It's been a long, tiring , frustrating day at work . You just can't wait to get home and put your feet up with a glass of Pinot noir. Up ahead you see a sign saying "detour" and you realize that the freeway is closed. You curse, you punch the wheel and you may even cry (depending how your day was) as this wasn't in your plan. Even though you will still find yourself at the same outcome - at home with that wine, she probably in the same amount of time... this change of route can throw us into a frenzy and seem like we will never get home.
I've been in this position many times and a recent quote I read got me thinking of this as a metaphor for my life. The wonderful Gabrielle Bernstein describes it perfectly when she says " an obstacle is a detour in the right direction". She goes on to say that sometimes the universe throws us a curveball in the form of an obstacle in order to push us onto the path that our lives may not have gone down.
An obstacle is really an opportunity for growth, change, and re evaluation. What this obstacle will bring for you ultimately relies on the perspective that you choose to have . If you accept this obstacle as an assignment and have faith that it will in time lead you in the right direction and land you at a place on your path that you were meant to be, the entire process becomes something that cultivates great blessings, lessons and ultimately many positive experiences. The second we allow ourselves to be consumed and drowned by the fear, sorrow, anxiety and bitterness that an obstacle can present at first sight, the process can quickly escalate to a negative experience, which only calls on worse feelings, loss of motivation and soon the rubble you fell under has turned into a mountain and its much harder to see that crack of light anymore.
Ive had many people say to me "oh tash, you are just so positive" "its incredible the way you are viewing this" and many similar comments about how proud they are of seeing me tackle it with a smile . My response is always ... well what else is there to do ??! Of course I have bad days, days where I feel like throwing in the towel and becoming a bitter betty, cursing at it all, giving up on things and choosing a new life and running away from all it's making me face.However, then i say to myself "what good will that do ?". Would that really make me feel any better? Would it bring any positive change or experiences ? Why would i allow myself to become that ?. I realize it would actually be harder to allow myself to fall into the hole and months later attempt to drag myself out. I also know that what has happened is reality, and no matter how I feel I cannot change what has happened. Rather than using all my energy on imagining different realities and fixating on "what if's" and "should haves" (which i always do) i choose to focus on what is in my control and what I can do in terms of reacting to the situation. Unfortunately no matter how much I cry my knee will still have holes drilled into the bones and screws holding a piece of hamstring in place. So lets put a smile on and look around at all the new,unknown possibilities.
No matter what obstacle you are facing at the present moment, whether its as simple as a tough choice or an argument or as consuming as a broken heart or injury .... YOU HAVE THE CHOICE TO CHOOSE WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT !. I urge you to choose to focus on the light, look deep within and let the experience heal you and cause immense change that will change you for life in the best way. Even on the darkest days there is still so much goodness, love and wonder floating around you and all you have to do is tune in to that. When you are "having a day" - get out of the house and go have a coffee in a new cafe reading that new novel, go sit and watch the waves crash whilst having a picnic, watch an inspiring movie, have a day with friends . Do not let yourself fall as easy as it seems sometime.
Face this new week with the eyes of love, opportunity and wonder. You will be amazed at how much goodness will float around you and support and guide you on overcoming this obstacle. Get excited about what it could deliver you to. If you are going through an intense injury at the moment - watch Soul Surfer. This movie brought me to tears and a new flow of inspiration. I think I found the movie I
will watch religiously during this process. To Bethany Hamilton, thank you for being such an incredibly inspirational being. There are few like you who walk this earth and i am so grateful to have come across and watched your story !
“Life is a lot like surfing… When you get caught in the impact zone, you’ve got to just get back up. Because you never know what may be over the next wave.” ― Bethany Hamilton, Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board
One month down I cheer and scream !!
Then the realization hits theres 11 more to go and i must admit that cheer drowns out and an awkward laugh replaces as I think, holy shit this feels like eternity. But I know I am not alone in this feeling and that one day ill be on the other side of it smiling as I survived it and moving on just like the many I have spoken to who have travelled this rocky road.
The knee is doing well :) the fluid is reducing, I'm walking up and down stairs unaided, I'm riding the bike quicker with more resistance, my squats are getting deeper and the quad is beginning to show face. I have a little friend called Flynn (is that how we should spell it Dani Evrat ?) who acts as my date on most outings. He supports me, looks out for me when I'm not grounded, and is my greatest wing man. He's pretty awesome ... and yes I'm sure you guessed it, Flynn is my shiny black walking cane. Don't be jealous ladies. You really do have to find the small things to keep you in a laughing fit and smiling in this process and Flynn's adventures at the Pavillion and the Central Coast have definitely provided ample entertainment.
I didn't have much motivation over the past two weeks to write. Not much changed with the knee and my mood fluctuated daily. However, this week sure is different. I feel connected, at peace, happy and powerful and I know "the universe has my back " (another good read I have just begun). Last blog I left the readers with a quote which has pushed itself into my path many times and its become part of my mantel piece. I asked you to sit and think about what it meant and what thoughts it provoked for yourself . This quote right here ladies and gentleman
" It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat".
Theodore Roosevelt, From the speech "Citizenship in a Republic", Delivered at the Suborn, Paris, April 23, 1910.
For me I resonated strongly with this image of being a warrior in my own arena. Dusting off my face and striving forward no matter my adversity. Reaching as high as possible and being proud that regardless of the outcome, at least the journey was one of great leaps and bounds and all kinds of passion in between. It also got me thinking about criticism and my fear of "stumbling" and failure and also rejection. Brendan Burchard used this quote to highlight something quite wonderful.
He points out that rejection and criticism don't happen as often as we fear it will. He asks how many times you have been rejected in a way that has forever altered your identity- it has really hurt and it really mattered ?. Most people can say around 7 times. He then asks how many times you have been encouraged in a way that had a very positive effect on your identity and life. Im sure we can all agree the latter is much harder to count and answer, id easily say over 5000 in my life so far and counting. He pushes the notion that we all fear this rejection so much yet it turns out that life altering rejection rarely happens to us. Why do we sometimes focus on the minimal times we have been rejected where our world has crashed ( not a small criticism or judgement or a "no" for a usual job) and let that stop us from daring greatly and taking risks and becoming our true selves ???
How much better would our lives be if we let the words of these critics brush over us, and almost have sympathy for them as most of their judgements highlight more about themselves as people than us. If we focused instead on all the encouragement, support, compliments and kind words we receive daily and found ourselves progressing towards our happiness. I want to thank Brendan for helping me realize that at many times I allow myself to fall into a heap over the words of some who only feel powerful when they prey on the weaknesses of others. I now choose to focus on all the love that surrounds me and pat myself on the back for my progress and efforts as I take on challenges and personal development. I really hope that you can chose to do the same . Our experience of life lies simply in our hands... we can chose how we experience our experiences !