What I’m going to share with you is not a new concept but you may not have ever heard it before. It’s a gratitude strategy and tool that has supported me in breaking free of my own mental minutia at times and moving forward from personal struggle or seeming tragedy.
Sometimes you have to go through break downs in order to experience break through’s. I don’t necessarily mean emotional break downs either. It could be as simple as a breakdown in your routines you go through in life or it could be major struggles with finances, relationships or health.
Too many times I’ve seen strangers, clients and even close friends who resist their current experiences just because that experience isn’t desirable or doesn’t fit into their perfectly constructed or pre-conceived ideal view of life.
If these moments aren’t checked this is where depression can be born. If you stay in this place you’ll feel you’re forced to live with something you don’t want. And yes, that could suck.
Listen, I’m a coach and I still have these moments just like anyone else. However I’ve discovered a tool to assist in moving through it with gratitude intact and a fresh perspective on life.
What we resist will persist. So let’s discover how you can not only relinquish resistance around the lessons life presents us but how you can remain more present and grateful of them as they happen.
A Quick Gratitude Exercise:
After you’ve read this, in order to put it into practice you’ll want to find someplace quite, where you can sit with your feet on the floor and each of your palms face down individually on each of your knees.
With your eyes closed, take two deep breaths and simply relax.
Imagine yours standing in the middle of a time line. Your standing in the present, in front of you is your future and behind you is your past. Imagine yourself rising up and going back on this timeline to, what was at one point, considered to be your lowest moment, biggest failure or biggest tragedy. You will know because it may still hold an emotional charge for you. It may even seem painful. It’s Ok, it can’t harm you.
Notice in your body where you feel that emotion. Is it in your chest? Maybe in your right arm? Just be with it, notice it.
Drop down into your heart allowing any of that emotion to simply be there.
Now move forward on your timeline before your present time and ask yourself, because that situation happened, what good came of it? Once you acknowledge what good became because of it you may even ask who benefited from it and how? Maybe it wasn’t right away, maybe it was 6 months later or even 2 years later.
For example, if it hadn’t been for that seemingly negative situation or tragedy, you wouldn’t have met the love of your life 6 months to a year later, or you wouldn’t have came across an old friend who you have now have started a company together and are about to sell it for hundreds of thousands of dollars (or even millions).
Picture the chain of events that occur one right after the other from the worst to the seemingly brilliant and fantastic that wouldn’t have been possible without the original tragedy.
Now notice the original emotion and as you’re still in your heart, allow yourself to be at ease with it.
A super quick snap shot of what this could look like.
I can look back at when I quit the band Cynic at age 21 because at the time I felt I got a raw deal. If that hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have ever met my friend Gerry, gone into sales, I wouldn’t have eventually impacted so many lives the way I have and I wouldn’t be writing this message to you right now!
The Dynamics of Life
When you find the gift in your struggles you realize the breakdown lead to the positive win you were able to acknowledge before the present time. What seems to make our lives so beautiful is the dynamics of ups and downs we experience.
- Imagine for a moment if music had no dynamics within it.
- Imagine one of your favorite songs if it was soft all the time.
- Imagine that favorite song if it was loud all the time.
- Imagine if it was simply flat and monotone the entire song.
If there were no dynamics eventually the song would be perceived as flat and lifeless. It wouldn’t hold nearly the emotional charge around it that it currently does.
Embrace the dynamics of your life and appreciate them like you do the dynamics of your favorite piece of music.
My Challenge To You
Here is my challenge to you so that you may find the gift much more quickly in moments of despair or anxiety.
If a struggle or seeming tragedy should happen to occur in your present time line, can you practice finding the gift in it, even if that gift hasn’t presented itself yet?
This could be acknowledged as a sign of emotional intelligence. When realizing this situation will define your future but only because you decide how it will in that moment. Sure it may take you a day or two to maybe digest whatever it is that’s happened. But how you perceive yourself and the world is dependent on your ability to emotionally acknowledge something good will come of this, even if not directly.
What’s one of the best things that’s happened to you that you because of either a direct or indirect struggle you experienced? Share your quick story below in the comments!