Establishing goals is all right if you don’t let them deprive you of interesting detours.-Doug Larson-
I think we have all heard the saying “when one door closes, another one opens.” It might feel like that door is more like a small window you have to maneuver through or sometimes it might feel like beautiful French doors that pop wide open. Whatever the case it’s important to see the blessings in life’s little detours.
A few years ago I worked for a company that moved me into a position that was “best for the needs of the company.” My title remained the same, I was just working in a different business unit. I was transferred from the IT area to another business area in operations. I tried to fight it. I was unsuccessful. The move shifted the trajectory I thought I was on. It was hard not to feel like a marionette puppet. Even harder not to be bitter. I had a choice; I could leave. I decided to stay and change my perception and see it as one of life’s detours.
Instead of taking it personally, I thought of the monthly emails announcing position changes and the emails announcing as of today x is no longer working here. It was common practice to move people around the company chess board. I will admit, in the past when I read those emails I felt they were playing Russian roulette with the employees. We were the “bullets” in the chamber and with an almost quarterly spin, you could be shot out like a cannon or hang back in the chamber waiting for the next spin. Recognizing it was a business and of course, the needs of the company was a factor in each of our career paths, I took a tuck and roll approach. I adjusted with each change and over the years, I had several more in “the best interest of the company” moves.
For the moment the dust has settled. Things have stabilized. I work with a great team. They are both collaborative and supportive of each other. My position allows me to use all of my strengths and I’m able to learn new things, which is important to me. I’m in a good place while I wait for the next spin.
Embrace the detours. Thinking back they seemed to arrive around the time I was getting comfortable and nestled in, and quite possibly limiting my opportunity for growth. I was given the chance to make delicious lemonade from a basket of perceived Lemons. Maybe it wasn’t the company making the changes, but the universe setting things in motion for my highest good. Sure feels like that now.
When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things– Not the great occasions– that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness. – Bob Hope
I had a glow of happiness today. During a meeting, I volunteered to draft out a detailed plan design of a project we are starting. After I hung up I wondered if it were possible to get everything documented in two days. I opened up my “shell” template for the plan design and realized I had already started it when we passed one of the main stage-gates a few months back. Bonus, I was far along in the documentation. The sweet glow of happiness filled the room.
Don’t forget to count these moments when you reflect on the things you are grateful for. I’m with Bob. These simple things are gems!
I remember in basic training when we were learning how to march in formation, our instructor would yell out “I am about to show you a maneuver, pay close attention to this part of my body.” He would either motion like Vanna White to the lower or upper half of his body. I thought it was funny, but in hindsight, I realized how profound his process was. What a gift to have the lesson you are about to receive clearly spelled out so you know exactly what to focus on.
Years later a friend made a comment about repeating patterns in a relationship and that until you learn whatever lesson was being sent your way, that pattern would continue to repeat itself. For example, picking a person that is safe to avoid being hurt or picking a person that is emotionally unavailable because on some level we might not be ready for a full connection or believe we are not worthy.
One of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits involved a person visiting a psychiatrist. For the entire session no matter what the patient said, the response from the psychiatrist was “look to yourself.” It cracked me up and stayed with me. I realized it was intended for entertainment, but it made me think, what an excellent response. Looking at patterns and figuring out any lessons you can gain from them may move you forward and break the cycle. Patterns that crop up every few years are on a smaller scale and admittedly harder to recognize, but are equally important to analyze.
Being mindful and present of your patterns helps you watch for life’s lessons with eyes-wide-open. If you keep having the same type of experience and you want to make a shift, pay attention to your patterns and the next time when the universe yells out, “I’m about to execute a life lesson, pay particular attention to your relationship,” look closely at any patterns you may be repeating.
Is there a Panacea for restlessness? There are so many reasons we become restless and it touches so many areas of our lives. We become restless in our relationships, our jobs, our friendships. Is it possible to have one Panacea, one solution?
I have learned after numerous cycles of making drastic changes, switching jobs every five years and changing relationships that chasing the next shiny object, starting over with something or someone new isn’t necessarily the best answer. The excitement is short-lived. When the newness wears off, the feelings stir again, and the cycle repeats. Instead, I realized that making small tweaks along the journey makes all the difference.
For me, the one solution that keeps me from feeling restless or feeling like I am in a rut is to always do something that inspires me. No matter how small. Plant a garden, learn a new language, write a daily word prompt. As long as I am growing, learning and staying inspired, the rest of my life balances out. When my focus changes to nose against the grindstone all work and no play, everything shifts and I start to feel like I am in a perpetual rut, stuck running the hamster wheel of life.
I blogged on Gratitude earlier, but since it is today’s prompt, I pulled a section out of the earlier blog.
Having gratitude for the blessings in your life keeps you in a positive frame of mind versus focusing on what you feel is wrong in your life.
Gratitude is a recognition that you have many things in your life to be grateful for and I don’t mean stuff. For me, it is having loving and supportive people in my life, having my health, having a job I enjoy, and knowing that if something happened I would be able to shift a negative experience to an opportunity for growth. When one door closes, another door opens. A negative experience can bring gratitude as well. For example losing a job, maybe what is needed to redirect you to a better opportunity that you may not have taken if you stayed in your comfort zone. Starting your day with gratitude shifts the brain into a positive frame of mind helping shape your day. It can help you stay calmer and less reactive as your day unfolds. You choose the type of day you are going to have when you recognize and acknowledge everything you are grateful for. If you start your day negative, guess what kind of day you are going to have. Yep, more than likely a negative one.
Have you ever noticed that opportunities seem to open as soon as you make a decision as to what it is you want? Some call it manifesting. If you visualize it or say it out loud you are likely to make it a reality. Staying on the fence seems to have the opposite impact. It keeps everything on hold. Continue reading →
Okay, in this case, it is using my nightmare. I had a horrible nightmare the other morning. I just laid there waiting for my heart to stop pounding. Then I thought, holy cow, this is an awesome plot in my sequel Streaming James. I ran downstairs and wrote out the entire outline. Is it cheating to use your dream to write your book? Feels a bit like cheating. It is still coming from my imagination right?
I love taking original photos and giving them a Surreal, dream-like quality. It puts me in a dream-like state to imagine who they are, what they are experiencing? Are they together? Are they strangers? Why is she walking ahead? Are they in a fight because he is looking at his phone and not enjoying the beach or their alone time? It really opens my imagination when I take the sharpness out, remove the reality of the picture and blur the image just enough to give it a new feel.
I love that Identity is today’s prompt. I’ve been thinking of “Identity” the last few days.
I took this photo at Cannon Beach two years ago and used it as a backdrop for my “Second Chances” Poem? Mission Statement? Not sure what I would call it. Second Chances – Here for A Reason
The photo was significant in several ways. One, it is the day my husband, pups and I got caught in riptide. I think that is what it is called. That is a story in and of its self. Future blog maybe. It seemed appropriate for a second chance poem.
The next significance was the people in the photo. Not sure who they are, but it reminds me of the second part of my mission statement. To experience life to the fullest. Sometimes that will be a shared experience, sometimes it will be a solo adventure.