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Turning Disappointments to Gold

Life is full of them. What makes the difference between a life of just making it by or a life of wild, exuberant living, is how we perceive life's disappointments. I woke up this morning feeling really great and juiced about how life is flowing lately. My relationships are solid, my family's healthy, my body's feeling really alive and awake, my business is rising out of its winter slumber with renewed vigor - Life is great.

Then I went for tea with a friend who played devil's advocate to a new, inspired idea of mine, and I had a momentary collapse. My innards felt like they were squeezing shut like a scared clam. So here I am now, sitting and reflecting on what just happened, on how I allowed external forces to rain on my very pleasant inner parade. How many of us do this?? You get going, really rolling with great intentions and positive emotions and then BAM! Something happens that contradicts your inner paradise and you collapse with insurmountable defeat...

How can you navigate life's swales and stay afloat, even when others around you are drilling holes into your ship? I don't think there's an easy, quick fix solution to how to handle life's disappointments. I do however believe that there are conscious steps you can take that make for much easier sailing.

One of these steps has to do with perception. It's the recognition that we all see the world through very different lenses and many factors in life affect those lenses. Your mood, the environment, the global state of affairs, life's circumstances, the events of your past, even the conversations you may have had right before, all affect how you are perceiving the present moment. When you understand this for yourself, you can begin to open your heart to someone else's reality and see that they may be speaking from a space of reaction to their life circumstances. Compassion for yourself and compassion for the other begins to shift your inner world. What may have seemed like a disappointment just a few moments ago can now be perceived as a gentle reminder. Yes, we are all going through our own swales and may each be reacting to the stories we carry within us. And Yes, this is all ok…

My disappointment today has turned into a reminder that we are all human and that compassion is so needed in our world today.

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