Problems are messages.

~Shakti Gawain~

Some days are good, and others are not.  It is the balance of life.  I understand that.  But for all the miles I have traveled, and all the lessons I have learned, it never ceases to surprise me when a day sucks me into a deep funk. That seemed to be the theme for me last week.

I have been working good on my 100 day challenge, but for all my hard work and focus on my health, I have probably not listened to that pesky inner voice of mine….telling me to slow down for a bit.  To take a breather, or to let go of the pressure I place upon myself to check everything off on the list. The to-do list when you release a book and publicize it via grassroots marketing is pretty much endless.  One can feel like you are taking two steps forward and fourteen back.

So for weeks now, I have ignored that inner alarm bell.  The one telling me to press the pause button.  Take a breath.  Think about why you do this…think about your purpose in all of this.

And so, last week was the perfect storm.  I came down with a cold like no other, and ended up sleeping for about three days. In the awake moments, I questioned what the heck I was doing with my life….my back hurt, my foot was wonky, and I was throwing a big old pity party for myself….Most days, people would think I am cheery and fun, positive thinker, and promoter of all things JOLT.  But the reality is, I struggle just like everyone else to forge a happy life in less than perfect circumstances.  Most times, I spend half my time plowing forward with the vision of what I think I am supposed to be doing, and the second half of my time questioning my motivation and sanity.  I used to be….that is how those self-doubt conversations start with me.

“I used to be.”

I used to be a lot of things before….before I became a parent, before I lost my parents, before I married, before I was in the corporate world, before I divorced, before I married again, before I lost my child, before I tried to change my life and help others with the use of gratitude.

But I’m not who I used to be anymore.  Now, I am a woman who writes like the world is going to run out of words, trying to get them all down before they recede back into my mind.  Now I am a woman who feels compelled to spread a little happiness, and little of the good stuff around.  I am a woman who feel the need to tell others that, “You’re going to be okay.  You’re going to make it.” Now I am a woman who, because of all those changes, is still trying to figure out where I fit in life, because there are parts of my life that don’t fit anymore. I am a woman who sometimes forgets to tell herself to take a moment, or tell the people who love her that she needs a little dose of comfort herself.

What I do these days has no formal job description.  There is no performance evaluation after my probationary period from Human Resources with this job.  The feedback I get is in the response to what I put out there…some love it, some hate it.  Some tell me what I can do with my gratitude, and some tell me how it has changed them.  Some question my motives, and others questions my sanity. And no matter how hard I work at it, it is never done.  And regardless of the feedback, I have to press on, because I simply know this is what I am supposed to be doing.

And so 71 days in to my 100 day challenge, what do I know?

  • I am strong, even when I am weak.

  • I can do this.  Even when I don’t think I can, I can do this.

  • When your foot hurts, rest it silly.

  • That, when I become scared, or question what I am doing with my life, I immediately go back to what I used to be as the measure for my success.  And, as this challenge is teaching me, I am pretty sure I had some sort of chocolate and caramel “medicine” that made that go away before….and now, without that, I am dealing with the feelings of fear that I have had all along….they were just coated in caramel sauce before.  It’s time for me to face it….I will never be the same as I used to be.  And that is not a bad thing, because for every fork in the road of my life, I have grown as a person, I have picked up a little wisdom.

  • That this really is more of a head game than I thought it would be.  Sure, it is calories in, calories out, work your butt off….but the mind and how it motivates you.  I am learning so much about that.

  • I know I have to give myself a pat on the back every now and again…for how far I’ve come.  Not only with this 100 day challenge, but with my life in general.  I am still very much a work in progress, but we are working overtime to get this just right….

  • That all those quotes I send out to my JOLT’ers….are meant for me too.  Like this one.

If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.
~ Lao Tzu~

To close, 71 days left and feeling better, the scale continues to be my friend, even if I do have conditions attached to our relationship.  I am doing this, focused on the end result, and learning lessons about myself that I did not anticipate.  I expect by July 4th I will be able to talk about another “used to be” version of myself, but be proud of the growth that has happened on this journey.

Take some time today to pay attention to your thoughts.  Are they bringing you closer to what you want or leading you to believe things can’t work?