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Is it possible to cause our own sadness?

Episode 401
Wildly Successful Lifestyle

LISTEN TO: Is it possible to cause our own sadness?

Hi guys! Welcome to Episode 401 of the wildly successful lifestyle podcast! It’s good to be here with you. Thank you for listening and sharing. I love that we are always working to be our best selves. That’s what this podcast is all about. Nice things are great. But they don’t matter if your mindset is a wreck.

Have you guys ever tried to catch a leaf that was falling from a tree? When it’s fall and the leaves are falling. I’m always tempted to try to catch a leaf but I’ve learned that it’s not as easy as it seems. Just as you think it’s right above you, the wind picks it up and blows it 20’ in the other direction. I was watching the leaves fall the other day and it was so peaceful and the thought came that oh I should see if today is the day I could catch one but I know better and I smiled and just let them fall where they may knowing it’s exactly as it should be, sometimes a leaf will fall right at your feet and sometimes you think it’s gonna and then it doesn’t. And when you catch one you kind of wanna catch another one…but those falling leaves are elusive and Nothing you do will change that.

Regardless of when you’re listening to this episode it applies to every single day of the year but as I’m doing this episode it’s holiday season. And holiday season is hard for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. But if you really think about it there can be things all year that if we let them could take us down. I was talking to a dear friend recently and I said you just never know what life is gonna offer up. She mentioned she really liked how that statement felt. I did too and as I do anytime things peak my interest I analyze why that statement felt good to us. And I think it’s because it brings perspective and a sense of control to the chaos that can sometimes be our lives. By that I mean life is unpredictable, we can’t control that. If you’re trying, stop it’s useless. It’s like trying to catch a falling leaf. But when we settle in to the idea that there are going to be things that happen in life that really suck and then there will be things that are really really really good. When we accept that that is the completely normal flow of life, you have to decide whether you’re going to go with the flow or if you’re going to fight it every step of the way.

I’ll use one of my favorite analogies of trees because trees are one of my favorite things in the world. But trees are constantly having to deal with different aspects of nature. Strong winds, heavy snow and ice, too little water, too much water. They are designed to be flexible so they sway. They know how to isolate a damaged limb so it doesn’t expand to the rest of the tree. They lean towards sunlight if they aren’t getting enough, they depend on the other trees around them as well. Community is important even with trees. There was a study done on trees that were put in certain conditions to see how they grew with adversity and without. The trees who had the most adversity were the strongest. They aren’t rigid. They are flexible. They don’t rage at God when there’s a storm or strong and ask why me….they don’t feel sorry for themselves or play the victim. they make themselves stronger. I saw a video recently of a ranger somewhere in the north where they had a bunch of ice and snow. He was walking down this street and the ice and snow had weights these trees down so much they were laying across the street. They weren’t giant trees. They were smaller but he went one by one and shook the ice and snow off each tree and as soon as he did that they just bounced right back up like nothing happened. He just shook them and they bounced right back. I could have watched it 10 times. They are made to be so resilient. Just like we are.

They do all of these things naturally though. As humans we are just as resilient, but we are also the most intelligent beings on this planet and because of that we often put our own obstacles up. Our brain allows us so many freedoms but it can also cause us to hide in our house, never wanting to come out all because of our ability to think. To dwell and think on the past, to dwell and worry about the future.

The past is over. The future is uncertain. The present is all you have.

We can literally make ourselves crazy simply by the way we frame in our head what life offers up. So, How do we maneuver those things without losing our sanity? That’s the magic question.

We have for the last 16 years or so been part of a pretty tight group we met through my husbands company. Every year our friends throw a very big Christmas party and it’s loud and it’s fun and it is so fun. This specific group of friends are reaching retirement age, they are little older than me and Eric so 3 of our favorite couple friends that we’ve spent the last 16 years celebrating with will be retiring over the next two years. In fact, 2 of the couples have already moved out of Memphis and to Florida where they will spend retirement. So our holidays will look very different then and I caught myself the other day kind of dwelling on that idea of how sad it’s gonna be and it’s not gonna be the same and I was really starting to feel down about it. I was having thoughts of it won’t be the same, it won’t be fun. But what I realized was I was focusing on all the things that kind of sucked. And creating in my head how things were gonna be ahead of time. I was creating that it would be hard and sad and no fun anymore. How does that sound going into the holiday season? Sounds like an enticing fun season doesn’t it? No, of course it doesn’t. When you hear someone say….you are the architect of your own life, the present is where the wheels hit the pavement. The funny thing about those thoughts I was having is I was literally at a party surrounded by people I love and instead of being present and appreciated what I had right in front of me I was creating a feeling of sadness. But I recognized it and I do what we are all able to do, I stopped focusing on the past and stopped worrying about the future and just let myself be in the present. I made a new friend that night one thats in my age group, I talked to so many people I hadn’t gotten to talk to in a while and I ended up having the best night and I ended it up spending time with 2 of my favorite people late into the night just laughing and being present. Not worrying about where they will be in the future. They are here now. That party could have gone a million different ways. And I’m sure it did. Every person there either enjoyed themselves or didn’t based on how they framed it in their

Our brain just left to do what it may, is so addicted to drama and fear, and going down negative thought scenarios that it will have you miserable and depressed. But you dont have to let it do that. You tell your brain what to do. You’re the boss of your brain.

My present life, my immediate future and the one a little further on is created right inside my head. I cannot predict what’s gonna happen but I can control how I let it affect me and this is the secret to life in my opinion.

Life is unpredictable just like the falling leaves. But your reaction, your ability to be happy whether you catch the leaf or not all depends on your ability to pivot. Your ability to bend and not break during the storms. Your ability to have an ice storm but then shake it off and bounce right back. You have the ability to get stronger because of the things you’re going through just like those trees that got stronger because of the storms they survived. You have that ability. You wouldn’t be the person you are today without the storms you’ve been through.

You’re the architect of your own life. You can decide to have the attitude that no matter what life offers up you’re gonna be ok, maybe it knocks you down but know you have the ability and the strength inside of you to shake it off and bounce back, this time even stronger. But that’s all done in your head by what you’re thinking. You’re creating your life in your head every single day by the way you respond to what life offers you up.

My challenge to you today is to realize that your thoughts are literally creating the life you’re living. Life is going to offer you up a variety of experiences. What you do with them is everything. Tony Robbins says what’s wrong is always available but so is what’s right. It’s a matter of what you’re focusing on. Share this with 3 people who have thoughts. I love you guys. I’ll talk to you in a few days.

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