Run Your Own Race – The Challenges of Life

Throughout our lives, we are met with hardships and challenges along the way. No race is easy and no one simply sails through unscathed. When we meet these challenges, it’s how we handle them that builds who we are and forms who we will become.

 

Overcoming Challenges

It’s all in the mind. Our brains are our biggest asset, but they can also be our greatest enemy. When a problem presents itself, we have a tendency to mull it over, solving and resolving the problem in our minds. Usually making the problem seem bigger than it really is in the first place. We stew and spin and obsess over the smallest things, making mountains out of mole hills. There are a couple of exercises to help with this and I’d like to share them with you today.

 

Mind Games

One of the best exercises that I use frequently when I have a seemingly insurmountable problem is meditation. I find a quiet place and I close my eyes. I imagine in front of me, a giant pad of paper on an easel. In my mind’s eye, I write out the problem in just a few short words on the piece of paper and then I tear it off and wad it up. To the right of my sheet of paper is a waste basket and I toss the paper into the basket.

Then back to the drawing board, so to speak. The next thought about the problem comes into my mind and I write it down, tear it off, toss it into the basket. Keep repeating this while you’re breathing very slowly. Deep breath in, deep breath out. When you’re satisfied that you’ve written down enough thoughts, imagine yourself picking up the basket. Remember that it started out on the right side of your mind while the pad of paper is on the left side of your mind? This is a mental exercise that helps you visualize the paper crossing in front of you from one side to the other. This makes it easier to release it.

With the waste paper basket in your hands, hold it and breathe and say to yourself, “These are my thoughts. They are not me, they are just my thoughts.” When you’re ready, imagine yourself releasing the waste paper basket and watch it float away from you until it disappears. With practice, this becomes easier and is a very helpful tool in releasing negative, obsessive thoughts.

 

You Know In Your Knower

Another belief that I’ve found to be true is that you know deep inside of you the answer to any problem that presents itself in your life. I often tell my children “You know in your knower.” Are you stuck on a situation and you don’t know which way to go from here? Find a quiet place, and sit with yourself. Once you’ve calmed your mind down, maybe using the exercise I mentioned before, ask yourself a straight forward question. When you’re calm you’ll be surprised how easily the answers can come from seemingly nowhere and direct you. Run your own race, remember to breathe along the way and as the saying goes, ‘Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff.’ And don’t forget, in the end, it’s all small stuff.

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