridiculous causes me to forget about all of my problems and upsets while fueling my soul with new life. I have so many examples I could share, as I learned this skill at a young age from my wonderful mom as she inspired us to carry on after the death of my dad.
One summer afternoon many years back, I had had enough of life so I packed up the kids and headed to the park even though the house was a mess, wait…everything was a mess! My life was a mess!
I took with us the usual sand pails and shovels and then swung by the grocery store and picked up a 25lb bag of flour and put it in the trunk.
I was having yet another different, silly, ridiculous idea!
As we pulled into the park, I popped the trunk, opened the flour and scooped up some with a sand pail and threw it at the kids and screamed FLOUR FIGHT! They were stunned for a minute but quickly caught on grabbing a pail and some flour of their own.
The fight was ON!
And much to everyone’s surprise…the sprinklers at the park kicked on just about the time we ran out of flour. We ran through the sprinklers in an attempt to wash off the flour. Instead, we all found ourselves covered in flour paste. This is still an experience my kids and I talk about fondly to this day.
(FYI: Something we discovered about this activity, if you are going to attempt this, I recommend not throwing the flour directly into the face, as it causes you to not be able to breathe for a moment. Who knew?!)
Get the list of some of my other favorite different, silly, ridiculous ideas, which are sure to inspire you, cause a smile, and create lasting memories! You can get them here:
4. Create Moments Of Connection With Others
As humans, we are uplifted when we feel a connection with someone, and it does not need to take a lot of time. It can be as simple as a conversation and smile exchange with the cashier at the grocery store or a fellow patron.
If you need a bit of help with this, follow a child’s example by asking questions. And like a child, they begin with: “Hi, what’s your name?” We are surrounded with abundant opportunities to connect with others every day, and it is up to us to take advantage of them.
Another way I like to create the connection is by spending time with my kids and grandkids. Most often kids are so oblivious to the responsibilities of adulating they are gifts to help us find joy in any right now. It is their silliness that I treasure the most!
I love spending time with people who love and accept me. My partner Tom turns my light on and causes my toes to tingle. Most nights after dinner, we spend time together with a glass of wine, or a cup of tea. It is like being on the battery charger for me. This is an important ritual for us even when we are busier than a one-armed paperhanger!
I also call and hang out with my now adult kids (they’re my BFF’s). I call and connect with my sister and brothers and people I am privileged and honored to call friends.
Spending time with people who love and care about me helps me realize that if all I have is love, the love of my partner, my children, my family and friends, life suddenly begins to have meaning and purpose again.
When we share our lives with others, we get caught up in their karma; and when their karma is positive, it provides us with the delightful experience of renewal.
The short answer I gave to my client was: “I create simple and sometimes silly ways to just feel a little better. Build a fort, go for a walk, dance, read an inspiring book, try and do a somersault. Have a squirt gun fight, meditate, do some yoga, do something new and out of the ordinary. Create a reason to laugh, connect, and give someone a kiss.”
By doing things like these I felt better enough to try again, to take another step, to hope in the journey of life again.
How about you? What would be something that you could do at this very moment to help you dance through a three-ring shit show?
Feeling a little bit better is just moments away when you make a choice to do something instead of waiting!
The challenges and problems of the day will wait while you live and refuel to face them. Don’t wait until you solve them all before you allow yourself to create enjoyable moments in your life.
The truth is we never get them all solved. It’s what keeps things interesting!
It is the simple things that will change your life. Go now, and JUST DO IT even though you don’t feel like it!
I am right here cheering you on and saying, “You’ve got this."
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