Stay the Course

Getting discouraged is easy. One thing goes wrong, one obstacle pops up, and the brain starts saying, “This is hard. Let’s not bother.” The more things go wrong and the more obstacles pop up, the more the brain says this, until we agree. “Yep, it is too hard. Let’s not bother.”

I deal with discouragement on a regular basis. Things are hard sometimes. Health issues get in the way; so do other things that are going on in my life. Stress from finances or worrying about family members can interfere. Sometimes someone else needs me to do something for them, and I don’t have enough bandwidth to handle their thing plus mine.

When we feel discouraged, it’s equally easy to give up entirely. To let the discouragement take the reins and stop us from continuing with what we were trying to do. I’ve dealt with that as well.

It is absolutely okay to stop doing something if it becomes too stressful, isn’t something you want to do, or no longer serves you. But if it’s something you do want to do or feel you need to do, you can combat the discouragement.

That isn’t as easy as it sounds, of course. Sometimes when you feel like giving up, that urge is too strong to “just get over.” (And let’s be real here–“just getting over” anything isn’t always possible. Some things are not just a case of mind over matter.)

When you’re at that point, take a break. Not a permanent one like the discouragement might want, but a temporary one. Give yourself a little while to do something you do actually enjoy, or to do something that gives your brain a rest.

Talk to someone supportive. This might be a friend or family member, or someone you know through networking, or even a paid coach if you work with one. People tend to hide when they’re feeling discouraged or stressed, but hiding it doesn’t help. Find someone you trust, and talk about how you’re feeling. Not only might that help you, but acknowledging that negative feelings happen, and that that’s okay, will help others as well.

Finally, be kind to yourself. There isn’t anything wrong with you for feeling discouraged, or for the struggles that are causing the discouragement. We’re all human, and part of being human is recognizing that sometimes things don’t work the way we hoped–and that however we feel about that is okay.

When you’re ready, come back to whatever was discouraging you, if that’s what you really want to do. Don’t be afraid to walk away if it’s something you genuinely don’t want to do anymore, but know that you can take a few steps back to deal with discouragement and then come back to it later. Taking a break won’t be the end of the world, or the end of what you’re trying to accomplish, and taking that break might be what you need in order to stay the course.

Power to Choose

How many times have you heard yourself saying things like “I have to do this” or “I have no choice”? If you’re like most people, those are phrases you probably use fairly regularly.

The truth, though, is that we almost always have a choice. We were created as beings with free will and the power to choose. We might not always *like* the options that are in front of us, but most of the time, if not every time, there are options.

For those of us who have lived in abusive or traumatic situations, that belief in the absence of choice may be particularly entrenched. After all, abuse, by its very nature, is the taking away of power. We don’t have a choice about how we’re treated by our abusers, and we certainly aren’t choosing to be abused. Those things are genuinely beyond our control. But having that power taken away can lead us to believe that we have no power in any aspect of our lives.

One of the most important steps in our healing journeys is to recognize the power we have to make our own choices. That doesn’t mean that we’ll always have options we want to choose! Sometimes when we say we have no choice, what we really mean is “That choice isn’t viable for me because of this reason,” or “Only one of those options comes without consequences.” But that doesn’t mean the other options don’t exist, only that they aren’t something that would work for us.

Freedom to choose doesn’t mean freedom from consequences, which is something people sometimes forget. You might, for example, choose to drive 100 miles per hour on Main Street; you’re free to make that choice. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get pulled over and ticketed or arrested!

Sometimes we confuse the existence of consequences with the absence of choice. As we learn to recognize and embrace our personal power, we need to learn that choice does exist, and to consciously make choices rather than falling back to a default because “there is no choice.”

This is something it’s taken me time to learn, and sometimes I still catch myself saying I don’t have a choice. But at those times, I stop myself and say, “Okay, wait a minute. What are my choices here? Why are choices A and B not valid for me right now?” Going through that process enables me to *consciously* choose option C, rather than just going with it because I’ve forgotten that I have the power to make a choice. I have free will, and I can use it.

The next time you’re faced with a situation in which you believe you don’t have a choice, I invite you to go through the process I just described. Ask yourself what choices exist in the situation. Not what choices you like, or which ones have no or fewest consequences, but just which ones *exist*. Once you’ve done that, look at the possible outcomes of each option, and consciously decide on the option that has the outcome you want.

Embrace and exercise your power of free will, and see how it can help you create the life you want to live.

An Oracle Card Reading

One of the things I’m gearing up to offer through RiverEvolutions (starting November 30!) is oracle card readings.

Oracle cards are cards that contain certain messages to guide people through their lives, offer answers to or insight on questions, and so forth. Oracle cards differ from Tarot in that oracle cards don’t include suits, while Tarot do, and the number of cards in an oracle deck vary from deck to deck, while Tarot decks always contain the same number of cards. Tarot cards are interpreted based on the meanings of the suits or other aspects of the cards, while oracle cards often spell out the meaning or part of the meaning in words on the card itself.

In 2006, I created an oracle deck, and have used it in various ways since. I was a little hampered in my use of my own cards because the images I originally used did not belong to me; I had permission to use them, but that permission was withdrawn after about a year. So I had cards with messages and guidance on them, but no pictures, and pictures are an important part of oracle cards.

Fortunately, I found a solution to that issue earlier this year. My deck is now called the Seascapes Oracle, and I’ve been using them as daily cards on my Facebook business page, as well as to do weekly readings on Facebook Live.

I wanted to do a short 3-card reading here to give a sample of what I’ll be offering to individual clients beginning November 30. This is just a general reading; the cards are applicable to anyone seeing them, though they may not resonate or feel relevant to everyone. The message in quotation marks for each card is what is on the card; the rest is my interpretation.

 

 

 

The first card is Limitless Source, “There are no limits to the abundance of the Universe.” You’re feeling reluctant to ask for what you want or need because you’re afraid you’ll be taking something away from someone else. This card says there’s plenty to go around. Whether it’s in your personal life or your business, it’s time to stop holding back and worrying about taking away from others. Reach out to have your needs met, or go after what you want, and know that there is more than enough for everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second card is Cool Waters. “Allow clear water to cleanse your mind and soul.” You’re stuck in the muck, so to speak. “Dirt” from other people’s words and actions in your past–or maybe your present–is covering up your true self and holding you back. This card is both figurative, in the sense that you are covered with the “dirt” other people have left behind and need to cleanse yourself of that energy; and literal, in the sense that spending time in clear water, whether it’s a lake or ocean or your own shower, helps clear your energy as well as cleaning your physical body. So take some time to do this. It might be too cold where you are to spend time in a body of water outside, so take a bath if you’re able, or a shower, and envision or intend that your mind and energy are cleared of the residue left by your past.

 

 

 

 

 

And the third card is A Crystal Vision. “Your sight is obscured by expectations.” Instead of seeing what is truly there in front of you, which might be some pretty awesome stuff, you’re stuck on what you wanted to see or what you believed would be there. You aren’t seeing the good things in front of you because your mind is focused on the things you *don’t* have. Let go of expectations, and know that sometimes, you don’t get what you want or expect because it isn’t what’s truly in your highest benefit. What’s in front of you will benefit you more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that’s a sample oracle card reading. If you’re interested in having me pull cards for you during one of my Friday Facebook Lives, please join me on the RiverEvolutions Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/riverevolutions) at 12pm Eastern time any Friday or send me a message through that page. And stay tuned for information and details about private card readings starting Monday, Nov. 30!