NaBloPoMo, Snails, & Appreciating Illness

Today I’m beginning my November month of blogging everyday as part of the NaBloPoMo’s challenge. I’ve done this before. Last year, I wrote on 2 blogs everyday during the month of November.  But this year I’ve decided that it was not in my self-interest to over-commit myself, so I chose this blog. After all, this blog is the “youngest” of my blogs and doesn’t get a lot of love from me often. Yet the topic is so important: appreciation is one of the most loving things you can do for yourself and others. So in a way, this is an act of self-love on my part: I’m not over-extending myself with a 2 blog commitment like last year and I’m giving this blog some extra tender care, which means more TLC for me. (Yes, what goes around, comes around.)

To start my 30 day “blogging for blogging’s sake” challenge, I decided to appreciate illness. I imagine many may be shaking their heads about that as an appreciation topic today. Why would anyone want to appreciate illness? As someone who understands the law of attraction and as a deliberate creator, I know the opportunity that “contrast” brings for better things. “Being sick” is a contrast I don’t intend for myself, but I recently experienced it and I’m grateful. Let me explain.

Photo courtesy of http://www.pdphoto.org/

I had a cold for about 10 days and stayed home for only one day in that first week (but ended up working all day), only to find myself out a couple of days the next week (plus a visit to the doctor) because I had a re-lapse. It was nothing serious, but it certainly did drain my energy. Having no energy and sleeping most of the days really was a wake-up call that I needed to slow down and get more rest!

So I was reminded of a snail, who by human standards doesn’t appear to move very quickly, often pausing for long periods of time before inching onward to a new leaf. Being sick is a reminder to be like a snail in that respect: slow down, take my time, pause, rest, then slowly move on again. My sickness and probably what created it (lack of self-care, over-working, little sleep, etc.) really emphasized how much I want to be well. It also served as a reminder to take better care of myself: by loving myself enough to say “no” to the increased demands in my professional life, by taking time for “me” everyday, by getting enough rest and making room for plenty of fun in my days as well.

So even though I hated being sick, I can sit back and appreciate the illness as it made me more aware to be present with myself each day: to take time for self-care and love.  In doing so, I can detach myself from the illness: see it as a catalyst for personal growth and change and appreciate it for creating wonderful wellness and healing that leads to more good things down the road.

Life is full of contrast and if you can recognize  the beauty of the contrast you’re in by finding an appreciation for it, it will open up wonderful, new opportunities and experiences later on. So while I probably won’t slow down as much as a snail, I can pause and be present in a spirit of appreciation and love, which creates excitement for what’s to come. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Until tomorrow,

Barbara

Appreciating The Contrast

When challenges occur in our lives, it’s often difficult to see the blessings contained within them  until later. Yet, time-after-time, it has been my experience in life that there’s always a blessing gained from those “challenging” times.  Even when it seems like you can’t possibly take it any longer, somehow you manage to make it through it.  I know first-hand that “This, too, shall pass.”

Appreciating the contrast (of what you don’t want or have experienced) can be a very powerful tool in defining what you do want and to creating a better life for yourself. Appreciating the contrast can also serve you in that it’s  a “softer” way to accept those life challenges and to move forward with your life in peace.  Hanging around in states of blame, anger, worry, revenge, or just re-telling our “story” over and over again only keeps us in a stagnant place when we could be learning from the experience and enjoying life instead.

What’s past is past. Let it go! You cannot go back and change it anyway, so why beat yourself up going over and over it in your mind, with your stories to others, the complaints or with regret? Whenever we fight against the not-so-positive experiences of our lives, we usually end up with more to fight about (because we attract the same type of thing that we’re fighting by all that focus on it).

So, the beauty is in the appreciation of the contrast. Bless it, learn from it and let it go! After all, no one is perfect or all the same. Isn’t that a wonderful thing, by the way? Imagine how boring it would be if we were all perfect and the same? We’d have no choices, no motivation to grow, and no creativity! It sounds rather dull to me, so I prefer the choices: the contrast.

By being grateful for what comes up (including things that you really don’t want),  you’ll see a positive difference in your outlook on life because you’ll attract much more to be grateful for. And the next time a “challenge” comes along, you’ll get better at dealing with it, too.