Stride forward with a firm, steady step knowing with a deep,
certain inner knowing that you will reach every goal you set yourselves,
that you will achieve every aim.
– Eileen Caddy
By now you know that I’m a proponent of you taking things in stride. Of you taking an “of course” attitude to what comes your way.
But . . . I have a confession.
When it comes to this particular Life Lesson, I’m the poster child for Richard Bach’s saying: “We teach best what we most need to learn.”
You see, my first response to stress, irritation, attack, and the craziness of life is: I get angry. I immediately shift into warrior mode. I want to demolish what stands in my way.
That type of response does not always (nor usually) serve me well. My guess is that it does not serve you well, either.
So let’s have a magical healing session and remind ourselves, together, how to take life in stride.
Let’s begin with a mutual understanding of the phrase “take things in stride.” The Free Dictionary describes it as: “to accept advances or setbacks as the normal course of events” and “accept something as a matter of course, not allow something to interrupt or disturb one’s routine” and even “to calmly deal with something unpleasant and not let it have a bad effect on you.”
Wiktionary provides the following definition: “To cope with something unfortunate without much effort; to accept or manage difficulties well.”
Okay. I get it. When something “bad” happens, we are informed to be calm, cope, and concede.
That’s not much help.
Simply telling a Magician to “stay calm,” “just cope” and “make a concession” aren’t too practical. So, perhaps the following will give us a little more guidance.
Rather than dealing with “meanings,” let’s start where every good creator begins —with “outcomes.”
The idea behind taking things “in stride” is to bring you or help you maintain peace of mind; a state of tranquility. Or as the Frank Constanza character was instructed to say (or perhaps yell) on Seinfeld: “Serenity Now!”
I don’t have to go over the various studies and findings in detail. I think we all understand that the absence or control of stress is a healthier alternative for you. Because we want to be healthier, it should be a no-brainer that taking life “in stride” is something we want to make happen. It’s a habit we want to put into play as quickly and easily as possible.
But is it possible? Or are we relegated to grand visions of what a life without stress could be like?
Well, the Dalai Lama said, ““The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful.”
Here are 5 simple techniques to start developing your positive emotions RIGHT NOW:
1. Stop caring what other people think. I’m willing to bet that this very first step, upon you reading it, caused a stress reaction in you that almost made you want to stop reading further. That should be proof enough that overly caring about other people’s opinions of you is killing you.
2. Start living in the Now and not so much in Wonderland. It’s one thing to imagine a desired future and then take action steps to make that future a reality and quite another to ruminate over future troubles. If you’re one of those who seems rooted in a worrisome future, catch yourself and direct your attention to the Now. Be mindful of what’s going on around you.
3. Start realizing that there’s no real reward to be won from competing with others. You can frame it anyway you’d like, the truth is that no one else is competing with you. Everyone else is so self-consumed that they’re all just doing what they can to survive day-to-day. It just looks like competition with you. If you find yourself entangled with someone else, take a mental step back and find the reward you’re really looking for by competing further. I think you’ll find there are some much deeper insecurities going on that you didn’t appreciate until now.
4. Stop hanging around with people who don’t make you smile. You know that you’re making concessions for many of the people you call friends and colleagues. You make exceptions and exemptions for your dreams to conform to their usually negative and disempowering thoughts and emotions. Find those who lift you up. Find those who brighten your day. Find those who support you, cheer you on, and propel you forward. Then cherish them.
5. Stop believing that what you’re stressing over involves something important. Most of us are majorly stressing over and reacting to things that are simply not major life stressors. Here are some major life stressors: death or impending death of a loved one, divorce or relationship problems, moving, major illness or pain, and loss of a job. Is what you are being afflicted by caused by one of these? Probably not. It’s time to put what you hold as important into focus.
One last thing . . . I’m not suggesting for a moment that you stop caring. I’m urging to you start choosing, instead, what you care about. We don’t do that enough!
Remember, you can also continue this conversation by subscribing to my blog at http://thinkingmagically.com or you joining me on any of the major social media sites to take this discussion to an even deeper level.