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Taking the Ebb with the Flow

Written from our Iowa farmhouse April 30, 2020 on Day 47 of The Great Hunkerdown


This week has been a wonderful week. After letting myself be down and be loved and be open last week, I settled into some perspectives and practices that I have been seeking and gathering since before I began this blog. I have been trying to find ways to follow my natural lead toward manifesting my vision while cultivating serenity, wellness, and creativity. I found a really nice groove this week and thought it might be nice to share it. I am curious about what perspectives and practices you have found to be useful in your life journey.


Perspective 1: Tell myself the stories that are truthful and most helpful. There are so many ways we can weave the facts of our state of being into a story that gives us the perspective we need to be present. Choose the one that is most helpful right now. Last week, I beat myself up for not being productive. Well, guess what? I was in an ebb - I was waning. Now, I am in a flow - I am waxing. This is the rhythm of life. Let it be and find ways to get done what needs to get done.


Perspective 2: Productivity is not where I find my worth, but it may be helpful for my serenity. I asked the question in a recent blog of how to decide when to be productive and when to rest. Being a good minister’s kid who had so much to hide growing up, I used productivity and success to hide. I needed to stack up my good deeds so when they found out my dark secret, they would keep me around for my usefulness. No more. However, getting things done can do much for my mental well-being. And it gets me closer to my goals and visions.


Perspective 3: Instead of being afraid of missing opportunities, I can be grateful for the opportunities I find. This one may speak for itself, but I live in a constant state of fear and frustration thinking that time has passed me by - or it may soon. I need to get things done NOW, or the opportunity will pass. When I see people gain successes, there is a bitter part of me that wishes I had been the one to accomplish that. No more. I find new opportunities every day to manifest my visions and cultivate my gifts as I co-create the worlds around me. I’m gonna be grateful. I am going to replace the anxiety of missing something with the wonder of what I may find.


Practice 1: Setting myself in the morning is essential for my well-being. My morning rituals are critical before I step into anyone else’s world. I need to set myself in a place of peace before entering the chaos of the world. If I don’t start my day in a peaceful place, I am not likely to ever get peaceful that day. So, I do my morning pages from the Artist’s Way - three pages of stream of consciousness to declutter my brain when I awake. Then, I meditate and pray - first setting myself in quiet to listen then slowly emerging into prayers for others. After I emerge, I pull a card and read a devotional of choice - currently Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited and Mary Oliver’s Devotions. Finally, I stretch and wake my body up. When I am ready, I sit down to my Self Journal and map out my day.


Practice 2: Exercise is essential for resisting anxiety and depression. My therapist reminds me continually how effective exercise is, but if I can’t even get to the exercise mat, then it can’t work for my benefit. My job is to try and make exercise such a common experience that it is not likely to not happen. Not always easy, and I am always grateful when I show up. This time, instead of really digging in to be as badass as I can, I am starting slowly - walking instead of running, easeful exercise before getting all shreddy. I signed up for a 21-day yoga shred for men with Tristan Gatto on DailyOM to have someone else lead me. (He’s super cute!)


Practice 3: Taking the long view can help me be present for today. I have worked through my healing and recovery process to be fully present in the moment. I continually clear out of stuff so that I’m not just living in reaction to them. I constantly pull myself back from future visioning so I can experience what is happening now. The challenge is that the long view helps my sanity. I remember when I sold everything I owned and moved across the country that my mantra was: The best way to give honor to the past and prepare for the future is to be fully present in today. I have developed a great tool for creating the context within which my day happens that gets me toward my goal: my Activation Frame. I’ll share a picture below and spend some time unpackaging it for you down the road.


So, I am putting these perspectives and practices into place. Looking forward to seeing how these work when I am ebbing and not flowing. Curious to hear what works for you.




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Candy Cotton

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