What are you learning from your Struggle?

I am deep in struggle. It is not my struggle per se, but rather a close family member that I am deeply effected by through my desire to help, fix, support, express love, and anything else to help him see a different way to live life (versus give up and end his life). 

I know we learn most from our fears and struggles. They are moments to dig in, uncover past hurt and stories, build resilience, expand your perspective, create deeper connections to those you care for, and discover strength that you did not know you had. That doesn't make it any easier, but at least it brings purpose and meaning into the moments that feel the darkest and most desperate. 

In the moments that I feel the most lost or broken, I remind myself that I can only control my effort, I cannot control the outcome. The uncertainty that surrounds struggle can be almost all consuming. Reminding myself that my body and mind reacts to the chemicals that are being released, and uncertainty releases cortisol, does not mean that I need to get wound up or focus and feed that coritsol by paying attention to it. I can feel it and I express it when I need to, but always with a growth mindset and a deeper understanding of the physiological process. 

I have lost track of where I first heard this quote, but to paraphrase, 

"It is ok to piss and moan but always do it with at least a little bit of perspective" - Unknown

Life can be tough. Good and not-so-good surprises can feel like the ground being ripped from under you. The people we love will struggle, get hurt, and as life goes on we will be visited by death at an increasing frequency. Avoiding or wishing things were different doesn't help anyone and only hurts you more in the end. 

I think about death at least once every day. What used to paralyze and frighten me, now is that raw reminder to embrace life, to play big, to not live in regret or "shoulds" or "what-ifs", to focus my energy on creating and growing, and to live each day like it is my last. I don't advocate for extreme behavior, but rather a balanced and steady mindset that allows mindfulness, play, love, effort, and surrender.  

I know it will take time and patience to continue my development and to support those around me as they pursue and explore their journey's. I have found solace on my yoga mat, putting pen to paper, engaging in activities that allow me to create, and taking bold steps towards the goals and actions that fuel and excite me. Get clear on what bring's you solace and motivation, and open up about your struggles and dreams. We are in this together. xo